previous next

Note.--Intercepted dispatches disclose the fact, that Mr. Fox, who had been allowed to visit Major Anderson on the pledge that his purpose was pacific, employed his opportunity to devise a plan for supplying the Fort by force, and that this plan had been adopted by the Washington Government, and was in progress of execution.

Fort Sumter.

The fort 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 cannoneers 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 Columbiads, 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. Its weakest point on the south side, of which the masonry is not only weaker than that of the other sides, but 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 rubes — 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 are 12 feet thick, and at the top 8½ feet thick.

Fort Sumter fled 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.

Who Major Anderson is — his Career.

The New York Leader has a biographical sketch of the present commander of Fort Sumter, which is interesting at this moment. 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 1833 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 1832. 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 Molino 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."

The Garrison in the Fort.

Names.RankRegiment or CorpsOriginal Entry into Service.Where Born
R. AndersonMajor1st ArtilleryJuly 1,1825Kentucky
S. W. CrawfordA'st. SurgeonMedical StaffMarch 10, 1851Pennsylv'a
Abna DoubledayCaptain1st ArtilleryJuly 1,1842New York
Truman SeymourCaptain1st ArtilleryJuly 1,1846Vermont
Jeff. C. Davis1st Lieutenant1st ArtilleryJune 17, 1848Indiana
J. N. Hall2d Lieutenant1st ArtilleryJuly 1, 1859New York
J. G. FosterCaptainEngineersJuly 1, 1846New Hamp
G. W. Snyder1st LieutenantEngineersJuly 1, 1856New York
R. K. Mesde2d LieutenantEngineersJuly 1, 1857Virginia

Under the most favorable circumstances, this force would only be sufficient to operate nine guns.

The coming fleet.

The New York papers are speculating on the ability of the fleet which is now approaching Charleston to enter the harbor and execute its mission. The New York News thus sketches the Fort Sumter programme of the Government:

‘ "The troops are all intended for Fort Sumter; the transports for Texas, as stated in the clearances. Capt. Ward's sand-bag experiment, and another new invention, have been pronounced by engineers sufficiently useful to solve affirmatively the long-disputed problem "can Fort Sumter be reinforced?"Each of the small steamers, Crusader, Wyandotte, Mohawk and Water-Witch, are to be lined on the sides with bags of damp sand, the launches shall be temporarily roofed, covered and lined outside with the same material, men will embark both in the gun-boats and launches; more in the latter — they being smaller targets — than in the former. Hawsers will connect the boats with the steamers, which will tow them into Charleston harbor in spite of all Morris Island and the other batteries can do to prevent them. In fact, so enthusiastic are the advocates of this plan, as to the feasibility of carrying it out, that one of them lately remarked to us that Moultrie might play away at the intruders without any more serious result arising from her amusement than the education of Southern artillerists."

’ The New York Express says:

‘ As near as can be estimated, about two thousand men were sent from the forts of N. York in the vessels dispatched South. The troops from Texas number twenty-five hundred, and the men-of-war have at least fifteen hundred sailors and marines. This would give the United States the disposal of 6,000 well-drilled, regular fighting men, while the highest estimate of the Confederates does not exceed five thousand men, very few of whom have ever smelt gunpowder in action. The strong force of steam vessels of war, and the possession of several of the most powerful steamtugs to be found in N. York harbor, also give the U. States expedition a great advantage.--It is supposed by those who pretend to be well posted that in case fighting becomes necessary, several men of war will engage the Morris Island batteries; that the flying artillery will be landed and make an attack from the rear upon the Confederate artillerists; that Fort Sumter will silence Fort Moultrie, which it is claimed can be done in an hour, and that then the steam tugs will be put into requisition, and Castle Pinckney taken by assault. --There is only a small force in Castle Pinckney, but from this position, which is near Charleston, the city could be easily bombarded and set on fire. Whether there is any truth in these conjectures or not, the plan they suggest appears plausible; but a few hours will probably put us in possession of certain intelligence.

Latest by mail from Charleston — the note of Preparation--Hon. R. A. Pryor.

The Charleston papers of Thursday contain some items of unusual interest, in view of the news published this morning. We extract the following:

Yesterday was another busy day with our military men. From daybreak until sunset, and far into the night, steamers were constantly plying to and fro between the city and the batteries, transporting men, provisions and munitions of war. As for the probability of a fight, and that right soon, most people have come to regard it as a fixed fact, and we may add that it is regarded as equally certain that our brave boys at the batteries will not unbe seem their ancestry, and that the hireling invaders sent by Lincoln will have cause to rue the day they set foot upon the soil of South Carolina.

About three o'clock our Reporter, in the suggestive company of cannons, balls, shells, and every description of munitions of war, besides a very large amount of provisions, embarked for a hasty trip to the harbor batteries. Everything seemed, indeed, in apple pie order, both on Morris and Sullivan's Islands. The rifled cannon just arrived from Liverpool, has already been placed in position, and is relied upon to do its work pretty thoroughly. The troops at all the posts seemed in good spirits, and much invigorated by the prospect for a brush. Among them was the grey-haired volunteer from Virginia, Mr. Ruffin.

