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FUTILITY OF THE "PEACE' CLAMOR.
Mr. Lincoln intended peace or war, sealed against the commerce and was a sore trial to human patience. navigation of the other half, save on A government which cannot uphold payment of duties utterly unknown and vindicate its authority in the to our laws; while goods could be country which it professes to rule is entered at those ports at quite other to be pitied; but one which does not (and generally lower) rates of impost even attempt to enforce respect and than those established by Congress. obedience is a confessed imposture Hence, importers, with good reason, and sham, and deserves to be hooted refused to pay the established duties off the face of the earth. Nay, more: at Northern ports until the same it was impossible for ours to exist on should be exacted at Southern as the conditions prescribed by its do- well; so that three months' acquiesmestic foes. No government can en-cence by the President in what was dure without revenue; and the Federal untruly commended as the “Peace Constitution (Art. I. $ 9) expressly policy," would have sunk the counprescribes that
try into anarchy and whelmed the “No preference shall be given, by any
Government in hopeless ruin. regulation of commerce or revenue, to the Still, no one is required to achieve ports of one State over those of another; nor
the impossible, though to attempt shall vessels bound to or from one State be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties, in an what to others will seem such may other."
sometimes be accepted by the unself: But here were the ports of nearly ish and intrepid as a duty; and this half our Atlantic and Gulf coasts practical question confronted the President on the threshold: "What | ton on the 20th, and had a long means have I at command wherewith interview with Gov. Pickens and to compel obedience to the laws ? Gen. Beauregard, with reference, it Now, the War Department had, for was said, to the terms? on which nearly eight years prior to the last Fort Sumter should be evacuated, if few weeks, been directed successively evacuated at all, the 25th brought to! by Jefferson Davis and John B. Charleston Col. Ward H. Lamon, a Floyd. The better portion of our confidential agent of the President, little army had been ordered by who, after an interview with the Floyd to Texas, and there put under Confederate authorities, was permitthe command of Gen. Twiggs, by ted to visit the fort, and hold unrewhom it had already been betrayed stricted intercourse with Major Aninto the hands of his fellow-traitors. derson, who apprised - the GovernThe arms of the Union had been sed- ment through him that their scanty ulously transferred by Floyd from the stock of provisions would suffice his Northern to the Southern arsenals. little garrison only till the middle of The most effective portion of the April. Col. Lamon returned immeNavy had, in like manner, been dis- diately to Washington, and was said persed over distant seas. But, so to have reported there, that, in Major early as the 21st of March, at the Anderson's opinion as well as in his close of a long and exciting Cabinet own, the relief of the fortress was session, it appears to have been defi- impracticable. nitively settled that Fort Sumter was By this time, however, very denot to be surrendered without a strug- cided activity began to be manifest gle; and, though Col. G. W. Lay, an in the Navy Yards still held by the Aid of Gen. Scott, had visited Charles- Union. Such ships of war as were
ate's called Session, which followed--yet, when the territories, and that you were now pursuing war actually grew out of the conflicting preten
the policy of excluding the Southern people from sions of the Union and the Confederacy, took
all the territories of the United States. * * *
There never has been a time since the Govern. nobly and heartily the side of his whole country.
ment was founded when the right of the slaveBut, even before the close of the called Session, holders to emigrate to the territories, to carry a decided change in his attitude, if not in his con with them their slaves, and to hold them on an ceptions, was manifest. On the 25th of March, equal footing with all other property, was as replying to a plea for ‘Peace,' on the basis of 'No
fully and distinctly recognized in all the territories as
at this time, and that, too, by the unanimous vote Coërcion,' by Senator J. C. Breckinridge, of Ken
of the Republican party in both Houses of Congress. tucky, he thus thoroughly exposed the futility “The Senator from Kentucky Mr. Breckinof the main pretext for Disunion:
ridge] has told you that the Southern States,
still in the Union, will never be satisfied to re"From the beginning of this Government main in it unless they get terms that will give down to 1859, Slavery was prohibited by Con them either a right, in common with all the gress in some portion of the territories of the other States, to emigrate into the territories, or United States. But now, for the first time in the history of this Government, there is no foot of ritories on the principle of an equitable division. ground in America where Slavery is prohibited by These are the only terms on which, as he says, act of Congress. You, of the other side of this those Southern States now in the Union will conchamber, by the unanimous vote of every Re sent to remain. I wish to call the attention of publican in this body, and of every Republican that distinguished Senator to the fact that, unin the House of Representatives, have organized der the law as it now stands, the South has all all the territories of the United States on the the rights which he claims. First, Southern men principle of non-intervention, by Congress, with have the right to emigrate into all the territories, the question of Slavery-leaving the people to and to carry their Slave property with them, on do as they please, subject only to the limitations | an equality with the citizens of the other States.
