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ration, the new administration gave no great forbearance, and allowed them to clear or distinct indications of its line remain in Washington in pursuit of
of policy. Secession, encour- plans and objects striking at the very
aged, no doubt, by what seemed root of its power and majesty. hesitation or inefficiency on the part of Mr. Seward declined all official government, as bold, active, haughty intercourse, and frankly but plainly told in its course and pretensions.* Not these rebel commissioners, that what only, as we have before said, were forts, had taken place, in various parts of the arsenals, dock-yards and public property South, was only “a perversion of a temtaken possession of without scruple, but porary and partisan excitement to the also a loan of $15,000,000 was author. inconsiderate purpose of an unjustifi ized by the Confederate Congress, and able and unconstitutional aggression other measures resolved upon in view upon the rights and the authority vestof war, which might speedily be ex. ed in the Federal Government, and pected. Early in April, however, Mr. hitherto benignly exercised, as from Lincoln and his cabinet decided upon their very nature they always must be the course to be pursued, and thence- so exercised, for the maintenance of the forward, though tardily, bent all their Union, the preservation of liberty, and energies to preserve the Union un- the security, peace, welfare, happiness broken, and, if need be, to put down and aggrandizement of the American tieason and rebellion by force of arms. people.” This was under date of March
Acting upon their assumed position 15th. Several weeks elapsed before the as an independent government, the so- gentlemen just alluded to inquired for called confederate authorities sent three the secretary of state's communication; gentlemen to Washington, for the pur- and then, with some violence of lan pose of arranging and settling all points guage about “accepting the gage of of difference growing out of the acts of battle thus thrown down to them," the seceded states. They reached the and an expression of pity for the “decapital, March 5th, and soon after at- lusions” of the government, they gave tempted to obtain recognition of what up the attempt to force themselves into they thought to be their rank and obli- official relations at Washington. gations. The government acted with The convention of Virginia being in
session at this date, sent Messrs. Pres* Russell, in “ My Diary North and South," p. 118, ton, Stuart and Randolph as delegates under date April 18th, 1861, at Charleston, gives a good to call on President Lincoln, and to deal of chit-chat
, showing the feelings of the people he“ ask him to communicate to this conmet, on the subject of the North and the association with northerners by the southern chivalry and cava
vention the policy which the Federal liers: “They affect the agricultural faith and the be executive intends to pursue in regard lief of a landed gentry. It is not only over the wine to the confederate states.” The presiglass that they ask for a Prince to reign over them ; I have heard the wish repeatedly expressed within the dent's reply, April 13th, reaffirmed his last two days that we could spare them one of our previously expressed determination “to young Princes, but never in jest, or in any frivolous
FORT SUMTER BOMBARDED.
and places belonging to the govern. there was no possible chance that ment, and to collect the duties and im- Major Anderson and his handful of posts." While disclaiming any pur- brave men could long withstand the aspose of needless invasion, or infringe- sault. On the 11th, a brief correspond.
ment upon the rights of others, ence ensued between Beaure
Mr. Lincoln distinctly gave these gard and Anderson. The latter gentlemen to understand, that, if neces- agreed to evacuate the fort on the 15th, sary,
consequence of conduct like that unless otherwise ordered by his govern. of the attack upon Fort Sumter, he ment; but this was not what the hot would,“ to the best of his ability, repel bloods of the day wanted; and when force by force.”
the Harriet Lane arrived off the harbor The government having, to this ex- with supplies, on the evening of the tent at least, determined upon its course, 10th, they pushed matters to an imorders were given, early in April, to mediate extremity. All considerations send vessels and men for the purpose of the awful character. of what they of reinforcing Fort Sumter,* and also were about to do, were thrown to the to save, if possible, Fort Pickens at the winds; and at half.past four, on Friday entrance of the harbor of Pensacola, morning, April 12th, the first gun was Florida. But the leaders in rebellion, fired upon Fort Sumter. The United krowing how important it was to them States vessels, just outside, could give to “strike a blow," as some of them no help, owing partly to bad weather phrased it, and to gain à victory and to the batteries in all directions, of some kind, resolved immediately but were compelled to wait the inevitto compel Major Anderson to sur- able result, when the stars and stripes render. On the 5th of April, Beaure should be lowered. The cannonading gard, who had deserted the flag of his was furious and incessant. Major Ancountry and taken service under the derson and his men bravely withstood confederate authorities, stopped all and replied to the onslaught, and the supplies for the garrison heretofore re- guns of the fort were served with all ceived from the city. The government the vigor and spirit possible under the resolved to send provisions to Major circumstances; but ere long, being withAnderson and his men, and accordingly out provisions and the fort partly in announced the fact to the governor of flames, surrender was the only thing South Carolina, on the 8th of April; left to them. They gave up the conwhereupon the rebels insisted upon test, so unequal and useless to continue, the immediate reduction of the fort. and having been allowed to embark on Every preparation had been made for board the United States steamer Baltic, this contingency on their part. Numer. Major Anderson and his
company reachous batteries bad been constructed, and, ed New York on the 18th of April
. apart from the question of starvation, Immediately official notice was sent to
the war department, as follows :-“ Off * See vol. iii. pp. 562, 3, for the position of affairs in regard to Fort Sumter up to this date.
