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What Mr. Stephens says.

Says Mr. Stephens, in his ‘War Between the States:’ ‘I maintain that it (the war) was inaugurated and begun, though no blow had been struck, when the hostile fleet, styled the “ Relief Squadron,” with eleven ships carrying two hundred and eighty-five guns and two thousand four hundred men, was sent out from New York and Norfolk, with orders from the authorities at Washington to reinforce Fort Sumter, peaceably if permitted, but forciblely if they must.’

He further says:

‘The war was then and there inaugurated and begun by the authorities at Washington. General Beauregard did not open fire upon Fort Sumter until this fleet was to his knowledge, very near the Harbor of Charleston, and until he had enquired of Major Anderson, [183] in command of the Fort, whether he would engage to take no part in the expected blow, then coming down upon him from the approaching fleet?’

Governor Pickens and General Beauregard had been notified from Washington of the approach of this fleet, and the objects for which it was sent, but this notice did not reach them (owing to the treachery and duplicity of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, practiced on the Commissioners sent to Washington by the Confederate Government, which are enough to bring the blush of shame to the cheek of every American citizen), until the fleet had neared its destination. But Anderson refused to make any promise, and when he did this, it became necessary for Beauregard to reduce the fort as he did. Otherwise his command would have been exposed to two fires—one in front and the other in the rear.

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