Secession movement at the South.the secession pole difficulty in Petersburg--Maj. Anderson's authority — War preparations in Pennsylvania--the Republican Prepositions — description of the ports, &c.,&c.
The secession pole difficulty in Petersburg.Three men were held to bail in Petersburg, Va., on Thursday, for cutting down a secession flag. Of one case, the Express says: ‘ Mr. Riley being asked if he wished to say anything, urged upon the Mayor to retract his decision and concentrate the burden of the punishment upon him — if there were any arrows to be shot, let them, he said, be aimed at his bosom, and not upon innocent men. He cut down the pole, he said boldly, and he called upon the Union men to sustain him. Cries of "aye!" "aye!" commenced to circulate slightly among the crowd, but the police promptly restored order, and the Mayor decided Riley's fate by binding him over in the sum of $1,000, as principal in the affair. ’ The same paper says: ‘ The committee to whom belonged the Union flag on the corner of Third and Bollingbrook streets, took down their colors on yesterday at twelve o'clock. They intend to cut down the pole and present it to the city for Fourth of July occasions, should that institution continue to flourish. ’
Maj. Anderson's authority.The Washington Constitution (Government organ,) of yesterday says: ‘ We believe that we are perfectly correct in stating that this action on the part of Major Anderson was taken solely on his own responsibility, and not in consequence of orders from the authorities here. We have also reason to believe that it was not occasioned by any threat of attack or hostile action on the part of the people or military in Charleston, and that there was no reason to anticipate any change in their attitude in relation to the Federal troops. Under these circumstances, we must express our regret that Major Anderson should have taken such a step without orders or apparent necessity. ’
Chester Co., Pa., districted for War.The Philadelphia Pennsylvanian says: ‘ We ascertain, from reliable authority, the county of Chester has been districted by the Republicans, each district being required to raise a certain number of volunteers for the war against their brethren of the South--Thus the work appears to have been commenced. The first steps taken, collisions of some kind or another will ensue, and blood once shed will be taken as the cause for the arming of the people. Let violence once commence between the representatives of opposing opinions, even by accident, and the occasion will be made, and the excuse will be taken, for a general conflict. Is Philadelphia prepared? ’
Meeting in Virginia.A meeting was held at Amelia Court-House on the 27th instant, at which resolutions were adopted demanding, prior to the 4th of March, a clear recognition and adequate power for the protection of our rights against the aggressions even of the majority of the people of the United States, in default of which Virginia will provide for them herself; deprecating the use of force towards seceding States, and urging the Legislature to more fully arm the State. A resolution was also adopted requesting the County Court to purchase sufficient arms to equip the volunteer force in Amelia.
The Republicans' proposition.The Senate Committee of Thirteen and the Republican members of the House Committee were in caucus on Wednesday. In each assemblage the following propositions, which originated with Senator Grimes, but were advocated and presented in the Senate Committee by Gov. Seward, have been discussed. They are regarded as the ultimatum of the Republicans:
- I. That the Constitution shall never be so amended as to permit the interference of the Federal Government with slavery in the States, and that this shall be secured by legislative enactment.
that the following act be introduced into Congress and passed:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled," that upon the production of a person, claimed as a fugitive from labor, before any Court, Judge, or Commissioner, mentioned in the act of Congress, approved September eighteen, eighteen hundred and fifty, together with the proof mentioned in the sixth section of that act; and, upon consideration thereof, said Court, Judge, or Commissioner shall be of opinion that it appears thereby that such person so claimed does owe labor or service to the person claiming him, according to the laws of any other State or Territory, or the district of Columbia, and escaped therefrom, the said Court, Judge or Commissioner shall make out and deliver to such claimant, or his agent, a certificate stating those facts, and shall deliver such fugitive to the Marshal of the United States of the State, to be by him taken and delivered to the Marshal of the State whence the fugitive is ascertained to have fled, who shall produce the said fugitive before a Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States for the last-mentioned State; and it shall be the duty of the said Judge, either forthwith or at the next term of the Circuit Court aforesaid, to cause a jury to be empaneled and sworn, to try the issue whether such fugitive owes service or labor to the person by or on behalf of whom he is claimed, and a true verdict to render according to the evidence; and upon such a finding, the Judge or Court shall render judgment according to such finding, and cause said fugitive to be delivered to the claimant, or returned to the State where he was arrested, at the expense of the United States."
- III. Congress will pass a resolution asking Governors to revise States statutes, to ascertain if "Personal Liberty" laws exist, and to request their repeal, "as required by a just sense of constitutional obligations, and by a due regard for the peace of the Republic."
