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Sumter in Action.
Fort Sumter at Rest.
Floating battery, dropped in their resonant ming's Point iron battery, notes; then a pause, but only for a moment. the Floating iron-clad batA roar of fifty guns burst in concert, a cho tery anchored off the end rus to the solemn prelude which must have of Sullivan's island, aitd the Enfilading batstartled the spirits of the patriotic dead* in tery on Sullivan's island-all of which were their slumbers.
then pouring in a scathing storm of solid Sumter lay off in the shot. To the mortar batteries on James' waters, the centre of that island and Mount Pleasant, and to Fort
appalling circle of fire. Johnson, but little attention was paid-only The early morning shadows had lifted from an occasional columbiad answering their its ramparts to discover the Stars and Stripes terrific messengers to prove its defiance. The floating from the garrison staff; but, it was parapet guns were not served after a few as silent amid that storm as if no living soul rounds, as their exposed condition rendered panted and fretted within its walls. It was it impossible to work them without a sacrithe silence of duty-of men resolved on tice of men—a sacrifice Anderson would not death, if their country called for the sacri- needlessly allow. Throughout all that fearfice. For months the little garrison had ful fray, the commander seemed never to lose been pent up in the fortress, overworked and sight of the men; and, that not a man was underfed; but, not a murmur escaped the men, lost during the bombardment, reflects quite and the hour of assault found all prepared as much honor upon him, as the defense did for their leader's orders—to defend the fort honor to his devotion to duty. to the last.
The zeal of the men was The sentinels were removed from the para- so great that the second The Bombardment. pet, the posterns closed, and the order given and third reliefs refused to for the men to keep close within the case await their turns; hence, the number of dismates, until the call of the drum. Breakfast charges, during the first eight hours, led the was quietly served at six o'clock-the shot enemy to think that the fort must have been and shell of the enemy thundering against reinforced. The state of feeling among the the walls and pouring within the enclosure men may be inferred from an incident rewith remarkable precision. After breakfast, lated of a company of Irish laborers within disposition was calmly made for the day's the fort, not enlisted in the service. At first work. The casemates were supplied from they refused to assist in handling the heavy the magazines; the guns, without tangents or guns; but soon their ardor was enkindled, scales, and even destitute of bearing screws, and, ere long, every man was begrimed were to be ranged by the eyes and tired “ by with the stains of battle. From that mo guess;" the little force was told off in relays, ment until the cessation of firing, none composed of three reliefs, equally dividing labored more zealously or enthusiųstically the officers and
Captain Arthur than the Irish “irregulars”—as they were Doubleday took the first detachment, and fired jocosely named by the troops. Their devothe first gun at seven o'clock. The Captain tion, indeed, became reckless. An officer directed his guns at Moultrie, at the Cum- stated that, having ordered the barbette
guns to be silenced, owing to the murderous * June 4th, 1776, Moultrie was bombarded by the British fleet from eleven A. M. until seven P. M., when
fire made upon them by the rifled ordnance tise fleet drew off in a crippled condition. The fort
of the Entilading battery, he was surprised to was defended by Colonel Moultrie and 400 men, with
hear a report from one of the exposed fortya loss of fourteen killed and twenty-two wounded. two-pounders. Proceeding to the parapet, The dead reposed in graves almost overshadowed he found a party of the workmen serving the by the smoke of the conflict of April 12th.
gun. “I saw one of them,” he stated, † See letter of Dr. W. H. Russell to London “stooping over, with his hands on his knees, T'imes, dated Charleston, April 21st. The Dr. visit- convulsed with joy, while the tears rolled ed Sumter shortly after the evacuation, and saw the down his powder-begrimed cheeks. What
are you doing there with that gun?' I
asked. * Hit it right in 'bombardment, it served an
the man meaning that his practically demonstrating shot had taken effect in the centre of the the availability of such structures for harbor Floating battery."
