[from the Charleston courier, of Friday.]
Throughout the city yesterday the greatest excitement prevailed in relation to the news from Forts Moultrie
As early as eight o'clock in the forenoon the rumors of the destruction of the former of these military posts, and the occupation of the latter by the forces of the United States
, were circulated.--It was at first currently reported and believed, that Fort Moultrie
had been laid in ruins; that the guns were spiked, and the carriages, &c, together with the barracks, burned, and that the post had been entirely abandoned.--The reports spread like wild fire, and soon gained currency in every part of the city.--Crowds of citizens anxiously inquired of each other the latest intelligence in retention to the affair, squads collected on every corner of the streets, and in front of the public resorts, to canvass the subject.
The newspaper offices were besieged, the hotel halls were thronged, and even the grave and serious gentlemen composing the State Convention shared in the general excitement.
On all hands anger and indignation was expressed at the supposed perfidious conduct of the Federal
authorities, at whose instance it was at first thought the movement was made.
The people were greatly incensed at the idea of a wilful breach of those assurances of non-action which had been volunteered by the Government
, and upon which so much reliance and confidence had been placed by the entire population that every impulse to take the necessary precautions for their own safety had been restrained.
Instinctively men flew to arms.
Orders were immediately issued to the following companies to hold themselves in readiness for service: Washington
Light Infantry, Capt. C. H. Simonton
; Carolina Light Infantry, Capt. B. G. Pinckney
; Meagher Guards, Capt. Ed. McCready, Jr.
; all together forming a portion of the Regiment of Rifles, commanded by Col.
, J. J. Pettigrew
and Maj. Ellison Capers
; also, to the Marion Artillery, Capt. J. G. Kleg
; Lafayette Artillery, Capt. J. J. Pope, Jr.
Washington Artillery, Capt. G. H. Walter
; German Artillery, Capt. C. Nohrden
; all under command of Lieut. Col. W. G. DeSaussure
All the military forces thus ordered out promptly obeyed the summons, and the streets were soon enlivened by the appearance of individual members of the different organizations in their uniforms.
About noon the excitement in the streets had attained the highest pitch.
The Convention was known to be in secret conclave, and it was believed that this was the subject matter of their deliberations.
The streets swarmed with people.
Additional flags were displayed from the stores and houses on the principal streets.
, and other buildings formerly in the possession of the United States Government, displayed the bunting of the infant Republic of South Carolina
Every one looked upon the "war as actually begun," and all seemed to feel that their brethren were in the field, and themselves began to grow restless at the prospect of inactivity and suspense.
Later in the day, however, the excitement was somewhat abated, when it became known that the movement on the part of the forces of the United States
at Fort Moultrie
was not at the instance of the Administration at Washington
, but was merely a precautionary measure taken by Commander Anderson
, under conviction that his position within the fortress on Sullivanis Island would not be tenable, if attacked in it by well organized and disciplined troops.
The contradiction of the first reports in relation to the damage done the fort by the troops that had evacuated it, also had a tendency to allay the excitement of the occasion.
In order to ascertain truthful statements of the actual damage done to the Forts
, of the causes of the movement, and of the state of affairs generally, reporters were dispatched to the scene during the forenoon.
On the way across the harbor, the hoisting of an American flag from the staff of Fort Sumpter
, at precisely 12 o'clock, gave certain indication that the stronghold was occupied by the troops of the United States
On a nearer approach the fortress was discovered to be occupied, the guns appeared to be mounted, and sentinels were discovered on duty, and the place to give every sign of occupancy and military discipline.
The grim fortress frowned defiance on every side — the busy notes of preparation resounded through its unforbidden recesses, and everything seemed to indicate the utmost alacrity in the work on hand.
Turning towards Fort Moultrie
, a dense cloud of smoke was seen to pour from the end facing the sea. The flagstaff was down, and the whole place had an air of desolation and abandonment quite the reverse of its busy look one week ago, when scores of laborers were engaged in adding to its strength all that work, skill and experience could suggest.
In the immediate vicinity of the rear or land side entrance, however, greater activity was noticeable.
At the time of our visit, a large force of hands had been summoned to deliver up their implements for transportation to Fort Sumter
Around on every side were the evidences of labor in the fortification of the work.
In many places, a portion of the defences were strengthened by every appliance that art could suggest or ingenuity devise; while, in others, the uncompleted works gave evidences of the utmost confusion.
On all hands the process of removing goods, furniture and munitions, was yet going on. The heavy guns upon the ramparts of the Fort
were thrown down from their carriages and spiked.
Every ounce of powder, and every cartridge had been removed from the magazines; and, in fact, everything like small arms, clothing, provisions, accoutrements, and other munitions of war, had been removed off and deposited — nothing but heavy balls and useless cannon remained.
The entire place was, to all appearances, littered up with the odd ends and fragments of war's desolation.
