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THE SECRET PREPARATIONS IN NEW YORK FOR
PICKENS AND SUMTER. LARGE NAVAL FORCE
THE " War for the Union" may be said to have been opened, on the part of the Federal Government, by the movements in New York harbor early in April. The activity apparent in the Brooklyn navy-yard, in putting vessels into commission, was followed (April 4th) by the appropriation of the Collins ocean steamers Baltic and Atlantic to Government service. Soon the California steamer Illinois was added to the number. All of these large and swift vessels were loaded with extraordinary expedition with heavy cargoes of provisions, munitions, forage, and horses, while quarters were prepared on the Baltic for a regiment of troops. The steam frigate Powhatan, of eleven guns and three hundred men, was called into commission, and in three days' time was turned from "ordinary" into sailing condition. She put to sea on the morning of April 6th, as convoy to the Atlantio. The Harriet Lane, steam revenue cutter, of five guns and ninety-six men, had already put out of the Narrows, followed by the steam tugs Uncle Ben and Yankee. The steamer Water Witch, at the Philadelphia navy-yard, was put in commission April 5th. All these vessels acted under sealed orders, and the public could only surmise as to their destination. The steam frigates Roanoke and Wabash, the steam corvette Savannah, and the brig Perry, at the Brooklyn navy-yard, were being hurried into condition for commission. At the Boston (Charlestown) navy
Great Naval Movements.
BEING THROWN INTO SUMTER. THE CONFEDERATE
IN WASHINGTON. RESPONSE OF PUBLIC
yard, the steam frigates Minnesota, Mississippi,
Movement of Troops. toward New
The movement of troops | mént. toward New York, from interior stations, added to the feverish excitement now existing in all circles. Captain Barry's artillery and two companies of the Second infantry reached Fort Lafayette on the morning of April 5th. A company of sappers and miners, and several companies of the Third infantry, were already in the fort. At Fort Hamilton four At Fort Hamilton four hundred and ninety-one men were quartered, ready for immediate duty. Colonel Harvey Brown, of the Second infantry, was in command, and, together with Captain Foote and Lieutenant Almy, acted with unceasing vigilance in expediting the orders of Govern
the South, in the North,
Chief Engineer-J. R. Dryberg; First Assistant, Walter
Scott; Second, C. G. Dale; Third, F. F. Pulsifer.
Matters were managed with much discretion, and the public could only conjecture the destination of the troops, transports, and vessels of war.
The watchful friends of Preparations of the
STEAMER MOHAWK-FIVE GUNS.
Lieutenant Commanding-James H. Strong.
Assistant Surgeon-Delavan Bloodgood.
Engineers-First Assistant, John S. Abert; Second Assistants, E L Dirk, Geo. D. Emmons, and Edward C. Patten.
First Lieutenant-D. B. Constable; Second, H. O. Porter; Brooklyn......Off Fort Pickens, March 23d.
Surgeon-J. N. Campbell.
Crusader.......Sailed from New York, March 18th.
Off' Pensacola, March 23d.
STORESHIP RELEASE-ONE GUN.
Minnesota......Ready for commission at Boston.
Water Witch...Went in commission at Philadelphia, Apl. 5th.
PREPARATION OF THE REVOLUTIONISTS TO RESIST.
A dispatch from Charles- | diplomatic Commission of the Confederate ton, dated April 6th, read: Congress to the Federal Government at "Reliable information has Washington. Washington. As stated [see page 18], the been received from the North, that reinforce- Southern Commissioners The Confederate ments are ordered to Fort Sumter, and will be ac- did not call for the reply companied by a squadron under command of Com- to their first communicamodore Stringham. tion to the Department of State. The reasons, and the Commissioners' view of affairs in the interregnum, will appear in their letter to Mr. Seward, of April 9th, which was at once a plea and a declaration of hostility against the United States Government. It
read as follows:
Preparations of the
Five thousand Southern men, in addition to those at present in the fortifications, are ready to take the field within twenty-four hours.
