Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/381

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Yancey nnd Hill. 375

dency ana gloom that Mr. Yancy, rising in his place in the Senate, declared that the war could no longer be carried on with any hope of success unless many of the constitutional restraints and embar- rassments were thrown aside, and boldly advocated a radical change in the Government to meet the demands of the public and the exi- gences of the hour.


" Upon the conclusion of Mr. Yancey 's remarks, Mr. Hill promptly arose to reply. The scene was one of the most intense excitement. He depreciated the opinion advocated by Mr. Yancey, and proceeded with great severity to review his past political career, running back to the beginning of the times when our sectional troubles were first agitated. He said Mr. Yancey, not satisfied with having warred upon and disrupted the old Union, was now crying out against and endeavoring to subvert and break down the Confederate Govern- ment. When Mr. Hill concluded, the excitement, already at white heat, was increased beyond anything ever before witnessed during those troublesome times. Mr. Yancey arose and in a calm, dignified, and self-poised manner peculiarly his own, commenced his reply. He described Mr. Hill as repeating slanders that had been uttered against him for the past twenty years, and that all which Mr. Hill had uttered had been said innumerable times before by every third- rate politician in the country, and continued by saying : ' Nature had designed the Senator from Georgia as an imitator ; that he had been cast in a certain die, and it was vain to attempt to enlarge his dimen- sions.'


" Pallid with rage, Mr. Hill mounted to his feet, and seizing a heavy glass inkstand, hurled it with all his might and power at the head of Mr. Yancy, which, grazing his forehead, ploughed its way to the skull and passed on in its furious course, crushing a heavy win- dow facing beyond. Without turning his head, Mr. Yancy, who was at the time addressing the Speaker, continued his speech, delib- erately remarking : " It is always the prerogative of cowards to strike from the rear." Enraged still more at this remark, Mr. Hill, gathering a chair, rushed upon his antagonist, who heedless of the attack, was continuing his remarks as calmly as if nothing had hap- pened, when a number of senators interposing, the difficulty was ended. Mr. Yancey' s wound bled most profusely, and a scene of the utmost confusion prevailed.