- First.--That the people of the United States shall have an equal right to emigrate to and settle in the present or any future acquired Territories, with whatever property they may possess, including slaves, and be securely protected in its peaceable enjoyment until such Territory may be admitted as a State in the Union, with or without slavery, as she may determine, on an equality with all existing States.
- Second.--That property in slaves shall be entitled to the same protection from the Government of the United States, in all of its departments, everywhere, which the Constitution confers the power upon it to extend to any other property; provided nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit or restrain the right now belonging to every State to prohibit, abolish or establish and protect slavery within its limits.
- Third.--That persons committing crimes against slave property in one State, and fleeing to another, shall be delivered up in the same manner as persons committing other crimes, and that the laws of the State from which such persons flee shall be the test of criminality.
Who Major Anderson is — his Barber.The New York Leader has a biographical sketch of the present commander at Fort Sumter. We copy a passage: "Major Anderson is now about fifty-six years old, and was born in Kentucky, entering the Military Academy from that State, and graduating with distinction, on June 30, 1825. The record of his military service shows that he was promoted to a first lieutenancy in 1833, and made captain by brevet in 1838 for gallantry and successful strategy in the war against the Florida Indians. In the same year he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of captain — the captaincy itself not coming until the October of 1841, and his present rank of Major only reaching him last year. "Major Anderson has also performed a large amount of the staff duty incident to the service a few years since, and before it was made distinct from duty in the line. He acted as Assistant Inspector of the Illinois Volunteers, serving with Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War of 1822. He was Assistant Instructor and Instructor of Artillery at the Military Academy in the years 1835-'6 and '7, and was aide-de-camp to Major-General Scott in 1838. "During the Mexican War, the Major endured all the labors and dangers of the campaign, being severely wounded in the assault on the enemy's works at Marina del Rey, and receiving brevet majority 'for gallant and meritorious conduct in that action.' Major Anderson has also received from the Government many evidences of its trust and confidence other than those bestowed by the War Department. "His last service, previous to his taking command of Fort Moultrie, was as a member of the commission, ordered last summer by Congress, to inquire into the manner of instruction at the West Point Military Academy. The labors of that commission, in which Major Anderson performed his part, have already been laid before Congress. "In physique, the Major is about five feet nine inches in height; his figure is well set and soldierly; his hair is thin and turning to iron grey: his complexion swarthy; his eye dark and intelligent; his nose prominent and well formed. A stranger would read, in his air and appearance, determination and an exaction of what was due to him. He has a good deal of manner. In intercourse he is very courteous, and his rich voice and abundant gesticulations go well together. He is always agreeable and gentlemanly, firm and dignified, a man of undaunted courage, and as a true soldier may be relied on to obey orders and to do his duty."
Government troops have now concentrated, is five miles from the Charleston Battery. It is thus described by the Charleston Mercury: Fort Sumter is built upon an artificial island, at the entrance of our harbor. The foundation being of stone, it must be of the strongest nature. That portion of the fort above the water line is of brick and concrete of the most solid character. Its plan is a truncated pentagon, with one side parallel to the adjoining shore, thus presenting an angle to the channel. Of the truncated angles the eastern, western and northern are simply formed into Pan-compees, whilst the other two are formed of two small faces, making an angle of about fifteen degrees with the sides of the pentagon. At each intersection of the small faces is a sally-port. The height of the parapet above the water-line is sixty feet. On the eastern and western sides are the barracks for the privates, mess hall, kitchen, &c. On the southern side are the officers' quarters, which are finished in very handsome style. It is mounted with the heaviest guns of the United States service, arranged in three tiers, the two lower being Casemates and the upper Barbette guns. The Casemate guns are those which are fired from an embrasure in the Scarp Walls, and are protected from the enemy's shells by an arched bomb-proof covering over-head; the Barbette, those which fire over the parapet, which exposes the cannoniers to the fire of the enemy, although, in this instance, the height of the ramparts is so great that there is comparatively no danger from the shot of an enemy's fleet. The armament consists of 140 pieces, placed in the following order: The heaviest guns, such as the 32 and 64-pounders, on the first tier; 24 and 32-pounders on the second tier; Columbiads (8 and 10 inch) and heavy sea-coast mortars on the top of the ramparts. The heaviest pieces are turned toward the harbor, the lighter toward the land side; which side is further protected by musketry, for which loopholes are cut in the Scarp Wall. The number of each kind of gun is about thirty 64-pounders, the same number of 32-pounders, forty 24-pounders, ten of each calibre of Columbiad, ten 