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Doc. 52.--Fort Sumter correspondence.

The following is the correspondence immediately preceding the hostilities:

Charleston, April 8.
L. P. Walker, Secretary of War:
An authorized messenger from President Lincoln, just informed Gov. Pickens and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter peaceably, or otherwise by force.

If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the intention of the Washington Government, to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation, and if this is refused, proceed in such a manner as you may determine, to reduce it. Answer.

L. P. Walker, Sec. of War.

Charleston, April 10.
L. P. Walker, Secretary of War:
The demand will be made to-morrow at 12 o'clock.

Unless there are especial reasons connected with your own condition, it is considered proper that you should make the demand at an early hour.

L. P. Walker, Sec. of War.

Charleston, April 10.
L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Montgomery:
The reasons are special for 12 o'clock.

Headquarters, Provisional army, C. S. A., Charleston, S. C., April 11, 1861, 2 P. M.
Sir: The Government of the Confederate States has hitherto forborne from any hostile demonstration against Fort Sumter, in the hope that the Government of the United States, with a view to the amicable adjustment of all questions between, [52] the two Governments, and to avert the calamities of war, would voluntarily evacuate it. There was reason at one time to believe that such would be the course pursued by the Government of the United States; and under that impression my Government has refrained from making any demand for the surrender of the fort.

But the Confederate States can no longer delay assuming actual possession of a fortification commanding the entrance of one of their harbors, and necessary to its defence and security.

I am ordered by the Government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My Aids, Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company, arms, and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may elect. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down.

Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee will, for a reasonable time, await your answer.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

G. T. Beauregard, Brigadier-General Commanding. Major Robert Anderson, Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S. C.

Headquarrers, Fort Sumter, S. C. April 11th, 1861.
General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort; and to say in reply thereto that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor and of my obligations to my Government prevent my compliance.

Thanking you for the fair, manly, and courteous terms proposed, and for the high compliment paid me,

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Robert Anderson, Major U. S. Army, Commanding. To Brigadier-General G. T. Beauregard, commanding Provisional Army, C. S. A.

We do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter, if Major Anderson will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that, in the mean time, he will not use his guns against us, unless ours should be employed against Fort Sumter. You are thus to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable.

L. P. Walker, Sec. of War.

Headquarters, Provisional army, C. S. A., Charleston, April 11, 1861--11 P. M.
Major: In consequence of the verbal observations made by you to my Aids, Messrs. Chesnut and Lee, in relation to the condition of your supplies, and that you would in a few days be starved out if our guns did not batter you to pieces — or words to that effect;--and desiring no useless effusion of blood, I communicated both the verbal observation and your written answer to my communication to my Government.

If you will state the time at which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and agree that in the mean time you will not use your guns against us, unless ours shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain from opening fire upon you. Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee are authorized by me to enter into such an agreement with you. You are therefore requested to communicate to them an open answer.

I remain, Major, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

G. T. Beauregard, Brigadier-General Commanding. Major Robert Anderson, Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S. C.

Headquarters, Fort Sumter, S. C. 2.30 A. M., April 12, 1861.
General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your second communication of the 11th inst., by Col. Chesnut, and to state, in reply, that cordially uniting with you in the desire to avoid the useless effusion of blood, I will, if provided with the proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter by noon on the 15th instant, should I not receive, prior to that time, controlling instructions from my Government, or additional supplies; and that I will not, in the mean time, open my fire upon your forces, unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort, or the flag of my Government by the forces under your command, or by some portion of them, or by the perpetration of some act showing a hostile intention on your part against this fort, or the flag it bears.

I have the honor to be, General,

Your obedient servant,

Robert Anderson, Major U. S. A. Commanding. To Brigadier-General G. T. Beauregard, Commanding Provisional Army, C. S. A.

Fort Sumter, S. C. April 12, 1861, 3.20 A. M.
Sir: By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the Provisional Forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servants,

James Chesnut, jr. Aide-de-Camp. Stephen D. Lee, Captain S. C. Army and Aide-de-Camp. Major Robert Anderson, United States Army, Commanding Fort Sumter.

--Charleston Mercury,April 19.
--Times,April 18.

The bombardment.

On Thursday the demand to surrender the fort was made and declined, all the officers having been consulted by Major Anderson in regard to the summons. At about 3 o'clock on Friday morning notice was given us that fire would be opened on us in one hour unless the demand to surrender was instantly complied with. Major Anderson resolved not to return fire until broad daylight, not wishing to waste any of his ammunition. Fire was opened upon us from all points at once. To our astonishment [53] a masked battery of heavy columbiads opened upon us from the part of Sullivan's Island near the floating battery, of the existence of which we had not the slightest intimation. It was covered with brush and other material, which completely concealed it. It was skilfully constructed and well secured; seventeen mortars firing 10-inch shell, 33 heavy guns, mostly columbiads, being engaged in the assault. The crash made by those shots against the walls was terrific, and many of the shells took effect inside the fort. We took breakfast at 6 1/2 o'clock, leisurely and calmly, after which the command was divided into three reliefs, equally dividing the officers and men. The first relief was under the command of Capt. Doubleday, of the Artillery, and Lieut. Snyder, of the Engineer corps. This detachment went to the guns and opened fire upon the Cumming's Point battery, Fort Moultrie, and Sullivan's Island. The iron battery was of immense strength, and most of our shots struck and glanced off again. The fire was so terrific on the parapet of Sumter that Maj. Anderson refused to allow the men to man the guns. Had they been permitted to do so every one of them would have been sacrificed. Fort Moultrie was considerably damaged by our cannonading, a great many of our shots having taken effect on the embrasures. Several shots are known to have penetrated the floating battery; but little damage was done to it.