The most efficient provisions for lights, etc., were made last night, to detect the approach of United States troops, whether in steamers or small boats, and, with the systematic and vigilant lookout now constantly maintained, it will be impossible for the invaders to enter our harbor, even should they come, as did the Star of the West, before the "peep o'day."

In consequence of a large number of troops being ordered out, the Surgeon-General respectfully informs the kind ladies of Charleston that a further supply of bandages, two and half and three inches wide, and six yards long, and of lint, will be acceptable.--He acknowledges, with sincere thinks for the State, the liberal contribution of $261 by the ladies for surgical instruments. It has been expended very advantageously.

In addition to the distinguished ex-Senator of Texas, Hon. Louis T. Wigfall, who is now on duty at Castle Pinckney, ex-Governor Means, Hon. James Chesnut, Gen. Samuel McGowan, and the Hon. R. B. Boydton, have also tendered their services to Brigadier General Beauregard, and have received appointments on his Staff. General McGowan will

act as Quartermaster-General, and General Boylston as Commissary-General. All honor to such gallant Chiefs, who, in the hour of danger, are as ready to draw the sword in defence of their State and a righteous cause, as to vindicate either in our legislative councils.

Medical students disposed to volunteer as Hospital Stewards and Nurses should report immediately to the Surgeon General.

The time is at hand, if it has not arrived, when all spies in the camp should be detected, exposed and expelled. It is not a time for tolerating the presence of transient persons who do not give a full and sufficient account of their purposes and motives, and business.

In our paper to-day will be found an advertisement for a strong and fast steamer, suitable to be converted into a privateer. We commend the matter to the attention of those who have such a vessel to dispose of.

A large addition to the volunteer forces now on duty, may be expected by the trains of this day.

Some of our regiments and companies have been more prompt apparently than others, on account of their position giving them information by telegraph. All are ready, and only need the order.

While Charlestonians claim their full share of duty, it must give them pleasure to witness the alacrity with which volunteers pour to our aid, and to the defence of the State from all sections.

We are requested to state that the amateur performance at the theatre, under the superintendence of Mr. G. F. Marchant, which was announced for this evening, has been postponed in consequence of the patriotic manager having been called away to do duty with his company at one of our batteries.

We learn that the venerable volunteer, Edmund Ruffin, was yesterday elected a member of the Palmetto Guard, and an honorary member of the Marion Artillery.

The arrival of the Hon. Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia, at the Charleston Hotel, last night, took his friends by surprise. Not withstand-the absence from the city of so large a proportion of our citizens, now on duty at the harbor batteries, quite a large concourse assembled with a brass band in front of the portico of the Charleston Hotel, and stirring strains of "Dixie" and the Marseillaise, succeeded by hearty calls for "Pryor, " finally brought out that gentleman. Just as he appeared, the line of the companies which had just arrived from Clarendon and Kershaw came in sight. They, however, were hurrying towards the boat, and could not wait to hear Mr. Pryor's speech. As the sound of their drums died away in the distance, Mr. Pryor rose, and after the cheering which had greeted him had subsided, addressed the assemblage. We extract one or two paragraphs from his speech ‘" For this demonstration of your regard, I beg to return my grateful acknowledgments. I am here in Charleston in pursuance of a pledge, voluntarily given, that so soon as I might be able to release myself from certain very imperative engagements in Virginia, that I would come hither, and, upon the soil of South Carolina, offer in person the tribute of my infinite admiration.’ ‘"As sure as to-morrow's sun will rise upon us, just so sure will Old Virginia be a member of this Southern Confederation. [Applause.] And I will tell you, gentlemen, what will put her in the Southern Confederation in less than an hour, by Shrewsberry clock. Strike a blow! [Tremendous applause.] I do not mean to say anything for effect upon military operations. I am but a poor civilian, who never sent a squadron in the field--"’

‘"Nor the division of a battle note More than a spinster."’

‘"But I was speaking with respect to the political effects of revolution. The very moment that blood is shed, Old Virginia will make common cause with her sisters of the South. [Applause.] It is impossible she should do otherwise. In conclusion, accept my word for it, the moment the conflict begins, Old Virginia will dispute with South Carolina the precedence in this great combat."’

A city correspondent of the Charleston Mercury in his communication on the wants of the war, says:

‘ Privateers, also, are wanted — clever long-bodied, low, black-looking sloops and schooners, carrying a single long gun, on a pivot, and a clever personnel of forty able-bodied men. We beg, too, to suggest that every schooner, sloop, barge or dug-out in our own adjacent harbors, will find admirable pickings. Let our venturous cruisers look after and pick up the goods and chattels of our enemies. To our brave boys, we have but one word to say: aim low, sink, burn and utterly destroy the invaders.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: