The war in America.
opinions of the English press.

[from the London times, April 28]

The challenge of the Confederate State has been promptly accepted, and we can object to. President Lincoln that he is without a designated policy. If we are to put a liberal interpretation upon the document now before us, the Federal Government at Washington proclaims war, and calls for an army of 75,000 men. If we are to accept the first impression created by President Lincoln's proclamation, the smoking out or burning out of Major Anderson is to be instantly receive by an invasion. What the President would not attempt to avert, what the fleet in the offing would make no effort to oppose, and what has been so unaccountably accomplished without the lose of a single life, Mr. Lincoln is determined to punish. In a State paper, so weak and wordy as to contrast strongly with those great historical documents which marked the birth of the American nation, the President denounces the ‘"combinations"’ existing in the seven insurgent States, and appeals to his fellow citizens facilitate and his efforts to maintain the Union and dce the wrongs of the North. Calling for 75,000 men he indicates that the first object will be to recover the Federal property, or in other words, to nigh the way to Charleston and there rein Major Anderson in his fort, the case of when are still in excellent order and the guns to serviceable condition. He summons the Congress to most at Washington on the 4th of July, because he recognizes in the capture of Fort Sumter an ‘"extraordinary bedsonia"’ within the meaning of the next of the Constitution. He has taken his worse promptly, and his decision is for war.

is it quite certain that this document means exactly what it purports upon the surface to declare. Although it is as much a declaration of war as a President of the United States can issue, is it a declaration to be follow up by instant war? May we not behave that, having made public declaration of a warfare policy, as in mentioned to follow it out in a deliberate and leisurely manner? May we not draw some inference from the fact that be has named no day for the rendezvous of the contingents of the Federal States, and that he has a distant day for the meeting of the Congress? Less than this proclamation President Lincoln could not have done. Of course, he could not surrender. If he had been prompted to let the South go, he would freely have acted so absurdly as to keep Major Anderson in an untenable fort, tempt act of over treason. The circumstance which he must have foreseen having taken place it was necessary that he should take note of it, and mark it as an act of war. I This he has done, but we will not even yet behave that these proclamations and these popular excitements, actually mean real singular. It is not because the South burnt the wood-work of a and smoked out the garrison that they are, therefore, as some accounts say, crazy for a fight, And eager for the blood of their brethren at the North. --It is not because President Lincoln has called for his 75,000 men that he is about to send them at once to engage in desperate and engage civil conflict. At present there seems to be no great exasperation on either side. All the proceedings at Charleston have hitherto been carried on much as a cricket match or an race might take place in this country highest courtesy seems to have on timed on been sides. The ladies turn out to the contest. A good shot from Fort is he much applauded as a good shot from Fort Moultrie. When the American flag is shownawy, General Beauregard sends Major Anderson another to fight under, when the fort is found to be on fire, the polite who has with such intense energy laborer to excue the conflagration, offers an equally energetic assistance to put it out when the dispossessed enemy passes through the streets of Charleston, the cheering of the people is frantie The only indication felt throughout the affair has been at the conducted the American Hollian, which kept outside, and did not come into the harbor and take part in the tray. The Southerners resent this act of the treasury towards their favorite enemy. Major Anderson. The courtesies, in been more fatal than the hostile whereas no the was destroyed by the guns fired in anger, two men were killed and four wounded by the peaceful salute Altogether, nothing can be more free from the which are distinctive of than this bloodless conflict has been. Up to this time there is nothing in the conduct of the combatants to shut the hope of a peaceful common of the difficulty. A moment, however, might endanger everything.

