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the permission of Governor Pickens he visited the fort on the 21st of March. Ascertaining that provisions would be exhausted by the middle of April, and that Major Anderson must surrender, he returned to Washington and reported that the fort, if relieved at all, must be relieved by the middle of April. The President, anxious for peace, turned to the Virginia convention, sent for Mr. Baldwin, and proposed that, if that convention would immediately adjourn, he would direct Anderson to evacuate Sumter. He received for an answer to his proposition that "the United States must instantly evacuate Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens, and give assurance that no attempt will be made to collect revenues in Southern ports." The President, realizing at length that nothing but the complete recognition of the Confederate government and the dismemberment of the Union would be accepted by the secessionists and those sympathizing with them in the slaveholding States, overruled General Scott, gave Mr. Fox an order on the 4th of April to fit out a force for the relief of Sumter in accordance with his plan. He also sent Ward H. Lamon to Governor Pickens to inform him that he was about to send provisions to the garrison; that no troops would be sent if the supplies were received; but that supplies must go into Sumter peaceably, if possible; if not, by force. Hastening to New York, Mr. Fox, with the assistance of Commodores Stewart and Stringham, fitted out, in almost an incredibly brief space of time, several vessels for the relief of the fort, which were ordered to rendezvous at Charleston.
The Powhattan, the flag-ship of the expedition, carrying the sailors and launches for the landing of supplies, was, by an order issued by the President, sent without the knowledge of Fox to Fort Pickens, under the direction of General Meigs and Admiral Porter; a blunder, however, that was fatal to the expedition. The Pawnee, Harriet Lane, and Baltic arriving in Charleston harbor, were unable to act, owing to a severe storm, until the very evening of the surrender.
South Carolina had made large appropriations for military purposes, and for the organization of a force of ten thousand men. Two weeks before the attack on Sumter, several forts
and batteries had been erected, and one hundred and twenty cannon, with more than seven thousand men, menaced it with its small garrison of eighty. Deeming it "the bastion of the Federal Union, and that the fate of the Southern Confeder acy hung upon the ensign halliards of that fortress," its citizens were clamorous for its immediate capture.
The message of President Lincoln to Governor Pickens, notifying him that supplies would be sent to Sumter, was made known to the public on the morning of the 8th of April. General Beauregard informed the Rebel Secretary of War that the governor had been notified by the President that provisions would be sent to Sumter peaceably or otherwise. On the 10th the latter replied, authorizing him to demand at once the evacuation of the fort, and, if refused, to proceed in such manner as he should determine. To this despatch Beauregard replied that the demand would be made the next day, at 12 o'clock. On the 11th of April, at 2 o'clock, Beauregard sent a staff-officer with a letter to Major Anderson, demanding the evacuation of the fort. He informed that officer that the Confederate States could no longer delay taking possession of a fortification commanding one of their harbors, and that Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee would await his answer. Major Anderson promptly replied that his sense of honor and his obligations to his government would not allow him to surrender; but he also informed them that he would be compelled to leave the fort in a few days to avoid starvation. The Confederate commander instantly communicated to the Confederate Secre tary of War Anderson's answer. The latter replied, that, if Anderson would state the time when he would evacuate, and pledge himself not to use his guns unless their guns were used against him, Beauregard was authorized to avoid the effusion of blood; but he ordered, if "this or its equivalent be refused, to reduce the fort." At 11 o'clock that night Beauregard sent to Major Anderson this order. The major said in reply that he would agree to the proposed stipulation to leave the fort at noon on the 15th, if he should not receive "controlling instructions" or additional supplies. This answer was writ ten at half past two o'clock on the morning of the 12th, and
thof th of
handed unsealed to Colonel Chestnut.
oot, having been sent to Washington, had been intrusted with
notices of the intentions of the government, but he had not been allowed by the Rebel authorities to return to the fort. The staff officers consulted a few moments in the room of the officers of the guard, and decided, at twenty minutes past three in the morning, that Anderson's answer was not satisfactory. They, therefore, immediately addressed a note to Anderson, informing him that, "by authority of BrigadierGeneral Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time."
