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ance, but did not attempt to relieve the fort. Major Anderson's provisions were gone. He could no longer continue the contest, and surrendered, the garrison being allowed to depart for New York, Sunday April 14, 1861.
Let us recall the words uttered by Abraham Lincoln, March 4, when he took the oath to support the Constitution : "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, are the momentous issues of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."
He has kept his word. War has begun, but not by him. He has done what he could, consistent with his oath to support the Constitution, to avert it. Never before such a Sunday in the United States. The telegraph has flashed the news to every city. Bulletins read: Fort Sumter surrendered! The flag humiliated! Two governments: one in Washington - the other in Montgomery. The great republic crumbling to pieces! Government by the people a failure! In Montgomery, predictions that before April is ended the flag of the Confederacy will be waving in triumph over the Capitol at Washington, and Jefferson Davis installed in the White House!(")
In Charleston the people were wild with excitement. Governor Pickens, from the balcony of the Charleston Hotel, addressed a surging crowd:
" Thank God, the day has come! The war is open, and we will conquer or perish). We have defeated their twenty millions, and we have humbled their proud flag of the Stars and Stripes that never before was lowered to any nation. We have lowered it in humility before the Palmetto and Confederate flags, and have compelled them to ask surrender. I pronounce before the civilized world that your independence bas been baplized in blood, and you are now free in defiance of the world in arms."
Throughout the North the people are gazing into each others' faces in wonder and amazement. Never before such sinking of hearts. Tears glisten in the eyes of men unaccustomed to weep. The Constitution defied! The Government a wreck! What will Abrabam Lincoln, untried in statesmanship, do in this woful extremity ?
In Washington the church - bells are tolling the hour for worship. Mournful their pealing in the ears of loyal men. The President needs no one to tell him what he ought to do. That question is settled. It is a government of the people, and the people alone must decide whether or not their authority shall be defied. He will call for 75,000 men from the several States to suppress this combination against the laws. The laws shall be enforced.
The members of the Cabinet discuss the question. Seventy-five thousand! Will that number of men respond to the call? It is a great army. Do we need so many? How can they be armed? How fed ? What can be done with them? Will the “gentlemen" of the South, as they call themselves, fight? Will they not soon weary of military restraint? President Lincoln hears the opinions.
“We must not forget,” he remarks, " that the people of the seceded States, like those of the loyal ones, are American citizens, with essentially the same characteristics and powers. Exceptional advantages on
one side are counterbalanced by exceptional advantages on the other. We must make up our minds that man for man the soldier from the South will be a match for the soldier from the North and vice versa." (") They are the words of one calmly looking into the future.
Through the day men have been coming and going. As the shadows of evening fall, Stephen A. Douglas enters the White House. He ascends the stairs and meets the President. Their hands clasp in cordial greeting. The door closes upon them. They are alone. No ears other than their own hear the words spoken during the two hours' interview. A quarter of a century has passed since they first met in the corridor of the State-house in Vandalia (see p. 82). During this period they have been opposed politically, but on this night Douglas is ready to stand by Mr. Lincoln to secure the enforcement of the laws.
Millions of people are reading the proclamation of the President-in the Southern States with shouts of laughter, in the North
ern with an outburst of gratitude. Monday, April 16, Never has the world beheld such a
spectacle. Political parties disappear in a twinkling. For the moment there is no Republican, no Democratic Party; only one: that for the preservation of the Union, and the avenging of the insult to the flag. One State is ready to respond instantly to the call for troops- Massachusetts. In 1860 Nathaniel P. Banks, Governor, saw the coming of the crisis. In September be marshalled the troops of the State, 13,000 men, upon the field where the first battle of the Revolution began. His successor, Governor John A. Andrew, has in like manner looked into the future, and seen the necessity of being ready to respond to any call which the President might make upon the State.
One of the delegates from Massachusetts to the Democratic Convention which assembled at Charleston was Benjamin F. Butler, who voted for Breckinridge during all the ballotings. In December, after the election of President Lincoln, Butler visited Washington and talked with the Secessionists.
“Your men of the North will not fight,” said a gentleman from Mississippi.
“Yes, they will."
JOHN A. ANDREW.
“Who in the North will fight if we secede from the Union ?" “I will."
Oh, there will be plenty of men in the South to take care of you."
"When we march to the defence of the Union we will hang on the trees every man who undertakes to destroy it," said Butler.
He informed Governor Andrew in regard to the plans of the Secessionists. Measures were at once taken for the complete equipment of the militia.
If you have troops ready, send them.”
So read the telegram from Senator Wilson to the Governor of Massachusetts. Though not an order from the War Department, Governor Andrew, comprehending its significance, issued orders for the immediate departure of the Sixth and Eighth Regiments. (See" Drumbeat of the Nation.”) On the anniversary of the battle of Lexington the Sixth Regiment
was in Baltimore, fighting its way through the streets of that April 19.
city, manifesting its forbearance, discipline, steadiness, and power. This regiment reached Washington to aid in holding the Capitol.
Never in the history of any nation has there been such a succession of great events as during these April days. Never has there been another such uprising of the people. The Union is dissolved, but there shall be one country, one destiny, for all the people. Cost what it may of blood, treasure, sacrifice, suffering, the Government of the people shall not perish. In every city and town the drum beat breaks the stillness. Bankers hear it, and hasten to tender their money to the Governors of the several States. Ministers of the gospel hear it, and from this hour through the coming four years they will preach the gospel of patriotism. Benjamin F. Butler, of Lowell, Mass., hears it. He is a general, commanding a brigade of Massachusetts militia. For four years the spiders will spin their webs undisturbed on his lawbooks. Ulysses S. Grant, educated at West Point, citizen of Galena, Ill.—so obscure that few of his fellow-citizens are aware that such a person walks their streets-hears it, and consents to preside at a public meeting, little comprehending the work which Providence has planned for him. Stephen A. Douglas hears it, and makes his way from Washington westward to arouse his fellow-citizens. “It is not a question of union or disunion. It is one of order; of the stability of Government; of the peace of communities. The whole social system is threatened with destruction and with disruption,” the words of Mr. Douglas.
Robert E. Lee, held in high esteem by General Scott, was in Wash
ington. Two members of the Cabinet conferred with him, unApril 17.
officially tendering him from President Lincoln command of
“I look," said he,“ upon secession as anarchy. If I owned four million slaves I would sacrifice them all for the Union, but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native State ?"
His beautiful home at Arlington overlooked a lovely landscape: the gleaming Potomac, green fields, the City of Washington, the stately Capitol. He was patrician by birth and education, and cast his lot with the slave power.
The Secessionists burned the bridges on the railroads leading north from Baltimore, that no more troops might reach Washington. They were doing their utmost to bring about the secession of Maryland. Clerks in the departments at Washington appointed from the Southern States were hastening from the city. Citizens, under the command of Major David Hunter, were guarding the White House and Treasury. In the executive mansion, through the weary hours, President Lincoln calmly performed his arduous duties.