It is or no means certain that a state of mind preparation is not a necessary condition to the settlement of this question, even this solution is to be peaceful. The parties are now in presence of each other. No great monetary berths impends. It is only little acts of hostility which have as yet been comded Just at first these may be conflicted not enduld with good humor, but that temper would soon change under frequent provocation, and the two parties are much more likely to consider into a state of fiery exasperation it they are constantly engaged in little conflicts, than it they were only prepared for a great fight. With hostile armies in the field, to measure and respect his enemy; with real preparations for war comes a knowledge of the difficulties as well as of the danger of such a war. What is President Lincoln to do with 75,000 men when he has got together? We grant that he has the wealth of the nation to back him; that he has the most undivided population; that he has, if you please, the better cause-- although democracy has no bond of loyalty such as that we own, and no sense of honor or really to a sovereign poact--but, granting all this, what is President Lincoln to do with 75,000 men? House ships, but not ships enough to transport this army to the harbor of Charleston. He has money, but not money enough to tim this army in an enemy's country. How is he to get to this Fort Sumter?--To be to march his army across the Bonder States? Does he propose to obtain a tree march across Virginia, or to force his way if a free passage should be refused --When this formidable difficulty is surmounted, does he expect with 75,000 men to North Carolina, and to pass through the whole length of South Carolina? We did not find it so easy to march regular troops through America even when its defenders were less numerous than they now are.--The idea of a land invasion with any detachment he could spare from his 75,000 men, is recently impossible. A descent by sea is hardly a loss out of the question in the face of an armed population, and considering the limit force of the States Navy. How then, is Mr. Lincoln to get to Fort Sumter? We commonly think that he is serious when he so cooly save that the first service assigned to the forces will probably be to repossess the * * * * * * May we not rather hope that this preparation for war may turn out to be a preparation for he and the preliminary step either to reunion, or at least to peace? We may doubtless be in some measure based by our own obvious interests in thus balancing the chances of immediate civil war, for so nearly are our interests intertwined with America civil war in the States a means destitution in Lancashire. But still we think it reasonable to hope that this proclamation is not the word which immediately precedes the blow, and that even if the Americans should be so foolish as to fight among themselves, we may yet have a little time to guard ourselves from the consequences which any such even would at this moment entail upon our own population.

[from the London Sander!, April 30]

We are told that civil war has at last broken out in America. A more terrible calamity for the whole civilized world cannot be conceived, it is so. A strike of which no one can well foresee the end, which may become embittered by provocations likely to elicit the worst feeling of our natures — such a strike as between men related in blood, speaking the same language, glorying in the same traditions, and looking, until now, to the same future, we yet hope may be averted. It is easy to talk quietly of ‘"civil war"’ Englishmen for many generations have not known what it is by experience. It is needless to go into a subject the very mention of which most make every honest man shudder. That must, indeed, be a mortal quariel which suggests as its only solution so terrible an expedition this.

One thing at all events is cheering. When we read the details brought by the last mail, we cannot discover that there has been any fighting yet. Of course we employ the term in the strict sense. We cannot in consequence apply it to that very singular exhibition in the harbored Charleston, blazoned about in the newspaper as the ‘"bombardment and capture of Fort Sumter"’ The good people of Charleston wanted a little amusement, and they had it. On the one hand was poor Major Anderson, commanding a dilapidated fort, which did not have a quarter of its proper complement of guns, and was defended by a battalion of half-starved men, who must have been longing for any excuse to get out of their unpleasant position in a colorably respectable way. On the other hand, or rather all round were the lapitorts and iron floating batteries of the Carolinians, served by a mediacy of regulars and volunteers, and directed by General Beauregard Major Anderson probably wanted to be off, General Beauregard certainly disured him to go So, alter a preparing for weeks, they got up a bombardment between them, the guns of Major Anderson making fair practice among the chimney pots, those of General Beauregard making a hole in the Major's wall, and blowing up here and there certain stray collections of gun powder, which seem to have been placed in the way on purpose to delight the ladies and gentlemen of Charleston, who were standing in crowds on the quay, looking on through their eye glasses, and much enjoying the sport. The capitulation came in due time and all was over; but — and this is the wondering part of the business--not one man was killed on either side. The whole affairs might have been got up in the same style at the Surrey Zoological Gardens. We seriously advise the caterers for popular amusement to take a lesson from Messrs. Anderson and Beauregard. Acrobats are sometimes killed at the Alhambra, a man was eaten by a lion at Cooke's circus, but nobody was killed at Charleston! We are surprised that the exhibition did not end with a grand discharge of rockets. Governor Pickens in person setting light to the train, or with the sudden appearance of an illuminated temple with the words ‘"Southern Confederation"’ blazoned on the pediment in colored lamps. If this capture of Fort Sumter is really to be styled fighting, then the Americans have added another to the many discoveries with which they have enlightened the world, in showing us how to fight without hurting anybody. Instead of congratulating the Emperor of the French, the members of the Peace Society should go in a body to General Beauregard at once.

