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m the effect of hot shot, and could not be extinguished, and soon the entire barracks were in a blaze. The barrels containing powder were thrown into the sea. At 1.20 on the 13th, the flagstaff, having been struck four times, was shot away, and the flag replaced upon the parapet. The firing upon the work was severe and continued; the return from the fort slow and feeble, sounding like signals of distress to the nation, and, finally, ceased altogether. Seeing the condition of things, a Colonel Wigfall pushed out in an open boat from Cumming's Point-unauthorized it is true-and, learning from Major Anderson that he would evacuate the fort upon the terms originally proposed to him, returned and communicated with General Beauregard, who immediately sent a commission authorized to arrange terms for the evacuation, which were soon agreed upon. The garrison was transferred to the large transport lying off the bar, and was soon on its way to the North. Many an eye turned toward the disapp
of every member of the Cabinet, except the Postmaster General, Mr. Montgomery Blair, was in favor of the withdrawal of the garrison from the harbor of Charleston, when, suddenly, the whole purpose was changed, and an expedition to reinforce the fort was ordered. A dispatch of the following purport was forwarded to Major Anderson: he was told that his report had caused great anxiety to the President. It was hoped from his previous communication, and the report of the special messenger, Captain Fox, that he could hold out until the 15th of April, when an expedition was to have gone to his relief. He was directed, if possible, to hold out until the 12th of April, when the expedition would go forward, and, finding his flag still flying, an effort would be made to provision him, and to reinforce him if resisted. As soon as this dispatch was sent to Major Anderson, it was followed by a messenger, Mr. Chew, the chief clerk of the State Department, to the authorities of South Carolina,
eply in writing: Fort Sumter, S. C., April 12, 1861-3.20 A. M. Sir: By authority of Brigadier General Beauregard, commanding the Provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries upon Fort Sumter in one hour from this time. We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servants, James Chesnut, Jr., Aide-de-camp. Stephen D. Lee, Captain C. S. and A. D. C. To Major Robert Anderson, U. S. A., commanding Fort Sumter. Positive instructions from the Confederate Government had been sent to their agent in Charleston harbor that if this last proposition to Major Anderson was refused by him, he should reduce the fort as his judgment decided to be most practicable. But little conversation followed the delivery, to the aides, of the reply of Major Anderson. An inquiry as to the exact time in the morning was made, which was found to be 3.30 A. M. The Confederate officers left the fort without a
Montgomery Blair (search for this): chapter 24
munication of the 1st of April, that action upon their part was imperative. He reported that his provisions were nearly exhausted, that his command would be without food in a few days, and that his condition was such that some measures for his relief must be taken. His communication engaged the immediate attention of the President and his Cabinet. Yielding to the argument of a military necessity, the written opinions of every member of the Cabinet, except the Postmaster General, Mr. Montgomery Blair, was in favor of the withdrawal of the garrison from the harbor of Charleston, when, suddenly, the whole purpose was changed, and an expedition to reinforce the fort was ordered. A dispatch of the following purport was forwarded to Major Anderson: he was told that his report had caused great anxiety to the President. It was hoped from his previous communication, and the report of the special messenger, Captain Fox, that he could hold out until the 15th of April, when an expedition
firmly declined, and the matter referred to Washington. Long and elaborate discussions between the Secretary of War, Mr. Holt, and the envoy of the Governor, Colonel Hayne, followed. Lieutenant Hall, on behalf of Major Anderson, represented him as secure in his position. The envoy bore a demand for the surrender of the fort. Before this could be presented, nine of the Senators from the cotton States induced Colonel Hayne to postpone the delivery of the communication until they could ascertain whether the President would refrain from reinforcing the fort, provided the Governor of South Carolina would also refrain from an attack upon it; but upon this be state that Major Anderson had made no request for reinforcements, but should his safety require them, every effort would be made to supply them. On the 30th, Colonel Hayne presented his demand; but, as in the case of the commissioners originally sent by the State, the negotiations were not satisfactory, and an able and conclusive
S. Wylie Crawford (search for this): chapter 24
