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DEFENSE OF FORT SUMTER.
the little garrison were again at-work, and gun answered gun in quick response. The barracks for the fourth time took fire, but the attempts to put it out as before were soon found to be fruitless, for the hot shot of the enemy, dropping incessantly among the combustible materials, kept the flames alive, and in a short time the raging conflagration within became more terrible than the hurricane of shot without. The whole garrison was called from the guns to save the magazine, and barrels of powder were rolled through the smoke and embers to a place of safety. Ninety-six barrels had been thus removed when the heat became too great to continue the work, and it was abandoned, and the magazine locked to await its destiny. The fire now raged uncontrolled, and the smoke, driven downward by the wind, filled all the interior of the fort, so that the men could no longer see each other. Choked by the stilling air, they flung themselves on the ground, and throwing wet handkerchiefs and cloths over their mouths and eyes, lay and gasped for breath. The last biscuit had been eaten the day before--the walls were crumbling around them—the main gate had been burned down, leaving an open passage to an advancing force, and it was evident to all, that the contest was a hopeless oné. Still Anderson stood unmoved amid the wreck, and refused to strike his colors. The cartridges were nearly exhaustedthe magazine could not be reached for more powder, yet now and then a shot was fired to let the fleet outside and the enemy know they had not surrendered. To add to the horrors of their position, the shells and ammunition in the upper service magazine caught fire and exploded with a frightful crash, sending splintered beams and blazing fragments in every direction, and adding tenfold to the terror of the conflagration that was raging in every part of the inclosure. This went on hour after hour, the men compelled to work with wet cloths over their mouths. At length the
WIGFALL'S WHITE FLAG;
fire approached the men's quarters where the barrels of powder that had been taken from the magazine lay exposed. The soldiers rushed through the flames with wet blankets, aud covered them over; but the heat soon became so intense, that it was feared they would take fire and blow up the fort, and they were rolled through the embrasures into the sea, till all but three were gone, which were piled over thickly with wet blankets. Only three cartridges were now lest, and these were in the guns.
At this crisis the flag-staff was shot away. The flag was brought in, after having been shot down, .by Lieutenant Hall; but was afterwards (by order of Major Anderson) planted on the rampart by Lieutenants Snyder and Hart, who nailed it to the flag-staff, where it continued to wave defiantly. A few minutes after this occurred, a man was seen at an embrasure, with a white flag tied to his sword. It was Wigfall, late senator from Texas, who had come from fort Moultrie, and now desired admittance. Entering through into the casemate, he exclaimed in an excited manner, that he came from Genera: Beauregarti, mat ile saw the flag of the fort was down, adding, “let us stop this firing." " No Sir," replied Lieuten. ant Davis, "our flag is not down. Step out this way and you will see it waving over the ramparts.” General Wigfall then asked that some one should hold his white flag outside the walk, "No Sir," replied the callant lieutenant. "ve doui't. raise a white tlag; if you want your batteries to stop; you must stop them yourself.” Wigfall then held the flag out of the embrasure. As soon as he did so, Lieutenant Davis ordered a corporal to relieve him, as it was not the act of the fort, but of Wigfall. But the cannon balls continuing to strike around the corporal, he exclaimed with an oath, “I won't hold that flag, they don't respect it.” Wigfall replied, “They fired at me three or four times, and I should think you ought to stand it once.” He then placed the flag
SURRENDER OF FORT SUMTER.
outside of the embrasure and sought Major Anderson. Wig.
. fall introduced himself by saying, "I am General Vigfald, and come from General Beauregard, who wishes to stop this.” Anderson, whose usually quiet blood had in the terrific bombardment of these two days got fairly roused, rose on his toes, and as he came down with a sudden jar on his heels, replied, "Well Sir!” “Major Anderson,” said the former,
you have defended your flag nobly, Sir—you have done all that is possible for men to do, and General Beauregard wishes to stop the fight. On what terms will you evacuate this fort?"
"General Beauregard is already acquainted with my only terms,” was the calm reply.
“Do I understand,” replied Wigfall, “that you will evacuate upon the terms proposed the other day ?”
