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muskets remained at the arsenal. When, only two days later, Gardner, urged by the repeated solicitations of his officers, directed the transfer of musket ammunition to Moultrie, the loading of the schooner was objected to by the owner of the wharf, and the military store-keeper, under apparently very inadequate pressure, returned the stores to the arsenal. A permit, given by the mayor of Charleston next day, for the removal was very properly declined by Gardner, on the ground that the city authorities could not control his actions.1
The affair, however, cost Gardner his command. by a process described by the assistant secretary of state, Trescot: "I received a telegram from Charles ton, saying that intense excitement prevailed . . and that if the removal was by orders of the Department of War, it ought to be revoked, otherwise collision was inevitable. Knowing the Cabinet were then in session I went over to the White House. I took Governor Floyd aside, and he was joined, I think, by Messrs. Cobb and Toucey, and showed them the telegram. Governor Floyd replied ‘Telegraph back at once; say that you have seen me, that no such orders have been issued, and none such will be issued, under any circumstances."" Floyd, a day or so later, gave Trescot "his impressions of the folly of Colonel Gardner's conduct, and his final determination to remove him and supply his place with Major Robert Anderson, in whose discretion, 1 War Records, Serial No. 1, p. 69; Crawford, Fort Sumter, 57, 58.
coolness and judgment he put great confidence. He also determined to send Colonel Ben. Huger to take charge of the arsenal, believing that his high reputation, his close association with many of the most influential people in Charleston, and the fact of his being a Carolinian, would satisfy the state of the intention of the Government."1
That Floyd himself was in an uncertain state of mind is shown by his willingness to begin and continue the work upon the forts; that his mental state did not permit logical action is clear from his temper and attitude regarding the transfer of musket ammunition November 7, though but the week before (October 31) he had authorized the transfer of the muskets themselves.
Major Fitz-John Porter, of the adjutant-general's office, later the able and ill-treated general, was sent to Charleston to inspect the conditions. His report, made November 11, revealed the military inefficiency almost inseparable from a post so neglected and ill-manned, and subject to the lazy peace conditions of the period. He said: "The unguarded state of the fort invites attack,. if such design exists, and much discretion and prudence are required on the part of the commander to restore the proper security without exciting a community prompt to misconstrue actions of authority. I think this can be effected by a proper commander without checking in the slightest the progress of 1 Trescot MS., quoted by Crawford. Fort Sumter, 58, 59.
the engineer in completing the works of defense." Major Porter continues with a most significant phrase, “All could have been easily arranged a few weeks since, when the danger was foreseen by the present commander." 1
November 15, Anderson was ordered to the command. A Kentuckian by birth, his wife a Georgian, his views in sympathy with those of General Scott, he appeared to be and, as results proved, was in many respects particularly fitted for the post; by November 23 he was able to report that in two weeks the outer defences of Moultrie would be finished and the guns mounted, and that Sumter was ready for the comfortable accommodation of one company, and, indeed, for the temporary reception of its proper garrison. "This," he said, "is the key to the entrance to this harbor; its guns command this work [Moultrie] and could drive out its occupants. It should be garrisoned at once. . . . So important do I consider the holding of Castle Pinckney by the Government that I recommend, if the troops asked for cannot be sent at once, that I be authorized to place an engineer detachment [of an officer and thirty workmen]. . . to make the repairs needed there. . . . If my force was not so very small I would not hesitate to send a detachment at once to garrison that work. Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney must be garrisoned immediately if the Government determines to keep command of this harbor." 1 War Records, Serial No. 1, p. 70.
Anderson proceeded to give advice which sane judgment and every sentiment of national honor demanded. After mentioning his anxiety to avoid collision with the citizens of South Carolina, he said: "Nothing, however, will be better calculated to prevent bloodshed than our being found in such an attitude that it would be madness and folly to attack us. There is not so much feverish excitement as there was last week, but that there is a settled determination to leave the Union, and obtain possession of this work, is apparent to all.. The clouds are threatening, and the storm may break upon us at any moment. I do, then, most earnestly entreat that a re-enforcement be immediately sent to this garrison, and that at least two companies be sent at the same time to Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney." Anderson also stated his belief that as soon as the people of South Carolina learned that he had demanded reinforcements they would occupy Pinckney and attack Moultrie; and therefore it was vitally important to embark the troops in war steamers and designate them for other duty as a blind.1 Captain Foster, November 24, reported the whole of the barbette tier of Sumter ready for its armament and as presenting an excellent appearance of preparation and strength equal to seventy per cent. of its efficiency when finished. He said, November 30, "I think more troops should have been sent here to guard the 2 Ibid., 76.
1 War Records, Serial No. 1, PP. 74, 75.
forts and I believe that no serious demonstration on the part of the populace would have met such a course."
The work on the forts was, of course, well known to the people of Charleston, and that at Moultrie, at least, subject to daily inspection by many visitors. There was still no restriction "upon any intercourse with Charleston, many of whose citizens. were temporary residents of Sullivan's Island. The activity about the fort drew to it a large number of visitors daily, and the position of the garrison and the probable action of the state in regard to the forts were constant subjects of discussion. There was as yet no unfriendly feeling manifested, and the social intercourse between the garrison and their friends in Charleston was uninterrupted. But as the days went on the feeling assumed a more definite shape, and found expression in many ways.
It was openly announced both to the commanding officer and to his officers, that as soon as the state seceded a demand for the delivery of the forts would be made, and if resisted, they would be taken. . . . Meantime, all of the able-bodied men in Charleston were enrolled, military companies were formed everywhere, and drilling went on by night and day, and with the impression among them that they were to attack Fort Moultrie." November 28 and December 1, Anderson again pressed for