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Moderator(s): 8milereb, gpthelastrebel, Patrick
Author Post
gpthelastrebel
Sun Aug 03 2014, 02:03AM Print
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
I may later move this info to another thread or re-name this thread. It may expand into a huge thread before I am done. My intent here is to prove that the Star of the West expediition was not just a supply mission but the real goal of the expedition was to re-enforce Fort Sumter with troops.

I am using this home link--- http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/records/

GP

**********************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 130 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.


NEW YORK, January 4, 1861.

Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,

Washington, D. C.:

DEAR GENERAL: I had an interview with Mr. Schultz at 8 o'clock last evening, and found him to be, as you supposed, the commission, and together we visit Mr. M. O. Roberts. The latter looks exclusively to the dollars, whilst Mr. S. is acting for the good of his country. Mr. R. required $1,500 per day for tend days, besides the cost of 300 tons of coal, which I declined; but, after a long conversation, I became satisfied that the movement could be made with his vessel, the Star of the West, without exciting suspicion. I finally chartered her at $1,250 per day. She is running on the New Orleans route, and will clear for that port; but no notice will be put in the papers, and persons seeing the ship moving from the dock will suppose she is on her regular trip. Major Eaton, commissary of subsistence fully enters intro my views. He will see Mr. Roberts, hand him a list of the supplies with the places where they may be procured, and the purchases will be made on the ship's account. In this way no public machinery will be used.

Page 131

To-night I pass over to Governor's Island to do what is necessary, i.e., have 300 stand of arms and ammunition on the wharf, and 200 men ready to march on board Mr. Schultz's steam-tugs about nightfall to-morrow to go to the steamer, passing very slowly down the bay. I shall cut off all communication between the island and the cities until Tuesday morning, when I expect the steamer will be safely moored at Fort Sumter.

I have seen and conversed with Colonel Scott, and also saw your daughter at your house. After leaving you, I obtained the key of the outer door of the office, but could nowhere find the key of your door or of mine, so failed to get the chart. This is of little moment, as the captain of the steamer is perfectly familiar with the entrance of Charleston.

I telegraphed you this morning as follows:

Arrangements made as proposed; to leave to-morrow evening; send map.

I will now leave the office, where I am writing, to proceed to the island.

Very respectfully, General, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

*************************************

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
New York, January 5, 1861.

Major T. H. HOLMES,

Eighth Infantry,

Superintendent Recruiting Service, Fort Columbus:

SIR: By direction of the General-in-Chief, you will detach this evening two hundred of the best-instructed men at Fort Columbus, by the steamship Star of the West, to re-enforce the garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

They will be furnished with arms, and, if possible, one hundred rounds of ammunition per man. Orders will be given to the proper officers of the staff department to furnish one hundred stand of spare arms and subsistence for three months.

The officers assigned to duty with the detachment are Lieuts. C. R. Woods, Ninth Infantry; W. A. Webb, Fifth Infantry; C. W. Thomas, First Infantry, and Asst. Surg. P. G. S. Ten Broeck, Medical Department, all of whom will report for duty to Major Anderson, commanding Fort Sumter.

Yours,

L. THOMAS.


HEADQUARTERS, January 5, 1861.

First Lieutenant CHARLES R. WOODS,
Ninth Infantry, Fort Columbus:

SIR: The steamship Star of the West has been chartered to take two hundred recruits from Fort Columbus to Fort Sumter, South Carolina, to re-enforce the garrison at that post. You are placed in command of the detachment, assisted by Lieuts. W. A. Webb, Fifth Infantry, C. W. Thomas, First Infantry, and Asst. Surg. P. G. S. Ten Broeck, Medical Department. Arms and ammunition for your men will be placed don the steamer and three months' supply of subsistence.

The duty upon which you are now placed by direction of the Gen-

Page 132

eral-in-Chief will require great care and energy on your part to execute it successfully, for it is important that all your movements be kept as secret as possible. Accordingly on approaching the Charleston bar, you will place below decks your entire force, in order that only the ordinary crew may be seen by persons from the shore or on boarding the vessel. Every precaution must be resorted to prevent being fired upon by batteries erected on either Sullivan's or James Island.

Yours,

L. THOMAS.

***********************************

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
New York, January 5, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter:

SIR: In accordance with the instructions of the General-in-Chief, I yesterday chartered the steamship Star of the West to re-enforce your small garrison with two hundred well-instructed recruits from Fort Columbus, under First Lieutenant C. R. Woods, Ninth Infantry, assisted by Lieuts. W. A. Webb, Fifth Infantry; C. W. Thomass, First Infantry, and Asst. Surg. P. G. S Broeck, Medical Department, all of whom you will retain until further orders. Besides arms for the men, one hundred spare arms and all the cartridges in the arsenal on Governor's Island will be sent; likewise, three months' subsistence for the detachment and six months' desiccated and fresh vegetables, with three or four days' fresh beef for your entire force. Further re-enforcements will be sent if necessary.

Should a fire, likely to prove injurious, be opened upon any vessel bringing re-enforcements or supplies, or upon tow-boats within the reach of your guns, they may be employed to silence such fire; and you may act in like manner in case a fire is opened upon Fort Sumter itself.

The General-in-Chief desires me to communicate the fact that your conduct meets which the emphatic approbation of the highest in authority.

You are warned to be upon your guard against all telegrams, as false ones may be attempted to be passed upon you. Measures will soon be taken to enable you to correspond with the Government by sea and Wilmington, N. C.

You will send to Fort Columbus by the return of the steamer all your sick, otherwise inefficient, officers and enlisted men. Fill up the two companies with the recruits now sent, and muster the residue as a detachment.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Edited Tue Aug 12 2014, 02:17PM
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gpthelastrebel
Mon Aug 04 2014, 03:34PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 133 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.


FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 6, 1861

Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Through the courtesy of Governor Pickens I am enabled to make this communication, which will be taken to Washington by my brother, Larz Anderson, esq. I have the honor to report my command in excellent health and in fine spirits. We are daily adding to the strength of our position by closing up embrasures which we shall not use, mounting guns, &c. The South Carolinians are also very active in erecting batteries and preparing for a conflict, which I pray God may not occur. Batteries have been constructed bearing upon and, I presume, commanding the entrance to the harbor. They are also to-day busily at work on a battery at Fort Johnson, intended to fire against me. My position will, should there be no treachery among the workmen, whom we are compelled to retain for the present enable me to hold this fort against any force which can be brought against me, and it would enable me in the event of a war, to annoy the South Carolinians by preventing them from throwing supplies into their new posts except by the out-of-the-way passage through Stone River. AT present, it would be dangerous and difficult for a vessel from without to enter the harbor, in consequence of the batteries which are already erected and being erected. I shall not ask for any increase of my command, because I do not know what the ulterior views of the Government are. We are now, or soon will be, cut off from all communication, unless by means of a powerful fleet, which shall have the ability to carry the batteries at the mouth of this harbor.

Trusting in God that nothing will occur to array a greater number of States than have already taken ground against the General Government,

I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

*****************************************

Page 134


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY

Washington, January 7, 1861

COMMANDING OFFICER, DETACHMENT U. S. ARMY,
On board steamship Star of the West,

Supposed to be near Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: This communication is sent through the commander of the U. S. steam sloop-of-war Brooklyn.

His mission is twofold: First, to afford aid and succor in case your ship be shattered or injured; second, to convey this order of recall for your detachment in case it cannot land at Fort Sumter, to proceed to Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, and there await further orders.

In case of your return to Hampton Roads, send a telegraphic message here at once from Norfolk.

Yours, very respectfully,

W. SCOTT.

P. S. - On arrival at Fort Monroe, land your troops and discharge the ship.

W. SCOTT.

*****************************

Page 134

Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to send herewith the correspondence which took place to-day between the governor of South Carolina and myself in relation to the firing by his batteries on a vessel bearing our flag. Lieutenant Talbot, whose health is very much impaired, will be the bearer of these dispatches, and he will be enabled to give you full information in reference to this and to all other matters.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 9, 1861

To his Excellency the GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA:

SIR: Two of your batteries fired this morning upon an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of my Government. As I have not been notified that war has been declared by South Carolina against the Government of the United States, I cannot but think that this hostile act was committed without your sanction or authority. Under that hope, and that alone, did I refrain from opening fire upon your batteries. I have the honor, therefore, respectfully to ask whether the above mentioned act-one, I believe, without a parallel in the history of our country or of any other civilized government-was committed in obedience to your instructions, and to notify you, if it be not disclaimed, that I must regard it as an act of war, and that I shall not, after a reasonable time for the return of my messenger, permit any vessels to pass within range of the guns of my fort. In order to save, as far as in my power, the shedding of blood, I beg that you will have due notification of this my decision given to all concerned. Hoping, however, that your answer may be such as will justify a further continuance of forbearance upon my part,

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

Edited Mon Aug 04 2014, 03:37PM
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gpthelastrebel
Tue Aug 12 2014, 02:21PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 135 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.


STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

Headquarters, Charleston, January 9, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

Commanding Fort Sumter:

SIR: Your letter has been received. In it you make certain statements which very plainly show that you have not been fully informed by your Government of the precise relations which now exist between it and the State of South Carolina. Official information has been communicated to the Government of the United States that the political connection heretofore existing between the State of South Carolina and the States which were known as the United States had ceased, and that the State of South Carolina had resumed all the power it had delegated to the United States under the compact known as the Constitution of the United States. The right which the State of South Carolina possessed to change the political relations which it held with other States under the Constitution of the United States has been solemnly asserted by the people of this State in convention, and now does not admit of discussion. In anticipation of the ordinance of secession, of which the President of the United States has received official notification, it was understood by him that sending any re-enforcement of the troops of the United States in the harbor of Charleston would be regarded by the constituted authorities of the State of South Carolina as an act of hostility, and at the same time it was understood by him that any change in the occupation of the forts in the harbor of Charleston would in like manner be regarded as an act of hostility. Either or both of these events, occurring during the period in which the State of South Carolina constituted a part of the United States, was then distinctly notified to the President of the United States as an act or acts of hostility; because either or both would be regarded, and could only be intended, to dispute the right of the State of South Carolina to that political independence which she has always asserted and will always retain. Whatever would have been, during the continuance of this State as a member of the United States, an act of hostility, became much more so when the State of South Carolina had dissolved the connection with the Government of the United States. After the secession of the State of South Carolina, Fort Sumter continued in the possession of the troops of the United States. How that fort is at this time in the possession of the troops of the United States it is not now necessary to discuss. It will suffice to say that the occupancy of that fort has been regarded by the State of South Carolina as the first act of positive hostility committed by the troops of the United States within the limits of this State, and was in this light regarded as so unequivocal that it occasioned the termination of the negotiations then pending at Washington between the Commissioners of the State of South Carolina and the President of the United States. The attempt to re-enforce the troops now at Fort Sumter, or to retake and resume possession of the forts within the waters of this State, which you abandoned, after spiking the guns placed there, and doing otherwise much damage, cannot be regarded by the authorities of the State as indicative of any other purpose than the coercion of the State by the armed force of the Government. To repel such an attempt is too plainly its duty to allow it to be discussed. But while defending its waters, the authorities of the State have been careful so to conduct the affairs of the State that no act, however necessary for its defense, should lead to an useless waste of life. Special agents, therefore, have been off the bar to warn all approaching vessels, if armed or unarmed, and having troops to re-


136--

enforce the forts on board, not to enter the harbor of Charleston, and special orders have been given to the commanders of all forts and batteries not to fire at such vessels until a shot fired across their bows would warn them of the prohibition or the State. Under these circumstances, the Star of the West, it is understood this morning attempted to enter this harbor, with troops on board, and having been notified that she could not enter, was fired into. The act is perfectly justified by me. In regard to your threat in regard to vessels in the harbor, it is only necessary to say that you must judge of your own responsibilities. Your position in this harbor has been tolerated by the authorities of the State, and while the act of which you complain is in perfect consistency with the rights and duties of the State, it is not perceived how far the conduct which you propose to adopt can find a parallel in the history of any country, or be reconciled with any other purpose of your Government than that of imposing upon this State the condition of a conquered province.

F. W. PICKENS.

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gpthelastrebel
Tue Aug 19 2014, 02:10PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
After The Star of The West

We have now read the events leading up to the Star of the West of the West Incident. Afrer this incident both sides were engaged mostly in building fortifications and strengthening their positions. I will began to post events, from the ORs, leading up to the actual firing on Fort Sumter. There is related information found in this website that can be found by using our serch feature. I have no intention of linking to these other posts at this time.

Some entries iin the ORs will not appear since they contain only daily reports and no real facts. Some entries my be edited for length. If you feel that I have omitted an entry that should be posted please let me know.There may be some spelling errors due to copy and paste. My apologies.

George
***********************************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 136 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.


FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 9, 1861.

General TOTTEN;

MY DEAR SIR: I have only a moment to write by Lieutenant Meade [?], who comes with dispatches from Major Anderson. I wish to assure you, however, that the officers of your corps are doing everything in their power to make this work impregnable, even with the present small garrison of seventy men. We even mount all the guns, as we can do it much more rapidly than the garrison. We have twenty-nine guns on the first tier and eleven on the barbette tier. Four 8-inch columbiads are ready to mount to-morrow. I shall place the 10-inch on the parade as mortars.

The firing upon the Star of the West this morning by the batteries on Morris Island opened the war, but Major Anderson hopes that the delay of sending to Washington may possibly prevent civil war. The hope, although a small one, may be the thread that prevents the sundering of the Union. We are none the less determined to defend ourselves to the last extremity. I am in want of funds,and would respectfully urge that as soon as possible $15,000 may be placed to my credit in New York. In haste.

Very respectfully,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

P. S. - I beg to refer you to Lieutenant Meade [?] for particulars.

J. G. F.

****************************************************************

[Memorandum.]

Received January 12 by Lieutenant Talbot, U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT, January 10, 1861

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding at Fort Sumter, S. C.:

SIR: Your dispatches to Numbers 16, inclusive have been received. Before the receipt of that of 31st December,* announcing that the Government

Page 137

might re-enforce you at its leisure, and that you regarded yourself safe in your present position, some two hundred and fifty instructed recruits had been ordered to proceed from Governor's Island to Fort Sumter on the Star of the West, for the purpose of strengthening the force under your command. The probability is, from the current rumors of to-day, that this vessel has been fired into by the South Carolinians, and has not been able to reach you. To meet all contingencies, the Brooklyn has been dispatched, with instructions not to cross the bar at the harbor of Charleston, but to afford to the Star of the West and those on board all the assistance they may need, and in the event the recruits have not effected a landing at Fort Sumter they will return to Fort Monroe.

I avail myself of the occasion to express the great satisfaction of the Government at the forbearance, discretion and firmness with which you have acted, amid the perplexing and difficult circumstances in which you have been placed. You will continue, as heretofore, to act strictly on the defensive; to avoid, by all means compatible with the safety of your command, a collision with the hostile forces by which you are surrounded. But for the movement so promptly and brilliantly executed, by which you transferred your forces to Fort Sumter, the probability is that ere this the defenselessness of your position would have invited an attack, which, there is reason to believe, was contemplated, if not in active preparation, which must have led to the effusion of blood, that has been thus so happily prevented. The movement, therefore, was in every way admirable, alike for its humanity [and] patriotism, as for its soldiership.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT.

Secretary of War ad interim.

**********************************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 12, 1861

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: The sudden resolution to send a joint commission to Washington enables me to write only a few lines to tell you that my operations are going steadily on.



Page 138--

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain of Engineers.

( At this time i haven't found anything about a commission to Washington. I assuming this is the peace commision to see Buchanan and perhaps some officers from Fort Sumter. Perhaps leter entries will tell us more.)

*******************************************************************


FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 14, 1861

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that the facilities for mail communication between this fort and the city of Charleston have been restored by order of Governor Pickens. The arrangement is for one of my boats to receive the mail at Fort Johnson, wither it is to be brought every day at 12 o'clock, and to deliver the mail from the fort at the same time to be taken to the office in the city. The reason assigned for this particular arrangement is that it will avoid all chances for rencounters and bloodshed between our boats' crews and riotous persons on the wharves in the city. All letters from the Department will, in all probability, be received. Page 139

During the continuance of the present arrangements for the mail I will keep you fully informed of everything that transpires.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

***********************************************************************************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 140 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.


WAR DEPARTMENT, January 16, 1861

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter:

SIR: Your dispatch Numbers 17, covering your correspondence with the governor of South Carolina, has been received from the hand of Lieutenant Talbot. You rightly designate the firing into the Star of the West as "an act of war," and one which was actually committed without the slightest provocation. Had their act been perpetrated by a foreign nation, it would have been your imperative duty to have resented it with the whole force of your batteries. As, however, it was the work of the government of South Carolina, which is a member of this confederacy, and was prompted by the passions of a highly-inflamed population of citizens of the United States, your forbearance to return the fire is fully approved by the President. Unfortunately, the Government had not been able to make known to you that the Star of the West had sailed from New York for your relief, and hence, when she made her appearance in the harbor of Charleston, you did not feel the force of the obligation to protect her approach as you would naturally have done had this information reached you. Your late dispatches, as well as the very intelligent statement of Lieutenant Talbot, have relieved the Government of the apprehensions previously entertained for your safety. In consequence it is not its purpose at present to re-enforce you. The attempt to do so would, no doubt, be attended by a collision of arms and the effusion of blood-a national calamity which the President is most anxious, if possible, to avoid. You will therefore, report frequently your condition, and the character and activity of the preparations, if any, which may be being made for an attack upon the fort, or for obstructing the Government in any endeavors it may make to strengthen your command.

