The intended evacuation of Fort Sumter.
telegrams and letters generally agree that the Cabinet
has determined on the evacuation of Fort Sumter
as a discreet ‘" military movement."’ Some go so far as to fix on Friday next as the day. The Washington
correspondent of the Baltimore American, noticing the subject, says:
The question of peace or war seems to have been settled in Cabinet to-day in favor of the former, after a stormy session, in which Mr. Chase
urged the integrity of the Republican party as paramount to every other consideration.
Something with respect to the troops at Fort Sumter
had to be done, and that without delay, as official information received yesterday left no doubt that Major Anderson
could not hold his position over two weeks longer without additional supplies.
Thus the issue was forced upon the new Administration — reinforcement or withdrawal of the garrison.--The Cabinet met at eleven o'clock and discussed the question until two P. M., when it was formally decided to withdraw the troops from Sumter
on the ground that Mr. Buchanan
had left the fort in a condition that rendered its reinforcement impossible without a greater sacrifice of life than the importance of the position would justify.
The decision has been received by the radical Republicans with great disapprobation.
left the Cabinet
meeting and proceeded directly to the Senate Chamber
, where he was soon surrounded by his party friends anxious to hear the result.
He seemed evidently easy, and conversed with more than his usual vivacity.
He thinks --now that the first important step has been taken in the right direction — it will be quite possible to preserve the peace and avoid civil war.
A dispatch to the New York Tribune, sent on Sunday, before the Cabinet
had arrived at a determination, says:
Much sensation was produced this morning, by a report, which obtained currency and credit in important circles, that Major Anderson
would be withdrawn from Fort Sumter
It is well known that Maj. Anderson
cannot now be reinforced, without imminent danger of a serious collision.
Two steamers, of light draft, with supplies of men and provisions, have been in readiness for some time, to make the attempt whenever ordered, under the command of an officer who is willing to take the risk, and feels confident of success; but the military preparations in and outside of the harbor of Charleston
render any such experiment hazardous, unless sustained by a heavy naval force, which could be used now, as the main ship channel is entirely clear of obstructions.
The War Department has obtained a detailed statement of the stock of provisions in Fort Sumter
, and it is abundant for a considerable time, except in bread, which is not sufficient for over thirty days. One of the first and most important questions, therefore, before the Administration, will be whether Major Anderson
will be supplied or withdrawn. --That decision cannot long be postponed, for though he now receives meats and vegetables from the markets of Charleston
, this permission may be cut off at any moment by an order from Gov. Pickens
or Gen. Beauregard
, to whom Jefferson Davis
has confided the direction of military operations there.
The Cabinet had a special session of over three hours last night, in which the policy concerning Fort Sumter
was fully discussed.
An informal conference was also held this morning, at which several members were present.
No decision has yet been reached, but the general opinion prevails to-night that the troops will be withdrawn.
This condition of things was purposely contrived by Mr. Buchanan
, and Mr. Holt
declares openly that the present Administration can in no way be made responsible for any course that may now be adopted.
He says that the fort could have been reinforced thirty days ago without serious difficulty, and measures had been taken for that purpose, but Mr. Buchanan
positively refused to have them executed.
His whole policy was to bequeath a complication to his successor which compelled one of two alternatives, either withdrawal, or reinforcement with the certainty of civil war.
The Tribune in commenting on this statement of its correspondent, says:
The people will be prepared, if this withdrawal of troops takes place, for a yell of exultation from every traitor in the land, for taunts and swelling self-congratulations from the men who have labored more earnestly than any others for the destruction of the Union
, by crying out for concessions and compromises; but let all remember, that the strength has not yet departed from our flag, and that this movement may be only as the crouch which is to precede the decisive leap.
No matter if the treason which has woven around us its toils compels a step which no one wishes to take; no matter if rebellion seems to have advanced its banners, or if treason turns more confidently toward us its brazen front, the policy of the Government
remains unchanged, and its firm foot is just as immovable as ever on the Constitution
and the laws.
In case the predicted event happens, the people will place on the proper heads the responsibility of the act. They will follow the late President
to his retirement with a sharper indignation than they have before felt; they will, moreover, ask with an earnestness which call for a reply, why the repeated assurances went forth from the beleaguered fort that the commanding officer needed no aid, no supplies; they will demand from all who have borne a part in the transactions of the past two months with relation to this important place, a strict account of their stewardship. --They will, nevertheless, renew their confidence in the power they have set over them at the National Capital
, and will by that confidence strengthen the hands of the Administration for vigorous action in the future and forward.
The Petersburg Express has had an interview with a gentleman from Fort Sumter
, who confirms the reported shortness of provisions.
The following is a list of the force about to evacuate the fort:
First Artillery, entered the service July 1, 1820, and born in Kentucky
S. W. Crawford
, Assistant Surgeon Medical Staff
, entered the service March 10, and born in Pennsylvania
First Artillery, entered the service July 1, 1842, and born in New York.
First Artillery, entered service July 1, 1846, and born in Virginia
, First Lieutenant
First Artillery, entered service May 22, 1847, and born in District of Columbia.
Jeff. C. Davis
, First Lieutenant
First Artillery, entered service June 17, 1848, born in Indiana
J. N. Hall
, Second Lieutenant
First Artillery, entered service July 1, 1859, born in New York.
J. G. Foster
, Captain Engineers
, entered service July 1, 1846, and born in New Hampshire
G. W. Snyder
, First Lieutenant Engineers
, entered service July 1st, 1856, and born in N. York
R. Kidder Meade
, Second Lieutenant Engineers
, entered service July 1, 1857, and born in Petersburg, Va.
Besides Paixans, Columbiads, and thirty-two pounder barbette guns, there are muskets without number, seven hundred barrels of gunpowder, and any quantity of shot and shell.
These will pass quietly into the possession of the Southern Confederacy.
An idea may be obtained of the difficulty the Government
would find in reinforcing the forts from the following paragraph:
, of the Navy, called on to give his opinion as to the best method of reinforcements, laid before the Secretary
a plan by which two large men-of-war could each engage a land battery, with a certainty, almost, of being destroyed, while a third vessel of lighter draft could run in under Major Anderson
But this was not regarded as certain of success.