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[219] have followed but for his own vigilance and foresight He even goes so far as to say that with the possession of these forts, ‘the rebels might have purchased an early recognition.’

In opposition to these fanciful speculations, what is the simple statement of the fact? The administration were well aware of the importance of these forts to the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico. General Scott asked the attention of Secretary Floyd, then about to leave office, to the reenforcement of them by a note of the 28th December. Not receiving any response, he addressed a note on the 80th to the President on the same subject The rupture with the first South Carolina commissioners occurred on the 2d January, and the time had then arrived when the President, acting on his established, policy, deemed it necessary to send reenforcements not only to Fort Sumter, but also to Forts Taylor and Jefferson, and these were accordingly despatched to the two latter on the 4th January. The same course precisely would have been pursued had General Scott remained at his headquarters in New York.

But the most remarkable instance of General Scott's want of memory remains to be exposed. This is not contained in his report to President. Lincoln, but is to be found in his letter of the 8th November, 1862, to the ‘National Intelligencer,’ in reply to that of ex-President Buchanan. Unable to controvert any of the material facts stated in this letter, the General deemed. it wise to escape from his awkward position by repeating and indorsing the accusation against Secretary Floyd, in regard to what has been called ‘the stolen arms,’ although this had been condemned as unfounded more than eighteen months before, by the report of the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives. This was that the Secretary, in order to furnish aid to the approaching rebellion, had fraudulently sent public arms to the South for the use of the insurgents. This charge chimed in admirably with public prejudice at the moment. Although the committee, after full investigation, had so long before as January, 1861, proved it to be unfounded, yet it has continued, notwithstanding, to be repeated and extensively credited up till the present moment. Numerous respectable citizens still believe that the Confederate

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