defense and assault. Another officer present thus recorded the At noon, Friday, the supply of cartridges nature and effect of that literal rain of iron in the fort was exhausted, when the blankets which, all the day long (Friday), poured in of the barracks and the shirts of the men upon the still defiant walls:
were sewed into the required bags and served Shells burst with the greatest rapidity in out. No instrument was in the fort for every portion of the work, hurling the loose weighing the powder, thus forbidding all brick and stone in all directions, breaking precision in the charge, and, as à consethe windows, and setting fire to whatever quence, much variation in planting the shot.. woodwork they burst against. The solid When we add that the guns wanted both shot firing of the enemy's batteries, and par- tangents, breech or telescopic sights—that ticularly of Fort Moultrie, was directed at wedges served instead of bearing screws, we the barbette guns of Fort Sumter, disabling can only express astonishment at the accuone ten-inch columbiad (they had but two), racy attained. Not a structure of the enemy one eight-inch columbiad, one forty-two- escaped the solid balls of the columbiads and pounder, and two eight-inch sea-coast how- paix hans. The village of Moultrievilleitzers, and also tearing a large portion of the gathering of summer-houses belonging to citiparapet away. The firing from the batteries zens of Charleston—was completely riddled. on Cumming's Point was scattered over the The fleet appeared off the harbor at noon, whole of the gorge, or rear, of the fort. It Friday. Signals passed between Anderson looked like a sieve. The explosion of shells, and the vessels, but no effort was made to run and the quantity of deadly missiles that were the gauntlet. Along Morris and Sullivan's hurled in every direction, and at every in- islands were anchored small batteries, comstant of time, made it almost certain death manding the harbor entrance, expressly de to go out of the lower tier of casemates, and signed to prevent the passage of vessels over also made the working of the barbette, or the bar and up the channel. To have passed upper uncovered guns, which contained all these only would have brought the vessel in our heaviest metals, and by which alone we range of the irresistible guns of Cumming's could throw shells, quite impossible. Dur- Point and of Moultrie. No wooden frame ing the first day there was hardly an instant could have withstood their fearful hail. The of time that there was a cessation of the only feasible plan was, under cover of the whizzing of balls, which were sometimes night, to run in with small boats; or, to coming half a dozen at once. There was not force a landing on
Morris island, and a portion of the work which was not seen in carry the batteries by assault. Either plan reverse (that is, exposed by the rear,) from would have proven successful, if conducted mortars."
with spirit, though it would have entailed The fire from the "Cumming's Point bat- much loss of life. Why it was not undertery (called the Stevens' iron battery) was taken, is only explainable on the inference particularly close and effective. Mounting that Mr. Lincoln did not want to retain Sumter. several heavy Dahlgrens, and possessing a The possession of the fort was a matter of no fine English (rifled) sixty-four-pounder, it military importance; a blockade would renproceeded deliberately to cut away the walls der all the defenses of the harbor useless. by sections, on the south-west side, and did The assault on the fort would serve to initiate more damage than all the combined guns of the War for the Union, and thus instate the the other batteries. Anderson's heavy co- President's policy for the suppression of the lumbiads scarcely affected its mailed front. rebellion. The refusal to withdraw the garSo, also, with the Floating battery-Sumter's rison from Charleston harbor unquestionably metal did not disable it; and, through all the was the subtle key to unlock the national
FORT SUMT ER.
sympathies and to place prove that the revolution-
entire power of the loyal to dislodge the obstinate States. He counted well upon the madness Anderson. Soon the barracks and quarters of the Confederates, and simply opened the were in flames, past all control. The men way for them to assail the Government by as- were then withdrawn from the guns, to avert saulting its garrison. This was the part for the now impending danger to the magazine. Fort Sumter to play; and, having played it The powder must be emptied into the sea. successfully, it was not necessary to retain the Ninety barrels were rolled over the area, exposposition. The evacuation of the fortress, and ed to the flames, and pitched into the water. the return to the North of its garrison, to By this time the heat from the burning buildexcite public sympathy, would be worth ings became intense, fairly stifling the men more to the cause of the Union than the re- with its dense fumes. The doors of the vault inforcement and retention of the stronghold.* were, therefore, sealed, while the men crept
During Friday's bombardment the officers' into the casemates to avoid suffocation by barracks within the fort were several times cowering close to the floor, covering their set on fire by the exploding shells, but were faces with wet cloths. An occasional gun quickly extinguished, chiefly through the only could be fired, as a signal to the enemy exertions of a New York police officer, a Mr. and the fleet outside, that the fort had not Hart, who, having visited the fortress, tarried surrendered. The colors still floated from with Major Anderson to serve when the crisis the staff. When the winds bore the smoke came.