The First shot against the flag. Major General S. Wylie Crawford. The passage of the Ordinance of Secession of the State of South Carolina found the General Government in possession of certain pieces of property ceded to the United States, in accordance with law, and mainly used for military purposes. An arsenal had been built within the corporate limits of the city of Charleston; it was a depot of supplies, and contained valuable stores. Within the same city were the custom-house and post-office. Of the three forts in the harbor, Fort Moultrie alone was garrisoned, and this by two companies of artillery, numbering about eighty men. Castle Pinckney, an old and crumbling work, close to the city, was the station of an ordnance sergeant only, whose principal duty consisted in the care of an harbor light that shone nightly from its parapet. Four miles down the bay, and commanding the channel entrance, stood Fort Sumter, in process of construction, and wholly defenseless. A larg
Thomas W. Hall (search for this): chapter 24
etary of State and the Secretary of War of South Carolina, with a message from the Governor containing a demand for the immediate delivery of the work to the authorities of the State. The interview was characterized by every courtesy, and the demand sustained by earnest verbal representations. It was as firmly declined, and the matter referred to Washington. Long and elaborate discussions between the Secretary of War, Mr. Holt, and the envoy of the Governor, Colonel Hayne, followed. Lieutenant Hall, on behalf of Major Anderson, represented him as secure in his position. The envoy bore a demand for the surrender of the fort. Before this could be presented, nine of the Senators from the cotton States induced Colonel Hayne to postpone the delivery of the communication until they could ascertain whether the President would refrain from reinforcing the fort, provided the Governor of South Carolina would also refrain from an attack upon it; but upon this being transmitted to the Pres
hoped from his previous communication, and the report of the special messenger, Captain Fox, that he could hold out until the 15th of April, when an expedition was to have gone to his relief. He was directed, if possible, to hold out until the 12th of April, when the expedition would go forward, and, finding his flag still flying, an effort would be made to provision him, and to reinforce him if resisted. As soon as this dispatch was sent to Major Anderson, it was followed by a messenger, Mr. Chew, the chief clerk of the State Department, to the authorities of South Carolina, informing them that an attempt to provision and relieve the fort would now be made. The messenger accomplished his mission, and barely escaped from the city of Charleston without molestation. Upon receipt of the message from the State Department, not a moment was lost by the officer in command of the Confederate forces in the harbor of Charleston. A telegram was at once sent to the Confederate Government, at
January 20th (search for this): chapter 24
t, and from the State, were sent to Washington to represent to the government the exact condition of things, and to ask its interference. Increased activity was immediately visible in the harbor of Charleston; skilful engineers selected the most eligible points for batteries, and field-works were rapidly erected. Emboldened by the result of the firing on the Star of the West, a formal demand for the immediate surrender of Fort Sumter was made by the Governor of South Carolina. On the 20th of January, a boat, bearing a white flag — the only means of communication between the fort and the State-appeared off Sumter. She brought two officials, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War of South Carolina, with a message from the Governor containing a demand for the immediate delivery of the work to the authorities of the State. The interview was characterized by every courtesy, and the demand sustained by earnest verbal representations. It was as firmly declined, and the matter
April 15th (search for this): chapter 24
tmaster General, Mr. Montgomery Blair, was in favor of the withdrawal of the garrison from the harbor of Charleston, when, suddenly, the whole purpose was changed, and an expedition to reinforce the fort was ordered. A dispatch of the following purport was forwarded to Major Anderson: he was told that his report had caused great anxiety to the President. It was hoped from his previous communication, and the report of the special messenger, Captain Fox, that he could hold out until the 15th of April, when an expedition was to have gone to his relief. He was directed, if possible, to hold out until the 12th of April, when the expedition would go forward, and, finding his flag still flying, an effort would be made to provision him, and to reinforce him if resisted. As soon as this dispatch was sent to Major Anderson, it was followed by a messenger, Mr. Chew, the chief clerk of the State Department, to the authorities of South Carolina, informing them that an attempt to provision and
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