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Davis, Lieutenant N. J. Hall—all of the first regiment artillery.
"Captain J. G. Foster and Lieutenant G. W. Snyder, of the engineer corps.
"Assistant Surgeon S. W. Crawford, of the medical staff.
"The force under these gentlemen consists of two companies of artillery. The companies, however, are not full, the two comprising, as we are informed, only about seventy men, including the hand. A short time ago two additional companies were expected, but they have not come; and it is now positively stated that there will be, for the present at least, no reinforcement of the garrison.
"While the working-men are doing wonders on the outside, the soldiers within are by no means idle. Fieldpieces have been placed in position upon the green within the fort, and none of the expedients of military engineering have been neglected to make the position as strong as possible. It is said that the greatest vigilance is observed in every regulation at this time, and that the guns are regularly shotted every night. It is very certain that ingress is no longer an»easy matter for an outsider, and the visitor who hopes to get in must make up his mind to approach with all the caution, ceremony, and circumlocution with which the allies are advancing upon the capital of the Celestial Empire.
"Fort Sumter, the largest of our fortresses, is a work of solid masonry, octagonal in form, pierced on the north, east, and west sides with a double row
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of port-holes for the heaviest guns, and on the south or land side, in addition to openings for guns, loop-holes for musketry; stands in the middle of the harbor, on the edge of the ship channel, and is said to be bomb-proof. It is at present without any regular garrison. There is a large force of workmen— some one hundred and fifty in all— busily employed in mounting the guns and otherwise putting this great strategic point in order. The armament of Fort Sumter consists of 140 guns, many of them being the formidable teninch 'columbiads,' which throw either shot or shell, and which have a fearful range. Only a few of these are yet in position, and the work of mounting pieces of this calibre in the casemates is necessarily a slow one. There is also a large amount of artillery stores, consisting of about 40,000 pounds of powder, and a proportionate quantity of shot and shell. The workmen engaged here sleep in the fort every night, owing to the want of any regular communication with the city. The wharf or landing is on the south side, and is of course exposed to a cross fire from all the openings on that side.
"The fortress most closely commanding the city and its roadstead is Castle Pinckney, which is located on the southern extremity of a narrow slip of marsh land, which extends in a northerly direction to Hog Island Channel. To the harbor side the so-called castle presents a circular front. It has never been considered of much consequence as a fortress, although its proximity to the city would give it importance, if properly armed and garrisoned. From hasty observation, we find that there are about fifteen guns mounted on the parapet; the majority of them are eighteen and twenty-four pounders. Some 'columbiads' are, however, within the walls. There are also supplies of powder, shot, and shell. At present there is no garrison at the post; the only residents are one or two watchmen, who have charge of the harbor light. Some thirty or forty day laborers are employed repairing the cisterns, and putting the place generally in order."
Major Anderson, the Federal officer in command, informed of the action of the convention in regard to the forts, witnessing the public excitement in Charleston, conscious of the intense desire of the people of South Carolina to possess them, and believing that they would not long hesitate to make the attempt, became solicitous about their safety. He had no hope of being able to defend Fort Moultrie, whose feeble and unprotected walls he held with a meagre garrison of only sixty effective men. He despaired of any aid from the Federal Government, for he had been told by the secretary of war, Floyd, how, with a natural regard for the safety of his fellow-conspirators, he had "carefully abstained from increasing the force at this point, or taking any measures which might add to the present excited state of the public mind, or which would throw any doubt on the confidence he feels that South Carolina will not attempt by violence to obtain pos
session of the public works, or interfere with their occupancy."*
It was not, therefore, surprising that Anderson should write thus despairingly:
"When I inform you that my garrison consists of only sixty effective Dcc« men, and that we are in a very 24. indifferent work, the walls of which are only about fourteen feet high, and that we have, within one hundred and sixty yards of our walls, sand-hills which command our work, and which afford admirable sites for batteries and the finest covers for sharp-shooters, and that besides this there are numerous houses, some of them within pistol-shot, you will at once see that, if attacked in force, headed by any one but a simpleton, there is scarce a possibility of our being able to hold out long enough to enable our friends to come to our succor.
