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CABINET DISCUSSION ON THE QUESTION OF EVACUATION.
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana, and abstain from all attempts to collect revenues in these States."
Both resolutions were laid over, to be debated the day following. The wish to adjourn made many Senators unwilling to consider the resolutions at length, fearing a protracted debate on the question of advising and directing the President.
On Thursday (March 28th) Trumbull, of Illinois, introduced a resolution declaring that, in the opinion of the Senate, the true way to preserve the Union is to enforce the laws of the Union; that resistance to their
| enforcement, whether under the name of anti-coercion or any other name, is disunion; and that it is the duty of the President to use all the means in his power to hold and protect the public property of the United States, and enforce the laws thereof, as well in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, as within the other States of the Union.
This was briefly discussed, but the desire to adjourn overrode this and the other resolutions introduced. The Senate adjourned sine die at four o'clock.
LINCOLN'S CABINET ON THE EVACUATION OF FORT SUMTER. THE PRESIDENT'S COURSE. CONDITION OF FORT PICKENS. LINCOLN'S MESSENGERS TO FORT SUMTER. STATE OF PUBLIC AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING TIONAL UNITY.'' SOUTHERN CONTEMPT OF NORTHERN MORAL.
Cabinet discussion of
the question of Evacuation.
The news from Washing- tion was first presented, they agree as to the ton, March 14th, was calcu-stern necessity which is urged as the only lated to excite profound justification for a recourse which, in the best aspect, seems to involve a certain degree of national humiliation. The unity of the Cabi
however, will not be affected by the opposing views on this subject, which has now assumed a shape that admits of but one solution, for which General Scott and his military
interest. A dispatch stated: "Two sessions of the Cabinet have been held upon the final determination concerning Fort Sumter.net, The first met at 10 o'clock and adjourned at 1, and reconvened at 4 and adjourned at 7. It is well understood that there is a lecided difference of opinion among the mem-associates are wholly responsible. Nothing bers on this question, which first found ex- remains now to be done after these concluding pression at the conference on Saturday night, deliberations, but to issue the formal orders, when the military reports, advising the with- which have been approved by the highest drawal, were submitted. That difference authority. The particular mode of withwas emphasized to day in very positive terms, drawing Major Anderson's force has yet to be and led to a protracted discussion. While determined. General Scott's inclination, two members of the Cabinet disagree as to this days ago, was to send them to New York by policy, and have done so since the proposi-steamer, which would save the necessity of
may, however, be changed before the last order is given. No messenger has yet been sent to Major Anderson in regard to this matter, as the newspapers have reported. He has, however, been prepared for a decisive communication from the War Department, since he made a detailed report last week, showing the limited stock of supplies in Fort Sumter."
passing through Charleston. That purpose | sponsibility" even though the course pursued was not in consenance with that advised by his Cabinet or expected by the public. The Sumter complication illustrated this self-reliance, in a remarkable manner. When the country had, apparently, made up its mind to see the beleaugered band of loyalists march out of the fastness which kept the sacrilegeous horde of Union-breakers at bay, the President was silent. Day and night the deed was present to his mind; and slowly, as the biscuits and meat of the garrison provision-chest grew low day by day, the thought took form which was to give him the hearts and hands of a united people in exchange for the loss of that fastness, at once the Key to Charleston and the portal of hope to the lover of his country.
Opposition to an
This states the condition of the question of evacuation, so far as related to the discussions within the Cabinet. The withdrawal of the garrison having been determined upon, as a "military necessity," it seemingly only remained for the President to permit the dispatch of the order for evacuation to be sent to consummate the step declared necessary. The public in the Northern States became reconciled to the decision, so far as its intense feeling would permit. Still, there were not wanting many who regarded the surrender of the post, under menace, not only as a national humiliation, but as a positive confession of the weakness of the Goverment. By this class the evacuation was pronounced a virtual surrender to revolution. In the Senate the decision found several most uncompromising opponents-among them Wade, of Ohio, Wilson, of Massachusetts, and Trumbull, of Illinois-all of whom freely expressed their opposition to the withdrawal of Major Anderson. Whatever may have been their influence with the President, if any, it is certain that the Executive did not accede to the "military necessity," for days grew into weeks, and yet the missive of humiliation did not go forth.