Should your dispatches be of a nature too important to be intrusted to the mails you will convey them by special messengers. Whenever, in your judgment, additional supplies or re-enforcements are necessary for your safety, or for a successful defense of the fort, you will at once communicate the fact to this Department, and a prompt and vigorous effort will be made to forward them. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT,

************************************************** Edited Tue Aug 19 2014, 02:46PM
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gpthelastrebel
Tue Aug 19 2014, 03:27PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 143 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.


Numbers 19.] FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 21, 1861

(Received A. G. O., January 24.)

Honorable J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters, dated the 10th and 19th [16th] instants,and to assure you that I am highly gratified at the unqualified approbation they contain of the course I felt it my duty (under Divine guidance, I trust) to pursue in the unexpectedly perplexing circumstances by which we were surrounded. I shall inclose herewith copies of my correspondence with the officials of this State, and also a copy of the Mercury, which contains an article in reference to supplies for my command.* You will understand at once the reasons for my course, which I hope will meet your approval. So many acts of harshness and of incivility have occurred since my removal from Fort Moultrie, which I have not deemed proper to notice or report, that I cannot accept of any civility which may considered as a favor or an act of charity. I hope that the Department will approve of my sending (if the governor will permit it) our women and children to New York. They will be int the way here if we should, unfortunately be engaged in hostilities, and they would embarrass me should I deem it proper too make any sudden move.

Page 144--

Trusting in God that He will be pleased to save us from the horrors of a civil war.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

************************************

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF WAR,

Charleston, January 19, 1861

Major ROBERT ANDERSON:

SIR: I am instructed by his excellency the governor to inform you that he has directed an officer of the State to procure and carry over with your mails each day to Fort Sumter such supplies of fresh meat and vegetables as you may indicate. I am, sir, respectfully yours,

D. F. JAMISON.

***********************************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 19, 1861

Honorable D. F. JAMISON,

Executive Office, Department of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, stating that you are authorized by his excellency the governor to inform me that he has directed and officer of the State to procure and carry over with my mails each day to Fort Sumter such supplies of fresh meat and vegetables as I may indicate. I confess that I am at a loss to understand the latter part of this message, as I have not represented in any quarter that we were in need of such supplies. As commandant of a military post, I can only have my troops furnished with fresh beef in the manner prescribed by law, and I am compelled, therefore, with due thanks to his excellency, respectfully to decline his offer. If his suggestion is based upon a right, then I must procure the meat as we have been in the habit of doing for years, under an unexpired contract with Mr. McSweeney, a Charleston butcher, who would, I presume if permitted deliver the meat, &c., at this fort or at Fort Johnson, at the usual periods for such delivery, four times in ten

Page 145

days. If the permission is founded on courtesy and civility, I am compelled respectfully do decline accepting it, with a reiteration of my thanks for having made it. In connection with this subject, I deem it not improper respectfully to suggest that his excellency may do an act of humanity and great kindness if he will permit one of the New York steamers stop with a lighter and take the women and children of this garrison to that city. The confinement within the walls of this work, and the impossibility of my having it in my power to have them furnished with the proper and usual articles of food, will, I fear, soon produce sickness among them. The compliance with this request will confer a favor upon a class of persons to whom similar indulgences, are always granted even during a siege in time of actual war, and will be duly appreciated by me.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter.

P. S. - I hope that the course I have deemed it my duty to take in reference to the supplies will have a tendency to allay an excitement which, judging from the tenor of the paragraphs in to-day's paper, I fear they are trying to get up in the city.

**********************************************************

HEADQUARTERS QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT,
Charleston, January 19, 1861

Major ANDERSON:

DEAR SIR: Inclosed please find copy of letter from Secretary of War. Not waiting your request, I shall send by the mail-boat in the morning two hundred pounds of beef and a lot of vegetables. I requested Lieutenant Talbot to ask you to let me know this evening what supplies you would wish sent daily. Very respectfully,

L. M. HATCH,

Quartermaster-General, South Carolina Militia.


**************************************************************

HEADQUARTERS QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT,
Charleston, January 19, 1861

Colonel HATCH,

Quartermaster-General:

You are ordered to procure and send down with the mails for Fort Sumter to-morrow a sufficient quantity of fresh meat and vegetables to last the garrison of Fort Sumter for forty-eight hours, and inform Major Anderson that you will purchase and take down every day such provisions from the city market as he may indicate.

D. F. JAMISON.

**********************************************************

Colonel L. M. HATCH,

Quartermaster-General:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 19th instant, and also to state that as no arrangements have been made by me with government in reference to supplies for this post,

Page 146 --

I feel compelled to decline the reception of those supplies. I wrote to the honorable Secretary of War yesterday in reference to this matter. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. ANDERSON,

Major, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding

***************************************************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 146 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 21, 1861.

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer U. S. A., Washington, D. C.;

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the present condition of the batteries around us occupied or being erected by the troops of the State of South Carolina;

Page 148

The temper of the authorities seems to have changed for the better since Mr. Hayne and Mr. Gourdin have been in Washington. The proposition to supply fresh meat and vegetables was made by Governor Pickens on the 19th, but declined by Major Anderson on the following day. A supply of fresh meat and vegetables that had been sent down yesterday by the South Carolina quartermaster-general was returned. In the letter declining the proffered supply Major Anderson requested Governor Pickens to allow the camp women and children to go to New York in the next steamer, and to allow a lighter to come down to take them and their effects to the steamer as she passes. No answer has yet been received to this request. The temper of the common people is not, however, so easily changed from the high pitch of excitement to which it has been wrought to a suddenly conciliatory course, the reason for which they do not perceive.

Our hopes for a pacific solution of the present difficulties are very much increased since Lieutenant Talbolt's return.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

***************************************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 149 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 22, 1861.

Honorable BENJAMIN FITZPATRICK,

Honorable S. R. MALLORY, Honorable JOHN SLIDELL:

GENTLEMEN: The President has received your communication of the 19th instant,* with the copy of a correspondence between yourselves and others, "representing States which have already seceded from the United States, or will have done so before 1st of February next," and Colonel Isaac W. Hayne, of South Carolina, in behalf of the government of that State, in relation to Fort Sumter, and you ask the President "to take into consideration the subject of the correspondence." With this request he has complied, and has directed me to communicate his answer.

In your letter to Colonel Hayne of the 15th instant* you propose to him to defer the delivery of a message from the governor of South Carolina to the President, with which he has been intrusted, for a few days, until the President and Colonel Hayne shall have considered the suggestions which you submit. It is unnecessary to refer specially to these suggestions, because the letter addressed to you by Colonel Hayne, of the 17th instant, presents a clear and specific answer to them. In this he says: "I am not clothed with power to make the arrangement you suggest, but provided you can get assurances with which you are entirely satisfied that no re-enforcements will be sent to Fort Sumter in the interval, and that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina, I will refer your communication to the authorities of South Carolina, and withholding the communication with which I am at present charged will await further instructions."

From the beginning of the present unhappy troubles, the President has endeavored to perform his executive duties in such a manner as to preserve the peace of the country and prevent bloodshed. This is still his fixed purpose. You, therefore, do him no more than justice in stating that you have assurances (from his public messages, I presume) that, "notwithstanding the circumstances under which Major Anderson left Fort Moultrie and entered Fort Sumter with the forces under his command, it was not taken, and is not held, with any hostile or unfriendly purpose towards your State, but merely as property of the United States, which the President deems it his duty to protect and preserve." You have correctly stated what the President deems to be his duty. His sole object now is, and has been, to act strictly on the defensive, and to authorize no movement against the people of South Carolina unless clearly justified by a hostile movement on their part. He could not have given a better proof of his desire to prevent the effusion of blood than by forbearing to resort to the use of force under the strong provocation of an attack (happily without a fatal result) on an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of the United States. I am happy to observe that in your letter to Colonel Hayne you express the opinion that it is "especially due from South Carolina to our States, to say nothing of other slaveholding States, that she should, as far as she can consistently with her honor, avoid initiating hostilities between her and the United States, or any other power." To initiate such hostilities against Fort Sumter would, beyond question, be an act of war against the United States.

