beyond dispute, and was about to conquer and lay waste the degenerate, cowardly North.
The credit of putting an end to this most unequal contest is due to Louis T. Wigfall
, late a Senator from the State of Texas
, now styling himself a Confederate Brigadier.
— a Carolinian by birth, a Nullifier by training, and a duelist by vocation — had the faults and virtues of his caste; and one of the latter is a repugnance to witnessing a conflict between parties too palpably ill-matched.
Seeing that the fire of Sumter
was only maintained as a matter of pride — for the fainting garrison had quite enough to do at fighting the flames that had burned their quarters, and in rolling out their powder to prevent its explosion — Wigfall
seized a skiff on the afternoon of Saturday (the second day of the bombardment), and made direct toward the almost silenced and thoroughly harmless fortress.
He was soon at the side of the fort, and, showing his face at an embrasure, waving a white handkerchief on the point of his sword, he asked to be presented to Maj. Anderson
No objection being made, he crawled through the embrasure into the casemate, and was there met by several officers, to whom he urged the futility of further resistance.
“Let us stop this firing,” said he; “you are on fire, and your flag is down.
Let us quit.”
“No,” replied Lieut. Davis
, “our flag is not
Step out here, and you will see it waving over the ramparts.”
persisted that the resistance had no longer any justification, and urged one of the officers to wave his white flag toward Moultrie
; and, this being declined, proceeded to wave it himself.
Finally, a corporal was induced to relieve him in this, but to no purpose.
About this time, Maj. Anderson
approached, to whom Wigfall
announced himself (incorrectly) as a messenger from Gen. Beauregard
, sent to inquire on what terms he would evacuate the fortress.
calmly replied: “Gen. Beauregard
is already acquainted with my only
After a few more civil interchanges of words, to no purpose, Wigfall
retired, and was soon succeeded by ex-Senator Chesnut
, and ex-Representatives Roger A. Pryor
and W. Porcher Miles
, who assured Maj. A. that Wigfall
had acted entirely without authority.
A. thereupon ordered his flag, which had been lowered, to be raised again; but his visitors requested that this be delayed for further conference; and, having reported to Beauregard
, returned, two or three hours afterward, with a substantial assent to Maj. Anderson
The latter was to evacuate the fort, his garrison to retain their arms, with personal and company property, and march out with the honors of war, being conveyed to whatever port in the loyal States they might indicate.
Considering his hopeless condition, these terms were highly honorable to Maj. Anderson
, and hardly less so to Gen. Beauregard
; though it was the manifest interest of the Confederates
not only to stop their prodigal expenditure of ammunition at the earliest moment, but to obtain possession of the coveted fortress in as effective a state as possible — each day's additional bombardment subtracting seriously from its strength and efficiency, as a defense of Charleston
after it should have fallen into their hands.