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[185] considerable time must have been requisite to get this expedition ready for sea, during the period that assurances had been so repeatedly given of the evacuation of the fort.

It bore the aspect certainly of a manoeuvre, which military persons, and sometimes, metaphorically, politicians denominate “stealing a march.”

He says further on:

‘It was intended to “draw the fire” of the Confederates, and was a silent aggression, with the object of producing an active aggression from the other side.’

This very cautious statement, from this Northern writer, clearly makes the Lincoln Government the real. Aggressor, under the principle before enunciated by Mr. Hallam.

Mr. Williams, the Massachusetts writer before quoted from, says:

There was no need for war. The action of the Southern States was legal and constitutional, and history will attest that it was reluctantly taken in the last extremity, in the hope of thereby saving their whole constitutional rights and liberties from destruction by Northern aggression, which had just culminated in triumph at the Presidential election by the Union of the North against the South.

And he says further on:

‘The South was invaded, and a war of subjugation, destined to be the most gigantic which the world has ever seen, was begun by the Federal Government against the seceding States, in complete and amazing disregard of the foundation principle of its own existence. as affirmed in the Declaration of Independence, that “Government derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and as established by the war of the Revolution for the people of the States respectively. The South accepted the contest thus forced upon her, with the eager and resolute courage characteristic of her proud-spirited people.’

But I propose to show further that this war did not really begin with the sailing of that Northern fleet, and certainly not at Fort Sumter; and that the first blow was actually struck by John Brown and his followers, as the representatives of the abolitionists of the North, in October, 1859, at Harper's Ferriy , Va.

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