Whatever may have been the pretensions of the Confederate government, or of its defenders, the more violent of the seces-sionists were anxious to precipitate hostilities, in order that a blow thus struck might, as they confidently expected, precipitate the border slave States into rebellion. "Gentlemen," said Gilchrist, a member of the Alabama legislature to members of the Confederate cabinet a month before the attack on Fort Sumter, "unless you sprinkle blood in the face of the people of Alabama, they will be back in the Union in less than ten days." On the evening of the 10th, Roger A. Pryor of Virginia, in reply to a serenade, thanked the excited people of Charleston for annihilating this "cursed Union." affirmed, with great positiveness, that it had been "at last blas ted and riven"; that it was "gone forever"; that it had "fallen never to rise again." He invoked the people of South Carolina to give no thought to the reconstruction of the Union they had annihilated, and to proclaim to the world that South Carolina would never again enter into political association with the Abolitionists of New England. He assured them that Virginia would be a member of the Southern Confederacy. "I will tell you, gentlemen," he said, "what will put her into the Southern Confederacy in less than an hour by Shrewsbury clock, strike a blow." For himself, he said, that if the President and Vice-President were to abdicate their offices, and were to give him a "blank sheet of paper to write the
conditions of reconstruction to the defunct Union, I would scornfully decline the overture."
If anything were wanting to prove that the Rebellion was not the deliberate work of the people, a measure adopted after a full and fair examination of the subject, it is afforded by such language of its leaders as is here quoted. "Unless you sprinkle blood in the faces of the people of Alabama they will be back in the Union in less than ten days." What will put Virginia into the Southern Confederacy" in less than an hour by the Shrewsbury clock?" Answer, "Strike a blow." These are not the words of men calm in the justice of their demands, championing the cause of an abused and downtrodden people, and appealing to the higher motives of reason, calm reflection, and the well-considered patriotism of an oppressed nationality. In spirit and purpose there was nothing of that. And yet these utterances well expressed the general feeling and sentiments of the leaders who were carrying forward this movement. Pryor's speech was applauded, and telegraphed to Montgomery, and he, accompanying Beauregard's staff-officers to the fort, counselled the rejection of Anderson's proposition, and the opening of the batteries upon Sumter upon an hour's notice.
A signal was given, and the batteries opened their fire on the fort. The first gun, as stated in another connection, was fired by the aged Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, who at the close of the war took his own life with the same hand that had fired the first gun trained against the nation's life. At 7 o'clock it replied, and a heavy and vigorous fire was kept up during the day. On the morning of the 13th the firing of the batteries was renewed. Sustained by his officers, Doubleday, Crawford, and Snyder, commanders of the parties into which his small force was divided, Major Anderson used every resource at his command for defence. Portions of the fort were set on fire. They were compelled to throw a part of their powder into the sea; the flag-staff was shot away, but the banner was fastened to a fragment of the staff and continued to fly. At half past one of that day, Senator Wigfall, who had hastened to Charleston after the adjournment of the Senate, and was a volunteer on Beauregard's staff, visited the fort, and after much trouble
held a consultation with Anderson, who agreed to surrender upon the terms he had previously offered. Believing that Wigfall spoke truthfully, and that he spoke by authority, he allowed a white flag to be raised over the fort. Several of Beauregard's staff-officers visited the fort. But Anderson, finding that Wigfall had not acted by the authority of the Rebel commander, and that he himself had been deceived, declared that the white flag should come down immediately. At the request of others, however, he left it flying, and the fire of the Rebel batteries ceased. Between seven and eight o'clock of the evening of the 13th Anderson's terms were accepted. His own brief despatch to the Secretary of War best sets forth that heroic, though humiliating act:
"SIR, Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge wall seriously injured, the magazine Surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effects of heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions but pork remaining, I accepted terms of evacuation, offered by General Beauregard, being the &ame offered by him on the 11th inst., prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon, the 14th instant, with colors flying and drums beatg, bringing away company and private property, and salutng my flag with fifty guns.'
The conduct of Major Anderson, though generally applauded at the time, has not escaped criticism, and the wisdom, if not the patriotism, of this act has been called in question. But it
certainly safe to say that it is difficult to find occasion for uspicion in the above despatch. As the account of his leaving the fort carries with it no air of treason, so, too, the circum
tances and conduct of his entrance therein, on the preceding Christmas night and the day following, comport not with any such traitorous purpose. At noon of the 27th of December, 1860, with his little command gathered around him and the flag-staff, "Major Anderson," it is said, "with the halliards in his hand, knelt at its foot, and the officers and men, impressed with the solemnity of the occasion, needed no orders