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[189] conflict without being themselves the aggressors. But the rebellion was organized by ambitious men with desperate intentions. A member of the Alabama legislature, present at Montgomery, said to Jefferson Davis and three members of his cabinet: “Gentlemen, unless you sprinkle blood in the face of the people of Alabama, they will be back in the old Union in less than ten days.” And the sanguinary advice was adopted. In answer to his question, “What instructions?” Beauregard on April 10 was ordered to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter, and, in case of refusal, to reduce it.

The demand was presented to Anderson, who replied that he would evacuate the fort by noon of April 15, unless assailed, or unless he received supplies or controlling instructions from his government. This answer being unsatisfactory to Beauregard, he sent Anderson notice that he would open fire on Sumter at 4:20 on the morning of April 12.

Promptly at the hour indicated the bombardment was begun. As has been related, the rebel siege-works were built on the points of the islands forming the harbor, at distances varying from thirteen hundred to twenty-five hundred yards, and numbered nineteen batteries, with an armament of forty-seven guns, supported by a land force of from four to six thousand volunteers. The disproportion between means of attack and defense was enormous. Sumter, though a work three hundred by three hundred and fifty feet in size, with well-constructed walls and casemates of brick, was in very meager preparation for such a conflict. Of its forty-eight available guns, only twenty-one were in the casemates, twenty-seven being on the rampart en barbette. The garrison consisted of nine commissioned officers, sixty-eight non-commissioned officers and privates, eight musicians, and forty-three

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