In regard to the proposition of Colonel Hayne, "that no re-enforcements will be sent to Fort Sumter in the interval, and that the public---------------

*Not of record in War Department.

page 150

peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility towards South Carolina," it is impossible for me to give you any such assurances. The President has no authority to enter into such an agreement or understanding. As an executive officer he is simply bound to protect the public property so far as this may be practicable, and it would be aa manifest violation of his duty to place himself under engagements that he would not perform this duty either for an indefinite or a limited period. At the present moment it is not deemed necessary to re-enforce Major Anderson, because he makes no such request, and feels quite secure in his position. Should his safety, however, require re-enforcements, every effort will be made to supply them.

In regard to an assurance from the President "that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina," the answer will readily occur to yourselves. To Congress, and to Congress alone, belongs the power to make war, and it would be an act of usurpation for the Executive to give any assurance that Congress would not exercise this power, however strongly he may be convinced that no such intention exists.

I am glad to be assured from the letter of Colonel Hayne that "Major Anderson and his command do now obtain all necessary supplies, including fresh meat and vegetables, and, I believe, fuel and water, from the city of Charleston, and do now enjoy communication by post and special messenger with the President and will continue to do so, certainly until the door to negotiation has been closed." I trust that these facilities may still be afforded to Major Anderson. This is as it should be. Major Anderson is not menacing Charleston, and I am convinced that the happiest result which can be attained is that both he and the authorities of South Carolina shall remain on their present amicable footing, neither party being bound by any obligation whatever, except the high Christian and moral duty to keep the peace and to avoid all causes of mutual irritation. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT,

Secretary of War.

( here we can plainly see that supplies were sent to Sumter by Charleston. We also know from reports of J. G. Foster Engineer at Fort Sumter that work was being conducted on the Fort to use against the people of South Carolina. That very act itself would be menacing to Charleston.)
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Thu Aug 28 2014, 03:21PM
gpthelastrebel
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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 151 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF WAR, Charleston, January 21, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON:

SIR: In offering to permit you to purchase in this city, through the instrumentality of an officer of the State, such fresh supplies of provisions as you might need, his excellency the governor was influenced solely by considerations of courtesy; and if he had no other motive for refusing to any of your garrison free access to the city to procure such supplies, he would have been moved by prudential reasons for the safety of your people, in preventing a collision between them and our own citizens. As to the manner of procuring your supplies, his excellency is indifferent whether it is done by the officer referred to, or whether your market supplies are delivered to you at Fort Johnson by the butcher whom you say you have before employed. It is only insisted on that the supplies, if sent, shall be carried over in a boat under an officer of the State who takes to Fort Johnson your daily mails. His excellency desires me to say that he willingly accedes to your request as to the women and children in Fort Sumter, and that he will afford every facility in his power to enable you to remove them from the fort at any time and in any manner that will be most agreeable to them.

I am, sir, respectfully, yours,

************************************

Page 152

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 22, 1861.

Hon. D. F. JAMISON,,

Executive Office, Department of War, Charleston:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 21st instant, and to express my gratification at its tenor. I shall direct my staff officer to write to the contractor in reference to his supplying us with beef, and will communicate with you as soon as the necessary preliminaries are arranged, in order that you may then, if you please, give the requisite instructions for carrying them into effect. Be pleased to express to his excellency the governor my thanks for the kind and prompt manner in which he gave his consent to the proposed transfer of the women and children of this garrison. As there are on Sullivan's Island the families of two of our non-commissioned officers, with their furniture, &c., and also a quantity of private property [including some musical instruments-not public property] belonging to this command, which the first commander of Fort Moultrie, Colonel De Saussure, sent me word he had collected and placed under lock and key, it will be necessary to permit the two non-commissioned officers to go to the island to assist in moving their families, &c. The lighter, it occurs to me, which will be needed to take the families to the steamer, had better go to the island for the property there before coming for the women and children here. As we are all very desirous of guarding against causing any unnecessary excitement, it will afford me great pleasure to have everything done in the most quiet way possible. I shall, consequently, cheerfully govern myself, as far as possible, by the views and wishes of his excellency in reference to this matter, and will be pleased to hear from you what they are. It is my wish, if the weather prove favorable, to ship the families in the Saturday steamer, or the first one after that day.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

****************************

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, January 24, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston, S. C.:

MAJOR: Your letter [No. 19] of the 21st instant, with inclosures, has been received. The Secretary will reply to it in a few days. Meantime the Secretary desires you to inform him what is the nature of the postal arrangements with your post, and whether they are satisfactory to you. Can you send messengers to Charleston for your mails, and is there danger of your men deserting if they are thus employed?

It is observed that you seal your letters with wax-a good precaution, without which there is no certainty that they have not been opened by unauthorized hands.

Please state whether the men sent up to attend a murder trial in Charleston made an attempt to desert, as reported in the papers.

I am, &c.,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General.

*******************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 24, 1861.

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: The storm continued until about daylight this morning. It is still cloudy, but the wind has abated sufficiently to enable our boat to take our mail over to Fort Johnson. I have written to our beef contractor in reference to furnishing us with beef, and also such vegetables as the doctor may deem suitable. The purchase of the latter will, I hope, under existing circumstances, be allowed. A letter has also been written to the agent of the New York line of steamboats about transporting our women and children to New York, where, I hope, the quartermaster will see that they are made comfortable. They will probably leave early next week.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

***************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 25, 1861.

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: There is nothing worthy of mention, as far as I know, this morning, except the fact of the New York steamer Columbia having grounded in attempting to go out. She is in the Maffitt's Channel, nearly in front of the Moultrie House; and as she went on when the tide was well up, there is a chance of her remaining where she is for some time. If the authorities here are in earnest about being willing to grant me marketing facilities, it seems to me they will not object to the Government sending us provisions, groceries, and coal from New York. We can get along pretty well with what we have, but some additions to our supplies would add greatly to our comfort. By burning the old buildings, and, if very hard pushed, the spare gun carriages, &c., we can keep up our necessary fires for three months.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

**************************

Page 153

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 27, 1861. [Received A. G. O., January 30.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to state, in reply to your letter of the 24th instant, that our letters, &c., are sent by boat, daily, at 12 m., to Fort Johnson in a sealed package, addressed to the postmaster in Charleston, and that the return boat brings our mail in a package bearing the post-office seal. I am satisfied with the existing arrangement. The governor told Lieutenant Talbot, when he saw him on his return from Washington, that I might, if I chose, send up to the city for my mails, but that he thought it would not be judicious for me to do so. I do not apprehend that there would be the slightest danger of any of my men deserting if thus employed, but think they might be insulted or maltreated. The report to which your refer, about the attempt of the men who were sent to the city to attend a murder trial to desert, is absolutely and entirely false. Lieutenant Davis [who refused to take them, though offered arms by several persons and urged to accept them] says that the

page 154

men conducted themselves with the greatest propriety, and that, although handsomely entertained, they returned perfectly sober. I have not deemed it advisable to notice in any way the false reports which have originated in Charleston and elsewhere about us. I send herewith a slip containing two such reports. Lieutenant Meade states, and I have no doubt with entire truthfulness, that he made no statement whilst absent to any person about my preferences or my opinions, either military or political, and that the inferences given in the article in the Petersburg paper were not deducible from any facts stated by him. The other article, in the Baltimore paper, stating that a boat containing three of my men was fired into from Sullivan's Island, is also entirely untrue. I cannot see the object to be attained by the circulation of such untruths. The object of one, which has been repeated more than once, that we are getting fresh provisions from the Charleston market, is apparent enough, viz, to show they are treating us courteously. But even that is not a fact. I send herewith a copy of a letter written to our former beef contractor about furnishing us with meat, &c., to which no reply has yet been received-why, I am unable to ascertain; so that, up to this moment, we have not derived the least advantage from the to this moment, we have not derived the least advantage from the Charleston markets; and I can confidently say that none of my command desire to receive anything from the city for which we are not to pay. Under the daily expectation of the return of Lieutenant Hall, I have deferred sending in a memorandum of the commissary stores on hand. There are now here 38 barrels pork, 37 barrels flour, 13 barrels hard bread, 2 barrels beans, 1 barrel coffee, 1/2 barrel sugar, 3 barrels vinegar, 10 pounds candles, 40 pounds soap, and 3/4 barrel salt. You will see from this that for my present command [especially after the departure of our women and children] we shall have an ample supply of pork and bread. It is a pity that my instructions had not been complied with, which would have given us the small stores which are now deficient, and which we shall not object to receiving as soon as the safety of our country will admit of our getting them. Nothing of importance to report. The Columbia is still aground in the Maffitt's Channel.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

***************************************

FORT SUMTER, January 24, 1861.

