authorities, and poured in from every district, eager to be counted among the first to strike a blow in defence of the cause in which their lives—and more than their lives—were now enlisted.
The difficulty among the officers was, not to elevate the morale
of these patriotic freemen, or prepare them for the dangers they were about to encounter, but to restrain their ardor, and maintain them within the bounds of prudence and moderation.
Such was the condition of affairs in South Carolina
, and such the tone of the public mind in the city of Charleston
, when General Beauregard
Having made a thorough inspection of all the works, he came to the conclusion that a great deal still remained to be done by way of preparation for active measures against Fort Sumter
The system and plan of operations which had been adopted seemed to be to concentrate all the available guns and mortars at two points, namely: Fort Moultrie
, on Sullivan's Island
, and Gumming's Point, on Morris Island
, where a few guns and about half a dozen mortars of heavy caliber were being put in position.
Battery Star of the West—so called, from its repulse of the steamer of that name-contained four 24-pounders, which enfiladed the main south channel, known as the Morris Island Channel
determined to alter that system, but gradually and cautiously, so as not to dampen the ardor, or touch the pride, of the gallant and sensitive gentlemen who had left their comfortable homes, at the call of their State, to vindicate its honor and assert its rights.
They had endured, for weeks, the privations and exposures of a soldier's life, on bleak islands, where it was impossible, at times, to see objects at a greater distance than a few yards, because of the sand drifts created by the northers, prevalent on the coast at that season of the year.
noted, with feelings of admiration, an old gentleman, standing sentry at one of the camps on the island, who had organized, armed, and equipped a whole company of infantry at his own expense, and had placed it under the command of his youngest brother.
This had been his contribution to his country's cause; and, deeming it insufficient, he had also offered his services and his life, as a private in his own company.
Among the privates there assembled for duty were planters and sons of planters, some of them the wealthiest men of South Carolina
, diligently working, side by side with their slaves.