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‘ [103] stay away from the polls. My sympathies, however, are with the Bell and Everett ticket.’

After all these preliminaries, we now proceed to a different side of the picture presented by the General.

In the same ‘Views’ (the 29th October, 1860), he says that, ‘From a knowledge of our Southern population it is my solemn conviction that there is some danger of an early act of rashness preliminary to secession, viz., the seizure of some or all of the following posts:—Forts Jackson and St. Philip, in the Mississippi, below New Orleans, both without garrisons; Fort Morgan, below Mobile, without a garrison; Forts Pickens and McRea, Pensacola harbor, with an insufficient garrison for one; Fort Pulaski, below Savannah, without a garrison; Forts Moultrie and Sumter, Charleston harbor, the former with an insufficient garrison, and the latter without any; and Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, without a sufficient garrison. In my opinion all these works should be immediately so garrisoned as to make any attempt to take any one of them by surprise or coup de main ridiculous.’

It was his duty, as commanding general, to accompany this recommendation with a practicable plan for garrisoning these forts, stating the number of troops necessary for the purpose; the points from which they could be drawn, and the manner in which he proposed to conduct the enterprise. Finding this to be impossible, from the total inadequacy of the force within the President's power to accomplish a military operation so extensive, instead of furnishing such a plan he absolves himself from the task by simply stating in his supplemental views of the next day (30th October) that ‘There is one (regular) company at Boston, one here (at the Narrows), one at Pittsburg, one at Augusta, Ga., and one at Baton Rouge—in all five companies, only, within reach, to garrison or reenforce the forts mentioned in the “Views.” ’

Five companies only, four hundred men, to garrison nine fortifications scattered over six highly excited Southern States. This was all the force ‘within reach’ so as to make any attempt to take any one of them by surprise or coup de main ridiculous.

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