‘that so many men could not be withdrawn from that garrison, but could be taken from New York,’ &c., &c. In this report to President Lincoln
exultingly declares, ‘that if the Secretary
's three hundred men had then (on the 15th December), or some time later, been sent to Forts Moultrie
, both would now have been in the possession of the United States
,’ & c. And again, ‘It would have been easy to reenforce this fort (Sumter
) down to about the 12th February.’
In making these declarations, he must surely have forgotten not only his own objection to sending these very ‘three hundred men’ from Fortress Monroe
, but also the fate of the Star of the West
, in the early part of January, with his recruits from New York, which had been substituted under his advice and direction for the Brooklyn
The reader must have observed that we speak argumentatively and doubtingly of the General
's statement of this conversation.
We do this simply because President Buchanan
, although a party to it, has no recollection whatever of its particulars.
The reason doubtless is, that, believing General Scott
to have been aware before the interview that the President
would not violate his announced policy by sending one thousand men to all the Southern
forts, or two hundred to those in Charleston harbor
, he must have considered this renewed recommendation rather a matter of form, springing from a motive which he will not attempt to conjecture, than any thing more serious.
But whatever may have been the cause of his want of memory, the fact is certainly true.
He sincerely wishes it were otherwise.
We may observe generally in regard to this report, that the attempt, at the end of more than three months, filled with the most important and stirring events, to write out charges against President Buchanan
, must necessarily do him injustice.
Fairly to accomplish such a task, the writer ought to have tested?
his own recollection by a reference to dates and official documents within his reach.
Not having done this, the report is confused throughout, sometimes blending in the same sentence occurrences of distinct date and opposite nature.
When these come to be unravelled, it will appear in the sequel that they are often contradicted by official and other unimpeachable testimony.