The reliefs were changed every four hours. We succeeded in dismounting two of the guns on Cumming's Point battery. A new English gun which was employed by the enemy, was fired with great accuracy. Several of its shots entered the embrasures of Sumter, one of them slightly wounding four men. The full effect of our firing we have been unable to ascertain, having nothing to rely upon but the reports of the enemy. Our men owed their safety to the entirely extraordinary care exercised by the officers in command. A man was kept constantly on the look-out, who would cry “shot” or “shell” at every shot the enemy made, thus affording our men ample opportunity to seek shelter. The workmen were at first rather reluctant to assist the soldiers in handling the guns, but they gradually took hold and rendered valuable assistance. But few shots were fired before every one of them was desperately engaged in the conflict.

We had to abandon one gun on account of the close fire made upon it. Hearing the fire renewed with it, I went to the spot. I there found a party of workmen engaged in serving it. I saw one of them stooping over, with his hands on his knees, convulsed with joy, while the tears rolled down his powder-begrimmed cheeks. “What are you doing here with that gun?” I asked. “Hit it right in the centre,” was the reply, the man meaning that his shot had taken effect in the centre of the floating battery.

The aim of the enemy was principally directed at our flag-staff, from which proudly waved the Stars and Stripes. After two days incessant firing, the flag-staff was finally shot away.

The effect of the enemy's shot on the officers' quarters particularly, was terrific. One tower was so completely demolished that not one brick was left standing upon the other. The barracks caught fire on the first day several times, and were put out several times by Mr. Hart, of New York, a volunteer, who particularly distinguished himself for his coolness and bravery, assisted by others. Half a million dollars will hardly suffice to repair the damages to the fort. On the second day it caught fire from a 10-inch shell, the danger to be encountered in the attempt to extinguish it being so great that the Major concluded not to attempt it. The effect of the fire was more disastrous than we could have supposed. The subsequent shots of the enemy took more effect in consequence; the walls were weakened, and we were more exposed. The main gates were destroyed by the fire, thus leaving us exposed to the murderous fire of the enemy. Five hundred men could have formed on the gorge and marched on us without our being able to oppose them. The fire surrounded the fort on all sides. Fearful that the walls might crack, and the shells pierce and prostrate them, we commenced taking the powder out of the magazine before the fire had fully enveloped it. We took 96 barrels of powder out, and threw them into the sea, leaving 200 barrels in. Owing to a lack of cartridges, we kept five men inside the magazine, sewing as we wanted them, thus using up our shirts, sheets, blankets, and all the available material in the fort. When we were finally obliged to close the magazine, and our material for cartridges was exhausted, we were left destitute of any means to continue the contest. We had eaten our last biscuit thirty-six hours before. We came very near being stifled with the dense livid smoke from the burning buildings. The men lay prostrate on the ground, with wet handkerchiefs over their mouths and eyes, gasping for breath. It was a moment of imminent peril. If an eddy of wind had not ensued, we all, probably, should have been suffocated. The crashing of the shot, the bursting of the shells, the falling of walls, and the roar of the flames, made a pandemonium of the fort. We nevertheless kept up a steady fire. Toward the close of the day ex-Senator Wigfall made his appearance at the embrasure with a white handkerchief on the end of a sword, and begged for admittance. He asked to see Major Anderson. While Wigfall was in the act of crawling through the embrasure, Lieut. Snyder called out to him, “Major Anderson is at the main gate.” He passed through the embrasure into the casemate, paying no attention to what the Lieutenant had said. Here he was met by Capt. Foster, Lieut. Mead, and Lieut. Davis. He said: “I wish to see Major Anderson; I am Gen. Wigfall, and come from Gen. Beauregard.”

He then added in an excited manner, “Let us stop this firing. You are on fire and your flag is down. Let us quit.”

Lieut. Davis replied, “No, Sir, our flag is not down. Step out here and you will see it waving over the ramparts.”

“Let us quit this,” said Wigfall. “Here's a white flag, will anybody wave it out of the embrasure?”

One of the officers replied, “That is for you to do, if you choose.”

Wigfall responded, “If there is no one else to do it, I will,” and jumping into the embrasure waved the flag toward Moultrie. The firing still continued from Moultrie and the batteries of Sullivan's Island. In answer to his repeated requests one of the officers said “one of our men may hold the flag,” and Corporal Binghurst jumped into the embrasure. The shot continuing to strike all around him, he jumped down again, after having waved the flag a few moments, and said, “Damn it, they don't respect this flag, they are firing at it.” [54]

Wigfall replied, “They fired at me two or three times, and I stood it; and I should think that you might stand it once.”

Wigfall then said, “If you will show a white flag from your ramparts they will cease firing.”