the Constitution. Hence, I think the Senator | Secondly, they have an equitable partition of the from Kentucky fell into a gross error of fact as territories assigned by law, viz. : all is Slave Tegrania well as of law when he said, the other day, that | tory up to the thirty-seventh degree, instead of up to you had not abated one jot of your creed that the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes. you had not abandoned your aggressive policy in | half degree more than they claim.”
? The New York Herald of April 9th has a dis- laws, and to do it vigorously; but not in an agpatch from its Washington correspondent, con- | gressive spirit. When the Administration defirming one sent twenty-four hours earlier to an.
| termined to order Major Anderson out of Fort
Sumter, some days since, they also determined nounce the determination of the Executive to
to do so on one condition : namely, that the fort provision Fort Sumter, which thus explains the
and the property in it should not be molested, but negotiations, and the seeming hesitation, if not allowed to remain as it is. The authorities of the vacillation, of March:
Confederacy would not agree to this, but mani"The peace policy of the Administration has
fested a disposition to get possession of the fort been taken advantage of by the South, while, at
and United States property therein. The Govthe same time, their representatives have been
ernment would not submit to any such humilia-,
tion. here begging the President to keep hands off. While he was holding back, in the hope that a “It was immediately determined to keep forbearing disposition, on the part of the authori Major Anderson in Fort Sumter, and to supply ties of the seceded States, would be manifested, him with provisions forthwith. * * * There is to his great surprise, he found that, instead of no desire to put additional men into the fort, peace, they were investing every fort and navy unless resistance is offered to the attempt to yard with Rebel troops and fortifications, and furnish Major Anderson with supplies. The actually preparing to make war upon the Fede- fleet will not approach Charleston with hostile ral Government. Not only this, but, while the intent; but, in view of the great military prepaAdministration was yielding to the cry against | rations about Fort Sumter, the supply vessels coërcion, for the purpose, if possible, of averting will go prepared to reply promptly to any rethe calamity of civil war, the very men who sistance of a warlike character that may be were loudest against coërcion were preparing for offered to a peaceful approach to the fort. The it; the Government was losing strength with the | responsibility of opening the war will be thrown people, and the President and his Cabinet were upon the parties who set themselves in defianco charged with being imbecile and false to the to the Government. It is sincerely hoped, by high trust conferred upon them.
the Federal authorities here, that the leaders of "At last, they have determined to enforce the the secessionists will not open their batteries."