His daring and coolness in suppress- and flames aside, its folds revealed to the ing the flames, obtained all praise.
enemy the glorious stars and stripes, waving Friday night the firing from the mortar there amid the ruin and treble terror, unbatteries continued at intervals to keep the scathed. Its halyards had been shot away, garrison from repairing damages or taking but, becoming entangled, the flag was fixed. rest. Saturday morning, at the earliest light, Only the destruction of the staff could drag the cannonading was resumed with re- it down. doubled fury. By eight o'clock the red-hot This appalling conflagration seemed to inballs from the furnace in Moultrie came to flame the zeal of the assailants. The entire
circle of attack blazoned with fire, and * The President, upon this occasion as upon the air was cut up into hissing arches of others at a later date, displayed extraordinary smoke and balls. The rebel general-in-comsagacity. The London T'imes of April 10th wrote : mand had stated that two hours, probably, “ Thus the critical days and weeks fly by, and we
would suffice to reduce the fortress, but know no more of the plans of the American Government, and, for aught we can see, the American Gov. twenty-eight hours had not accomplished errment knows no more of its plans, than on the first day
the work; and now, as the besiegers beheld when it acceded to office with a manifesto, the in another and more invincible power coming terpretation of which has exercised all the contro
to their aid, they acknowledged the service versial talent of the country, and hitherto without rendered, by frenzied shouts and redoubled leading to any conclusion. * While the Coun- service at their guns. It must have been a cils of the North are thus vacillating and undecided, the moment to inspire the enthusiasm of seven men of the South are working out the problem they thousand sons of the South, when flames have undertaken with every appearance of calmness and suffocation came to assist in reducing and deliberation.” The “ Thunderer’s” prescieuce eighty half-starved and exhausted men. was not then capable of penetrating deeper into the
About noon of Saturday, the upper service mysteries of diplomatic strategy than its correspondent, Mr. Russell, was, afterward, capable of
magazine exploded, tearing away the tower apprehending the spirit and capacity of the Northern and upper portions of the fort, and doing people. That apparent hesitancy demonstrated that more havoc than a week's bombardment Mr. Lincoln had a policy, as wise as it was far-reach could have effected. One who was present ing in its aims that the Councils of the North" wrote: “The crash of the beams, the roar were neither“ vacillating nor undecided.”
of the flames, the rapid explosion of the
shells, and the shower of this firing. You are on fire;
the blackness of the smoke, quit !” “No, sir, our flag made the scene indescribably terrific and is not down!" was the answer of Davis. “Look grand. This continued for several hours. out upon the ramparts—it is waving there." Meanwhile, the main gates were burned down, Without noticing the answer, he excitedly the chassis of the barbette guns were burned asked: “Will no one wave a white flag ?" away on the gorge, and the upper por- That is for you to do," was Davis' reply. tions of the towers had been demolished by “If you want the firing to stop, you must shells.
stop it.” Whereupon Wigfall stepped into “ There was not a portion of the fort where the embrasure, and held forth the handkera breath of air could be got for hours, except chief fixed on his sword. Davis ordered a through a wet cloth. The fire spread to the corporal to relieve the General, as the shot men's quarters, on the right hand and on the flew furiously around the exposed spot. No left, and endangered the powder which had attention being paid by the enemy to the been taken out of the magazines. The men signal, the corporal indignantly returned it, went through the fire and covered the bar- saying, with a soldier's oath, “ They don't rerels with wet cloths, but the danger of the spect your flag. I won't hold it !" Wigfall fort's blowing up became so imminent, that then asked that it might be shown from the they were obliged to heave the barrels out ramparts. Davis said: “If you request the of the embrazures. While the powder was flag to be shown while you hold a conference being thrown overboard, all the guns of with Major Anderson, and for that purpose Moultrie, of the iron floating battery, of the alone, it may be done.” Major Anderson enfilade battery, and the Dahlgren battery, came up at that moment, when the “irreworked with increased vigor.
pressible” Texan introduced himself in these "All but four barrels were thus disposed terms: “I am General Wigfall, and come of, and those remaining were wrapped in from General Beauregard, who wishes to stop many thicknesses of wet woolen blankets. this.” “Very well, sir !" was Anderson's reBut, three cartridges were left, and these ply, as he slightly lifted his person and came were in the guns. About this time the flag-down solidly on his heels. “Major Anderstaff of Fort Sumter was shot down, some son,” continued Wigfall, “ you have defendfifty feet from the truck, this being the ninth ed your flag nobıly ; you have done all that time that it had been struck by a shot. The it is possible for man to do, and General men cried out: "The flag is down; it has Beauregard wishes to stop the fight. On been shot away! In an instant, Lieutenant what terms will you evacuate the fort ?" Hall rushed forward and brought the flag Looking him sharply in the face, Anderson away. But the halliards were so inextricably replied, with much decision : "General Beautangled, that it could not be righted; it was, regard is already acquainted with my terms" therefore, nailed to the staff, and planted -referring to his (Anderson's) note of the upon the ramparts, while batteries in every 11th. “I have no other terms to offer.” Wig. direction were playing upon them.”
