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[15]

A day or two later, Col. A. R. Lawton, in command at Savannah, under instructions from the governor demanded possession of the Oglethorpe barracks, through Lieut. W. S. Bassinger. Ordnance-Sergeant Burt, in charge in the absence of Captain Whiting, ‘refused to recognize Colonel Lawton's authority, or to allow Lieutenant Bassinger to interfere with the barracks or public property,’ but had no force to sustain his action, and on the 26th, Bassinger, with the assistance of the city police, fastened up the public store-room and took possession of the barracks. Sergeant Burt consistently maintained his position by refusing to have any official communication with Lieutenant Bassinger. Upon Captain Whiting's return, January 28th, Colonel Lawton addressed him the following letter:

Sir: I am instructed by the governor and commander-in-chief of the State of Georgia to take possession of Oglethorpe barracks, in the name of the State of Georgia, and in your absence from this city possession has been taken. The occupants will not be disturbed at present, and you will please consider yourself at liberty to occupy, with your employes, such apartments as are necessary for your convenience while you are closing up your business here. The steamer Ida and appurtenances have also been taken possession of under the same authority. This, I believe, includes all the property held by you in the State of Georgia, as military engineer of the United States, but does not include any lighthouse property. You have already been notified, informally, that Forts Pulaski and Jackson had been occupied by the troops of the State of Georgia under my command.

Another famous incident of this first month of 1861 was the seizure at New York, probably on the orders of the governor of that State, of thirty-eight boxes of muskets, purchased by the firm of D. C. Hodgkins & Sons, Macon, for shipment by the steamer Monticello to Savannah. After a sharp remonstrance, which was unheeded, Governor Brown directed Colonel Lawton to order out sufficient military force and seize and hold,

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