Mr. DANIEL McSWEENEY:

SIR: I am directed by Major Anderson, commanding this post, to ascertain whether you will furnish such fresh beef and vegetables as may be required here; the beef upon the terms of the contract under which you supplied Fort Moultrie; the vegetables to be purchased by you for us at fair market prices; the whole to be delivered as hitherto, four times in ten days, at some wharf in Charleston, for transportation to Fort Johnson, where it will be received by this garrison. This arrangement, which has been approved by the governor of South Carolina, it is desired shall go into effect immediately, and if you consent to it, you can send 184 pounds of fresh beef at a time, at such hour and wherever Quartermaster-General Hatch [120 Meeting street] may advise you. Of the vegetables you will be further directed. Please acknowledge the receipt of this as soon as possible, in order, if necessary, that other arrangements may be made.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. SEYMOUR,

Captain, U. S. Army.

***************************************

page 159

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Mr. Yeadon, from the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two houses on that clause of the appropriation bill which appropriates $30,000 for dredging Maffitt's Channel, submitted a report recommending the adoption of the following: "For deepening or otherwise improving Maffitt's Channel, $30,000, to be drawn by and expended under the direction of a commission, as follows: Messrs. George A. Trenholm, Henry Gourdin, George N. Reynolds, W. G. De Saussure, F. I. Poroher, Hugh E. Vincent, and the mayor of Charleston ex officio: Provided, The work shall not be resumed until Fort Sumter passes into the possession of the authorities of the State, and all the troops of the United States shall be removed from the harbor of Charleston."

The report was agreed to.

Mr. Buist offered the following resolution:

"Resolved, That it is the opinion of the general assembly that no sessions of the courts of law or equity in this State should be holden so long as the Government at Washington has control of the fortress known as Fort Sumter."

Ten members objecting, the resolution was ordered for consideration on Monday.


*************************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 30, 1861. [Received A. G. O.,

February 4.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: They are still busily engaged at work on Cummings Point. I am not yet certain what they are going to put there. There was very great activity and stir in the harbor last night. The lookout ship outside the bar displayed a light about half past 11, which was answered by rockets by the guard-boats, of which we noticed four on duty, and soon after two guns were fired from the battery on Morris Island, and at half past 1 o'clock this morning two guns were fired from Fort Moultrie. We could not see any vessels in the offing, but they might have been visible to those on the guard-boats [steamers]. I do hope that no attempt will be made by our friends to throw supplies in; their doing so would do more harm than good. The steamboat company did not send down for our women and children yesterday as they promised; why, I do not know. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

*************************************************

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 31, 1861. [Received A. G. O.,

February 4.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: The South Carolinians are still busily engaged at work at two places on Cummings Point. They are using heavy timbers, which they square and frame. Last night they worked at least half the night. The agent of the New York steamers informed us yesterday that he could not get a lighter to come down for the women and children, but that he will send one for them to-morrow, so as to take them in the Saturday steamer. No reply, as yet, from the Charleston butcher, our beef contractor. I presume that he dare not send us any provisions,

page 160

for fear that he will be regarded as a traitor to South Carolina for furnishing comfort and aid to her enemies.

God save our country.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.


(Note that South Carolina has made every effort to comply with major Anderson's requests.) Edited Mon Sep 01 2014, 03:17PM
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gpthelastrebel
Mon Sep 01 2014, 03:35PM
gpthelastrebel
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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 160 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.


FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 31, 1861. [Received A. G. O.,

February 4.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I hasten to write this letter, to be taken to the city by my friend, the Hon. Robert N. Gourdin, to say that the butcher has sent down a supply of fresh beef, with a note from him stating that he had not received my note, and that he did not, therefore, know of my order to him to continue my supplies as when I was in Fort Moultrie. He states that he sends the beef to-day in compliance with instructions from Mr. Gourdin, who has received a letter from me, in which I had alluded to my having written to him about it. He concluded by saying that he will cheerfully send what I require. Mr. Gourdin says that his excellency the governor is very desirous that we shall receive our supplies regularly, and thinks that there can be no difficulty in reference to groceries also. Hoping in God that there can be no further difficulty of any sort in this harbor, I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

*********************

Page 161

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., February 1, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

Commanding Fort Sumter, S. C.:

MAJOR: The President deeming it unnecessary longer to detain Lieutenant Hall, he will start this afternoon for his post. By him I send this letter to inform you of the receipt of your several letters, up to No. 26, inclusive.

The matters pertaining to Colonel Hayne's mission not being yet fully determined, I am unable to say more from the Secretary of War than that your course in relation to the tender of provisions from the governor of South Carolina, and in all other matters which have come to the knowledge of the Department, is approved to the fullest extent. I am, &c.,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General.

(The war dept. knew Anderson and his men were getting supplies from Charleston!!!)

*******************************************

Page 162

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., February 1, 1861.

Major T. H. HOLMES,

Eighth Infantry, Commanding Fort Columbus,

Governor's Island, N. Y.:

SIR: About twenty women and children from Major Anderson's command at Fort Sumter are on their way to New York, and application will probably be made to receive them at Fort Columbus. Should this be the case you will please make them as comfortable as circumstances will permit, and give rations to such as are properly laundresses of companies. If better quarters can be thus secured to them they can be sent to Fort Wood.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General.

******************************

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 166 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S.C. Chapter I.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 6, 1861.

Hon. I. W. HAYNE,

Attorney-General of the State of South Carolina:

SIR: The President of the United States has received your letter of the 31st ultimo,* and has charged me with the duty of replying thereto. In the communication addressed to the President by Governor Pickens, under date of the 12th of January,* and which accompanies yours, now before me, his excellency says:

I have determined to send to you Hon. I. W. Hayne, the attorney-general of the State of South Carolina, and have instructed him to demand the surrender of Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, to the constituted authorities of the State of South Carolina. The demand I have made of Major Anderson, and which I now make of you, is suggested because of my earnest desire to avoid bloodshed, which a persistence in your attempt to retain the possession of that fort will cause, and which will be unavailing to secure to you that possession, but induce a calamity most deeply to be deplored.

The character of the demand thus authorized to be made appears- under the influence, I presume, of the correspondence with the Senators to which you refer-to have been modified by subsequent instructions of his excellency, dated the 26th, and received by yourself on the 30th of January, in which he says:

If it be so that Fort Sumter is held as property, then as property, the rights, whatever they may be, of the United States can be ascertained; and for the satisfaction of these rights the pledge of the State of South Carolina you are authorized to give.

The full scope and precise purport of your instructions, as thus modified, you have expressed in the following words:

I do not come as a military man to demand the surrender of a fortress, but as the legal officer of the State-its attorney-general-to claim for the State the exercise of its undoubted right of eminent domain, and to pledge the State to make good all injury to the rights of property which arise from the exercise of the claim.

And lest this explicit language should not sufficiently define your position, you add:

The proposition now is that her [South Carolina's] law officer should, under authority of the governor and his council, distinctly pledge the faith of South Carolina to make such compensation in regard to Fort Sumter and its appurtenances and contents, to the full extent of the money value of the property of the United States delivered over to the authorities off South Carolina by your command.

You then adopt his excellency's train of thought upon the subject so far as to suggest that the possession of Fort Sumter by the United States, "if continued long enough, must lead to collision," and that "an attack upon it would scarcely improve it as property, whatever the result, and if captured it would no longer be the subject of account."

The proposal, then, now presented to the President is simply an offer on the part of South Carolina to buy Fort Sumter and contents as property of the United States, sustained by a declaration in effect that if she is not permitted to make the purchase she will seize the fort by force of arms. As the initiation of a negotiation for the transfer of property between friendly governments this proposal impresses the President as having assumed a most unusual form. He has, however, investigated the claim on which it professes to be based, apart from the declaration that accompanies it; and it may be here remarked that much stress has been laid upon the employment of the words "property" and "public property" by the President in his several messages. These are the most comprehensive terms which can be used in such a

---------------

*Not of record in War Department.

Page 167

connection, and surely, when referring to a fort or any other public establishment, they embraced the entire and undivided interest of the Government therein.

The title of the United States to Fort Sumter is complete and incontestible. Were its interest in this property purely proprietary, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, it might, probably, be subjected to the exercise of the right of eminent domain; but it has also political relations to it, of a much higher and more imposing character than those of mere proprietorship. It has absolute jurisdiction over the fort and the soil on which it stands. This jurisdiction consists in the authority to "exercise exclusive legislation" over the property referred to, and is therefore clearly incompatible with the claim of eminent domain now insisted upon by South Carolina. This authority was not derived from any questionable revolutionary source, but from the peaceful cession of South Carolina herself, acting through her legislature, under a provision of the Constitution of the United States. South Carolina can no more assert it over the district of Columbia. The political and proprietary rights of the United States in either case rest upon precisely the same grounds.

