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[321] appropriated. The engineers' office in Charleston was occupied and its valuable maps and records appropriated, and among them the entire details of the construction of Fort Sumter. The chief clerk was made an officer in the service of the State, and a messenger was sent to Major Anderson, by the Governor of the State, requiring him to return to Fort Moultrie. It was declined, and both sides commenced preparations for hostilities, that seemed now to be unavoidable. Whatever hopes might have been entertained by the authorities of a peaceful solution of the difficulties, were rudely shaken, if not abandoned, when it was known that the General Government acquiesced in the movement of Major Anderson, and refused to remand him to Fort Moultrie. At first the President was inclined to order Anderson to return to Fort Moultrie, and he authorized the transmission of a telegram to South Carolina that Anderson's movement was not only without, but against his orders; but he would go no further. The action of South Carolina in seizing the government property, and that specific instructions had been given by his Secretary of War authorizing just such a movement, restrained the President and rendered the restoration of the former status impossible. In vain was a “breach of faith” alleged, and the “personal honor” of the President said to be involved. In vain the commission in Washington urged their understanding of the pledge made to them. The President stood firm. “Should I return Major Anderson to Fort Moultrie,” said he, “I might go back to Wheatland by the light of my burning effigies.”

It is not the purpose of this paper to inquire how far the President had pledged himself to maintain the status in Charleston harbor. His great desire, as well as his intention, was, no doubt, to preserve that status until the close of his administration. This had become impossible. The South Carolina commissioners could accept nothing less, and they left Washington, after having transmitted to the President a communication, so offensive in its tone, and so personal in its character, that he declined to receive it. This decision was reached in a Cabinet council. When it was announced, the President turned to the Secretary of War, and said: “Reinforcements must now be sent.” The Secretary of War, Mr. Floyd, whose resignation had been invited by the President, was virtually out of the government. Although he had given the very instructions which justified the movement of Major Anderson, he made the refusal of the President to restore the status in Charleston harbor the pretext for his action, and vacated his office. The movement of Major Anderson, however justified in a military point of view, led directly to such measures on

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