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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
? The New York Herald of April 9th has a dis laws, and to do it vigorously; but not in an ag. patch 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 nounce the determination of the Executive to
Sumter, some days since, they also determined
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 Gov. the same time, their representatives have been
ernment would not submit to any such humiliahere begging the President to keep hands off.
tion. 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 forth with. * * * 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 prepa Administration 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 rothe 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 defiance charged with being imbecilo 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."
FIRE OPENED ON FORT SUMTER.
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 tɔ 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 It is said that the Confederate leadform 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-a 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 sufiprior 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 thern 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 i 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. Arthur 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
BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER.
with railroad bars, though planted | exposure; so that, though the peril very near to Sumter, and seemingly from fire and from their own ammuimpervious to her balls, was far less nition was even greater than that effective. A new English gun, em- from the enemy's guns, not one was ployed by the Confederates, was re- seriously hurt. And, though Fort marked by the garrison as wonder- Moultrie was considerably damaged, fully accurate and efficient; several and the little village of Moultrievilleof its shots entering their embrasures, composed of the Summer residences and one of them slightly wounding of certain wealthy citizens of Charlesfour men. But the casemates were ton — was badly riddled, it shell-proof; the officers constantly claimed, and seems undisputed, that warned their men against needless no one was mortally wounded on the
CHARLESTON HARBOE AND FORT SUMTER. side of the assailants. So bloodless assistance. Few shots were fired before evwas the initiation of the bloodiest
ery one of them was desperately engaged in
the conflict. We had to abandon one gun struggle that America ever witnessed.
on account of the heavy fire made upon it. But, though almost without casu Hearing the fire renewed, I went to the spot.
I there found a party of workmen engaged alty, the contest was not, on the side
in serving it. I saw one of them stooping of the Union, a mere mockery of war: over, with his hands on his knees, convulsed it even served to develop traits of
with joy, while the tears rolled down his
powder-begrimed cheeks. What are you heroism. Says one of those who par doing here with that gun?' I asked. “Hit it ticipated in the perils of the defense: right in the center,' was the reply; the man “The workmen [Irish laborers, hired in
meaning, that his shot had taken effect in New York for other than military service)
the center of the floating battery." were at first rather reluctant to assist the soldiers in handling the guns; but they
Says another eye-witness : gradually took hold and rendered valuable “Shells burst with the greatest rapidity
in every portion of the work, hurling the were three times set on fire by the shells
, loose brick and stone in all directions, break and three times put out under the most gall. ing the windows, and setting fire to what ing and destructive cannonade. This was ever wood-work they burst against. The the only occasion on which Maj. Anderson solid-shot firing of the enemy's batteries, allowed the men to expose themselves withand particularly of Fort Moultrie, was di out an absolute necessity. The guns on the rected at the barbette (unsheltered] guns of parapet—which had been pointed the day Fort Sumter, disabling one ten-inch colum before-were fired clandestinely by some of biad (they had but two), one eight-inch co the men slipping up on top. lambiad, one forty-two pounder, and two “The firing of the rifled guns from the eight-inch seacoast howitzers, and also tear iron battery on Cummings' Point became ing a large portion of the parapet away. extremely accurate in the afternoon of FriThe firing from the batteries on Cummings' day, cutting out large quantities of the maPoint was scattered over the whole of the sonry about the embrasures at every shot, gorge or rear of the fort, till it looked like a throwing concrete among the cannoneers, sieve. The explosion of shells, and the quan and slightly wounding and stunning others. tity of deadly missiles that were hurled in One piece struck Sergeant Kernan, an old overy direction and at every instant of time, Mexican war veteran, hitting him on the made it almost certain death to go out of the head and knocking hiin down. On being lower tier of casemates, and also made the revived, he was asked if he was hurt badly. working of the barbette or upper (uncov He replied: "No; I was only knocked ered] guns, which contained all our heavi down temporarily;' and he went to work est metal, and by which alone we could throw shells, quite impossible. During the "For the fourth time, the barracks were first day, there was hardly an instant of time set on fire early on Saturday morning, and that there was a cessation of tho whizzing attempts were made to extinguish the flames; of balls, which were sometimes coming half but it was soon discovered that red-hot shot a dozen at once. There was not a por were being thrown into the fort with feartion of the work which was not taken in ful rapidity, and it became evident that it reverse from inortars.
would be impossible to put out the confla“On Friday, before dinner, several of the gration. The whole garrison was then set vessels of the fleet, beyond the bar, were to work, or as many as could be spared, to seen through the port-holes. They dipped remove the powder from the magazines
, their flag. The commander ordered Sum which was desperate work, rolling barrels ter's flag to be dipped in return, which was of powder through the fire. done, while the shells were bursting in every “Ninety-odd barrels had been rolled out direction. [The flag-staff was located in the through the flames, when the heat became parade, which was abont the center of the so intense as to make it impossible to get open space within the fort.] Sergeant Hart out any more. The doors were then closed saw the flag of Fort Sumter half-way down, and locked, and the fire spread and became and, supposing it had been cut by the ene- | general. The wind so directed the smoke my's shot, rushed out through the fire to as to fill the fort so full that the men could assist in getting it up. Shortly after it had not see each other; and, with the hot, stibeen re-raised, a shell burst and cut the hal-Aing air, it was as much as a man could do liards, but the rope was so intertwined to breathe. Soon, they were obliged to around the halliards, that the flag would cover their faces with wet cloths in order not fall. The cartridges were exhausted by to get along at all, so dense was the smoke about noon, and a party was sent to the and so scorching the heat. · magazines to inake more of the blankets " But few cartridges were left, and the and shirts; the sleeves of the latter being guns were fired slowly; nor could more carreadily converted to the use desired. An tridges be made, on account of the sparks other great misfortune was, that there was falling in every part of the works. A gun not an instrument in the fort by which they was fired every now and then, only to let could weigh the powder; which, of course, the fleet and the people in the town know destroyed all approach to accuracy of firing. that the fort had not been silenced. The Nor had they tangent-screws, breech-slides, cannoneers could not see to aim, much less or other instruments with wbich to point a where they hit. gun.
“After the barracks were well on fire, “When it became so dark as to render it the batteries directed upon Fort Sumter inimpossible to see the effect of their shot, the creased their cannonading to a rapidity port-holes were closed for the night, while greater than had been attained before. the batteries of the Secessionists continued About this time, the shells and ammunition their fire unceasingly.
in the upper service-magazines exploded, “During iday, the officers' barracks scattering the tower and upper portions of