"Trusting that God will not desert us in our hour of trial, I am sincerely yours.
"Major 1st Artillery, etc." Anderson, however, was not the man to yield to despair while the call of duty invoked to effort. He accordingly determined, that if Fort Moultrie could not be defended, he would place his meagre garrison in Fort Sumter, which could. His preparations were made with a prudent secrecy. In order to deceive the inhabitants of Sullivan Island, upon which the fort is situated, it was studiously reported among them, that in consequence of the probability
° Verbal Instructions to Major Anderson, Dec. 11, 1860.
of an attack by the people of Charleston, the wives and children of the garrison were about to be removed to a safer place. Under the cover of this pretext, three schooners were hired, brought up to the wharf, and loaded with what was supposed by the people of the island merely ordinary baggage. These vessels, however, contained not only the women and children, but provisions, munitions of war, and the personal effects of the officers and soldiers. Thus laden, the three schooners put off, and sailed, not to Fort Johnson, on James Island, as had been carefully reported, and for which they apparently steered, but to Fort Sumter, where, after a circuitous course, they finally arrived in the evening and discharged their important burthens. Anderson waited for the darkness of the night before embarking his men. At halfDec, past nine o'clock, row-boats having 26. been got ready, the whole force, with the exception of Captain Foster and eight men, left to dismantle and spike the guns and burn their carriages, pushed off. Before daylight next morning Major Anderson was in full possession of Fort Sumter, with his little garrison. The smoke from Fort Moultrie, still rising at early dawn, was the first to arouse the attention of the people of Charleston. They gathered in excited crowds upon the wharfs and the battery, and anxiously sought the cause. Great alarm spread throughout the town, and the troops were called to arms. Various were the conjectures: some thought that a fresh United States force
FORT SUMTER. 63?
had arrived ; some supposed that Anderson had evacuated the harbor altogether, after having destroyed the fort; but none seemed to suspect his masterly movement. All doubt, however, was soon removed by the arrival in the city of some of the inhabitants of Sullivan's Island.
When the fact became known, the excitement increased. The convention met immediately, and issued orders for the occupation of the deserted Fort Moultrie and the other defences of the harbor by the State troops. The Federal arsenal at Charleston, which had been so generously supplied by the treasonable forecast of the secretary of war, yielded up its stores of arms and ammunition to the eager asserters of "State sovereignty." Colonel Pettigrew, in obedience to the command of the convention, took possession, with two hundred men, of Castle Pinckney, which was found without a man to defend it, but with its entrances barricaded, its guns spiked, its ammunition gone, and its flagstaff prostrate. Lieutenant-Colonel De Saussure, also with two hundred men, proceeded to take possession of the abandoned Fort Moultrie. As he approached, Captain Foster and his eight soldiers, who had been left to destroy the guns and keep nominal possession, pushed off in a rowboat for Fort Sumter.
As soon as the South Carolinians got possession, they commenced to repair the damage effected by Anderson, and to add to the former efficiency and strength of the fort. The condition in which it was found after its abandonDeC, ment by the Federal force, is thus W« minutely described by a writer in the Charleston Courier:
"On the way across the harbor, the hoisting of the American flag from the stafl of Fort Sumter, at precisely twelve o'clock, gave certain indication that the stronghold was occupied by the troops of the United States. On a nearer approach the fortress was discovered to be occupied, the guns appeared to be mounted, and sentinels were discovered on duty, and the place to give every sign of occupancy and military discipline. The grim fortress frowned defiance on every side; the busy notes of preparation resounded through its unforbidding recesses, and everything seemed to indicate the utmost alacrity in the work on hand.
"Turning toward Fort Moultrie, a dense cloud of smoke was seen to pour from the end facing the sea. The flagstaff was down, and the whole place had an air of desolation and abandonment quite the reverse of its busy look one week ago, when scores of laborers were engaged in adding to its strength all the works skill and experience could suggest.