Lieut. Davis replied, “If you request that a flag shall be shown there while you hold a conference with Major Anderson, and for that purpose alone, it may be done.”

At this point Major Anderson came up. Wigfall said, “I am Gen. Wigfall, and come from Gen. Beauregard, who wishes to stop this.”

Major Anderson, rising on his toes, and coming down firmly upon his heels replied, “Well, Sir.”

Major Anderson,” said Wigfall, “you have defended your flag nobly, Sir. You have done all that is possible for men to do, and Gen. Beauregard wishes to stop the fight. On what terms, Major Anderson, will you evacuate this Fort?”

Major Anderson's reply was, “Gen. Beauregard is already acquainted with my only terms.”

“Do I understand that you will evacuate upon the terms proposed the other day?”

“ Yes, Sir, and on those conditions only,” was the reply of the Major.

“Then, Sir,” said Wigfall, “I understand, Major Anderson, that the fort is to be ours?”

“On those conditions only, I repeat.”

“ Very well,” said Wigfall, and he retired.

A short time afterward a deputation, consisting of Senator Chesnut, Roger A. Pryor, Capt. Lee, and W. Porcher Miles, came from Gen. B., and had an interview with Major Anderson; when it came out that Wigfall had no “authority to speak for Gen. Beauregard, but acted on his own hook.” “Then,” said Lieut. Davis, “we have been sold,” and Major Anderson, perceiving the state of the case, ordered the American flag to be raised to its place.

The deputation, however, requested him to keep the flag down till they could communicate with Gen. Beauregard, as matters were liable to be complicated. They left, and between two and three hours after, the garrison meanwhile exerting themselves to extinguish the fire, another deputation came from Gen. Beauregard, agreeing to the terms of evacuation previously proposed, and substantially to the proposals of Wigfall. This was Saturday evening. That night the garrison took what rest they could. Next morning the Isabel came down and anchored near the fort. The steamer Clinch was used as a transport to take the garrison to the Isabel, but the transfer was too late to allow the Isabel to go out by that tide.

The terms of evacuation were that the garrison should take all its individual and company property, that they should march out with their side and other arms with all the honors, in their own way and at their own time; that they should salute their flag, and take it with them.

The enemy agreed to furnish transports, as Major Anderson might select, to any part of the country, either by land or water. When the baggage of the garrison was all on board of the transport, the soldiers remaining inside under arms, a portion were told off as gunners to serve in saluting the American flag. When the last gun was fired, the flag was lowered, the men cheering. At the fiftieth discharge there was a premature explosion, which killed one man instantly, seriously wounded another, and two more not so badly. The men were then formed and marched out, the band playing “Yankee Doodle,” and “Hail to the Chief.”

Vast crowds of people thronged the vicinity.. Remaining on board the Isabel that night, the next morning they were transferred to the Baltic, this operation taking nearly the whole day.

On Tuesday evening they weighed anchor and stood for New York.

Another account.

On Thursday, the 11th of April, three of Gen. Beauregard's aids appeared at Fort Sumter, and brought a communication which stated that he had refrained from making any hostile demonstration, with the hope of finally obtaining the fort by a treaty, etc. But orders having been received from Jefferson Davis to demand of Major Anderson, in the name of the Southern Confederacy, its surrender or evacuation, Major Anderson replied that he was sorry a request had been made which he could not grant; that he had already gone as far as his sense of duty and his sense of honor would allow. Major Anderson also mentioned to one of his aids, aside and unofficially, that the garrison was out of provisions, having nothing but pork; that they could probably manage to live till Monday, the 15th. The aids carried this reply to Gen. Beauregard, who telegraphed it to Jefferson Davis, and also the remark that Major Anderson was nearly starved out.

The next morning, at half-past 1 o'clock, the aids came down with another communication from Gen. Beauregard to the effect that he had learned that the garrison was nearly starved out, and desired to know of Major Anderson on what day he would evacuate the fort; that Gen. Beauregard would allow him to evacuate and take him to any port in the United States, provided he would agree not to fire upon the batteries unless Fort Sumter should be fired upon.

[Query.--Does this fact show that the despatches to Major Anderson had been opened, and, knowing that an attempt to put provisions into the fort would soon be made, the boats coming in could be fired into, while Major Anderson would be precluded from protecting them?]

Major Anderson replied that he would be obliged to evacuate by Monday, the 15th, before noon, provided Fort Sumter or the flag that it bore was not fired upon. Councils of war were held immediately after the receipt of these two communications, which were unanimous in favor of the answer that was returned. The deputy which brought the second communication consisted of Major Lace, Col. Chism, Roger A. Pryor, Senator Chesnut, and others. Major Anderson's reply was considered by them for fifteen or twenty minutes, when they returned an answer that the batteries would open their fires in one hour. This was at 38 o'clock on Friday morning. After this reply the deputy of Gen. Beauregard immediately left.

The sentinels were immediately removed from the parapets of Fort Sumter, the posterns closed, the flag drawn up, and an order sent to the troops not to leave the bomb proofs, on any account, until summoned by the drum. At 4.30 a. m. one bombshell was thrown at Sumter, bursting immediately over the fort. After the pause of a few moments the firing became general on the part of the batteries of the Secessionists, doing the greatest credit to the artillerists. The command did not return a single shot until the men had had their breakfast. [55]

As the number of men was so small, and the garrison so nearly exhausted by the several months of siege which they had gone through, it was necessary to husband their strength. The command was therefore divided into three relief, or equal parties, who were to work the different batteries by turns, each four hours.