The President is, however, relieved from the necessity of further pursuing this inquiry by the fact that, whatever may be the claim of South Carolina to this fort, he has no constitutional power to cede or surrender it. The property of the United States has been acquired by force of public law, and can only be disposed of under the same solemn sanctions. The President, as the head of the executive branch of the Government only, can no more sell and transfer Fort Sumter to South Carolina than he can sell and convey the Capitol of the United States to Maryland, or to any other State or individual seeking to possess it. His excellency the governor is too familiar with the Constitution of the United States, and with the limitations upon the powers of the Chief Magistrate of the Government it has established, not to appreciate at once the soundness of this legal proposition.

The question of re-enforcing Fort Sumter is so fully disposed of in my letter to Senator Slidell and others, under date of the 22nd of January-a copy of which accompanies this-that its discussion will not now be renewed. I then said: "At the present moment it is not deemed necessary to re-enforce major Anderson, because he makes no such request. Should his safety, however, require re-enforcements, every effort will be made to supply them." I can add nothing to the explicitness of this language, which still applies to the existing status. The right to send forward re-enforcements when, in the judgment of the president, the safety of the garrison requires them rests on the same unquestionable foundation as the right to occupy the fortress itself.

In the letter of Senator Davis and others to yourself, under date of the 15th ultimo, they say: "We, therefore, think it expecilly due from South Carolina to our States, to say nothing o other slaveholding States, that she should, as far as she can consistently with her honor, avoid initiating hostilities between her and the United States or any other power"; and you now yourself give to the president the gratifying assurance that "South Carolina has every disposition to preserve the public peace"; and, since he is himself sincerely animated by the same desire, it would seem that this common and patriotic object must be of certain attainment.

It is difficult, however, to reconcile with this assurance the declaration on your part that "it is a consideration of her [South Carolina's]

Page 168

own dignity as a sovereign, and the safety of her people, which prompts her to demand that this property should not longer be used as a military post by a Government she no longer acknowledges," and the thought you so constantly present, that this occupation must lead to a collision of arms, and the prevalence of civil war.

Fort Sumter is in itself a military post, and nothing else; and it would seem that not so much the fact as the purpose of its use should give to it a hostile or friendly character. This fortress is now held by the Government of the United State for the same objects for which it has been held from the completion of its construction. These are national and defensive, and were a public enemy now to attempt the capture of Charleston, or the destruction of the commerce of its harbor, the whole force of the batteries of this fortress would be at once exerted for their protection. How the presence of a small garrison, actuated by such a spirit as this, can compromise the dignity or honor of South Carolina, or become a source of irritation to her people, the President is at a loss to understand. The attitude of that garrison, as has been often declared, is neither menacing, nor defiant, nor unfriendly. It is acting under orders to stand strictly on the defensive, and the government and people of South Carolina must well know that they can never receive aught but shelter from its guns, unless, in the absence of all provocation, they should assault it, and seek its destruction. The intent with which this fortress is held by the President is truthfully stated by Senator Davis and others in their letter to yourself of the 15th of january, in which they say, "It is not held with any hostile or unfriendly purpose towards your State, but merely as property of the United States, which the President deems it his duty to protect and preserve."

If the announcement, so repeatedly made, of the President's pacific purposes in continuing the occupation of Fort Sumter until the question shall have been settled by competent authority has failed to impress the government of South Carolina, the forbearing conduct of his administration for the last few months should be received as conclusive evidence of his sincerity; and if this forbearance, in view of the circumstances which have so severely tried it, be not accepted as a satisfactory pledge of the peaceful policy of this administration towards South Carolina, then it may be safely affirmed that neither language nor conduct can possibly furnish one. If, with all the multiplied proofs which exist of the president's anxiety for peace and of the earnestness with which he has pursued it, the authorities of that State shall assault Fort Sumter and peril the lives of the handful of brave and loyal men shut up within its walls, and thus plunge our common country into the horrors of civil war, then upon them, and those they represent, must rest the responsibility.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT,

Secretary of War.

(The Union or Federal governments position regarding Fort Sumter is stated very clear here. There are more than likely some South Carolina documents that related to this communication which if found will be posted later. As we can see the issue of Fort Sumter is the first and foremost issue facing both the Confederate and Federal governments. Has anyone noticed that slavery has not been mentioned as an issue as the two countries head toward war?) As we can see the issue of Fort Sumter is the first and foremost issue facing both the Confederate and Federal governments. Has anyone noticed that slavery has not been mentioned as an issue as the two countries head toward war?) Edited Thu Sep 04 2014, 01:00PM
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gpthelastrebel
Wed Sep 03 2014, 01:22PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 172 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S.C. Chapter I.

FORT SUMTER, S. C., February 13, 1861.

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

(Edited for length)

The guard-boats were unusually active last night, and rather trouble-some, too, for one of them, improving upon their ordinary tricks of run-

page 173

ning slowly past the fort at night with lights out, and close in to the fort, suddenly turned and headed directly in towards the fort. When very close our sentinel fired. The boat then sheered off and went out towards the bar. Loud voices and noises, as of riotous conduct, are reported as being heard on board.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

P. S.-Please excuse the half sheets, for our paper is getting scarce.

*******************************************************

Page 174

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF WAR, Charleston, S. C., February 14, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON:

SIR: Renewed instructions have been given to the officers commanding the night boats to keep at a proper distance from Fort Sumter, so as to prevent any collision between our people and your troops, and I hope you will have no further cause of complaint on the subject. I have instructed Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, quartermaster-general, to send over to Fort Sumter the bundle and package mentioned in the note of Dr. Crawford.

I am, sir, respectfully yours,

D. F. JAMISON.

***************************************************

I wanted to keep this letter and the reply together, therefore it is out of order for the ORs. Not much happens between this letter and the reply except each side continues to work on fortifications. GP

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 175 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.


FORT SUMTER, S. C., February 16, 1861. [Received A. G. O., February 19.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that we cannot see that any work is being carried on at either of the works in sight, except that at Fort Moultrie they appear to be making some changes. They may, perhaps, be engaged in removing some of the heaviest of the guns of their battery, either to place them in the floating battery or on Morris Island, where their fire would be more effective against this work than it would be from Fort Moultie. By the by, I should like to be instructed on a question which may present itself in reference to the floating battery, viz: What course would it be proper for me to take if, without a declaration of war, or a notification of hostilities, I should see them approaching my fort with that battery? They may attempt placing it within good distance before a declaration of hostile intention.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

The wind is freshening as though it may be the commencement of storm.

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Page 182

WAR DEPARTMENT, February 23, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S. C.:

SIR: It is proper I should state distinctly that you hold Fort Sumter as you held For Moultrie, under the verbal orders communicated by Major Buell,* subsequently modified by instructions addressed to you from this Department, under date of the 21st of December, 1860.

In your letter to Adjutant-General Cooper, of the 16th instant, you say:

I should like to be instructed on a question which may present itself in reference to the floating battery, viz: What course would it be proper for me to take if, without a declaration of war or a notification of hostilities, I should see them approaching my fort with that battery? They may attempt placing it within good distance before a declaration of hostile intention.

It is not easy to answer satisfactorily this important question at this distance from the scene of action. In my letter to you of the 10th of January I said:

You will continue, as heretofore, to act strictly on the defensive, and to avoid, by all means compatible with the safety of your command, a collision with the hostile forces by which you are surrounded.

The policy thus indicated must still govern your conduct.

The President is not disposed at the present moment to change the instructions under which you have been heretofore acting, or to occupy any other than a defensive position. If, however, you are convinced by sufficient evidence that the raft of which you speak is advancing for the purpose of making an assault upon the fort, then you would be justified on the principle of self-defense in not awaiting its actual arrival there, but in repelling fore by force on its approach. If, on the other hand, you have reason to believe that it is approaching merely to take up a position at a good distance should the pending question be not amicably settled, then, unless your safety is so clearly endangered as to render resistance an act of necessary self-defense and protection, you will act with that forbearance which has distinguished you heretofore in permitting the South Carolinians to strengthen Fort Moultrie and erect new batteries for the defense of the harbor. This will be but a redemption of the implied pledge contained in my letter on behalf of the President to colonel Hayne, in which, when speaking of Fort Sumter, it is said:

The attitude of that garrison, as has been often declared, is neither menacing, nor defiant, nor unfriendly. It is acting under orders to stand strictly on the defensive, and the government and people of South Carolina must know that they can never receive aught but shelter from its guns, unless, in the absence of all provocation, they should assault it and seek its destruction.

Page 183

A dispatch received in this city a few days since from Governor Pickens, connected with the declaration on the part of those convened at Montgomery, claiming to act on behalf of South Carolina as well as the other seceded States, that the question of the possession of the forts and other public property therein had been taken from the decision of the individual States and would probably be preceded in its settlement by negotiation with the Government of the United States, has impressed the President with a belief that there will be no immediate attack on Fort Sumter, and the hope is indulged that wise and patriotic counsels may prevail and prevent it altogether.

