the part of the State
authorities and of its people as to greatly increase the probabilities of a collision.
But while the friends of peace did not cease their exertions, work on the batteries went steadily on in the harbor of Charleston
The policy of the President
was not only to be maintained in his position; he was to be supplied, and reinforced, if possible.
A large transport, the Star of the West, left New York on the 5th of January, and arrived off Charleston
on the 9th.
She was unarmed and without convoy, and as she attempted to enter the harbor she was fired upon from a hastily constructed battery near the entrance.
She had passed this fire when Fort Moultrie
opened upon her at long range, when, lowering her flag, she proceeded northward.
From the fact that there were no guns of sufficient calibre in position at that time, as well as the absence of any instructions to meet such a contingency, Fort Sumter
The gauntlet was thus distinctly thrown down; South Carolina
boldly avowed the hostile step she had taken and asserted her determination to defend it. And yet the efforts of those who earnestly desired peace did not slacken.
Agents from the fort, and from the State
, were sent to Washington
to represent to the government the exact condition of things, and to ask its interference.
Increased activity was immediately visible in the harbor of Charleston
; skilful engineers selected the most eligible points for batteries, and field-works were rapidly erected.
Emboldened by the result of the firing on the Star of the West, a formal demand for the immediate surrender of Fort Sumter
was made by the Governor
of South Carolina
On the 20th of January, a boat, bearing a white flag — the only means of communication between the fort and the State-appeared off Sumter
She brought two officials, “the Secretary of State
and the Secretary of War
of South Carolina
,” with a message from the Governor
containing a demand for the immediate delivery of the work to the authorities of the State
The interview was characterized by every courtesy, and the demand sustained by earnest verbal representations.
It was as firmly declined, and the matter referred to Washington
Long and elaborate discussions between the Secretary of War
, Mr. Holt
, and the envoy of the Governor
, Colonel Hayne
, on behalf of Major Anderson
, represented him as secure in his position.
The envoy bore a demand for the surrender of the fort.
Before this could be presented, nine of the Senators
from the cotton States induced Colonel Hayne
to postpone the delivery of the communication until they could ascertain whether the President
would refrain from reinforcing the fort, provided the