at hand were rapidly fitted for ser- / was duly notified that fire would be vice and put into commission; while opened on Fort Sumter in one hour. several swift ocean steamers of the Punctual to the appointed moment, largest size were hurriedly loaded the roar of a mortar from Sullivan's with provisions, munitions, and for- Island, quickly followed by the rushage. By the 6th or 7th of April, ing shriek of a shell, gave notice to nearly a dozen of these vessels had the world that the era of compromise left New York and other Northern and diplomacy was ended—that the ports, under sealed orders. Lieut. | Slaveholders' Confederacy had apTalbot, who had arrived at Wash- pealed from sterile negotiations to ington on the 6th, from Fort Sumter, the “last argument of aristocracies bearing a message from Major An- as well as kings. Another gun from derson that his rigidly restricted sup- that island quickly repeated the plies of fresh food from Charleston warning, waking a response from market had been cut off by the Con- battery after battery, until Sumter federate authorities, and that he must appeared the focus of a circle of volsoon be starved into surrender, if canic fire. Soon, the thunder of fifty not relieved, returned to Charleston heavy breaching cannon, in one grand on the 8th, and gave formal notice volley, followed by the crashing and to Gov. Pickens that the fort would crumbling of brick, stone, and mortar be provisioned at all hazards. Gen. around and above them, apprised the Beauregard immediately telegraphed little garrison that their stay in those the fact to Montgomery; and, on the quarters must necessarily be short. 10th, received orders from the Con- Unless speedily relieved by a large federate Secretary of War to demand and powerful fleet, such as the Union the prompt surrender of the fort, and, did not then possess, the defense was, in case of refusal, to reduce it. The from the outset, utterly hopeless. demand was accordingly made in due form at 2 P. M., on the 11th, and ers expected to reduce the fort within courteously declined. But, in conse- a very few hours; it is more certain quence of additional instructions from that the country was disappointed by Montgomery-based on a suggestion the inefficiency of its fire and the of Major Anderson to his summoners celerity of its reduction. But it was that he would very soon be starved not then duly considered that Sumter out, if not relieved-Gen. Beaure- was never intended to withstand a gard, at 11 P. M., again addressed protracted cannonade from batteries Major Anderson, asking him to state solidly constructed on every side of at what time he would evacuate Fort it, but to resist and repel the ingress Sumter, if unmolested ; and was an- of fleets from the Ocean-à service swered that he would do so at noon for which it has since proved itself on the 15th, “should I not receive, admirably adapted. Nor was it suffiprior to that time, controlling instruc- ciently considered that the defensive tions from my Government, or ad- strength of a fortress inheres largely ditional supplies.” This answer was in its ability to compel its assailants judged unsatisfactory; and, at 3:20 to commence operations for its reducA. M., of the 12th, Major Anderson | tion at a respectful distance, and to
make their approaches slowly, under hot that their tenants could only esconditions that secure to its fire a cape roasting by lying flat on the great superiority over that of the floor and drawing their breath besiegers. But here were the assail through wet blankets, would seem ants, in numbers a hundred to one, the dictate of the simplest forecast. firing at short range from batteries So, when we read that “the guns, which had been constructed and without tangents or scales, and even mounted in perfect security, one of destitute of bearing-screws, were to thein covered with iron rails so ad be ranged by the eye, and fired by justed as to glance the balls of the guess,"" we have an ample explanation fortress harmlessly from its mailed of the inefficiency of their fire, but front. Had Major Anderson been none of the causes of this strange and ordered, in December, to defend his fatal lack of preparation for a contest post against all aggressive and threat that had so long been imminent. It ening demonstrations, he could not might seem as if Sumter had been have been shelled out of it by a held only that it should be assailed thirty hours' bombardment. But with impunity and easily taken. why officers' quarters and barracks! It was at 7 o'clock-nearly three of wood should ever have been con hours after the first shot came crashstructed in the center of such a fort, ing against her walls--that Sumter's or rather, why they should have been garrison, having deliberately eaten permitted to stand there after the their breakfast-whereof salt pork hostile intentions of the Confederates constituted the staple-fired their had been clearly proclaimed-is not first gun. They had been divided obvious. That shells and red-hot into three squads or reliefs, each in balls would be rained into this area succession to man the guns for four that the frail structures which nearly hours, and then be relieved by anfilled it would inevitably take fire, other. Capt. Abner Doubleday comand not only imperil magazines, car- manded the first on duty, and fired tridges, and everything else combus the first gun. Only the casemate guns tible, but prevent the working of the were commonly fired—those on the guns, was palpable from the outset. parapet being too much exposed to To have committed to the surround the shot and shell pouring in from ing waves every remaining particle every quarter to render their use of wood that was not essential to the other than a reckless, bootless waste defense, would seem the manifest | of life. The fire of the fort was so work of the night which preceded the weak, when compared to that of its opening of the bombardment, after assailants, as to excite derision rather the formal demand that the fort be than apprehension on their part. It surrendered. To do this while yet was directed at Fort Moultrie, the unassailed and unimperiled, instead Cummings' Point battery, and Sulliof rolling barrel after barrel of pre- van's Island, from which a masked cious powder into the sea under the battery of heavy columbiads, hitherto fire of a dozen batteries, with the unsuspected by the garrison, had whole center of the fortress a glowing opened on their walls with fearful furnace, and even the casemates so effect. The floating battery, faced