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defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge wall seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames and its doors closed from the effects of the heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions but pork remaining, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th insf., prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the fort, Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst., with colors flying and dra-ns beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.—RoBert Anderson." *
Great and loudty expressed in South Carolina and elsewhere was the exultation over the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter. Governor Pickens, who had for some time professed himself ready to " strike the blow, let it lead to what it might, even if it led to blood and ruin," now dared to say, "Thank God! the day is come; thank God ! the war is open, and we will conquer or perish." Mr. L. P. Walker, the rebel secretary of war, at Montgomery, Alabama, burst forth in words like these:—"No man can tell where the
* According to rebel accounts, not a life was lost during the whole progress of the siege and assault. It was also stated that none were killed in the fort by the enemy*s fire. If these accounts are correct, of which there seems no good reason to doubt, the assault and defence of Fort Sumter were among the most noteworthy of their kind in the history of modern warfare. For the rebels had fourteen batteries in action, mounting 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
war this day commenced will end ; but I will prophesy, that the flag which now flaunts the breeze here will float over the dome of the old Capitol at Washington before the first of May. Let them try Southern chivalry and test the extent of Southern resources, and it may float eventually over Faneuil Hall itself!"
Language cannot portray, in fitting manner, the painful anxiety with which the news of the bombardment of Sumter was looked for at the North, during Saturday and Sunday, the 13th and 14th of April. "The start- TM' ling and apparently improbable statements received by the telegraph of the danger to the fort, which had been pronounced impregnable, and the security of the besiegers who seemed to bear a charmed life in the midst of "fiery perils; the expectation of succor from the fleet dashed by the waves of the storm which prevented its action , the successive messages of disaster wit h the strange, almost incredible, announcement that the fort was in flames, ending with the final word of surrender, produced a strange feeling of perplexity in the minds of the people." * But now, the deadly stab having been made, there was no longer time for hesitation or mere words. Up to this point, threats, and bravado, and pillage of public property, and such like, had been endured; but now, when traitorous sons dared assail the flac: of our country and its defenders, it was felt instinctively that the life of the nation was at stake. Action must be taken;
immediate action must be had to assert and enforce the "supreme law of the land."
President Lincoln was prompt and decisive in this great emergency, and immediately issued a proclamation in the following words :—
"Whereas, the laws of the United States have been for some time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law: now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several states of the Union to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the state authorities through the war department. I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and existence of our national Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured. I deem it proper to say, that the first service assigned to the forces hereby called forth, will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event the utmost care will be
observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with, property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens of any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid, to disperse, and retire peaceably to theii respective abodes, within twenty days from this date.
"Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, 1 do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are, therefore, summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the 4th day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.
"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the City of Washington, this 15th day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
Accompanying the proclamation were requisitions from the war department upon the governors of twenty-four states, the seven seceded states being omitted, and California, Oregon and Kansas being passed over as too distant. These were called upon to furnish their respective quotas of militia-men for three months' service.* The replies
* The largest apportionments were, to New York of the governors indicated the general sentiment of the people on the momentous issues at stake. From the northern and western states the answers came promptly, and evinced the loyalty and determined spirit existing in the bosoms of those who loved and were determined to sustain the Union. The governors of Maryland and Delaware endeavored to hold a middle ground, and were not prepared to act very decidedly; but in the other border states, there was no attempt to disguise their sentiments and their determination not to aid the government in any way whatsoever. Governor Letcher, of Virginia, wrote:—"The militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at "Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object- is to subjugate the southern states, and a requisition made upon me for such an object—an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795—will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; and having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the Administration has exhibited toward the South."* Governor Jackson, of Missouri, spoke even more strongly: "No doubt these men are intended to make Avar upon the seceded states. Your requisition, in my judgment is illegal, uncon
13,280; to Pennsylvania, 12,500; to Ohio, 10,153; the least, to eleven of the less populated States, was 780.
* VV. H. Russell, the London Times' correspondent, writing in his " Diary," Charleston, April 20th, 1861 (p. 123), says: "The secessionists are in great delight with Governor Letcher's proclamation, calling out troops and volunteers; and it is hinted that Washington will be attacked, and the nest of Black Republican vermin, which haunt the capital, be driven out."
stitutional, and revolutionary in its objects, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the state of Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy crusade." Governor Magoffin, of Kentucky, replied: "Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say, emphatically, Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister southern states." Governor Ellis, of North Carolina, expressed himself in no moderate terms: "I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina." Governor Rector, of Arkansas, was equally violent and peremptory: "[n answer to your requisition for troops from Arkansas, to subjugate the southern states, I have to say, that none will be furnished. The demand is only adding insult to injury." Governor Harris, of Tennessee, replied: "Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but 50,000, if necessary, for the defence of our rights or those of our southern brethern." *
Immediately following upon President Lincoln's proclamation, Jefferson Davis, at Montgomery, Alabama, on the 17th of April, professing himself convinced that the United States were about to invade "this confederacy with
* " The proclamation was received at Montgomery with derisive laughter; the newspapers were refreshed with the Lincolniana of styling sovereign states ' unlawful combinations' and warning a people standing on their own soil to return within twenty days to their 'homes ;' and, in Virginia, the secessionists were highly delighted at the strength Mr. Lincoln had unwittingly or perversely contributed to their cause "—"ISrtt Year of the War," p. 59.
an armed force, for the purpose of capturing its fortresses, and thereby subverting its independence, and subjecting the free people thereof to the dominion of a foreign power," issued a proclamation, marking out the deadly plan he had in view, and "inviting all those who may desire, by service in private armed vessels on the high seas, to aid this government in resisting so wanton and wicked an oppression, to make applications for commissions or letters of marque and reprisal, to be issued under the seal of these Confederate States."
