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nothing of the dubious result of a collision with the colossal power of the north, backed by her navy. The surest way to prevent this, they believed, would be to make the contest appear equal as possible, by getting the entire south to act in unison. Then the north would shrink from the appalling evils of a civil war, and grant them their independence. To 'secure this, they were willing to stoop to any deception, and apparently consent to any measure the border states might propose. But events were rapidly hastening to a crisis. Major Anderson stubbornly refused to strike his flag to the southern confederacy. It is true, starvation would soon compel the humiliating act. But whether Davis, impelled by an insane spirit of revenge, or, foreseeing that war was inevitable, concluded it was best to precipitate it at once; or whether the blustering, arrogant spirit of South Carolina forced him to the measure; or whether he feared our fleet, which had arrived off the mouth of the harbor, might force a passage, we know not; he refused to wait the sure and speedy work of famine, and determined to open his guns upon it. Notwithstanding the state had openly revolted, Mr. Buchanan had allowed the most formidable works to be consiructed around the fort, refusing to give his sanction to Major Anderson to prevent their completion. With his heavy artillery, he could easily have kept the surrounding shores clear, but not a shot was permitted to be fired. This brave commander, with his little garrison of seventy-five men, saw month after month the frowning batteries rise around him, preparatory to cpening their concentrated fire upon him. The batteries lining the entrance to the harbor had long since cut him off from all hope of reinforcements and supplies by sea, while not a pound of food could reach him from the hostile shore. Without orders to abandon it, and without permission to stop the preparations going on for his overthrow, he had been compelled, day after day, and week after
54 ANDERSON'S TRYING SITUATION. week, to sit still, and watch the steadily rising fortifications des. tined to effect his humiliation. A more trying and cruel posi tion a commander could not be placed in. At length the work of preparation was completed the bomb-proof batteries at fort Moultrie and on Sullivan's Island ready, and the floating battery in its place, with their grim columbiads pointing on the devoted garrison--and with that patience and serene confidence springing from the consciousness of having dis. charged his duty, and a firm. reliance on Heaven, which had characterized him throughout, he now waited the coming storm. To the summons of Beauregard to surrender, he returned the calm reply that neither his “sense of honor" nor "obligations to his government” would permit him to obey it. Knowing that in a few days, famine would compel the surrender of the fort, Beauregard, under instructions from L. P. Walker, the rebel Secretary of War, proposed to refrain from bombarding it, if he would fix a day, when he would evacuate it. Bold and bad as he was, he hesitated to open a war which should drench the nation in blood. Anderson, looking over his soanty supply of provisions, replied that if no supplies reached him, or no orders to the contrary were received from his government by the fifteenth (his letter was dated April twelfth), he would then surrender the fort. Not liking the conditions attached to this promise, though it was difficult to see how the beleaguered little garrison could get either orders or provisions, Beauregard, the same day, at half past three o'clock in the morning, sent word that in one hour he would “open the fire of his batteries on fort Sumter."
PIRST SHOT AT FORT SUMTER-ITS FEARFUL SIGNIFICANCE--THE BOMBARDMENT-SURRENDER OT-EXULTATION OF THE PEOPLE OF CHARLESTON RECEPTION OF THE NEWS NORTH-UNION OF ALL PARTIES-PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT CALLING FOR SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND TROOPS-RESPONSE OF THE NORTH-REPLY TO IT BY SOUTHERN GOVERNORS-ENTHUSI.
ASM OF THE NORTH-DELUSION
SOUTHERN VOLUNTEERS AND FOR PRIVATEERS-VIRGINIA SECEDES--EMBAR
RASSMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT-SURRENDER OF NORFOLK-SURRENDER OF HARPER'S FERRY AND THE BURNING OF THE ARSENAL.
