- Description of Charleston. -- General Beauregard's arrival. -- cursory sketch of the condition of the public mind in the South. -- the Hon. Robert Barnwell Rhett. -- one sentiment and one resolve animating South Carolinians. -- South Carolina commissioners to Washington. -- failure of negotiations. -- Major Anderson evacuates Fort Moultrie and occupies Fort Sumter. -- hoisting of Palmetto flags. -- steamer Star of the West. -- Governor Pickens summons Major Anderson to surrender the Fort. -- he declines, but refers the matter to Washington. -- Mr. Buchanan refuses to withdraw federal garrison. -- all eyes centred on South Carolina. -- system and plan of operations adopted by General Beauregard. -- more troops volunteer than are needed.
Seven miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and looking out upon it to the southeast, stands the city of Charleston, built at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. It is on a tongue of the mainland, consisting of gray sandy soil, and extends southward, tapering in width from two miles to half a mile. Here the Ashley turns from the west and sweeps around, to mingle its waters with those of the Cooper, whose principal current passes close along the east or sea-front of the city. A marshy mud-flat, called Shute's Folly Island, rises east of Charleston on the farther side of this branch of Cooper River, and beyond it is the sand-strip and beach of Sullivan's Island. The lesser stream of Cooper River, flowing to the north and east of Shute's Folly, passes the mainland at Haddrell's Point and Mount Pleasant, and off the western extremity of Sullivan's Island unites with the other waters of the bay. South of Charleston, across the water, lies James Island, with its uplands extending about two and a half miles down the harbor. It is separated by a marsh and creek from the low white sand-bank of Morris Island. On account of the flatness of the country, the waters ebb and flow many miles up the Ashley and Cooper rivers, with a mean tide of seven feet at the city. Thus constituted, the harbor of Charleston averages two miles in width, and forms a beautiful sheet of water. Out in the bay, three miles from the city, stands Fort Sumter. It is built on a shoal just south of the main channel, which it is