threatening him with a storming assault.
In this stronghold, surrounded on all sides by water, he loyally held possession for the government and sovereignty of the United States
The surprised and baffled rage of the South Carolina
rebels created a crisis at Washington
that resulted in the expulsion of the President
's treacherous counselors and the reconstruction of Mr. Buchanan
's cabinet to unity and loyalty.
The new cabinet, though unable to obtain President Buchanan
's consent to aggressive measures to reestablish the Federal
authority, was, nevertheless, able to prevent further concessions to the insurrection, and to effect a number of important defensive precautions, among which was the already mentioned concentration of a small military force to protect the national capital.
Meanwhile, the governor of South Carolina
had begun the erection of batteries to isolate and besiege Fort Sumter
; and the first of these, on a sand-spit of Morris Island
commanding the main ship-channel, by a few shots turned back, on January 9, the merchant steamer Star of the West
, in which General Scott
had attempted to send a reinforcement of two hundred recruits to Major Anderson
. Battery building was continued with uninterrupted energy until a triangle of siege works was established on the projecting points of neighboring islands, mounting a total of thirty guns and seventeen mortars, manned and supported by a volunteer force of from four to six thousand men.
Military preparation, though not on so extensive or definite a scale, was also carried on in the other revolted States; and while Mr. Lincoln
was making his memorable journey from Springfield
, telegrams were printed in the newspapers, from day to day, showing that their delegates had met at Montgomery