One of the most extraordinary circumstances of the story is the inaction of the United States squadron, sent for the very purpose of assisting Anderson, which had plenty of opportunity to cross the bar and take part effectively in the struggle, if struggle it is to be called. Was it fear, or stupidity, or prudence that kept the commander back, to the great disgust of the Charlestons, who would have very much enjoyed seeing a few real ships sunk? Some allege that he had secret others not to fight, or even go so far as to say that the commencement of the war by the Carolina government and the loss of this fort was looked today the Administration at Washington as a good card, which would give them an advantage over the seceding party.

The South, it is said, has commenced the war. But it virtually did this long ago, when it violently seized the other Federal forts and arsenals in the seven States. The South to do it justice, has no scruples whatever in the matter, and already talks of marching an army through the State of Virginia to Washington. But the North is hampered on every side. Any attempt at invasion on its part would at once throw the seven border States into the arms of their brother slaveholders, and thus treble the population and force of the new Confederacy. The Democratic party, still strong in the North, is all for conciliation, and depreciates open war as a departure from the letter of the Constitution, which gives no power of coercion. The feeling in Virginians just now so strong that 20,000 volunteers from that State are reported as having joined the Southern army, and the desire for immediate secession appears to be carrying all before it in the Convention and elsewhere. Virginia will carry with her, it is said, the other neutral States--North Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas--Again, in the Far West, things are looking badly for the Government. The spirit of disaffection has crossed the Rocky Mountains and reached the Colorado river. The Territory of Arizona has resolved to join the South, and the ardent spirits of the North are cut off from all possibility of extension in the direction of Mexico. New Mexico, which is immediately to the north of Arizona, and in which the slavery party has made much progress, will probably also give in before long to the Government at Montgomery.

With this serious situation in view, what can be the meaning of President Lincoln calling out the militia? Seventy five thousand men are demanded, and he again announces his determination of is taking the Federal property in the seceded States. Now, this is either serious or not; either a declaration of war or not. If a declaration of war, we hold it to be unwise. In the first place, the bona fide commencement of hostilities would complete the disruption of the Union, and extend the new Confederacy to the river Ohio In the second place, the limitation which the President has imposed on himself is most unwise in a strategical point of view. A disciplined army marched into the South would produces more effect than hammering away at a few coast defences, for it is said that a commencement will be made with such. Further, 75,000 half trained men will never subdue the South, and the cost of equipping them will be more than the exchequer in bear. There was a time when bold and prompt measures might have saved the Union; we fear that time is past. It they put forth all their strength the North are probably strong enough to conquer the South; but it will take them long to do it, and they will never be able to retain a conquest so achieved. If, on the other hand, this calling out of the militia is intended as a demonstration, which is expected to overawe the South into accepting terms, then all we can say is, we hope it may succeed; we do not anticipate that it will. The people of the Southern States have gone too far, have shown so deep a feeling, and so much determination, that it is scarcely probable they will be cowed by any such penance as this.

Lord Wodehouse announced last night that the English Government had remained perfectly passive in the presence of the grave catastrophe which has come upon our kinsmen. Such a policy is more prudent than generous. If ever the offer our good offices was advisable, if ever we were justified in going beyond the limits of ordinary diplomatic etiquette, there is reason for the proffer of friendly services in the quarrel now threatening the United States with convulsion. Lord Malmesbury spoke the sentiments of the nation when he expressed his hope that Government had made some effort to avert the impending war. It is discreditable to an English Ministry that none has been made.