13-inch and ten 10-inch mortars, capable of throwing about four thousand (4,000) pounds of shot and four thousand three hundred (4,300) pounds of shell at each discharge. On the terra-parade plain are situated two furnaces for heating shot. The magazines are situated on the inner sides of the sally ports, and contain, at present, 40,000 pounds of powder, and a proportionate quantity of shot and shell. The landing to the fort is on the southern or land side, and is formed by a wharf projecting towards the shore, and also extending the length of that face. This fort would be nearly impregnable if finished and properly manned. It is at present so far completed that, with a little temporary work, it could be made so strong as to defy any attack by a fleet of large vessels. Its weakest point is on the south side, of which the masonry is not only weaker than that of the other sides, but it is not protected by any flank fire, which would sweep the wharf.--Once landed, an entrance may, at the present state of the construction, be easily made, for the blinds of the lower embrasures, though six inches in thickness, may yet be easily blown away, and even if this was impossible, scaling ladders can reach those of the second tier, which are not protected in this manner. This concludes the brief sketch of a fort which is a most perfect specimen of civil and military engineering. The whole work has been conducted in a manner that reflects the highest credit upon the engineers, and is worthy to occupy the prominent position that it holds. In conclusion, we take occasion to allude to one point of especial beauty — the construction of the arches — of which there are nearly every variety — the "Full Centre, " the "Segment," the "Groined," the "Askew," and the "Rampant"--and to add that the walls at their base are 12 feet thick, and at the top 8 ½ feet thick. Another description of the forts in the harbor of Charleston says: ‘ The two works which are designed to command the entrance of the harbor are Forts Moultrie and Sumter. The latter is the larger of the two, with three tiers of guns, surrounded entirely by water, too shoal for heavy ships to approach, and yet sufficient to prevent the use of batteries nearer than 800 or 900 yards, where the shore line approaches most closely. With a very moderate garrison, it would be entirely impregnable to any means at the disposal of the State. ’ Fort Sumter lies about one mile from the shore, directly on the main ship channel, which passes between the fort and Sullivan's Island, on which is located Fort Moultrie, about one mile distant. From the battery of Charleston city Fort Sumter lies about five miles distant, standing out in the open bay, one mile from the land on either side. Fort Moultrie is, in military phrase, commanded by Fort Sumter. The following is a description of Castle Pinckney, into which Governor Pickens has thrown State troops "for the preservation of the property:" Castle Pinckney is a small work, situated on the southern extremity of "Shute's Folly Island," between the Hog and Folly Channels. Though in itself not a very considerable military work, yet, from its position, commanding as it does the whole line of our eastern wharves, it becomes of the utmost importance for it to be held by the State authorities. It is, in fact, the immediate outwork of the city, useful to annoy an invading fleet should it pass the outer forts, and to render their landing very difficult, if not impossible. In its plan it presents to the South a semi-circular face; the eastern and western faces are formed by the line of rampart following the direction of the tangent to the circular arc at its extremity, and for a distance of twenty yards; the northern side is plain; at both the northeastern and northwestern angles are semi-circular bastions, the outer extremities of the arcs being tangent respectively to the eastern and western sides of the fort. There are two rows of guns — the lower being in casements, (bomb proof,) the embrasures for which are about seven feet above low water mark; and the upper being en barbette. The height of the rampart is twenty, and the width thirty-two feet; the width of the outer wall and of the parapet is six feet; the depth of the casements is twenty feet, height ten; the diameter (east and west) of the castle is 170 feet. The entrance is on the northern side, on either side of which are the officers' and privates' quarters, mess room, &e. The ascent to the barbette is made in the northeastern and northwestern corners of the terre-parade-plein In the centre of the latter is the furnace for heating shot. Around the foot of the scarp-wall is a breakwater, about twelve feet in width, horizontally, which has its western side extended in a tangent direction to the south, to form the landing. The landing is protected by the fire of several guns sweeping its length. The armament of this castle consists of about twenty-five pieces, 24 and 32 pounders, a few sea-coast mortars, and six Columbiads — the latter not being mounted. In the magazine is a sufficiency of ammunition, including shot and loaded shell. This work has been of late put in as thorough repair as possible. Owing to the want of ventilation and the reverberation of the sound, in an engagement, the lower tier of guns would soon become useless, and the occupants would be obliged to resort entirely to the barbette guns and mortars. In this case, the exposure to the enemies' direct shot would not be great, for the parapet is higher than the hulks of most ships, and much higher than the adjoining shore. As to its importance, although if we possessed Forts Sumter and Moultrie it would be of comparatively little use, yet if an enemy possessed it, its proximity to the city would enable the garrison to damage Charleston seriously.