The labors of the Peace Congress have not yet closed, and the presence of that body here adds another to the powerful motives already existing for the adoption of every measure, except in necessary self-defense, for avoiding a collision with the forces that surround you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT.

(Ending this section and getting back in order as posted to the ORS. I will spend some time reading ahead to familiarize myself with what is coming up) Edited Wed Sep 03 2014, 01:22PM
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gpthelastrebel
Thu Sep 04 2014, 02:58PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
Another Expedition To Ft. Sumter --- Fanning the Flames of war

I was not aware of a second expedition to Ft. Sumter before Lincoln sent his force in April which started the war. I will post information on that expedition regardless if this forces reaches Sumter or not. I will not be posting reports of work done on the fortifications for either side unless the report contains some very important information.

GP

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 177 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., February 20, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel HENRY L. SCOTT, A. D. C., &c., New York:

See Captain Ward, commanding the North Carolina, receiving ship, and ask him to get his squadron ready as soon as he can, and let you know how many recruits he will want in addition to his marines; learn, also, what subsistence stores he will want, including a good quantity of desiccated vegetables; also coals, &c. See that he is supplied with everything for Anderson. I shall write to-morrow. No time now. Afraid of the wires.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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Page 179

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., February 21, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel HENRY L. SCOTT,
Acting Adjutant-General, New York:

SIR: I inclose a copy of a memorandum made by Lieutenant Hall, showing what articles are required at Fort Sumter, in addition to the usual supplies of the Subsistence Department, which the General-in-Chief wishes you to take measures to procure and have transferred to Captain Ward of the Navy, if he can take them on his vessels.

Please also have prepared as large a supply of subsistence as Captain Ward can take, including desiccated vegetables and potted meats.

When the expedition under Captain Ward shall sail [time] he may require a detachment of from fifty to two hundred recruits, with or without officers, as he may wish. See that they are confidentially prepared for that service.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Page 180

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, New York, February 22, 1861.

[Colonel L. THOMAS, A. A. G.:]

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your confidential letter of the 21st instant, conveying instructions of the General-in-Chief. I have already taken steps towards executing those instructions, by conferring with Captain Ward, of the Navy, and the quartermaster and commissary of subsistence on duty in this city. I shall see Major Thornton to-morrow. Captain Ward will not be able to take any bales of hay for bedding purposes, and at his suggestion I propose to send mattresses to Fort Sumter instead, unless objected to by the General-in-Chief. Captain Ward will provide the coal and wood which Lieutenant Hall's memorandum calls for. In relation to clothing, I am unable to make out what the memorandum requires. Instead, therefore, of writing myself to Philadelphia, I beg that the necessary orders may be given from Washington to the clothing officers in Philadelphia to send to Colonel Tompkins here the clothing required by the memorandum, and the garrison flag and cord for lanyards on this same memorandum. I shall see that everything else on the memorandum is provided here, including such groceries as might be for sale to officers, &c. The clothing should be put up in small bales, so that it may be distributed among the vessels. Colonel Tompkins will attend to its proper marking after its arrival here. Please let me know as soon as you give the

Page 181

order to the clothing department. I saw Commodore Bruce, who will do all that he can, but hopes to receive instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. SCOTT.

P. S.-I have arranged with Captain Ward to send all the stores, &c., on board the North Carolina, addressed to him. He will attend to their distribution among his vessels.

H. L. S., Lieutenant-Colonel.

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Page 183

No. 53.] FORT SUMTER, S. C., February 23, 1861. [Received A. G. O.,

February 26.]

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to end herewith some slips from the Charleston Mercury of yesterday. That paper publishes everything that is calculated to bring on a collision. I do not consider the rumor worthy of the least attention, but it accounts for the increased vigor exhibited last night, and continued to-day, in pushing forward their works on Cummings Point and at Fort Moultrie. They were working at the former place until midnight last night, and a large force is busy there now on the parapet [in which openings are formed apparently for four embrasures], and in hauling up timbers from a raft. A large shed has been put up, which may be intended for a bomb-proof storehouse or a magazine. At Fort Moultrie the glaces is being rapidly extended, and it is high enough to cover their wall, as if they expected me to attempt breaching it. They are also at work this morning on the gun battery at Fort Johnson.

I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FEDERAL RE-ENFORCEMENTS AT HAND.

The special dispatches of the Mercury announcing that a stealthy re-enforcement of Fort Sumter had been determined on, and that Federal troops, in boats, night be expected at any moment that circumstances should happen to favor their attempt to reach the fort, were confirmed about 9 o'clock last night by telegrams received by the governor. Shortly afterwards dispatches came up from Fort Moultrie, stating that the lieutenant in charge of the harbor watch had reported that he was informed by a pilot that the steamship Daniel Webster had been seen by him off Cape Romain at noon. Notice as immediately given to the different posts. General Dunovant and Captain Hamilton proceeded immediately to Fort Moultrie; Major Stevens repaired to the Morris Island batteries. Everything was got in readiness for the expected visitors.

Up to the hour at which we go to press [half past 4 o'clock] there has been nothing seen either of the Daniel Webster or her boats. We are very sure that the gallant troops on Morris and Sullivan's Islands will keep a bright lookout for both.

page 184

SECOND DISPATCH.

WASHINGTON, February 21-6 p.m.

There is the best of reason for believing that Holt designs re-enforcing secretly, by boats, at night. The re-enforcements have already been sent. You may look out for them at any moment. The programme is also to surround Fort Pickent with ships of war. That post is considered impregnable to the Southern forces. The whole anxiety of Scott and the coercionists centers now in Fort Sumter. There the Cabinet has determined that Lincoln shall find everything ready to his hand.

FORT SUMTER.-The Washington correspondents of Northern papers are continually disposing of this formidable post in divers ways. The last bulletin which we notice "settles the fact" in this summary style:

"I have just read a private letter from a citizen of South Carolina, formerly in Congress from that State, which states that Fort Sumter will be taken, at whatever cost of life, on or before the 4th of March next. The writer is himself to take part in the enterprise, and as he is also perfectly well informed in regard to the intentions of the State authoritities, it may be considered that this information settles the fact, if there is any doubt of it, that the fort is to be taken, and without reference to what the Montgomery government may advise or order on the subject."

FORT SUMTER, S. C., February 23, 1861.

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Page 187

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, February 28, 1861.

Major R. ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of your several communications, including No. 55, of the 25th instant. The Secretary of War directs me to send you the inclosed slip, and to say that the Peace Convention yesterday agreed upon the basis of a settlement of our political difficulties, which was reported to Congress. The Secretary entertains the hope that nothing will occur now of a hostile character.

I am, sir, &c.,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

The Commissioners from the Southern Confederacy are expected to arrive here before the close of this week. They are accredited to the incoming administration, and pending the efforts to negotiate, nothing will be done calculated to disturb the public peace.

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Page 196

FORT SUMTER, S. C., March 14, 1861.

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: The news received yesterday by telegraph, to the effect that orders were issued to evacuate this fort, seems to have caused an almost entire cessation of work on the batteries around us. I am not ceasing work on the preparations, although I am taking an inventory of the materials on hand, and otherwise getting ready for such orders should they actually arrive.

I have received my vouchers from town, together with my own private books and papers that were in the office. All of the office furniture, records, maps, instruments, &c., are retained by the authorities. I have here, however, most of the most useful maps and drawings.

Unless otherwise directed I shall discharge my force when the orders for evacuation arrive, and leave with the command, with my assistants, and report to you at Washington.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, March 15, 1861.

The honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:

MY DEAR SIR: Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort Sumter, under all the circumstances is it wise to attempt it? Please give me your opinion in writing on this question.*

Your obedient servant,

[A. LINCOLN.]

Answer.

In reply to the letter of inquiry addressed to my by the President, whether, "assuming it to be possible now to provision Fort Sumter, under all the circumstances is it wise to attempt it," I beg leave to say that it has received the careful consideration, in the limited time I could bestow upon it, which its very grave importance demands, and that my mind has been most reluctantly forced to the conclusion that it would be unwise now to make such an attempt.

In coming to this conclusion I am free to say I am greatly influenced by the opinions of the Army officers who have expressed themselves on the subject, and who seem to concur that it is, perhaps, now impossible to succor that fort substantially, if at all, without capturing, by means of a large expedition of ships of war and troops, all the opposing batteries of South Carolina. All the officers within Fort Sumter, together with Generals Scott and Totten, express this opinion, and it would seem to me that the President would not be justified to disregard such high authority without overruling considerations of public policy.

---------------

*The following papers marked "Answer" and as inclosures "A"-"H," are filed with the President's inquiry; they were probably submitted to the Cabinet March 15, 1861.