The President's Deliberation.
Whatever was to be the fortune of Sumter, it became apparent that the remaining forts in possession of the General Government were to be retained, at all hazards. The statements made by Senator Clingman, in the debate on the message, that warlike preparations were going on at the Navy Yard, were not without foundation. Several vessels, as early as March 10th, had passed South to reinforce those fortifications still in the hands of the Government troops. Sumter alone seemed left to its solitary fate. Pickens, un
Condition of Fort
der command of Lieutenant
In this instance, and in others of eminent and vital importance, the President showed a quiet and cautious independence of judgment which rendered it certain that the Chief Magistrate was one of those men having both a will and a way of his own. Solicitous for the opinions of those best qualified to give advice, patient in obtaining in-war lying off in the harbor. By March 15th formation, watchful of the currents of public the fort was deemed capable of resisting the feeling, Mr. Lincoln was slow in forming his assault then hourly threatened by General judgment; but, when once the way seemed Bragg, the Confederate commander, who, for clear, he did not hesitate to "assume the re-weeks, had been making extensive prepara
Condition of Fort Pickens.
tions for forcing Slemmer out of the Santa Rosa fortress. It was reported from Washington, March 16th, that the fort was invested by thirteen full batteries, including Forts McRae and Barrancas, which commanded not only Pickens but the offing. At that date the steam corvette Brooklyn, and the sailing frigate Sabine, were lying off the port with reinforcements on board. No attempts were made to land the troops, however, since the rebel commander threatened to open fire on the vessels and on Pickens, if the reinforcement was attempted. But, the nightly mission of small boats which put off, with muffled oars, to the outside of Santa Rosa island, gave the brave Lieutenant good cheer and helping hands, and when the middle of the month had passed, the fortress was prepared for the threatened bombardment. Beside the Brooklyn and Sabine, the Wyandotte and several sloops-of-war were understood to be present, prepared to render effective service. This powerful array undoubtedly prevented the assault; and the three thousand Confederates, with "souls on fire for the fray," all under command of a redoubtable officer, were compelled to witness the old flag's morning salute, without the power to banish it from their sight. The presence of a strong naval force at that point, with reinforcements, was one of the acts which marked the brief term of Secretary Holt's service. To his orders, to that disposition of the vessels-of-war, as well as to Slemmer's efficiency, does the country owe the salvation of Pickens,* and the retention
*The service which his predecessor, John B. Floyd, rendered to the cause of disunion and treason, was thus set forth by the Atlanta (Geo.) Confederacy, of March 16th. :
"But for the foresight, and firmness, and patriotic providence of John B. Floyd, in what stress and peril would the Cotton States be floundering this day! He saw the inevitable doom of the Union, or the doom of his own people. For many months past, from his stand-point, he had an extended field of vision, which enabled him to see the great danger which threatened us, but which was hid below the horizon from the eyes of most of us. When his faithful loyalty to his own persecuted people began its labors in our defense, in what a condition were
of the important positions at Key West and the Tortugas. [See vol. I. page 368.]
Several messengers from the Federal authorities to Fort Sumter appeared in Charleston during the middle and latter part of March. Surgeon Fox, of the United States Navy, was dispatched by Mr. Lincoln, and passed over to Sumter, "by special permission of the South Carolina authorities," to inspect the sanitary condition of the fort, as well as to confer privately with Major Anderson; but the attendance of Captain Hartstene prevented the desired private conference.
Colonel G. W. Lay, of General Scott's staff, appeared at Charleston March 20th, and had a long interview with Governor Pickens and General Beauregard, understood to be in reference to terms of evacuation, and the disposition of the armament of the fort, should the Federal Government order the
surrender of the fortress.