The first relief opened upon the iron batteries at Cumming's Point, at a distance of 1,600 yards, the iron floating battery, distant 1,800 or 2,000 yards at the end of Sullivan's Island, the enfilading battery on Sullivan's Island, and Fort Moultrie. This was at 7 o'clock in the morning, Capt. Doubleday firing the first gun, and all the points named above being opened upon simultaneously. For the first four hours the firing was kept up with great rapidity; the enthusiasm of the men, indeed, was so great that the second and third reliefs could not be kept from the guns. This accounts for the fact that double the number of guns were at work during the first four hours than at any other time.

Shells burst with the greatest rapidity in every portion of the work, hurling the loose brick and stone in all directions, breaking the windows, and setting fire to whatever woodwork they burst against. The solid shot firing of the enemy's batteries, and particularly of Fort Moultrie, was directed at the barbette guns of Fort Sumter, disabling one ten-inch-columbiad, (they had but two,) one-eight-inch columbiad, one forty-two pounder, and two eight-inch sea-coast howitzers, and also tearing a large portion of the parapet away. The firing from the batteries on Cumming's Point was scattered over the whole of the gorge, or rear, of the fort. It looked like a sieve. The explosion of shells, and the quantity of deadly missiles that were hurled in every direction and at every instant of time, made it almost certain death to go out of the lower tier of casemates, and also made the working of the barbette, or upper uncovered guns, which contained all our heaviest metals, and by which alone we could throw shells, quite impossible. During the first day there was hardly an instant of time that there was a cessation of the whizzing of balls, which were sometimes coming half a dozen at once. There was not a portion of the work which was not seen in reverse (that is, exposed by the rear) from mortars.

On Friday, before dinner, several of the vessels of the fleet beyond the Bar were seen through the port-holes. They dipped their flag. The command ordered Sumter's flag to be dipped in return, which was done, while the shells were bursting in every direction. [The flagstaff was located in the open parade, which is about the centre of the open space within the fort.] Sergeant Hart saw the flag of Fort Sumter half-way down, and, supposing that it had been cut by the enemy's shot, rushed out through the fire to assist in getting it up. Shortly after it had been re-raised, a shell burst and cut the halyards, but the rope was so intertwined around the halyards, that the flag would not fall.

The cartridges were exhausted by about noon, and a party was sent to the magazines to make cartridges of the blankets and shirts, the sleeves of the latter being readily converted into the purpose desired. Another great misfortune was, that there was not an instrument in the fort by which they could weigh powder, which of course destroyed all attempt at accuracy of firing. Nor had they tangent scales, breech sides, or other instruments with Which to point a gun.

When it became so dark as to render it impossible to see the effect of their shot, the port-holes were closed for the night, while the batteries of the secessionists continued their fire the whole night.

During Friday, the officers' barracks were three times set on fire by the shells, and three times put out under the most galling and destructive firing. This was the only occasion on which Major Anderson allowed the men to expose themselves without an absolute necessity. The guns on the parapet — which had been pointed the day before — were fired clandestinely by some of the men slipping up on top.

The firing of the rifled guns from the iron battery on Cumming's Point became extremely accurate in the afternoon of Friday, cutting out large quantities of the masonry about the embrasures at every shot, throwing concrete among the cannoneers, and slightly wounding and stunning others. One piece struck Sergeant Kearnan, an old Mexican war veteran, striking him on the head and knocking him down. Upon being revived, he was asked if he was hurt badly. He replied: “No; I was only knocked down temporarily,” and he went to work again.

Meals were served at the guns of the cannoneers, while the guns were being fired and pointed. The fire commenced in the morning as soon as possible.

During Friday night the men endeavored to climb the flag-staff, for the purpose of fastening new halliards, the old ones having been cut by the shot, but found it impossible. The flag remained fast.

For the fourth time the barracks were set on fire early on Saturday morning, and attempts were made to put it out. But it was soon discovered that redhot shot were being thrown into the fort with the greatest rapidity, and it became evident that it would be impossible to put out the conflagration. The whole garrison was then set at work, or as many as could be spared, to remove the powder from the magazines, which was desperate work, rolling barrels of powder through the fire.

Ninety odd barrels had been rolled out through the flames, when the heat became so great as to make it impossible to get out any more. The doors were then closed and locked, and the fire spread and became general. The wind so directed the smoke as to fill the fort so full that the men could not see each other, and with. the hot, stifling air, it was as much as a man could do to breathe. Soon they were obliged to cover their faces with wet cloths in order to get along at all, so dense was the smoke and so scorching the heat.

But few cartridges were left, and the guns were fired slowly; nor could more cartridges be made, on account of the sparks falling in every part of the works. A gun was fired every now and then only to let the fleet and the people in the town know that the fort had not been silenced. The cannoneers could not see to aim, much less where they hit.