"In the immediate vicinity of the rear or landside entrance, however, greater activity was noticeable. At the time of our visit, a large force of hands had been summoned to deliver up their implements for transportation to Fort Sumter. Around on every side were the evidences of labor in the fortification of the work. In many places a portion of the defences were strength
ened by every appliance that art could suggest or ingenuity devise; while in others, the uncompleted works gave evidences of the utmost confusion. On all hands the process of removing goods, furniture, and munitions was yet going on. The heavy guns upon the ramparts of the fort were thrown down from their carriages and spiked. Every ounce of powder and every cartridge had been removed from the magazines, and, in fact, everything like small-arms, clothing, provisions, accoutrements, and other munitions of war had been removed off and deposited; nothing but heavy balls and useless cannon remained.
"The entire place was, to all appearances, littered up with the odds, ends, and fragments of war's desolation. Confusion could not have been more complete had the late occupants retired in the face of a besieging foe. Fragments of gun-carriages, etc., broken to pieces, bestrewed the ramparts. Sand-bags and barrels filled with earth crowned the walls, and were firmly imbedded in their bomb-proof surface as an additional safeguard; and notwithstanding the heterogeneous scattering of materials and implements, the walls of the fort evinced a vague degree of energy in preparing for an attack. A ditch some fifteen feet wide and about the same in depth surrounds the entire wall on three sides. On the south side, or front, a glacis has been commenced and prosecuted nearly to completion, with a rampart of sandbags, barrels, etc.
"On one side of the fort a palisade of palmetto logs is extended around the
ramparts as a complete defence against an escalading party. New embrasures have been cut in the walls so as to command the faces of the bastion and ditch. These new defences are all incomplete, and are evidence of the haste with which they were erected. Considering the inferior force, in point of numbers, under his command, Major Anderson had paid particular attention to strengthening only a small part of the fort.
"A greater portion of the labor expended was spent upon the citadel, or centre of the west point of the position. This he had caused to be strengthened in every way; loop-holes were cut, and everything was so arranged that in case a well-concerted attack was made, he would have retired from the outer bastions to the citadel, and afterward blow up the other portions of the fort. For this purpose mines had already been sprung, and trains had been laid ready for the application of the match. The barrack-rooms and every other part of the fort that was indefensible would have gone at a touch.
"On the ramparts of the fort fronting Fort Sumter were nine eight-inch columbiads, mounted on wooden carriages. As soon as the evacuation of the fort was complete, the carriages of these guns were fired, and at the time of visiting the fort yesterday, were nearly consumed, and the guns thereby dismounted. These guns, as well as those constituting the entire armament of the fortress, were spiked before it was abandoned. This is the only damage done the fortification, further than cutting
down the flagstaff, and the breaking up of ammunition-wagons to form ramparts on the walls of the fort."
The seizure of the Federal forts was followed by that of the arsenal, the custom-house, and the post-office, upon each of which was raised the Palmetto flag. The South Carolinians were pleased to consider the simple movement of a Federal officer from one Federal fort to another an act of war. "Major Robert Anderson, United States army," wrote a journalist,* "has achieved the unenviable distinction of opening civil war between American citizens by an act of gross breach of faith. He has, under counsels of a panic, deserted his post at Fort Moultrie, and under false pretexts has transferred his garrison and military stores and supplies to Fort Sumter."
Another writerf declared: "It is due to South Carolina and to good faith that the act of this officer (Major Anderson) should be repudiated by the Government, and that the troops be removed forthwith from Fort Sumter."
The governor of South Carolina demanded of Anderson by what authority he had acted, and what was the object of his movement. Anderson replied, that it was merely a military measure for the purpose only of defence, which he had executed on his own responsibility.
The convention, however, of South Carolina made the act of Anderson the pretext for the most energetic preparations for war. Assuming the whole conduct of government, it organized a mil