T was fit that a deed so monstrous as the commencement
of civil war should have been committed in darkness. Treason shuns the light of day, and even the conspirators, though steeped in crime, were in haste to begin their accursed work before the bright sun should rise to throw his light upon it,
As soon as Anderson received the message of Beauregard, he ordered the sentinels to be removed from the parapets of the fort, the posterns closed, and the flag that had been lowered with the coming on of night; flung to the breeze, and then sat down in the darkness to wait the coming shock. It was a mild spring night, and not a sound disturbed the quietness that reigned over the peaceful waters of the bay. Nature gave no sign of the dread event so near at hand, which would summon a million of men to arms, and send state dashing on state in fierce collision, drench the land in fraternal blood, and unsettle the civilized world. At halfpast four o'clock, before the full dawn could reveal to them the flag under whose folds they had so long lived in peace and prosperity, the first shot was fired. The deep thunder
FIRST SHOT AT FORT SUMTER
woke the morning echoes, and rolled away over the trembling waters of the bay. At that moment the great clock of destiny struck its warning note. No single çannon shot before, ever bore such destinies on its darkened flight. It shivered the mightiest Republic the earth ever saw into atoms, arrested the onward march of civilization, and changed the history of man. A few moments of dead silenco followed this first explosion, as if all nature paused at the awful deed—and then came the earthquake. From fort Moultrie, Point Pleasant, fort Johnston,--the floating batery-Cumming's Point and Sullivan's Island, the well trained batteries poured in their concentric fire, till sea and shore shook to the fierce reverberations. A line of volcanoes seemed uddenly to have opened in the sea, and the broad glare from the blazing guns, and bursting shells traversing the air in every direction, and crossing in a fiery net work over the doomed fort, heralded in the day. Anderson and his little band sat quietly within their stronghold, listening uninoved to the wild hurricane without, till the sun had climbed the heavens. The ponderous balls of the enemy were knocking loudly for admittance without, but not a shot had been fired in return. At half-past six, the mere handful within sat quietly down to their breakfast, and finished their meal as leisurely as though preparing for a parade. They were then divided into three reliefs—the first under command of Captain Doubleday—and the men ordered to their places. Soon the order to fire was given, and the ominous silence that had so long reigned round that dark structure was broken, and a sheet of flame ran along its sides. Gun now answered gun in quick succession, and for the next four hours, the heavy, deafening explosions were like a continuous clap of thụniler. Forty-seven mortars and large cannon directed their fire against the fort, and shot and shell beat upon it, and burst within and over it incessantly. The heavy explosions called
BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER.
out the inhabitants of Charleston in crowds, and the house tops and shores were lined with excited spectators, gazing earnestly over the water, where the tossing clouds of smoke obscured the sky. Every portion of the fortress was searched by the enemy's fire, and loosened bricks and mortar were soon flying in every direction. It was impossible to serve the
guns en barbette, and they were knocked to pieces one after another by the shot and shells that swept thé crest of the ramparts. These were the only guns that could throw shells, and hence Anderson was able to reply to the enemy only with solid shot. These, in most cases, thundered harmlessly on the solid works of the enemy, or glanced from their iron sides. The barracks again and again caught fire, but each time were extinguished, chiefly through the energy and daring of Mr. Hart, a New York volunteer. The car'tridges were soon exhausted, when the men made them of their shirt sleeves. Noon came, and the soldiers were served with their meagre dinner at the guns, snatching a hasty bite of the last of their hard biscuit and salt pork, and then caimly went to their work again. During this tremendous "cannonading, Major Anderson and his officers coolly watched through their glasses the effect of the shot, and crer and anon turned their eyes anxiously towards the mouth of the harbor, where our saccoring fleet lay, not daring to run the gauntiet of batteries that stretched between them and the forbi, Thus the toilsome day wore away, and as darkness enveloped the scene, Anderson bei:g no longer able to observe the effect of his shots, ordered the port holes to be closed, when the firing ceased and the men lay down to
The enemy, however, did not remit his attack, and all night long his ponderous shot kept smiting the solid walls of the fort, and his shells, whose course could be seen by their long trains of light, dropped incessantly around and within the silent structure. Early on Saturday morning,