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dent heard with astonishment. As he had stated in his reply to them of the 31st December: Such an idea was never thought of by me. No allusion had ever been made to-war and cutter may be ordered for the same purpose as early as tomor-row (31st December). The President immediately decided to order reenforcements; but he prefina commissioners, although this alleged refusal occurred at the very time (31st December) when he himself had in his own hands the order for the Broklyn to proceed n exhibits I At the interview with President Buchanan on the evening of the 31st December, the General seemed cordially to approve the matured plan of sending reenfo explicit determination of the President, announced but eleven days before (31st December) to the South Carolina commissioners. But Major Anderson, notwithstanding ower to repel it. This is shown by his letters to the War Department of the 31st December and 6th January. From these it appears that he not only felt safe in his p
owing in supplies into their new posts, except by the aid of the Wash Channel through Stone River. Before the receipt of this communication, the Government, being without information as to his condition, had despatched the Star of the West with troops and supplies for Fort Sumter; but the vessel having been fired on from a battery at the entrance to the harbor, returned without having reached her destination. On the 16th January, 1861, in replying to Major Anderson's letters of the 31st December and of 6th January, I said: Your late despatches, as well as the very intelligent statements of Lieutenant Talbot, have relieved the Government of the apprehensions previously entertained for your safety. In consequence it is not its purpose at present to reenforce you. The attempt to do so would no doubt be attended by a collision of arms and the effusion of blood—a national calamity, which the President is most anxious to avoid. You will, therefore, report frequently your condition,
James Buchanan, Buchanan's administration on the eve of the rebellion, Message of the President of the United States, of the 8th of January, 1861. (search)
Major Anderson was intended, but that, on the contrary, it was the desire of the State authorities, as much as it was my own, to avoid the fatal consequences which must eventually follow a military collision. And here I deem it proper to submit, for your information, copies of a communication, dated December 28, 1860, addressed to me by R. W. Barnwell, J. H. Adams, and J. L. Orr, Commissioners from South Carolina, with the accompanying documents, and copies of my answer thereto, dated December 31. In further explanation of Major Anderson's removal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, it is proper to state that, after my answer to the South Carolina Commissioners, the War Department received a letter from that gallant officer, dated December 27, 1860, the day after this movement, from which the following is an extract: I will add, as my opinion, that many things convinced me that the authorities of the State designed to proceed to a hostile act [evidently referring to the order