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[104] bay. There they stood, straining their eyes over the dark expanse of water, waiting to see the flash and hear the boom of the first gun. The clock told the hour of 11, and still they gazed and listened; but the eyelids grew weary, and at the noon of the night the larger portion of the disappointed spectators were plodding their way homeward.

About 9 o'clock General Beauregard received a reply from President Davis to the telegram in relation to the surrender of Sumter, by which he was instructed to inform Major Anderson that if he would evacuate the fort he held when his present supply of provisions was exhausted, there would be no appeal to arms. This proposition was borne to Major Anderson by the aides who had delivered the first message, and he refused to accept the condition. The general-in-chief forthwith gave the order that the batteries be opened at half-past 4 o'clock on Friday morning. Major Anderson's reply was decisive of the momentous question, and General Beauregard determined to apply the last argument.

The stout soldier had resolved to make a desperate defence, and the bloody trial of strength must be essayed. The sword must cut asunder the last tie that bound us to a people whom, in spite of wrongs and injustices wantonly inflicted through long years, we have not yet utterly hated and despised. The last expiring spark of affection must be quenched in blood. Some of the most splendid pages in our glorious history must be blurred. A blow must be struck that would make the ears of every Republican fanatic tingle, and whose dreadful effects will be felt by generations yet to come. We must transmit a heritage of rankling and undying hate to our children.

The crisis had arrived and we were fully prepared to meet it. The work that awaited the morrow was of a momentous character, but we had counted the cost, and had resolved to do it or die in the attempt.

At the gray of the morning of Friday the roar of cannon broke upon the ear. The expected sound was answered by thousands. The houses were in a few minutes emptied of their excited occupants, and the living stream poured through all the streets leading to the wharves and battery. On reaching our beautiful promenade we found it lined with ranks of eager spectators, and all the wharves commanding a view of the battle were crowded thickly with human forms. On no gala occasion had we ever seen nearly so large a number

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R. H. Anderson (3)
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