[from the London Herald]

"The opportunity presented for several months of giving to be understood what the course of England would be under certain circumstances, has not been improved, and the result is that at no time since the war of 1812 have the relations between this country and the United States been more critical than they are at present. Most people have been astonished at what is now taking place in the United States; but it is neither creditable nor as it should be that her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs should neglect his duty or be taken by surprise. President Buchanan claimed that there should be no more blockades, and Mr. Lincoln, from the White House at Washington, not only declares a blockade of the Southern seaboard, but one of the good old fashioned kind, which confiscates the enemy's goods wherever found and the ships that carry them. A hint a few weeks ago from the Foreign Office that this would not go down in England, and the ordering of the North American squadron to the Chesapeake, or the Gulf, would have prevented this; but Lord John Russell, as we have said already, has left British interests in the United States to mind themselves until the eleventh hour, and for so doing he and the Cabinet of which he is a member must be held accountable should war now unhappily and unexpectedly arise between our-selves and our own kinsmen.

"It is just possible, however, that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of blockade has the same double meaning as his other State papers; but it is not likely. That point we would fain believe has now been reached when nothing more is to be gained by ambiguous wording, and when the Federal Government may speak that language to other Government that he who runs may read. Skillful and successful good winking of Lord John Russell up to the present time may still suggest, however, one last American diplomatic stroke of double-dealing, that it may remain open to seize neutral vessels and their cargoes, or let them go if this should be apparent in the proclamation. it is to be hoped that neither merchants nor shipowners will place themselves in Mr. Lincoln's hands. Were the United States possessed of a navy like our own, the blockade of the Southern seaboard could be maintained easily by a sufficient force; but in the virtual absence of a fleet the blockade must be maintained by privateers, and be a paper one. All the public armed vessels at the service of the Federal Government will be required for convoys, for the bombardment of works held by the enemy, and for making demonstrations on the coast.

"And it is a safe assertion that as soon as the fighting has begun in earnest and the smart raking schooners and well appointed steamers hailing from the cotton ports begin their depredations on American trade, not on the Atlantic seaboard only, but in Europe, not a single American ship of war will be employed in mere blockade. That form of blockade resorted to by ourselves during the long war, and the right of which the United States have alone retained, is what circumstances in the end must require; and while under such a blockade the neutral flag covers nothing, neutral goods under an enemy's flag may be captured. In other words, under such a blockade as it is alone, the interest of Mr. Lincoln to establish, ships of neutral nations making for Southern ports or leaving Southern ports, or with the produce of Southern States upon their bottoms, may be overhauled and taken to a prize port and condemned by the private armed vessels upon which this duty must alone devoice. American privateers following the example of Britain ships of war in times gone by, will command the ocean and prevent a single bale of cotton from reaching England, unless British ships of war are employed to put them down.

"To put down Federal privateers would, we need scarcely any be an act of war against the Federal Government; but not to do so threatens an alternative still more disastrous than even such a war. This is the dilemma into which Lord John Russell's American policy has brought himself and the country. If cotton is not to be got by fair means, we must not scruple to use foul means, or the daily bread of four or five millions of the working population will be at once stopped. * * * * To blockade the cotton ports is to destroy the British cotton trade, to involve, not in remote, but in immediate destitution, several millions of the British people; and it would be a bitter reflection for the present generation, as well, perhaps, as to the one that follows it, that, to the short-sightedness of Lord John Russell and the present Government it was entirely owing. Had they done as mere common sense would have suggested, the present danger would not only have been averted, but cotton would have been supplied without let or hindrance, and we might have remained on good terms with both belligerents.