Confusion could not have been more complete had the late occupants retired in the face of a besieging foe. Fragments of gun carriages, &c., broken to pieces, bestrewed the ramparts.
Sand bags, and barrels filled with earth, crowned the walls and were firmly imbedded in their bomb-proof surface, as an additional safeguard — and notwithstanding the heterogeneous scattering of materials and implements, the walls of the fort evinced a vague degree of energy in preparing for an attack.
A ditch some fifteen feet wide and about the same in depth surrounds the entire wall on three sides.
On the south side or front, a glacis has been commenced and prosecuted nearly to completion, with a rampart of sand bags; barrels &c.
On one side of the fort a palisade of Palmetto
logs is extended around the ramparts as a complete defence against an escalading party.
New embrasures have been cut in the walls, so as to command the faces of the bastions and ditch.
These new defences are all incomplete, and are evidence of the haste with which they were erected.
Considering the inferior force, in point of numbers, under his command.
had paid particular attention to strengthening only a small part of the fort.
A greater portion of the labor expended was spent upon the citadel or centre of the west point of the position.
This he had caused to be strengthened in every way — loop-holes were cut and everything was so arranged, that in case a well-concerted attack was made, he would have retired from the outer bastions to the citadel, and afterwards blown up the other portions of the fort.
For this purpose, mines had already been sprung, and trains had been laid ready for the application of the match.
The barrack rooms and every other part of the fort that was indefensible, would have gone at a touch.
On the ramparts of the fort fronting Fort Sumter
, were nine eight-inch Columbiads, mounted on wooden carriages.
As soon as the evacuation of the fort was complete, the carriages of these guns were fired, and at the time of visiting the fort yesterday, were nearly consumed, and the guns thereby dismounted.--These guns, as well as those constituting the entire armament of the fortress, were spiked before it was abandoned.
This is the only damage done the fortification, further than cutting down the flag staff, and the breaking up of ammunition wagons to form ramparts on the walls of the fort.
The fort was found to be in charge of two officers and four men, who had been left behind merely to act as a watch.
The place was sealed to all but the watch, and none but these were allowed to enter.
From the officers in charge it was learned that the evacuation of the fort commenced a little after sundown on Wednesday evening. The men were ordered to hold themselves in readiness, with knapsacks packed, at a moment's notice, but up to the moment of their leaving had no idea of abandoning the post.--They were reviewed on parade, and were then ordered to two schooners, lying in the vicinity, where they embarked, taking with them all the necessaries, stores, &c., requisite in their evacuation.
Several trips were made during the night, and a great part of the provisions and camp furniture were transported under cover of night.
The brightness of the moon, however, afforded but slight concealment to their movements, and in one of the trips, Lieut. Davis
in command, a schooner full of soldiers and baggage passed directly under the bow of the guard-boat Nina
The officer who made the statement expressed himself to be ignorant whether the watch on board the Nina
discovered the movement or not — at all events, he said they did not signify any cognizance of the fact.
Reasons for evacuation.
From conversations held with the gentlemen in possession of the fort yesterday, it was ascertained that the first impetus given to the work of strengthening the fort, was after the speeches of Messrs. Magrath
and others, when fears were aroused that the time would shortly come, which would call into exercise the use of force in protecting the public property.
Upon this, all the energies of the officers and men were called forth to render the position as strong as possible.
Attacks were expected only from the land side, and to the strengthening of these points all the available force was put. The officers expressed themselves to be able, after preparation, &c., to make a successful resistance against any mob or undisciplined force, but against organized troops the small garrison could make no stand.
had been ordered to hold the fort, to protect the work, and he intended to do it at every hazard.
He denied that either the President
or Secretary of War
had given any orders for the evacuation of the post.--Major Anderson
had done this on his own responsibility, thinking that by such a step he would make himself secure against attack, protect the lives of his soldiers, and could better guard the public property, for in his position at Fort Sumter
he could easily command, and, if necessary, silence the batteries of Fort Moultrie
At twenty minutes to eight o'clock the troops on board the Nina
and Gen. Clinch
landed on the wharf of Sullivan's Island
Rapidly forming, they proceeded under the command of Col. DeSaussure
towards the walls of Fort Moultrie
A sergeant and ten men held post session of the place.
On the approach of Col. DeSaussure
's command, the detachment of United States troops retired without offering any resistance.
The gates were not closed, even, and forty minutes after the steamer touched the wharf the Palmetto Flag
, mounted on a hastily prepared staff, (as the original one had been cut away,) was flung to the breeze amid the huzzas of the occupants.
Active preparations were immediately commenced to render the place defensible.
The spiked guns, and those dismantled by the burning of the carriages, will soon be in a position to respond to any hostile demonstration made against the place.
At 12 o'clock last night, when our reporter left the Island
, all was quiet and orderly.--Sentries were pacing the ramparts, and the nail of "All well" resounded at regular intervals from the several posts.