Major Anderson, in his report of the 28th ultimo, says:

I confess that I would not be willing to risk my reputation on an attempt to throw re-enforcements into this harbor within the time for our relief rendered necessary by the limited supply of our provisions, and with a view of holding possession of the same with a force of less than twenty thousand good and well-disciplined men.

In this opinion Major Anderson is substantially sustained by the reports of all the other officers within the fort, one of whom, Captain Seymour, speaks thus emphatically on the subject:

It is not more than possible to supply this fort by ruse with a few men or a small amount of provisions, such is the unceasing vigilance employed to prevent it. To do so openly by vessels alone, unless they are shot-proof, is virtually impossible, so numerous and powerful are the opposing batteries. No vessel can lay near the fort without being exposed to continual fire, and the harbor could, and probably would, whenever necessary, be effectually closed,, as one channel has already been. A projected attack in large force would draw to this harbor all the available resources in men and material of the contiguous States. Batteries of guns of heavy caliber would be multiplied rapidly and indefinitely. At least twenty-thousand men, good marksmen and trained for months past with a view to this very contingency, would be concentrated here before the attacking force could leave Northern ports. The harbor would be closed. A landing must be effected at some distance from our guns, which could give no aid. Charleston Harbor would be a Sebastopol in such a conflict, and unlimited means would probably be required to insure success, before which time the garrison of Fort Sumter would be starved out.

General Scott, in his reply to the question addressed to him by the President, on the 12th instant, what amount of means and of what description, in addition to those already at command, it would require to supply and re-enforce the fort, says:

I should need a fleet of war vessels and transports which, in the scattered disposition of the Navy [as understood], could not be collected in less than four months; 5,000 additional regular troops and 20,000 volunteers; that is, a force sufficient to take all the batteries, both in the harbor [including Fort Moultrie], as well as in the approach or outer bay. To raise, organize, and discipline such an army [not to speak of necessary legislation by Congress, not now in session] would require from six to eight months. As a practical military question the time for succoring Fort Sumter with any means at hand had passed away nearly a month ago. Since then a surrender assault or from starvation has been merely a question of time.

It is true there are those, whose opinions are entitled to respectful consideration, who entertain the belief that Fort Sumter could yet be succored to a limited extent without the employment of the large army and naval forces believed to be necessary by the Army officers whose opinions I have already quoted.

Captain Ward, of the Navy, an officer of acknowledged merit, a month ago believed it to be practicable to supply the fort with men and provisions to a limited extent without the employment of any very large military or naval force. He then proposed to employ four or more small steamers belonging to the Coast Survey to accomplish the purpose, and we have the opinion of General Scott that he has no doubt that Captain Ward at that time would have succeeded with his proposed expedition, but was not allowed by the late President to attempt the execution of his plan. Now it is pronounced from the change of circumstances impracticable by Major Anderson and all the other officers of the fort, as well as by Generals Scott and Totten, and in this opinion Captain Ward, after full consultation with the latter-named officers and the Superintended of the Coast Survey, I understand now reluctantly concurs.

Mr. Fox, another gentleman of experience as a seaman, who, having formerly been engaged on the Coast Survey, is familiar with the waters of the Charleston Harbor, has proposed to make the attempt to supply the fort with cutters of light draught and large dimensions, and his proposal has in a measure been approved by Commodore Stringham, but

198

he does not suppose or propose or profess to believe that provisions for more than one or two months could be furnished at a time.

There is no doubt whatever in my mind that when Major Anderson first took possession of Fort Sumter he could have been easily supplied with men and provisions, and that when Captain Ward, with the concurrence of General Scott, a month ago proposed his expedition he would have succeeded had he been allowed to attempt it, as I think he should have been. A different state of things now, however, exists. Fort Moultrie is now rearmed and strengthened; the principal channel has been obstructed; in short, the difficulty of re-enforcing the fort has been increased ten if not twenty fold.

Whatever might have been done as late as a month ago, it is too sadly evident that it cannot now be done without the sacrifice of life and treasure not at all commensurate with the object to be attained; and as the abandonment of the fort in a few weeks, sooner or later, appears to be an inevitable necessity, it seems to me that the sooner it be done the better.

The proposition presented by Mr. Fox, so sincerely entertained and ably advocated, would be entitled to my favorable consideration if, with all the light before me and in the face of so many distinguished military authorities on the other side, I did not believe that the attempt to carry it into effect would initiate a bloody and protracted conflict. Should he succeed in relieving Fort Sumter, which is doubted by many of our most experienced soldiers and seamen, would that enable us to maintain our authority against the troops and fortifications of South Carolina? Sumter could not now contend against these formidable adversaries if filled with provisions and men. That fortress was intended, as her position on the map will show, rather to repel an invading foe. It is equally clear from repeated investigations and trials that the range of her guns is too limited to reach the city of Charleston, if that were desirable.

No practical benefit will result to the country or the Government by accepting the proposal alluded to, and I am therefore of opinion that the cause of humanity and the highest obligation to the public interest would be best promoted by adopting the counsels of those brave and experienced men whose suggestions I have laid before you.

[Indorsement.]

There was a signed copy of the within placed in the hands of President Lincoln.

(The guns of Sumter would shut down the use of the harbor for sea trade.) Edited Fri Sep 05 2014, 01:16PM
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gpthelastrebel
Fri Sep 05 2014, 01:46PM
gpthelastrebel
Main Admin Main Admin Registered Member #1 Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3698
How to Prevent War


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 1, Part 1 (Charleston Campaign)

Page 198 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S.C. Chapter I.


Edited for length, this reports deals mostly with landing men in Charleston Harbor. Note that any action toward Ft. Sumter will likely cause war.



GP


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MEMORANDUM OF DIFFERENT PLANS FOR RE-ENFORCING FORT SUMTER.


Page 200

But, in the first place, it is a necessary condition that the boats arrive off the harbor before night. If they can see to take these bearings, they can be seen from the shore. In the next place, it seems impossible to fit out any expedition, however small and unobtrusive, without arousing inquiry, and causing the intelligence to be transmitted by telegraph. We may be certain, therefore, that these tugs will be waited for by steamers lying in the channelway, full of men.

This mode of relieving Fort Sumter, or another by men in rowboats passing up the same channel, is so obvious that it is unreasonable to suppose it has not been duly considered and provided for, where so much intelligence and resource in military means have been displayed in the scheme of defense, and so much earnestness and energy in execution. We know that guard rowboats and steamers are active during the night; and that they have all the means of intercepting with certainty this little expedition, and overpowering it, by boarding- a commencement of war.

This attempt, like any other, will inevitably involve a collision.

This raises a question that I am not called on to discuss, but as to which I may say that if the General Government adopts a course that must be attended with this result, its first measure should not be one so likely to meet disaster and defeat; nor one, I may add, which, even if successful, would give but momentary relief, while it would open all the powers of attack upon the fort, certainly reducing it before the means of recovering Charleston Harbor, with all its forts and batteries and environs, can possibly be concentrated there.

Respectfully submitted.

J. G. T.

**************************************

General Scott's memoranda for the Secretary of War.

It seems from the opinions of the Army officers who have expressed themselves on the subject-all within Fort Sumter, together with Generals Scott and Totten-that it is perhaps now impossible to succor that fort substantially, if at all, without capturing, by means of a large expedition of ships of war and troops, all the opposing batteries of South Carolina. In the mean time-six or ten months-Major Anderson would almost certainly have been obliged to surrender under assault or the approach of starvation; for even if an expedition like that proposed by G. V. Fox should succeed once in throwing in the succor of a few men and a few weeks' provisions, the necessity of repeating the latter supply would return again and again, including the yellow fever season. An abandonment of the fort in a few weeks, sooner or later, would appear,therefore, to be a sure necessity, and if so, the sooner the more graceful on the part of the Government.

It is doubtful, however, according to recent information from the South, whether the voluntary evacuation of Fort Sumter alone would have a decisive effect upon the States now wavering between adherence to the Union and secession. It is known, indeed, that it would be

201

charged to necessity, and the holding of Fort Pickens would be adduced in support of that view. Our Southern friends, however, are clear that the evacuation of both the forts would instantly soothe and give confidence to the eight remaining slaveholding States, and render their cordial adherence to this Union perpetual. The holding of Forts Jefferson and Taylor, on the ocean keys, depends on entirely different principles, and should never be abandoned; and, indeed, the giving up of Forts Sumter and Pickens may be best justified by the hope that we should thereby recover the State to which they geographically belong by the liberality of the act, besides retaining the eight doubtful States.

(This is a short post because of the information contained within. Note what Gen. Scott says about how to keep the remaining 8 Southern states in the Union and perhaps getting the states that have left the Union to return. This action may have settled the issue of war.) Edited Mon Sep 08 2014, 02:31PM
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