This insolent proposition was met by another proclamation from President Lincoln, April 19th, declaring a blockade of the ports of the seceded states, and subjecting the privateers in the rebel service to the laws for the prevention and punishment of piracy. Some ten days afterwards, Davis addressed the Confederate Congress, and affected to doubt whether the proclamation were authentic or not. He stigmatized Mr. Lincoln's course in no measured terms, and could not bring himself to believe that President Lincoln was prepared to "inaugurate a war of extermination on both sides. by treating as pirates open enemies acting under commissions issued by an organized government." He also stated, that there were 19,000 men in the various places seized upon by the rebels, and 16,000 more on their way to Virginia, and that in view of the present exigencies 100,000 men were to be organized and held in readiness for instant action. It was in this address that Davis's desire "to be let alone'' occurs, and we quote the
passage—the last of all—as a memorable specimen of mingled assurance and audacity: "We feel that our cause is just and holy. We protest solemnly, in the face of mankind, that we desire peace at any sacrifice, save that of honor. In independence we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no cession of any kind from the states with which we have lately confederated. All we ask is to be let alone—that those who never held power over us shall not
now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, we must resist, to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned, the sword will drop from our grasp and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government."
Up to this point, the government had decided, in part at least, upon its course of action, and had begun to make some preparation for the inevitable issues at stake. How imperfect this preparation was, how inadequate the appreciation of what was before our country to do and to endure, how insufficient the sense entertained of what the rebels meant, and were able to accomplish, the rapid progress of events ere long demonstrated. We may reverently thank God, that, in this hour of bitter trial, neither government nor people were found wanting.
DAVIS'S PRIVATEERING PROJECTS
PROGRESS OF EVENTS: UPRISING OF THE PEOPLE.
Position of Virginia at this date — Efforts and success of secessionists — Virginia lost to the Union — Harper's Ferry — Attack on by rebels, and burning of arsenal by order of the government — The Navy Yard at Gosport — Its value and importance — Great loss of property, etc., to the United States — Exultations of the rebels — Eagerness to attack Washington — Preparation on part of the government — Baltimore — Riot, and attack on the troops — The New York Seventh —Gen. Butler and Annapolis— His energetic course in Maryland — Conduct of Gov. Hicks — Gen. Cadwalader in Maryland — Habeas corpus suspension — I'hiofjustice Taney's course—Gen. Banks in command — His action — Gen. Dix succeeds — Immense gathering in New York — Speeches by Prof. Mitchel and others — Patriotism of our countrywomen —Affairs during month of May — Proclamation of the President calling for more troops — Activity of secessionists — Movement of troops into Virginia — Ellsworth's death at Alexandria — Rebels alarmed at attitude of the North — Davis and his schemes and efforts—His Address to Confederate Congress—Intended uses of it — Action of Confederate Congress—Davis goes to Richmond—His speech — Beauregard in Virginia — His insolent and abusive words — Efforts to prepare for advance of Union troops — Skirmishes, etc., — Lieut Tompkins at Fairfax Court House — Rebels routed at Philippi and Romney — Harper's Ferry abandoned by rebels—Gen. Butler and Big Bethel—Failure of the expedition — Negroes contraband of war — Gen. Schenck at Vienna in Virginia— Forces on the Potomac at close of the month of June — Spirit and expectations of the people at the time — Closing scenes in the life of Senator Douglas.
The position of Virginia, as one of the largest and most important of the border states, rendered it especially desirable for the rebel conspirators to secure control over it, and to gain all the prestige arising out of connecting her destinies with those of the new confederation. This was by no means easy of accomplishment. Virginians, as a body, were proud of the Union, and anxious to preserve it. They had always frowned upon disunion and the political demagogues who had at various times broached so vile a heresy. Their true interests, as they well knew, consisted in keeping close the bonds which united them to the loy. al states; and it is almost beyond doubt, that, could the people of Virginia have
expressed their sentiments and wishes freely and deliberately, they would have cast their lot with the supporters of the Constitution and laws. But Davis, and his fellow laborers in a bad cause, were determined at all hazards to prevent any such result. By audacious falsehoods, by intimidation and blustering, by getting control over legislative action, they aimed at forcing the state into the ranks of secession; and unhappily they succeeded in accomplishing their ends.
The convention of Virginia had been elected by Union votes, and the legislature had taken care, in authorizing its consideration of this matter, to provide that no ordinance of secession should have any effect without being