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The Revolution at the South.
Charleston before the

From the Charleston Courier of Friday, printed a few hours previous to the cannonading, we copy the following:

Thursday is among the days that will never be wiped out of the memory of the inhabitants of Charleston. Since the glorious struggle in which we are engaged was begun, our community has been often wrought upon by a high degree of excitement. But never has the tide risen to so high a point as it reached Thursday. The feeling was fed by the dispatches, by numerous items of news mentioned in subdued terms, and by countless reports which were without foundation. Rumor had free access to every ear. Business was suspended, and had it not been that anxiety darkened every face, one ignorant of the course of events would have supposed that we were keeping a holiday.

The bulletin boards were surrounded by groups-till the stars came out, and then the offices were filled with eager readers. The hour of noon found knots of ladies and gentlemen on the battery, and before sundown that beautiful promenade was covered with anxious spectators. It having been bruited that at the ringing of the first bell, the batteries would be opened upon the defiant fortification, hundreds of eyes were looking out upon the ruffled bay, and there the impatient and anxious stood despite the raw East wind, their number increasing every moment till patience and strength were exhausted, and they retraced their weary way home ward.

The preparations for defence, under the eye of this anxious multitude, added not a little to the feeling under which they had left their homes. There, on the green grass of White Point Garden, stood the white tents of the Citadel Cadets, gleaming in the mellow light of the stars. And the manful forms of the brave young soldiers were seen about the cannon, which, had they been called to shot and sight, would have reduced the number of South Carolina's foes.

A report from the sea intensified the universal excitement. Late in the afternoon one of our pilots reached the city and stated that he had seen a steamer off the bar, which he was confident was the Harriet Lane. The vessel stood towards him, but as he did not desire to give any information he kept on his course.

It was confidently believed that before the day was passed, the booming of cannon would be heard, when another fact was communicated from mouth to mouth. At about 2 o'clock P. M., Col. James Chesnut, Jr., of Gen. Beauregard's staff, accompanied by Cols. Chisholm and Lee, left the city for Fort Sumter, bearing the summons to Major Anderson for the surrender of that fortification. They returned between five and six o'clock with the reply. As the precise nature of his answer has not yet transpired, we pass it over in silence.

We might indulge in plausible predictions and conjectures concerning this important mission and the events of the day, but we forbear.

At about 10 o'clock the Commanding General again communicated with Maj. Anderson, and he was given until 1 o'clock to return an answer.

The city is quiet. Were it not for the uniforms in the streets we would not suppose we were on the eve of a battle. We will not penetrate this placid exterior. The nature of the crisis can be perceived in our homes. Many a woman's heart is throbbing wildly, and the couch of hundreds of mothers, sisters and wives will be watered with tears. But though there may be weeping and anguish, no knees are trembling and no facts are blanched with fear.

Honor is dearer than life to South Carolinian. It is better to die freemen than to live slaves. We are tranquil under the shadow of the gathering cloud. We repose implicit confidence in the brave hearts and strong arms of the noble army that has gone forth to beat back the base invaders of our sacred soil.--The God of Battles is with our host, and we are certain of victory.

The Charleston Mercury, of the same date, says:

‘ The reliable events of the day were, that about three o'clock a demand for the evacuation of Fort Sumter was made by Gen. Beauregard, through his Aids, Col. Chesnut, Col. Chisholm, and Capt. Lee, and that Major Anderson replied he could not, consistently with his honor as an officer of the United States Army, retire from his post without instructions from his Government. At half-past 11 P. M., Gen. Beauregard's final reply was borne to him by the same officers, but up to the hour of our going to press, we have not had any farther information.

’ Among the noticeable incidents visible from the Battery last evening, were a number of rockets let off, a private signal no doubt, by the steamers on duty in the harbor; also the fiery appearance of the three schooners in the neighborhood of Sumter, with pine wood and tar burning for the purpose of lighting the harbor in that vicinity.

The press and the Revolution.

The Baltimore Exchange, of Saturday; thus alludes to the war:

The suspense in which the country has been kept for the past week is at last dissipated by the terrible certainty that the long-anticipated crisis has been reached. War has begun between this Government and the people of the Confederate States. The attack upon Fort Sumter indicates the determined resolution of the people of the seceded States to maintain the position they have assumed; and the departure South ward of the armament which has sailed from New York proves the purpose of the Administration to coerce the Gulf States into obedience. It is for the American people to say whether this quarrel is to be settled by mutual slaughter; and if more blood is to flow before an adjustment is even contemplated, it is for the men of the Border States to decide whether their sympathy and their active support is to be given to their brethren of the North or the South. Upon one side or the other we must take our stand, and that right speedily.

The National Intelligencer (Lincoln's home organ) briefly announces the opening of hostilities, and says:

The considerations which induced the latter [the besiegers] to take the initiative in precipitating this deplorable event, are stated in our telegraphic report, and do not call for appreciation at our hands while as yet we are left in doubt respecting the purposes assigned to the Federal Government by the military authorities at Charleston. At present we can only give expression to the profound sorrow with which we contemplate the melancholy spectacle of a fratricidal conflict, which, however begun, or however ended, can bring only shame to every lover of his land, and only grief to every friend of humanity.

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