After the barracks were well on fire, the batteries directed upon Fort Sumter increased their cannonading to a rapidity greater than had been attained before. About this time, the shells and ammunition in the upper service-magazines exploded, scattering the tower and upper portions of the building in every direction. The crash of the beams, the roar of the flames, the rapid explosion of the shells, and the shower of fragments of the [56] fort, with the blackness of the smoke, made the scene indescribably terrific and grand. This continued for several hours. Meanwhile, the main gates were burned down, the chassis of the barbette guns were burned away on the gorge, and the upper portions of the towers had been demolished by shells.

There was not a portion of the fort where a breath of air could be got for hours, except through a wet cloth. The fire spread to the men's quarters, on the right hand and on the left, and endangered the powder which had been taken out of the magazines. The men went through the fire and covered the barrels with wet cloths, but the danger of the fort's blowing up became so imminent, that they were obliged to heave the barrels out of the embrasures. While the powder was being thrown overboard, all the guns of Moultrie, of the iron floating battery, of the enfilade battery, and the Dahlgren battery, worked with increased vigor.

All but four barrels were thus disposed of, and those remaining were wrapped in many thicknesses of wet woollen blankets. But three cartridges were left, and these were in the guns. About this time the flag-staff of Fort Sumter was shot down, some fifty feet from the truck, this being the ninth time that it had been struck by a shot. The man cried out, “The flag is down; it has been shot away!” In an instant, Lieut. Hall rushed forward and brought the flag away. But the halliards were so inextricably tangled, that it could not be righted; it was, therefore, nailed to the staff, and planted upon the ramparts, while batteries in every direction were playing upon them.

A few moments after, and a man was seen with a white flag tied to his sword, and desiring admission. He was admitted through an embrasure. In a great flurry, he said he was Gen. Wigfall, and that he came from Gen. Beauregard, and added that he had seen that Sumter's flag was down. Lieut. Davis replied, “Oh, sir! But it is up again.” The cannonading meanwhile continued. Gen. Wigfall asked that some one should hold his flag outside. Lieut. Davis replied, “No, sir! we don't raise a white flag. If you want your batteries to stop, you must stop them.” Gen. Wigfall then held the flag out of an embrasure. As soon as he had done so, Lieut. Davis directed a corporal to relieve him, as it was Gen. Wigfall's flag.

Several shots struck immediately around him while he was holding it out, when he started back, and putting the flag in Wigfall's face, said, “D----n it; I won't hold that flag, for they don't respect it. They struck their colors, but we never did.” Wigfall replied, “They fired at me three or four times, and I should think you ought to stand it once.” Wigfall then placed the white flag on the outside of the embrasure, and presented himself to Major Anderson, and said that Gen. Beauregard was desirous that blood should not be unnecessarily shed, and also stated that he came from Gen. Beauregard, who desires to know if Major Anderson would evacuate the fort, and that if he would do so he might choose his own terms.

After a moment's hesitation Maj. Anderson replied that he would go out on the same terms that he (Maj. Anderson) had mentioned on the 11th. Gen. Wigfall then said: “Very well; then it is understood that you will evacuate. That is all I have to do. You military men will arrange every thing else on your own terms.” He then departed, the white flag still waving where he had placed it, and the stars and stripes waving from the flag-staff which had become the target of the rebels.

Shortly after his departure Maj. Lee, the Hon. Porcher Miles, Senator Chesnut, and the Hon. Roger A. Pryor, the staff of Gen. Beauregard, approached the fort with a white flag, and said they came from Gen. Beauregard, who had observed that the flag had been down and raised again a few minutes afterward. The General had sent over, desiring to know if he could render any assistance, as he had observed that the fort was on fire. (This was perhaps a delicate mode of asking for a surrender.) Maj. Anderson, in replying, requested them to thank Gen. Beauregard for the offer, but it was too late, as he had just agreed with Gen. Beauregard for an evacuation. The three, comprising the deputy, looked at each other blankly, and asked with whom? Maj. Anderson, observing that there was something wrong, remarked that Gen. Wigfall, who had just left, had represented himself to be aide of Gen. Beauregard, and that he had come over to make the proposition.

After some conversation among themselves, they said to Maj. Anderson that Wigfall had not seen Gen. Beauregard for two days. Maj. Anderson replied that Gen. Wigfall's offer and its acceptance had placed him in a peculiar position. They then requested him to place in writing what Gen. Wigfall had said to him, and they would lay it before Gen. Beauregard.

Before this reached Gen. Beauregard, he sent his Adjutant-general and other members of his staff, including the Hon. Roger A. Pryor and Gov. Manning, proposing the same conditions which Major Anderson had offered to go out upon, with the exception only of not saluting his flag. Major Anderson said that he had already informed Gen. Beauregard that he was going out. They asked him if he would not accept of the terms without the salute. Major Anderson told them, No; but that it should be an open point.

At this interview a rather amusing incident occurred. The Hon. Roger A. Pryor of Virginia, being very thirsty, and seeing something in a glass that looked very much like a cocktail, without any remark, took a large tumblerfull. The surgeon, observing it, said to him, “Col. Pryor, did you drink any of that?” Pryor, looking very pale answered, “Yes, quite an amount; a good deal.” The surgeon said it was poison. Pryor turned paler yet, and asked what he should do. The surgeon told him to go with him to the hospital.

