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[47]
Major Anderson understood him [Colonel Wigfall] as offering the same conditions on the part of General Beauregard as had been tendered him on the 11th instant,1 while Colonel Wigfall's impression was that Major Anderson unconditionally surrendered, trusting to the generosity of General Beauregard to offer such terms as would be honorable and acceptable to both parties. Meanwhile, before these circumstances had been reported to me, and, in fact, soon after the aids I had despatched with the offer of assistance had set out on their mission, hearing that a white flag was flying over the fort, I sent Major Jones, chief of my staff, and some other aids, with substantially the same proposition I had made to Major Anderson on the 11th instant, excepting the privilege of saluting his flag. Major Anderson replied that “it would be exceedingly gratifying to him, as well as to his command, to be permitted to salute their flag, having so gallantly defended the fort under such trying circumstances, and hoped that General Beauregard would not refuse it, as such a privilege was not unusual.” He furthermore said “he would not urge the point, but would prefer to refer the matter again to General Beauregard.”

* * * * * * * *

I very cheerfully agreed to allow the salute as an honorable testimony of the gallantry and fortitude with which Major Anderson and his command had defended their post, and I informed Major Anderson of my decision about half-past 7 o'clock, P. M., through Major Jones, my chief of staff.

A melancholy occurrence took place during the salute of the United States flag—the death of one of the garrison, who had his right arm blown off and was almost instantaneously killed, by the premature discharge of the piece he was loading. A spark, also, it was alleged, having ‘dropped on a pile of cartridges below, exploded them all,’2 and severely wounded five other men.

While final arrangements were being made for the withdrawal of the garrison, and before it was effected, the general commanding, who had twice attempted, but in vain, to assist Major Anderson in quenching the fire in the fort, ordered a company of Regulars with two fire-engines from Sullivan's Island, to repair to Fort Sumter, to put out the conflagration which, not entirely subdued, had broken out afresh. This was a harder task than was at first supposed. The two engines proved insufficient, and others had to be brought from Charleston, with additional firemen. It was only towards dawn that the fire was at last brought under control, and the powder-magazine secured from explosion.

Owing to unavoidable delays resulting from the state of confusion

1 See Chapter III., pp. 40, 41; also Report of General Beauregard, in Appendix to this chapter.

2 Gen. Doubleday's ‘Reminiscenses,’ p. 171.

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