March 25th, Colonel Lamon, as a special messenger of the President, arrived in CharlesAfter an interview with the authorities, he passed over to the fort. His visit was announced as one of "pacification." He had an unrestricted interview with Major Anderson, whom he found in good spirits, and with provisions enough to hold out to April 15th. He returned to Washington the Southern States! The North had the heavy guns, the light arms, the powder and ball, just as the North had everything else that belonged to the common Government. How quietly were men shifted from our soil who might have been here to-day to murder us at Abraham Lincoln's order. How slender the garrisons became in Southern forts which were made for us, and belong to nobody else, but which a savage enemy now chafes and rages to get possession of! Who sent 37,000 stand of arms to Georgia? How came 60,000 more prime deathdealing rifles at Jackson, Miss.? And, in short, why have we anything at all in the South to mail the strong hands of the sons of the South with at this hour, when every heart, and head, and arm of her children is needed in her defense? Truth demands it of us to declare that we owe to John B. Floyd an eternal tribute of gratitude for all this. Had he been less the patriot than he was, we might now have been disarmed and at the mercy of a nation of cut-throats and plunderers."
millions of immortal beings, incapable of self-care, and indisposed to industry and foresight, are providentially committed to the hands of our Southern
March 26th, reporting unfavorably to rein- | but this will be, at present, our main topic. Four forcements. All the schemes devised for throwing supplies into the beleaguered for tress Mr. Lamon reported to be impracticable-an opinion which Major Anderson, also, was understood to entertain. ̧
The several reports of these messengers seemed to leave no alternative but the withdrawal of the little band from Charleston, The order for evacuation was hourly looked for by the country, as well as by Anderson himself. But, the days wore into weeks, and that order was not given. The interest in the garrison became hourly more painful. The crisis was approaching. The national pulse seemed to stand still for the word that was to declare the fate of the Republic.
As showing something of the spirit of a very large and influential class of citizens of the North, at this juncture, we may mention the existence of a Society organized in New York under the presidency of Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse. It represented
friends. This stupendous trust they cannot put from them if they would. Emancipation, were it possible, would be rebellion against Providence, and destruction to the colored race in our land. We at the North rid ourselves of no responsibility by assuming an attitude of hostility to Slavery, and thus sundering the bonds of State fellowship; we only put it out of our power to do the good which both hu manity and religion demand; should we not rather recognize the Providence of God, in his placing such a vast multitude of the degraded and dependent sons of Africa in this favored land, and cheerfully co-operate, by all needful labors and sacrifices, with
His benevolent design to save, and not to destroy them? Under a Providential dispensation, lifting them up from the degradation and miseries of indolence and vice, and exacting of them due and needful labor, they can certainly be trained and nurtured, as many have been, for the services and joys of heaven; and if the climate and institutions of the South are such that our fellow-citizens there can afford to take the onerous care of them, in return for their services, should we not gladly consent? They freely concede to us our conscientious convictions, our rights, and all our privileges; should we not as freely concede to them theirs? Why should we contend? Why paralyze business, turn thousands of the industrious and worthy poor out of em. ployment, sunder the last ties of affection that can bind these States together, destroy our once pros perous and happy nation, and perhaps send multitudes to premature graves-and all for what? Is not such a course a struggle of arrogant assumption against the Providence of the Most High? and, if
the commercial interests more particularly--among its chief corporators being found the names of several eminent mercharts, while the New York Journal of Commerce became its gan." The society was called the "American Society for promoting National Unity." It held its first session in New York, March 6th, and put forth its plea in a " programme," which was a singular commixture of religion, politics and commerce-all directed against “Abolitionism," the great prime demoral-persisted in, will it not surely bring down his heavy
izer and disorganizer. We may quote from this document as one of those "signs of the times" which indicated how cleverly commerce and religion could hob-nob with Satan, when he threatened to disturb their quiet and their profits:
“We believe that the time has come when such
and prolonged judgments upon us ?"
This religio-commercial enterprise did not, we may state, attract any particular attention, although strongly indorsed and sustained by that powerful organ of the Presbyterian (Old School) denomination, the New York Observer. The great tide of public feeling was sweeping insensibly onward, evil teachings (abolitionism) should be firmly and boldly confronted, not by the antagonisms of doubt against the old barriers where property in man was intrenched; and those subservient ful and perishable weapons, but by the Word of servants who ordained the "American SoGod, which liveth and abideth forever,' as expounded by a broad and faithful recognition of his moral ciety for promoting National Unity," by and providential government over the world. It is fighting the battles of the propagandists with with this view that we propose an organized Scriptural weapons, daily became less poeffort, &c., &c. tential. We advert to the organization sim"Our attention will not be confined to Slavery, ply as one of the last religious efforts to
SOUTHERN CONTEMPT FOR THE
"cement the Union" by hurling anathemas against the Anti-Slavery sentiment of the North.