fall bowed, as his face lit up with a combin Shortly after the flag had disappeared, ed sense of his own importance, and that of Louis T. Wigfall, late United States Senator his mission. “Then I understand you will from Texas, appeared at one of the embra- evacuate ?” “Yes, sir, on my already known sures, bearing a white flag, and begging ad- terms." Then, all I have to do is, to leave mittance. Crawling in, he demanded to see you military men to arrange everything Anderson, saying he came from General Beau- your own way. Good day, sir !" Wigfull regard. He was met by Captain Foster, disappeared through the embrasure, into his Lieutenant Mead, and Lieutenant Davis, to small boat, leaving his little white flag still whom he exclaimed: “I am General Wig- on the ramparts. fall, and come from General Beauregard ; I What was Anderson's mortification soon to wish to see Major Anderson. Let us stop | learn that Wigfall was diplomatizing and
conquering on his own re- unquestionably they would
Anderson's Terms of The Flag of Truce. sponsibility! A few mo- have filled many a South
Evacuation accepted. ments after his exit through ern home with mourning. the embrasure, another boat pulled up at the The conflict was ended. The batteries landing, when several of General Beauregard's had ceased their fire with the departure of staff, bearing a white flag, were admitted the first deputation, under a flag of truce, to They said they came to offer the assistance the fortress; and, by four o'clock, Charleston of the commanding General to put out the harbor was as silont as if its serene atmosfire. Anderson, thanking them for their phere had not been disturbed by the shock offer, replied, that he had just agreed to an of battle. Anderson's men rested from their evacuation. The staff opened their eyes in labors in peace. Assistance was volunteered wonder. “ With whom had he agreed ?" to quench the fire, by the Charleston fire de" Wigfall, who professed to represent Gen- partment; and when darkness reigned over eral Beauregard !” The staff expressed sur- all, the wearied sank to rest, conscious of prise, confessing to Anderson that the Texan duty done, and that the country's benedichad acted without authority. The Major tion awaited them. saw, at once, how egregiously he had been During the bombardment, a vast concourse imposed upon by the wandering mounte- of people gathered in Charleston, and lined bank. It was too late, however, to remedy the wharves and promenade, to witness the the imposture, for Wigfall undoubtedly had sublime contest. The surrounding country immediately sought Beauregard's quarters. poured in its eager, excited masses, to add The Major expressed his mortification and to the throng. Men, women, and children his purposes in an order to Lieutenant Davis stood there, hour after hour, with blanched to run up his flag, in full view. The pride faces and praying hearts; for, few of that and sense of duty of the brave defender were crowd but had some loved one in the works aroused, and the deputation foresaw that he under fire. Messengers came hourly from the would perish in his fortress rather than sub- several positions, to assure the people of the mit to new terms or to further negotiations. safety of the men. The second day's con
After a brief conference fict found the city densely filled with peoEvacuation accepted.
among the Southern men, ple, crowding in by railway and private
they requested him to al conveyances, from the more distant counlow matters to remain in statu quo until they ties, until Charleston literally swarmed with should confer with their commander. This humanity, which, in dispersing, after the was done; and, ere long, a second commis- evacuation, played the important part of sion from Beauregard's staff pulled over to agents to “fire the Southern heart” for the the fort, bearing an acceptance of the terms storm which their madness had evoked. proposed to Wigfall. This acceptance was
The evacuation took regarded by the revolutionists as an act of place Sunday morning, great magnanimity, since Anderson's reduc- commencing at half-past tion to an unconditional surrender was but nine. The steamer Isabel was detailed to rethe question of a few hours at most. The ceive the garrison, and to bear it to any port gallant bearing of the Major and his men in the North which Anderson might indi. had won the admiration of the assailants ; cate. The baggage was first transferred to and none, apparently, were more rejoiced at the transport; then the troops marched out, the safety of every man of the garrison, than bearing their arms; while a squad, specially the leading officers of the assailants. An- detailed, fired fifty guns as a salute to their derson, when told that the Confederates had flag. At the last discharge, a premature exnot lost a man, expressed his gratification at plosion killed one man, David Hough, and the bloodless result-a result owing much to wounded three — the only loss and injury the illy-prepared condition of Sumter's arma- which the men suffered in the eventful Dient. Had Anderson's fine artillerymen drama. The troops then lowered their fag been provided with properly-equipped guns, I and marched out with their colors flying,
Anderson's Terms of