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The evacuation of Fort Moultrie.The papers of the North, so far as the mails have brought them to us, since the announcement of Col. Anderson's coup de main, are generally commenting on that act, even on the part of conservative journals, in terms of approval. We make some extracts from these expressions of public opinion. The Philadelphia Ledger, a national and conservative journal, says: ‘ In anticipation of the hostile assumptions by the State Convention, the United States officer in command of the fortresses in the harbor has placed himself in the best possible position to perform his duty to the General Government. He has removed his command from Fort Moultrie, where it was subject to attack, to Fort Sumpter, which commands the harbor, and is a work of great strength, and possibly able to resist any attempt to take it on the part of the misguided Secessionists, who are rapidly rushing on their fate. We infer from this movement that the Executive is determined to act according to the principles of action he laid down in his recent message; not to recognize any act of secession, and to defend the property of the General Government from attack and its laws from violation.--This is his duty, and this much the people of the country have a right to demand of him. ’ We hear persons deprecate this movement in Charleston harbor as a menace to South Carolina, and an act likely to lead to bloodshed. The responsibility of such a collision will not then rest with the Federal Government. South Carolina has been menacing the Government for some time. Its act of secession was a menace, for it openly repudiated the authority of the Government, and resolved to maintain its independence by force of arms if necessary. Every act since has been in the same direction, leading nearer to open hostility. This is lawless menace, which the Government has forborne to treat as rebellion till it comes to open resistance to the operation of the laws. The Philadelphia Inquirer, also conservative, says: ‘ There is so much wisdom, energy, and military forecast in this movement as to create the belief that it was mainly the work of the brave old Commander-in-Chief of our armies, General Scott. It would have been worse than folly to attempt to hold Fort Moultrie, weak and defenceless as it was, while Fort Sumter, the key to all the military works in the harbor of Charleston, was at the mercy of any mob that could charter a vessel and effect a landing on its wharf. As it is now, Major Anderson, with his little force, is "master of the position." This measure, though tardy, is in the right direction. A more thorough one might, and should have been, adopted by the Administration months ago, by placing full garrisons in all the forts, with arms, provisions and military stores equal to any probable exigency. This was General Jackson's policy in 1832, when its wisdom was fully vindicated. It placed a struggle for the possession of the forts out of the question, and, in consequence, was the most thorough preventive of collision and bloodshed that could have been adopted. We trust this present movement will have the same salutary result, and sincerely hope that now, when the Government has at last been aroused to its unmistakable duty in this matter, it will reinforce the garrisons at Charleston with every necessary adjunct in the shape of ships, men, arms and stores. "Better late than never." ’ The New York Journal of Commerce, Democratic, says: ‘ The news of this event created quite a sensation here yesterday, and at first people did not know what to make of it. But in the course of the day the fact came to be generally understood that said fort could not be held against a strong artillery force on shore; and also the fact that the evacuating garrison had gone to Fort Sumter--a very strong position, more to the seaward, and which commands Fort Moultrie, and withal is so far from the shore that it cannot be successfully assailed from that quarter, except by a powerful force of heavy artillery. If assailed from Fort Moultrie, the latter could soon be silenced. ’ All things considered, the sober, second thought was that the evacuation of Fort Moultrie diminished the danger of collision, and so was a ground of encouragement rather than discouragement to the friends of peace.--Such, decidedly, was the view taken of the matter by men best acquainted with Charleston harbor and its defences. The World thus speaks of the effect of the news in New York: ‘ From the expressions of feeling in different parts of the city, as gathered by our reporters yesterday, it is evident that the course of the President is heartily condemned by all classes, irrespective of party differences. In times of public excitement and peril, nothing so disgusts the populace as timidity and timeserving. Promptness and courage then become the chiefest of public virtues, and the display of it in officials gives them consideration and applause. As it was supposed, and, as the event proves, truly, that Major Anderson abandoned Fort Moultrie of his own accord, his praises were upon every tongue. ’ On 'Change, in the street, in stores, offices and hotels, wherever knots of men congregate, this one subject proved the theme of conversation, and the decided conduct of the gallant Major was the occasion of many a warm eulogy. It was universally conceded that if it proved true that he acted entirely on his own responsibility he would be to-day one of the most popular men in the country, and if Mr. Buchanan disapproved of the act it would be to his own great discredit. It is manifest, from the temper displayed by our citizens with regard to this proceeding, that whatever diversity of views may be expressed as to the causes of our present troubles, there is a growing indignation against those who are passively or actively aiding disunion. Every one realizes that a disruption of this Government involves so many and such serious evils that popular indignation is rapidly rising against all who are parties to it. It is noticeable that the conduct of the extreme South is more bitterly denounced in Democratic circles than in Republican. The next news from Charleston will be eagerly looked for. The New York Times, Republican, says: ‘ The general opinion seems to be that Major Anderson has taken this step on his own responsibility, and without orders of any kind from Washington. If this should prove to be the case, he will have already established for himself a hold on the admiration and affection of the country, which will not easily be weakened or impaired. His movement awakens the courage and the hope of the people, and relieves a very painful feeling of anxiety as to the possible fate of his command, and of the American flag, in the position they held before. We presume that it was prompted by intelligence of an intention on the part of the Disunionists to occupy Fort Sumter the moment they should hear of the failure of their Commission to Washington. ’ It is barely possible that Major Anderson may have acted under the orders of the President; but we do not believe it. The course which Mr. Buchanan has hither to pursued affords no warrant for such a presumption — while the entire action of the War Department has been in the other direction. Gen. Scott may have directed it, as it is known to be in conformity with his opinions. If he has done it without the assent or knowledge of the President, he will have a fresh claim on the admiration and gratitude of the people. The country would rejoice, if such a thing were possible, as his constitutional usurpation of power in the present exigency of public affairs.
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