Southern Contempt for the Yankees.
It is here worthy of remark, that the South, while it virtually held in subjection a large class of citizens in the North, still despised them, as the British used Arnoid, and paid him gold for his treason, yet despised the creature even to forbidding his presence. The epithet "Yankee" had long implied, to the Southern understanding, something mean or abject. Up to the very last hour, prior to the response to Mr. Lincoln's proclamation for troops, (April 15th,) the disunion leaders confidently counted upon such aid and comfort from the commercial North and manufacturing East, as would greatly assist to secure Southern independence. The all-potent agency relied upon was the supposed dependence of Northern commerce and Eastern manufactures upon Southern patrons. The dollar-loving, mercenary men of the Free States were regarded as lacking the spirit to defend their Union sentiments by the sword. The following paragraph, from the New Orleans Bee, (March 10th,) simply embodied the almost generally prevalent feeling in the South regarding the honor and courage of the North: "The Black Republicans are a cowardly set, after all. They have not the courage of their own convictions. They tamper with principles. Loathing Slavery, they are willing to incur almost any sacrifice rather than surrender the Border States. Appearances indicate their disposition even to forego the exquisite delight of sending fleets and armies to make war on the Confederate South, rather than run the risk of forfeiting the allegiance of the frontier Slave States. We see by this how hollow and perfidious is their policy, and how inconsistent are their acts with their professions. The truth is, they ablor Slavery, but they are fully alive to the danger of losing their power and influence, should
they drive Virginia and the other Border States out of the Union. They chafe, doubtless, at the hard necessity of permitting South Carolina and her sisters to escape from their thraldom, but it is a necessity, and they must, perforce, submit to it." The opinion was sedulously disseminated, by the press of the South, particularly during the months of January, February and March, tha.. distress and pauperism in the North
would follow upon the secession of the Cotton States. This opinion gave zest to the disunion movement, as, in the near future, the Secessionists beheld their harbors teeming with a commerce too long committed to the North-their streams lined with looms too long monopolized by New England skill and energy-their cities a nursery for the ten thousand shops and factories required by the needs of a great and self-sustaining people. As specimen of the system of falsehood and exaggeration practiced by the intriguants, to lure their victims on to the fatal issue of disunion, and to impress the Southern masses with a false idea of the results to follow the act, we quote from the Charleston Mercury's New York correspondence [March12th:]
A specimen of Seces. sion Falsification.
"Any troops raised to invade the South, would have to march over the dead bodies of at least their own number before they ever set foot on Southern soil, and Greeley, and Beecher, and Field, and the other truculent Abolition leaders, would be seen some fine morning swinging by the neck from the lamp-posts of Broadway. But I fear that even your determination to stand by your rights, though it has cowed the poltroons whose tongues and types were so brave, will not ultimately prevent insurrections at the North. The whole city of New York, you may rely upon it, is on the verge of bankruptcy. Not five dry-goods houses will be able to stand. There is no business being done. The number of hands discharged is immense. The Morrill tariff will bring the commercial crisis here, made from
political causes, to an explosion next month. The greater part of the foreign trade will be diverted southward, and in a short time pauperism and general distress will be so great, that risings and riots will take place, and the white slaves of commerce and capital, both in New York and New England, will administer to the lips of their taskmasters the poisoned chalice which they have prepared for the planters of the South. An ignorant proletarian mass, whose condition at best is infinitely inferior to
that of your negroes, will be sure to better the instruction' they have received from their oracles.
Long taught that property is robbery,' they will
put the doctrine into practice at last upon a scale of fearful dimensions. At this moment, there are fifty thousand human beings in New York and Brooklyn who know not where they will be able to get their breakfast to-morrow morning, and every
day the number of the destitute will greatly increase. The New York papers conceal or gloss over this terrible reality. If the South wants recruits to fight