The last that was seen of Pryor by the officers — he was going out leaning upon the surgeon's arm, presenting a somewhat comical appearance, as he was dressed in a colored shirt, large spurs, belt and sword, with revolver and bowie knife. The doctor gave the great bowie-knife hero a dose of ipecac, which produced the desired effect. Pryor did not express himself as having had a peculiarly pleasant visit to Fort Sumter.

Gen. Beauregard sent down to say that the terms had been accepted, and that he would send the Isabel or any other vessel at his command to convey Major Anderson and the troops to any port in the United States which he might elect.

The evacuation took place about 9 1/2 o'clock on Sunday morning, after the burial with military honors of private Daniel Hough, who had been killed by the bursting of a gun. The men had been all [57] the morning preparing cartridges for the purpose of firing a salute of one hundred guns. This done, the embarkation took place, the band meanwhile playing Yankee Doodle.

No braver men ever lived than the defenders of Fort Sumter, and when all showed such lofty courage and patriotism it would be invidious to make distinctions; but the ardor and endurance of musician Hall of Company E was remarked by every man in Sumter, and the company intend to present him with a testimonial. He was at the firing of the first guns, and fought on all day, and would not accept either of the three reliefs. He was up at the first shot the next day, and worked without cessation till night. His example and words of cheer had great effect. This is the more worthy of remark as he belonged to the musicians, and he was not obliged to enter into the engagement at all.

Minutes of an officer in Fort Sumter.

We passed Friday night without firing. A shot or shell came against our walls about every fifteen minutes during the night. We placed a non-commissioned officer and four men at each salient embrasures; partly expecting the boats from the fleet outside, and partly expecting a boat attack from the enemy.

Our own shells and rampart grenades caught fire from the burning of the quarters, and exploded among us in every direction, happily without doing any injury.

The officers were engaged in moving barrels of powder with the flames around then, in tearing down a burning platform near the magazine, and in rescuing public property from the burning buildings, with our own shells and those of the enemy bursting among us.

The interior of the fort is a scene of frightful desolation; it is indescribable.

Mr. Hart, a volunteer from New York, particularly distinguished himself in trying to put out the flames in the quarters, with shells and shot crashing around him. lie was ordered away by Major Anderson, but begged hard to be permitted to remain and continue his exertions.

When the building caught fire, the enemy commenced firing hot shot.

Mr. Sweaner of Baltimore was badly wounded in three places by a piece of shell.

Many of the South Carolina officers who came into the fort on Saturday, who were formerly in our service, seemed to feel very badly at firing upon their old comrades and flag.

Commander Hartstene acted like a brother. He was very active in offers of service, and when he went aboard the lighter he ran up the American flag over us. He took charge of the men left behind wounded by the accident. He asked Capt. Doubleday to procure a small piece of our flag for him.

Our flag has several shell-holes through it.

An impromptu account of the siege of Sumter.

While the reporters were seated at a table, busily engaged in transcribing the various statements they had received from the officers of Maj. Anderson's command, an officer who had previously stood quietly in the back-ground, suddenly addressed them in a most emphatic manner, substantially as follows; “Gentlemen of the press, I earnestly entreat that you will clearly set before our country-men at the North the fact that Fort Sumter was not evacuated while there was a cartridge to fire, or pow. der enough left to make one with. Never did famished men work more bravely than those who defended that fortress, knowing, as they did, that if successfully defended and held by them, there was not even a biscuit left to divide among them. They never would have left it while a protecting wall stood around them, had they been provided with provision and ammunition. Every man was true and faithful to his post, and the public may be assured that hunger and want of ammunition alone caused us to leave Fort Sumter. We were all exposed to a most terrible fire from all quarters, and it was only by exercising the utmost care that the officers were enabled to preserve the men from a terrible slaughter. You may further state, Gentlemen, that Fort Sumter is hardly worth the holding; had there been the fill fighting complement of men within its walls, the fort would not have afforded suitable protection for one-half of them. The enemy's shot rained in upon and about us like hail, and more men in Sumter would only have made more havoc. As it was, we are fortunate in having escaped without the loss of one of those brave men who were willing to die for the flag which waved over them. It was a painful sight to all to see the Stars and Stripes finally hauled down, but we all felt that we had done our duty, and must submit. The fort was not surrendered, but evacuated almost upon our own terms.” --Tribune, April 19.

Opinions of the press.

Fort Sumter is lost, but freedom is saved. There is no more thought of bribing or coaxing the traitors who have dared to aim their cannon balls at the flag of the Union, and those who gave their lives to defend it. It seems but yesterday that at least two-thirds of the journals of this city were the virtual allies of the Secessionists, their apologists, their champions. The roar of the great circle of batteries pouring their iron hail upon devoted Sumter, has struck them all dumb. It is as if one had made a brilliant and effective speech, setting forth the innocence of murder, and having just bidden adieu to the cheers and the gas-light, were to be confronted by the gory form and staring eyes of a victim of assassination, the first fruit of his oratorical success. For months before the late Presidential election, a majority of our journals predicted forcible resistance to the government as the natural and necessary consequence of a Republican triumph; for months since they have been cherishing and encouraging the Slaveholder's Rebellion, as if it were a very natural and proper proceeding. Their object was purely partisan — they wished to bully the Republican Administration into shameful recreancy to Republican principle, and then call upon the people to expel from power a party so profligate and cowardly. They did not succeed in this; they have succeeded in enticing their Southern proteges and some time allies into flagrant treason.