Yes, Sir," said the Major, "and on those conditions only." “Very well,” Wigfall replied, and retired.
A short time after, a deputation of four officers arrived, sent by General Beauregard, and asked for an interview with Major Anderson; when it turned out, that Wigfall had acted en. tirely on his own responsibility, and without even the knowl. edge of Beauregard. The latter seeing the fort on fire, they said, had sent them over to inquire if any assistance could be rendered. They were amazed when Anderson informed them that he had just agreed upon terms of capitulation with General Wigfall, acting under orders of General Beauregard. Seeing the state of things, Major Anderson remarked that it put him iri a peculiar position, and the fag must be hoisted again. After some conversation, however, they requested him to put in writing what Wigfall had said to him, and they would lay it before General Beauregard. He did so, but before the statement reached the rebel General, he had sent the Adjutant-general, and members of his staff, to propose the same terms on which Major Anderson
EXULTATION OF CHARLESTONIANS.
had consented to go out, with the exception of being allowed to salute his flag. They asked him if he would not dispense with the salute. He replied “No,"—he would however leave the question open for conference. They returned with the reply, and shortly after an officer came over saying that the terms first proposed were accepted.
What motive had prompted General Wigfall to volunteer his services, and take upon himself the responsibility of negotiating for Beauregard, is not known. It is but charitable, however, to suppose that the feelings of a man had been aroused in him at sight of that burning fort, within which a mere handful of men had for thirty-four hours borne the concentrated fire of four powerful batteries, and which, though unable to return only an occasional shot, and wrapped in a fierce conflagration, still refused to yield. It was a sight to move the pity of any thing human.
Thus fell fort Sumter; and the opening act of the most fearful tragedy the world has ever seen, had closed. The people of Charleston seemed utterly oblivious of the true character and swift results of this first act of violence, and were wild with enthusiasm and joy. Beauregard was a hero-indeed all were heroes. They had succeeded in firing the train, and now danced in the flickering light it emitted, unconscious that the fitful blaze was on its way to a magazine, the explosion of which would shake the continent. The Roman Catholic bishop ordered a Te Deum to be chanted in honor of the victory, and the Episcopal bishop, though blina and feeble, deciared that the resistance was obedience to God.
On Monday morning preparations for the evacuation commenced. But first, the only man killed during the terrible bombardment, a private by the name of Daniel Hough, who lost his life by the bursting of a cannon, was buried with military honors. When this was done, and the baggage all on board the transport, a portion of the little band who
UNION OF ALL PARTIES.
stood under arms within the battered fort, were told off as gunners, to fire the one hundred guns as a salute to the flag. At the fiftieth discharge a premature explosion killed one man, and wounded three more--one seriously. When the last gun was fired, the handful of heroes marched out, the band playing “Yankee Doodle’and Hail to the Chief.' Vast crowds were collected in the vicinity to witness this last ceremony, little dreaming what it foreboded. That night the troops remained on board the Isabel, and the next morning were transferred to the Baltic, and started for New York.
Though South Carolina had long before declared herself out of the Union, both postal and telegraphic communication was kept up with Charleston, and never did the electric wires of the country quiver with news so pregnant with the fate of a great nation, as those which kept registering the progress of the bombardment. And when at last the news came that the stars and stripes had been lowered to the insolent, rebellious state, the nation was struck dumb with indig nation and amazement. The first effect was stunning, par. alyzing; and the north seemed to hold its breath in suspense. But it was the slow settling back of the billow, as it gathers to break in thunder on the shore. The north had hitherto been divided. The democrats, and those opposed to the Republican party had sympathized with the south in their indignation at the triumph of a faction, whose battle cry had been hostility to an institution that was inwoven into the very structure of its society. Every where threats had been heard that if the Republican party endeavored by any unconstitutional act to carry out its hostility to slavery, there would be an uprising at the north. So bitter was this feel. ing, that many rejoiced at the serious difficulties and embarrassments their sectional victory had involved them in. Indeed, it was clear to the careful observer, that if the south managed discreetly, the party would have more