At Castle Pinckney the same quiet prevailed up to the hour of going to press.
The spirited commands in possession are active in their vigilance, and perfectly competent to take care of themselves.
How it was managed.
We hear that on Christmas day Major Anderson
dined formally with the secession authorities — chiefs — in Charleston
, and was duly carried back to Fort Moultrie
by early moonlight, apparently very much overcome by the good things drinkable set before him. Those in charge of the steamer posted in the channel to watch his movements in the fort, therefore thought it would be safe for them to relax their vigilance and themselves take a Christmas night frolic, and in the midst of which Anderson
and his force spiked Moultrie
's guns and landed safely in Fort Sumter
The apparent intoxication of Anderson
was but a feint to have the very effect it did have.--Wash. Star.
The Committee of Thirteen.
We learn from the best authority that the chairman of the Senate Committee of Thirteen has been instructed to report on Monday that they are unable to agree on any one of the propositions submitted to them.
We also learn that Mr. Seward
, who was absent in New York during the early sessions of the Committee
, has answered the expectations of his conservative friends, by requesting his vote to be recorded against every one of Senator Crittenden
's propositions, and also against that of Senator Davis
recognizing property in slaves.
On a motion to adjourn the Committee Sine die,
which was made last Monday, Mr. Seward
requested that they would not adjourn, stating that he desired to consult his friends, and intimated that he might have a proposition to make.
On Wednesday he announced that he and his friends had nothing to propose.--Washington Constitution.
Action of the Southern States.
The following is a calendar of the movements of Southern States during the month of January. Maryland
is the only one not acting: January 1, Missouri Legislature meets; January 2, Georgia
election for Convention; January 3, Florida Convention; January 7, Virginia Legislature meets; January 7, Alabama Convention; January 7,Alabama Convention; January 7, Louisiana
for Convention; January 7, Tennessee Legislature meets; January 8, Texas
election for Convention; January 16, Georgia Convention; January 17, Kentucky
Legislature meets; January 23, Louisiana Convention; January 28, Texas
Arms for the South.
The New York Commercial, of Friday, a paper very generally careful in its statements, says:
The leading dealers in firearms and munitions of war in this city are said to be still quite busy filling orders for the South
The demand for small arms has ceased, and muskets, rifles and ordnance are now most in request.
One house in Broadway
is engaged in filling heavy orders from State authorities, "with immediate dispatch." One of these orders is for 500,000 ball cartridges for muskets, and 100,000 artillery cartridges.
One hundred gun- carriages will be shipped by the same firm next week.
Another well-known house received an order to-day from the Governor
of one of the Southern States
for one hundred and eighty Minnie rifles, while another sends on for a much larger supply of Enfield rifles.
Navy revolvers are also in demand.
The editor adds, that within the past two weeks there have been shipped from that port over twenty thousand stand of arms for South Carolina
, and that, by a certain vessel, to leave on Saturday, another large supply will be sent to Savannah
Attack on a Missouri Railroad.
The St. Louis Bulletin
of the 22d has information that "the people on the line of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad had made an attack upon the road, and were tearing up the rails on the track, and that apprehensions of serious difficulties were entertained lest the feeling against a company which is alleged to be under the control of Boston
men, should lead to the destruction of life and property.--An attack was also made upon the Palmyra and Quincy Railroad, which is said to be in collusion with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad.
The riot, it is said, was commenced by the citizens of Chillicothe
, who, believing that the road was an Abolition concern, and used for the purpose of advancing Boston
interests, organized, and determined that they would not tolerate in their midst those who were bent on warring on their State institutions.
Over eight hundred men, organized and disciplined, instructed and notified the Superintendent
to leave the State
within a certain number of hours.
The most intense excitement exists along the road."
Meeting in Pittsburg relative to the removal of ordnance.
Pittsburg, Pa.,Dec. 27.
--An immense meeting was held to-day in the street, opposite the Court-House
, relative to the removal of ordnance South.
Gen. William Robinson
presided. Several speeches were delivered; among others, Gen. J. K. Moorhead
, member of Congress from this district.
Several resolutions were adopted, almost unanimously, declaring loyalty to the Union
, and ability to defend ourselves against all enemies of the Union
, deprecating any interference with the shipment of arms under government orders, however inopportune or impolitic the order might appear; deploring the existing state of things in connection with the administration of important departments of the public service so as to have shaken confidence in the people of the free States; that while Pennsylvania
is on guard at the Federal
capital it is her special duty to look to the fidelity of her sons, and in that view call on the President
, as a citizen of this Commonwealth, to see that the public receive no detriment at his hands; it behooves the President
to purge his Cabinet
of every man known to give aid and comfort to, or in any way countenancing the revolt of any State against the authority of the Constitution
and the laws of the Union
A dispatch from the Hon. Robert McKnight
asking the people to make no further resistance, but ask for a suspension of the shipment of the guns until further advices were received from the War Office, was read and approved.