"The ultimatum, siege or surrender, has not yet been sent to Major Anderson; but with the sup
plies sent to-day, he was notified by General Beauregard that they are the last, which is equivalent to a declaration of hostilities. This is positive.
Troops have been ordered to rendezvous at points remote from Charleston, but within supporting distance, to watch the movements of the enemy. They move at once.
"Governor Pickens has all day been inspecting the batteries, accompanied by a portion of his Council and senior officers of the army. Everything throughout was in a state of efficiency. Bloodshed is inevitable, and if one drop is spilt, no one knows when it will end.
“WASHINGTON, April 9th, 1861. "Hon. Wм. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington: "The Memorandum [see pages 16-17] dated 'Department of State, Washington, March 15th, 1861,' has been received through the hands of Mr. J. T. Pickett, Secretary to this Commission, who by the instructions of the undersigned, called for it on yesterday at the Department.
"A formal demand for the surrender of the fort has not been made, and may not be made at all. "For obvious reasons, the intentions of the Confederacy are involved in mystery.
"In that Memorandum you correctly state the purport of the official note addressed to you by the undersigned, on the 12th ult. Without repeating the contents of that note in full, it is enough to say here that its object was to invite the Government of the United States to a friendly consideration of "The excitement is intense, and everybody is in the relations between the United States and the fighting humor."
Lincoln's Avowal of his Policy.
seven States lately of the Federal Union, but now All doubts as to the pur- separated from it by the sovereign will of their poses of the Federal Ex-people, growing out of the pregnant and undeniable ecutive were dispelled by the arrival, at Charleston, April 8th, of Lieutenant Talbot, as a messenger from the War Department at Washington, to say that an unarmed steamer would proceed to supply Fort Sumter's garrison with provisions. The Lieutenant had previously arrived at Washington (on the morning of April 6th) as a messenger from Major Anderson, to say that, supplies of fresh food from Charleston having been cut off, the garrison would be forced to surrender at discretion, from starvation, if supplies were not thrown in, or the evacuation ordered. He returned, as stated, to Charleston to announce the determination of his Government to provision the garrison, at all hazards. That reply sounded the toc
sin of war.
Before proceeding with the narrative of the remarkable military events which quickly followed, we will here close the story of the
fact that those people have rejected the authority of the United States, and established a Government of their own.
Those relations had to be friendly or hostile. The people of the old and new Governstand to each other in the relation of good neighments, occupying contiguous territory, had to bors, each seeking their happiness and pursuing their national destinies in their own way, without interference with the other, or they had to be rival and hostile nations. The Government of the Confederate States had no hesitation in electing its choice in this alternative. Frankly and unreserved, seeking the good of the people who had intrusted them with power, in the spirit of humanity, of the Christian civilization of the age, and of that Americanism which regards the true welfare and happirate States, among its first acts, commissioned the ness of the people, the Government of the Confede undersigned to approach the Government of the United States with the olive branch of peace, and to offer to adjust the great questions pending between them in the only way to be justified by the consciences and common sense of good men who
"Your Government has not chosen to meet the undersigned in the conciliatory and peaceful spirit in which they are commissioned. Persistently wedded to those fatal theories of construction of the Federal Constitution always rejected by the statesmen of the South, and adhered to by those of the Administration school until they have produced their natural and often-predicted results of the destruction of the Union, under which we might have continued to live happily and gloriously together, had the spirit of the ancestry who framed the common Constitution animated the hearts of all their sons—you now, with a persistence untaught and uncured by the ruin which has been wrought, refuse to recognize the great fact presented to you of a complete and successful revolution; you close your eyes to the existence of the Government founded upon it; and ignore the high duties of moderation and humanity which should attach to you in dealing with this great fact. Had you met the issues with the frankness and manliness with which the undersigned were instructed to present them to you and to treat them, the undersigned had not now the melancholy duty to return home and tell their Government and their countrymen that their earnest and ceaseless efforts in behalf of peace had been futile, and that the Government of the United States meant to subjugate them by force of arms.
