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York, under direction of Captain Fox, was now ready to sail, and might reasonably be expected to be at Charleston almost immediately after the notification was delivered to Governor Pickens, and before preparation could be made to receive it. Owing to cross-purposes or misunderstandings in the Washington cabinet, however, and then to the delay caused by a severe storm at sea, this expectation was disappointed, and the Confederate commander at Charleston had opportunity to communicate with Montgomery and receive instructions for his guidance before the arrival of the fleet, which had been intended to be a surprise. In publications made since the war by members of Lincoln's cabinet, it has been represented that during the period of the disgraceful transactions above detailed, there were dissensions and divisions in the cabinet—certain members of it urging measures of prompt and decided coercion; the Secretary of State favoring a pacific or at least a dilatory policy; the President va
(the 8th) the following official notification (without date or signature) was read to Governor Pickens of South Carolina, and General Beauregard, in Charleston, by Chew, an official of the State Department (Seward's) in Washington, who said—as did a Captain or Lieutenant Talbot, who accompanied him —that it was from the President of the United States, and delivered by him to Chew on the 6th—the day before Mr. Seward's assurance of faith fully kept. I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only; and that, if such an attempt be not resisted, no effort to throave no faith in them. The war policy prevails in the Cabinet at this time. M. J. Crawford. On the same day the announcement made to Governor Pickens through Chew was made known. The commissioners immediately applied for a definitive answer to their note of March 12th, which had been permitted to remain in abeyance. The pa<
February 27th (search for this): chapter 3.35
ickens developments of secret history systematic and complicated perfidy exposed. The appointment of commissioners to proceed to Washington, for the purpose of establishing friendly relations with the United States and effecting an equitable settlement of all questions relating to the common property of the states and the public debt, has already been mentioned. No time was lost in carrying this purpose into execution. Crawford—first of the commissioners—left Montgomery on or about February 27, and arrived in Washington two or three days before the expiration of Buchanan's term of office as President of the United States. Besides his official credentials, he bore the following letter to the President, of a personal or semiofficial character, intended to facilitate, if possible, the speedy accomplishment of the objects of his mission: To the President of the United States. sir: Being animated by an earnest desire to unite and bind together our respective countries b
ails in the Cabinet at this time. M. J. Crawford. On the same day the announcement made to Governor Pickens through Chew was made known. The commissioners immediately applied for a definitive answer to their note of March 12th, which had been permitted to remain in abeyance. The paper of the Secretary of State, dated March 15th, was thereupon delivered to them. This paper, with the final rejoinder of the commissioners and Judge Campbell's letters to the Secretary of April 13th and April 20th, respectively, will be found in the Appendix. Negotiation was now at an end, and the commissioners withdrew from Washington and returned to their homes. Their last dispatch, before leaving, shows that they were still dependent upon public rumor and the newspapers for information as to the real purposes and preparations of the Federal administration. It was in these words: Washington, April 10, 1861. General G. T. Beauregard: The Tribune of to-day declares the main object of
ake Pickens; and the Administration would not be justified if it listened to his advice and evacuated either. Very soon thereafter, I think at the next Cabinet meeting, the President announced his decision that supplies should be sent to Sumter, and issued confidential orders to that effect. All were gratified with this decision, except Mr. Seward, who still remonstrated, but preparations were immediately commenced to fit out an expedition to forward supplies. Lincoln and Seward, New York, 1874, pp. 57, 58. The italics are not in the original. This account is confirmed by a letter of Montgomery Blair. Ibid., pp. 64-69. The date of the announcement of the President's final purpose is fixed by Welles, in the next paragraph to that above quoted, as March 28. This was four days before Seward's assurance given Judge Campbell—after conference with the President—that there would be no departure from the pledges previously given (which were that the fort would be evacuated), and ten d
November, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 3.35
ould take place, this emissary was on his way to Charleston to obtain information and devise measures by means of which this promise might be broken. On his arrival in Charleston, Fox tells us that he sought an interview with Captain Hartstein of the Confederate Navy, and through this officer obtained from Governor Pickens permission to visit Fort Sumter. He fails, in his narrative, to state what we learn from Governor Pickens himself, Message to the legislature of South Carolina, November, 1861. that this permission was obtained expressly upon the pledge of pacific purposes. Notwithstanding this pledge, he employed the opportunity afforded by his visit to mature the details of his plan for furnishing supplies and reenforcements to the garrison. He did not, he says, communicate his plan or purposes to Major Anderson, the commanding officer of the garrison, having discernment enough, perhaps, to divine that the instincts of that brave and honest soldier would have revolted at
d the newspapers for information as to the real purposes and preparations of the Federal administration. It was in these words: Washington, April 10, 1861. General G. T. Beauregard: The Tribune of to-day declares the main object of the expedition to be the relief of Sumter, and that a force will be landed which will overcome all opposition. Roman, Crawford, and Forsyth. The annexed extracts from my message to the Confederate Congress at the opening of its special session on April 29, will serve as a recapitulation of the events above narrated, with all of comment that it was then, or is now, considered necessary to add: extracts from President's message to the Confederate Congress, of April 29, 1861. . . . Scarce had you assembled in February last, when, prior even to the inauguration of the Chief Magistrate you had elected, you expressed your desire for the appointment of Commissioners, and for the settlement of all questions of disagreement between the two
rday) a telegram from Governor Pickens was received by the commissioners in Washington, making inquiry with regard to Colonel Lamon, and the meaning of the protracted delay to fulfill the promise of evacuation. This was fifteen days after the original assurance of Seward that the garrison would be withdrawn immediately, and ten days after his explanation that the delay was accidental. The dispatch of Governor Pickens was taken by Judge Campbell to Seward, who appointed the ensuing Monday (April 1) for an interview and answer. At that interview Seward informed Judge Campbell that the President was concerned about the contents of the telegram—there was a point of honor involved; that Lamon had no agency from him, nor title to speak. Letter to Colonel Munford, above cited. This late suggestion of the point of honor would seem, under the circumstances, to have been made in a spirit of sarcastic pleasantry, like Sir John Falstaff's celebrated discourse on the same subject. The only
o give notice of its purpose to use force, if opposed in its intention of supplying Fort Sumter. No more striking proof of the absence of good faith in the conduct of the Government of the United States toward the Confederacy can be required, than is contained in the circumstances which accompanied this notice. According to the usual course of navigation, the vessels composing the expedition, and designed for the relief of Fort Sumter, might be looked for in Charleston Harbor on the 9th of April. Yet our Commissioners in Washington were detained under assurances that notice should be given of any military movement. The notice was not addressed to them, but a messenger was sent to Charleston to give notice to the Governor of South Carolina, and the notice was so given at a late hour on the 8th of April, the eve of the very day on which the fleet might be expected to arrive. That this manoeuvre failed in its purpose was not the fault of those who controlled it. A heavy tempest
ct by Judge Campbell, in behalf of the commissioners, again asking whether the assurances so often given were well or ill founded. To this the Secreetary returned answer in writing: Faith as to Sumter fully kept. Wait and see. This was on April 7. Judge Campbell, in his letter to Seward of April 13, 1861 (see Appendix L), written a few days after the transaction, gives this date. In his letter to Colonel Munford, written more than twelve years afterward, he says Sunday, April 8th. Thrk and other Northern ports, for an extensive military and naval expedition. These preparations were commenced in secrecy for an expedition whose destination was concealed, and only became known when nearly completed; and on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of April, transports and vessels of war, with troops, munitions, and military supplies, sailed from Northern ports, bound southward. Alarmed by so extraordinary a demonstration, the Commissioners requested the delivery of an answer to their official
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