There cannot be a rational doubt that every man who aided or abetted the attack on Fort Sumter is involved in the guilt of treason. That all the besiegers of Forts Sumter and Pickens have incurred the penalty of treason — which is death — is indisputable. [58]

Most of our journals lately parading the pranks of the Secessionists with scarcely disguised exultation, have been suddenly sobered by the culmination of the slaveholding conspiracy. They would evidently like to justify and encourage the traitors further, but they dare not; so the Amen sticks in their throat. The aspect of the people appals them. Democrat as well as Republican, Conservative and Radical, instinctively feel that the guns fired at Sumter were aimed at the heart of the American Republic. Not even in the lowest groggery of our city would it be safe to propose cheers for Beauregard and Gov. Pickens. The Tories of the Revolution were relatively ten times as numerous here as are the open sympathizers with the Palmetto Rebels. It is hard to lose Sumter; it is a consolation to know that in losing it we have gained a united people. Henceforth, the loyal States are a unit in uncompromising hostility to treason, whereever plotted, however justified. Fort Sumter is temporarily lost, but the country is saved. Live the Republic!

No blame is imputed to Major Anderson by the Administration, and no whisper affecting his fidelity and loyalty is tolerated. He acted upon a necessity contemplated by his orders, which was to yield the fort in case he should be encompassed by an overwhelming force, or reduced to an extremity by the want of provisions. According to information which reached here recently, his supplies were expected to be exhausted last Tuesday, and hence the extraordinary efforts which were made here to recruit his enfeebled garrison. Major Anderson himself endeavored to get rid of the laborers who had been employed in the fort, for the purpose of restricting the consumption to his actual military command; but the State authorities refused to permit their departure, and these additional mouths were thus imposed upon his limited stock of provisions. In view of the threatened contingency, an attempt was made to communicate with him on the 4th inst., conveying discretion to abandon the fort, if, in his judgment, it could not be held until supplies could be forwarded. But that and other despatches were intercepted, which put the Secessionists in full possession of the exact circumstances of his condition, and enabled General Beauregard to time his operations, as they were subsequently developed. Then the order cutting off his purchases in the Charleston market was made. The despatch which Lieutenant Talbot took down repeated this discretion, but also announced to him that a vessel with supplies, supported by several ships of war, would be sent to his relief. That despatch could not be delivered, and its general character was anticipated by the instructions of the government, which had been feloniously appropriated before. It will thus be seen, that the Revolutionists were fully informed, not only of the state of the garrison, but of the policy of the government in every essential particular. With their immense force, and numerous batteries, and considering that the storm had dispersed the fleet which had been sent to Major Anderson's relief, or, at least prevented their co-operation, the result is not surprising.

--New York Tribune.

At all events, the reduction of Fort Sumter and this manifesto of President Lincoln are equivalent to a declaration of war on both sides, between the Confederate and the United States. In a conflict of this sort, there can be but two parties — a Northern and a Southern party; for all other parties will cease to exist. The political principles, organizations and issues which have divided our country and our people, in various shapes and forms, since the treaty of our independence with England, will all be very soon overwhelmed in the sweeping changes of a civil war. It would be folly now to argue what might, could, would, or should, have been done by Southern fire-eaters and Northern disorganizers in 1854, 1860, or by Mr. Buchanan, or by Mr. Lincoln, or by the late session of Congress. Civil war is upon us, and the questions which now supersede all others are: What are the consequences now before us? Where is this war to end? and how and when? What is our duty under this warlike condition of things? and what are the movements and the conditions necessary to change this state of war to a state of peace?

These questions will irresistibly impress themselves upon the mind of every thinking man, north and south. Earnestly laboring in behalf of peace, from the beginning of these sectional troubles down to this day, and for the maintenance of the Union through mutual concessions, we do not even yet utterly despair of arresting this civil war before it shall have passed beyond the reach of reason.--N. Y. Herald.

The “irrepressible conflict” started by Mr. Seward, and endorsed by the Republican party, has at length attained to its logical, foreseen result. That conflict, undertaken “for the sake of humanity,” culminates now in inhumanity itself, and exhibits the afflicting spectacle of brother shedding brother's blood.

Refusing the ballot before the bullet, these men, flushed with the power and patronage of the Federal Government, have madly rushed into a civil war, which will probably drive the remaining Slave States into the arms of the Southern Confederacy, and dash to pieces the last hope for a reconstruction of the Union.

To the gallant men, who are so nobly defending the flag of their country within the walls of Fort Sumter, the nation owes a debt of eternal gratitude — not less than to the equally gallant and patriotic spirits, who, in like obedience to the demands of duty, are perilling their lives and shedding their blood in the heroic, but, as yet, unsuccessful endeavor to afford them succor. But, to the coldblooded, heartless demagogues, who started this civil war — themselves magnanimously keeping out of the reach of bodily harm — we can only say, you must find your account, if not at the hands of an indignant people, then in the tears of widows and orphans. The people of the United States, it must be borne in mind, petitioned, begged and implored these men, who are become their accidental masters, to give them an opportunity to be heard, before this unnatural strife was pushed to a bloody extreme, but their petitions were all spurned with contempt, and now the bullet comes in to decide the issue!--N. Y. Express.