"Whatever may be the result, impartial history will record the innocence of the Government of the Confederate States, and place the responsibility of the blood and mourning that may ensue upon those who have denied the great fundamental doctrine of American liberty, that governments derive their governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,' and who have set naval and land armaments in motion to subject the people of one portion of the land to the will of another portion. That that can never be done while a freeman survives in the Confederate States to wield a weapon, the undersigned appeal to past history to prove. These military demonstrations against the people of the Seceded States are certainly far from being in keeping and consistency with the theory of the Secretary of State, maintained in his Memorandum, that those States are still component parts of the late American Union, as the undersigned are not aware of any constitutional power in the President of the United States to levy war without the consent of Congress, upon a foreign people, much less upon any portion of the people of the United States.
The undersigned, like the Secretary of State, have no purpose to invite or engage in discussion' of the subject on which their two Governments are
The Confederate Commissioners' last Communication.
so irreconcilably at variance. It is this variance that has broken up the old Union, the disintegration of which has only begun. It is proper, however, to advise you that it were well to dismiss the hopes you seem to entertain that, by any of the modes indicated, the people of the Confederate States will ever be brought to submit to the authority of the Government of the United States. You are dealing with delusions, too, when you seek to separate our people from our Government, and to characterize the deliberate, sovereign act of the people as a 'perversion of a temporary and partisan excitement.' If you cherish these dreams you will be awakened from them, and find them as unreal and unsubstantial as others in which you have recently indulged. The undersigned would omit the performance of an obvious duty were they to fail to make known to the Government of the United States that the people of the Confederate States have declared their independence with a full knowledge of all the responsibilities of that act, and with as firm a determination to maintain it by all the means with which nature has endowed them, as that which sustained their fathers when they threw off the authority of the British crown.
"The undersigned clearly understand that you have declined to appoint a day to enable them to lay the objects of the mission with which they are charged, before the President of the United States, because so to do would be to recognize the independence and separate nationality of the Confederate States. This is the vein of thought that pervades the Memorandum before us. The truth of history requires that it should distinctly appear upon the record that the undersigned did not ask the Government of the United States to recognize the independence of the Confederate States. They only asked audience to adjust, in a spirit of amity and peace, the new relations springing from a manifest and accomplished revolution in the Government of the late Federal Union. Your refusal to entertain these overtures for a peaceful solution,. the active naval and military preparations of this Government, and a formal notice to the commanding General of the Confederate forces in the harbor of Charleston, that the President intends to provision Fort Sumter by forcible means, if necessary, are viewed by the undersigned, and can only be received by the world, as a declaration of war against the Confederate States; for the President of the United States knows that Fort Sumter cannot be provisioned without the effusion of blood. The undersigned, in behalf of their Government and people, accept the gage of battle thus thrown down to them; and appealing to God and the judgment of mankind for the righteousness of their cause, the people of the
LAST COMMUNICATION OF THE COMMISSIONERS.
Confederate States will defend
"This communication cannot be properly closed
just exposition of the facts of
their official note of March 12th.
"It is proper to add that, during these twentythree days, two gentlemen of official distinction as high as that of the personage hitherto alluded to, aided the undersigned as intermediaries in these unofficial negotiations for peace.
"The undersigned, Commissioners of the Confederate States of America, having thus made answer to all they deem material in the Memorandum filed in the Department on the 15th of March last, have the honor to be,
"A true copy of the original, by me delivered to
J. T. PICKETT,
"Secretary, &c., &c." "DEPARTMENT OF STATE, "WASHINGTON, April 10, 1861. "Messrs. Forsyth, Crawford, and Roman, having been apprised by a Memorandum which has been delivered to them, that the Secretary of State is not at liberty to hold official intercourse with them, will, it is presumed, expect no notice from him of the new communication which they have addressed to him under date of the 9th inst., beyond the simple acknowledgment of the receipt thereof, which he hereby very cheerfully gives."
"A true copy of the original received by the Commissioners of the Confederate States, this 10th day of April, 1861.
"Attest, J. T. PICKETT,
The excitement attendant upon the vast military preparations then making
by the Federal authorities, in Washington as
Withdrawal of the