‘"Fortunately, it is not too late to put one question to the Government, and to take steps for the protection of whatever cotton may be at this moment in transitu by the Upper Mississippi and the lakes. There is reason to believe that hereafter American armed vessels on the Ohio river will intercept all further shipments by that route; but it is highly probable that large quantities of cotton have been accumulated in the southern district of Illinois, and are waiting the slow and irregular movements of the now crowded railways — Presuming that such cotton may reach Chicago, the question we desire to put is, whether any protection is to be afforded by armed British vessels to such cotton on the voyage down the Canadian likes to Montreal. Upon these lakes the Federal Government have efficient iron screw steamers, armed with large pivot guns, and under President Lincoln's proclamation such cotton, no doubt the property of British subjects, may be seized, and with it the Canadian vessels. It may not be too late to protect such property, nor too late to speak of our great national imperilled interests in a way which will lead the uplifted hands of kinsmen to drop down harmlessly. The influence of the mother country at such a moment as the present, used with firmness and yet with friendliness, might not only lead to a reconciliation between the Northern States and the South, but avert a war with ourselves, from which flesh and blood recoils and which, if entered on will taken lasting obloquy on those who have failed so signally in the discharge of a great public duty."’

Taking of Fort Sumter.

[From Punch.]

We have reason to believe that the following were the actual dispatches which passed between Gen. Beauregard, Major Anderson and L. P. Walker, the secessionist Secretary of War:

[No. 1]

To L. P. Walker,Secretary of War:--

An authorized messenger from President Lincoln his just informed Gen. Pickens and myself that several hampers of canvass back ducks, wild turkeys, corn cakes, and materials for brandy smashes and cocktails will be sent to Fort Sumter, peaceably or otherwise.

G. F. Beauregard.

Charleston, April 8.

[No. 2]

Gen. G. F.Beauregard, Charleston:

Stop 'em! Keep what you like, and send the rest me. Give Major Anderson notice to quit. It that won't do, put your man in possession.

L. P. Walker, Secretary of War.

Montgomery, April 10.

[No. 3]

L. P. Walker, Secretary of War:--

Luncheon is ordered at 12 o'clock.

G. F. Beauregard.

Charleston, April 10

[No. 4]

L. P.Walker, Secretary of War:--

Demand sent at twelve. Allowed till six o'clock for dinner. G. F. Beauregard

Charleston, April 11

[No. 5]

Gen Beauregard, Charleston:--

Telegraph what Major Anderson says to that. L. P.Walker, Secretary of War.

Montgomery, April 11.

[No. 6] L. P.Walker, Secretary of War:--

Major Anderson replies--‘"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding me to evacuate this fort, and to dine before six, without waiting to receive supplies. I regret that my obligations to my Government and my own digestive organs prevent my compliance "’ He adds, ‘"I will await the first shot, and then drink your good health in a brandy smash"’

G. F. Beauregard.

Charleston, April 11.

[No. 7]

General Beauregard, Charleston:--

Fire away (but don't hurt anybody,) unless Major Anderson will send you the latch key of the fort.

L. P. Walker, Secretary of War.

[No. 8]

L. P. Walker,Secretary of War:--

He won't consent. He's not such a fool as you think.G. F. Beauregard.

Charleston, April 11

The bombardment then commenced, and after forty hours gallant resistance. Major Anderson, having nothing but his umbrella left to cover him, hoisted a flag of truce.

[No. 9]

Major Anderson, Gingham Umbrella, Fort Sumter:--

I see your condition through my telescope. We have intercepted your supplies. Give in like a good fellow, and bring your garrison to dinner, and beds afterwards. Nobody injured, I hope? G. F. Beauregard.

[No. 10]

General Beauregard, Charleston:--

Major Anderson presents his compliments to General G. F. Beauregard, and has much pleasure in accepting his kind invitation to dinner and beds. As no one is hurt. Major Anderson fears he shall put General G. F. Beauregard to some inconvenience, the party being a large one. Anderson, Major

And so ended the first (and we trust the last) engagement of the American civil war.

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