The War Began.
It will be seen that, under the military compulsion of the immense fiset and army which the Black Republican President
has sent to subjugate Charleston
, the Carolina
forces have been forced, in self-defence, to attempt the reduction of that fort which so long has menaced their homes and firesides, and which Lincoln
had formally notified them he was about to supply with provisions,--‘"peaceably if he can, forcibly if he must,"
’--a notification which, backed up by an immense naval and military force, was of course a declaration of war.
The war thus inaugurated by the Executive
representative of the irrepressible conflict, South Carolina
and the Confederate States
have sought, by every honorable means, to avoid.
As long as Major Anderson
remained in Fort Moultrie
, in accordance with the understanding between the Carolina
and Federal authorities that the military status of the harbor was not be changed, not a Carolina hand was laid upon a single fort in the harbor.
was well known to be the key of the whole position, yet, though the Carolinians might easily have seised, at any time, this undefended stronghold, they stood rigidly by their pledge, until availing himself of the darkness of night, and in utter disregard of the compact between the two Governments, Major Anderson
seized, occupied and possessed Fort Sumter
, spiking the guns and burring the gun-carriages of Fort Moultrie
, an act of war, recognized as such by all military authorities as well as by common sense, and the first act of war in that irrepressible conflict which Abraham Lincoln
has now fully inaugurated.
It was only when this first act of hostilities had been perpetrated that the volunteers of Charleston took possession of Fort Moultrie
and commenced the erection of defensive fortifications in the harbor.
But, even then, instead of resorting to an immediate bombardment of the fort, as they would have been justified in doing, and which Maj. Anderson
did not then possess the means of returning with effect, they sent Commissioners to Washington
soliciting the Federal Government
to restore peacefully the former state of things and place Maj.Anderson
once more in Fort Moultrie
We all know how utterly fruitless was this respectful and fraternal invocation.
Instead of the "bread" of peace which they asked, the Government
gave them a "stone," in the Star of the West, crowded with armed men and death-dealing instruments of war. Not satisfied with these efforts for a pacific solution of the difficulty, the Confederate States
also sent Commissioners to Washington
, who for more than a mouth have been endeavoring to persuade the Administration peacefully to abandon Fort Sumter
These appeals the Administration have artfully pretended to heed, and a month ago caused it to be given out that Fort Sumter
was to be abandoned; whereas, it now appears that all the time they were energetically preparing men and munitions of war for its reinforcement.
In the meantime.
the people of Charleston
have been actually supplying Major Anderson
and his officers with provisions, exhibiting a spirit of forbearance and generosity unprecedented in the annals of war. In the midst of the negotiations a fleet, larger than England
keeps up in the Channel
, an army of three thousand soldiers, with an immense amount of munitions of war, has been suddenly sent by the Government
to attack Morris' Island
, and force provisions, and probably men, into Fort Sumter
Simultaneously with this most menacing movement, the Southern Commissioners
have been cavalierly dismissed from Washington
, and a formal notification sent by Lincoln
to Gov. Pickens
that he was about to provision Fort Sumter
, peaceably, if he could; forcibly, if he must.
Even then, with this thunderbolt suspended over their heads, the Confederate Government gave Major Anderson
an opportunity for a peaceable evacuation of the fortress.--But their call for a surrender he refused, intimating that he might be compelled by starvation to evacuate in a few days, whereas it was that very necessity which Lincoln
's fleet and army had been sent to prevent, a fact of which Major Anderson
may have been ignorant, but which was none the less operative upon the Confederate States
in requiring his surrender.
Still, however, determined if possible to secure a peaceable surrender of the fort, the Confederate Government proposed to Major Anderson
not to bombard Fort Sumter
, if Major Anderson
would state the time at which, as indicated by him, he would evacuate, and agree that, in the meantime, he would not use his guns against the Confederate Army, unless theirs should be employed against Sumter
, adding that this proposition was made to avoid the effusion of blood.
If Major Anderson
really expected to be ‘"starved out in a few days,"’ he could have had no reasonable objection to compliance with this just and humane request.
But he refused this proposition also, and thereby compelled the return-blow for the first act of hostility, which he himself committed in spiking the guns of Fort Moultrie
, and seizing Fort Sumter
, and which has been withheld for three months and a half, in order to exhaust every possible means for a peaceful solution of the difficulty.
Nor was it until the appearance of an immense fleet and army in the neighborhood of Charleston harbor
, intended to slaughter and destroy their people, and to clothe the whole Southern clime in sackcloth and ashes, that the citizen soldiers of the South
have made at last when no other resource was left them, a solemn appeal to the God of Battles.
In that appeal they will be sustained by the whole civilized world.
May the God of Battles fire the hearts, nerve the arms, and give victory to the banners of those patriots struggling for their firesides and their altars ! The time of forbearance and conciliation has passed, The hour of just and long-delayed vengeance has come.
The "irrepressible conflict" which has been forced upon the peaceful homes and the unoffending citizens of the South
, will be met by a people who will drench their native soil with the blood of their invaders, or perish, to the last man, in vindication of all that man holds dear.