Sandy Hook, April 18th, 1861. Having
defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four war this day commenced will end ; but hours, until the quarters were entirely I will prophesy, that the flag which burned, the main gates destroyed by now flaunts the breeze here will float fire, the gorge wall seriously injured, over the dome of the old Capitol at the magazine surrounded by flames Washington before the first of May. and its doors closed from the effects of Let them try Southern chivalry and the beat, four barrels and three car- test the extent of Southern resources, tridges of powder only being available, and it may float eventually over Faneuil and no provisions but pork remaining, Hall itself !” I accepted terms of evacuation offered Language cannot portray, in fitting by General Beauregard, being the same manner, the painful anxiety with which offered by him on the 11th inst., prior the news of the bombardment of Sumto the commencement of hostilities, and ter was looked for at the North, during marched out of the fort, Sunday after- Saturday and Sunday, the 13th noon, the 14th inst., with colors flying and 14th of April. “The startand dry:ns beating, bringing away ling and apparently improbable statecompany and private property, and ments received by the telegraph of the saluting my flag with fifty guns.—Ro- danger to the fort, which had been BERT ANDERSON." *
pronounced impregnable, and the se. Great and loudly expressed in South curity of the besiegers who seemed to Carolina and elsewhere was the exulta- bear a charmed life in the midst of tion over the bombardment and sur. fiery perils; the expectation of succor render of Fort Sumter. Governor Pick- from the fleet dashed by the waves of ens, who had for some time professed the storm which prevented its action , himself ready to “strike the blow, let the successive messages of disaster with it lead to what it might, even if it led the strange, almost incredible, announce to blood and ruin,” now dared to say, ment that the fort was in flames, end“Thank God! the day is come; thank ing with the final word of surrender, God! the war is open, and we will con- produced a strange feeling of perplexquer or perish.” Mr. L. P. Walker, the ity in the minds of the people.”* But rebel secretary of war, at Montgomery, now, the deadly stab having been Alabama, burst forth in words like made, there was no longer time for these:-“No man can tell where the hesitation or mere words. Up to this
point, threats, and bravado, and pillage * According to rebel accounts, not a life was lost of public property, and such like, bad during the whole progress of the siege and assault. It been endured; but now, when traitorwas also stated that none were killed in the fort by the enemy's fire. If these accounts are correct, of which ous sons dared assail the flag of our there seems no good reason to doubt, the assault and country and its defenders, it was felt defence of Fort Sumter were among the most noteworthy of their kind in the history of modern warfare.
instinctively that the life of the nation For the rebels had fourteen batteries in action, mount was at stake. Action must be taken; ing forty-two heavy guns and mortars ; 2,360 shot and 980 shells were thrown; and in the works were 3,000 men, and between 4,000 and 5,000 in reserve
* Duyckink’s “ War for the Union," vol. i., p. 125
THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATION.
immediate action must be had to assert observed, consistently with the objects and enforce the “supreme law of the aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any land."