The curtain has fallen upon the first act of the great tragedy of the age. Fort Sumter has been surrendered, and the stars and stripes of the American Republic give place to the felon flag of the Southern Confederates. The defence of the fortress did honor to the gallant commander by whom [59] it was held, and vindicated the Government under which he served. Judging from the result, it does not seem to have been the purpose of the Government to do any thing more. The armed ships which accompanied the supplies took no part in the contest. Whatever may have been the reason for it, their silence was probably fortunate. They could scarcely have forced their way through the heavy batteries which lined the coast, nor could their participation in the fight have changed the result. The preparations of the enemy were too complete, and their forces too numerous, to warrant any hope of success with the number of guns at our command. The fort was bravely defended. It has fallen without loss of life — the ships are on the spot to enforce the blockade of Charleston harbor--Fort Pickens, according to a despatch from Montgomery, has already been reinforced — and every thing is ready for unrolling the next and the far more terrible scene of this great drama.

The Government of the United States is prepared to meet this great emergency, with the energy and courage which the occasion requires, and which the sentiment of the nation demands. The President issues his proclamation to-day, convening Congress for the 4th of July, and calling for seventy-five thousand volunteers for the defence of the Union, and the protection of the rights and the liberties of the American people. The people will respond to this demand with alacrity and exultation. They ask nothing better than to be allowed to fight for the Constitution which their fathers framed. Whatever may have been their political differences, there has never been a moment when they were not ready to sink them all in devotion to their common country, and in defence of their common flag. The President's proclamation will be hailed with an enthusiasm which no event of the last twenty years has called forth — with a high-hearted determination to exterminate treason, which will carry terror into the hearts of the Confederates, who have conspired for the destruction of the freest and best government the world has ever seen.--N. Y. Times.

The spirit which has been manifested since the assault upon Fort Sumter commenced shows that the anomaly we have too long witnessed, of peace upon one side, and war upon the other, will very speedily be destroyed. Henceforth we shall no longer strive to see how little we can do to strengthen forts, to maintain armies, to fit out fleets, to enforce the laws, and protect the honor of the nation, but how much. We will no longer seek to tie the hands of the Government — to cripple its powers — to unman and degrade it — to strengthen and encourage treason, and to dishearten and humiliate loyalty. The issue is now made up — either this great Republic or its desperate adversaries must be overthrown; and may God defend the right!

Henceforth each man, high and low, must take his position as a patriot or a traitor — as a foe or a friend of his country — as a supporter of the flag of the stars and stripes or of the rebel banner. The contest which is impending will doubtless be attended with many horrors; but all the facts show that it has been forced upon us as a last resort; and war is not the worst of evils. Since the startling events of the last five months have been succeeded by a brutal bombardment of a fort erected at vast expense for the defence of Charleston harbor, which would have been peaceably evacuated if the rebels had not insisted upon the utter humiliation of the Government, and since the Secretary of War of the Southern Confederacy has threatened to capture Washington, and even to invade the Northern States, while a formal declaration of hostilities is about to be made by the Confederate Congress, we should be wanting in every element of manhood, be perpetually disgraced in the eyes of the world, and lose all self-respect, if we did not arouse to determined action to re-assert the outraged dignity of the nation.--Phila. Press.

Were the Confederate States now a foreign foe, and we had declared war against them, with the status of Sumter as it was in the present case, we should regard them as the veriest fools and cowards, had they failed to make the attack before reinforcements could arrive, and so to secure the advantages of their position. And by this estimate they must be judged in this thing. For although the administration at Washington does not regard them as a foreign foe, yet the Confederate States constitute a nation, with its independence declared, and therefore they regard the United States as a foreign foe. In the attack upon Sumter they have done just what the United States would have done with respect to England at the opening of the Revolutionary war; just what any nation would do under the same circumstances. And in fact they have done that thing, which, had they not done, they would have been the subject of scoff and ridicule up and down the whole gamut of Black Republican insolence. The questions which now arise are all with respect to the future. The inflamed and warlike spirit accredited to the Northern cities and free States generally, must not be taken into the account, or we shall plunge into a prolonged, sanguinary, and indecisive conflict, in which the border States will soon become the “dark and bloody ground.” A war of conquest and subjugation against the Southern Confederacy, will terminate in inevitable disaster, whatever may be the actual termination of the strife. Such a war must begin, as it has really been anticipated, by a positive purpose on the part of the administration at Washington to reduce the Southern States to political inequality in the Union. Consequently, the alternative of submission to this administration at any time, includes assent to political inequality, and the recognition of a power which has avowed an “irrepressible conflict” with Southern institutions. Whatever successes may attend the United States, therefore, as against the Confederate States, the end must be the recognition of independence of the latter, or the holding them by military power. In the latter case all union is at an end; peace and harmony will be unattainable; and the utter prostration of all business will continue indefinitely. On the other hand, the recognition of the independence of the Confederate States will at once end the strife, restore public confidence, and relieve the enterprises of industry and capital from the embarrassment which now hinders their prosperity, and must in the end overwhelm them with calamity.--Baltimore Sun.

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