destruction of, or interference with, proPresident Lincoln was prompt and perty, or any disturbance of peaceful decisive in this great emergency, and citizens of any part of the country; and immediately issued a proclamation in I hereby command the persons composthe following words :
ing the combinations aforesaid, to dis“WHEREAS, the laws of the United perse, and retire peaceably to their States have been for some time past, respective abodes, within twenty days and now are opposed, and the exe from this date. cution thereof obstructed, in the states “Deeming that the present condition of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, of public affairs presents an extraordinFlorida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and ary occasion, 1 do hereby, in virtue Texas, by combinations too powerful of the power in me vested by the to be suppressed by the ordinary Constitution, convene both houses of course of judicial proceedings, or by the Congress. The Senators and Represen. powers vested in the marshals by law: tatives are, therefore, summoned to asnow, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, semble at their respective chambers at President of the United States, in vir. 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the 4th tue of the power in me vested by the day of July next, then and there to Constitution and the laws, have thought consider and determine such measures fit to call forth, and hereby do call as, in their wisdom, the public safety forth, the militia of the several states and interest may seem to demand. of the Union to the aggregate number “In witness whereof, I have hereunof 75,000, in order to suppress said to set my hand, and caused the seal of combinations and to cause the laws to the United States to be affixed. be duly executed. The details for this “Done at the City of Washington, object will be immediately communi. this 15th day of April, in the year of cated to the state authorities through our Lord, one thousand eight hundred the war department. I appeal to all and sixty-one, and of the independence loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and of the United States the eighty-fifth. aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and existence of our na- Accompanying the proclamation were tional Union, and the perpetuity of requisitions from the war department popular government, and to redress upon the governors of twenty - four wrongs already long enough endured. I states, the seven seceded states being deem it proper to say, that the first ser- omitted, and California, Oregon and vice assigned to the forces hereby called Kansas being passed over as too distforth, will probably be to repossess the ant. These were called upon to furnish forts, places, and property which have their respective quotas of militia-men been seized from the Union; and in for three months' service.* The replies every event the utmost care will be
* The largest apportionments were, to New York
“ ABRAHAM LINCOLN."
of the governors indicated the general stitutional, and revolutionary in its obsentiment of the people on the jects, inhuman and diabolical, and can
issues at stake. not be complied with. Not one man From the northern and western states will the state of Missouri furnish to the answers came promptly, and evinc carry on such an unholy crusade.” Goved the loyalty and determined spirit ernor Magoffin, of Kentucky, replied: existing in the bosoms of those who lov. "Your dispatch is received. In aned and were determined to sustain the swer, I say, emphatically, Kentucky Union. The governors of Maryland will furnish no troops for the wicked and Delaware endeavored to hold a purpose of subduing her sister southmiddle ground, and were not prepared ern states.” Governor Ellis, of North to act very decidedly; but in the other Carolina, expressed himself in no modborder states, there was no attempt to erate terms: “I can be no party to disguise their sentiments and their de. this wicked violation of the laws of termination not to aid the government the country, and to this war upon the in any way whatsoever.
Governor liberties of a free people. You can Letcher, of Virginia, wrote:- “The get no troops from North Carolina." militia of Virginia will not be furnish- Governor Rector, of Arkansas, was ed to the powers at Washington for equally violent and peremptory: “In any such use or purpose as they have answer to your requisition for troops in view. Your object is to subjugate from Arkansas, to subjugate the souththe southern states, and a requisition crn states, I have to say, that none made upon me for such an objectman will be furnished. The demand is object, in my judgment, not within the only adding insult to injury.” Govpurview of the Constitution or the act of ernor Harris, of Tennessee, replied 1795—will not be complied with. You“ Tennessee will not furnish a single have chosen to inaugurate civil war; man for coercion, but 50,000, if necesand having done so, we will meet it in sary, for the defence of our rights or a spirit as determined as the Admin- those of our southern brethern.” * istration has exhibited toward the Immediately following upon PresiSouth."* Governor Jackson, of Missouri, dent Lincoln's proclamation, Jefferson spoke even more strongly: “No doubt Davis, at Montgomery, Alabama, on these men are intended to make war the 17th of April, professing himself upon the seceded states. Your requisi- convinced that the United States were tion, in my judgment is illegal, uncon. about to invade " this confederacy with
13,280 ; to Pennsylvania, 12,500; to Ohio, 10,153; the *“The proclamation was received at Montgomery least, to eleven of the less populated States, was 780. with derisive laughter; the newspapers were refreshed
* W. H. Russell, the London Times' correspondent, with the Lincolniana of styling sovereign states ‘un. writing in his “ Diary," Charleston, April 20th, 1861 lawful combinations' and warning a people standing (p. 123), says: "The secessionists are in great delight on their own soil to return within twenty days to their with Governor Letcher's proclamation, calling out ' homes ;' and, in Virginia, the secessionists were high. troops and volunteers ; and it is hinted that Washing- ly delighted at the strength Mr. Lincoln had unwitton will be attacked, and the nest of Black Republican tingly or perversely contributed to their cause "-"Hirst vermin, which haunt the capital, be driven out." Year of the War,” p. 59.