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CH.XXVIII. erate States," just as Governor Gist's October circular was the "official" beginning of South Carolina secession.


WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 1860.

The argument is exhausted. All hope of relief in the Union through the agency of committees, Congressional legislation, or constitutional amendments is extinguished, and we trust the South will not be deceived by appearances or the pretense of new guarantees. In our judgment the Republicans are resolute in the purpose to grant nothing that will or ought to satisfy the South. We are satisfied the honor, safety, and independence of the Southern people require the organization of a Southern Confederacy-a result to be obtained only by separate State secession — that the primary object of each slave-holding State ought to be its speedy and absolute separation from a Union with hostile States.

J. L. Pugh...

David Clopton..

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.of Alabama. Burton Craige, of North Carolina. of Alabama. Thomas Ruffin,

Sydenham Moore... of Alabama.

J. L. M. Curry. .of Alabama. John Slidell,

J. A. Stallworth

...of Alabama.

J. W. H. Underwood, of Georgia. J. P.

L. J. Gartrell

James Jackson..

of North Carolina.

U. S. Senator, Louisiana. Benjamin,

. of Georgia. U. S. Senator, Louisiana. .of Georgia. J. M. Landrum....of Louisiana. John J. Jones ..of Georgia. Louis T. Wigfall, Martin J. Crawford...of Georgia. Alfred Iverson,

U. S. Senator, Georgia.
George S. Hawkins...of Florida.
T. C. Hindman......of Arkansas.
Jefferson Davis,

U. S. Senator, Texas.

John Hemphill,

U. S. Senator, Texas. . of Texas.

J. H. Reagan..
M. L. Bonham,

of South Carolina.

U. S. Senator, Mississippi. Wm. Porcher Miles,
A. G. Brown,

of South Carolina.

of South Carolina.

U. S. Senator, Mississippi. John McQueen, Washington"Con- Wm. Barksdale... of Mississippi. stitution," O. R. Singleton... of Mississippi. John D. Ashmore, Dec. 15,


Reuben Davis... of Mississippi.

of South Carolina.

This proclamation of revolution, when analyzed, reveals with sufficient clearness the design and in

dustry with which the conspirators were step by CH.XXVIII. step building up their preconcerted movement of secession and rebellion. Every justifying allegation in the document was notoriously untrue.

Instead of the argument being exhausted, it was scarcely begun. So far from Congressional or constitutional relief having been refused, the Southern demand for them had not been formulated. Not only had no committee denied hearing or action, but the Democratic Senate, at the instance of a Southern State, had ordered the Committee of Thirteen, which the Democratic and Southern Vice-President had not yet even appointed; and when the names were announced a week later, Jefferson Davis, one of the signers of this complaint of non-action, was the only man who refused to serve on the committee a refusal he withdrew when persuaded by his co-conspirators that he could better aid their designs by accepting. On the other hand, the Committee of Thirty-three, raised by the Republican House, appointed by a Northern Speaker, and presided over by a Northern chairman, had the day before by more than a two-thirds vote distinctly tendered the Southern people "any reasonable, proper, and constitutional remedies and effectual guarantees."

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Outside of Congressional circles there was the same absence of any new complications, any new threats, any new dangers from the North. Since the day when Abraham Lincoln was elected President there had been absolutely no change of word or act in the attitude and intention of himself or his followers. By no possibility could they exert a particle of adverse political power, executive, legislative, or

CH.XXVIII. judicial, for nearly three months. Not only was executive authority in the hands of a Democratic Administration, which had made itself the peculiar champion of the Southern party, but it had yielded every successive demand of administrative policy made by the conspirators themselves. The signers of this address to their Southern constituents had not one single excuse.



IKE the commandant of Fort Moultrie, the cu. XXIX.

Lother officers on the garrison keenly watched

the development of hostile public sentiment, and the steady progress of the secession movement. Some had their wives and families with them, and to the apprehensions for the honor of their flag, and the welfare of their country, was added a tenderer solicitude than even that which they felt for their own lives and persons. Hostility from the constituted authorities of South Carolina or a tumultuary outbreak of the Charleston rabble was liable to bring overwhelming numbers down upon them at any hour of the day or night.

The special study of this danger, or rather of the means to meet and counteract it, fell to Captain J. G. Foster, of the engineer corps, who had been assigned to the charge of these fortifications on the 1st of September. But his services were also in demand elsewhere, and for more than two months afterwards the works at Baltimore appear to have claimed the larger part of his time. On the day after the Presidential election he was directed to give the Charleston forts his personal supervision, and he arrived there on the 11th of November,

CH. XXIX. remaining thenceforward till the surrender of Sumter.

In time of peace, the administration of military affairs in the United States is somewhat spasmodic, resulting directly and unavoidably from the fact of our maintaining only the merest skeleton of a standing army compared to the vast territorial extent of the Union. As an incident of this system, Fort Moultrie had been allowed to become defenseless. "A child ten years old can easily come into the fort over the sand-banks," wrote an officer June 18, 1860, "and the wall offers little or no obstacle." "The ease with which the walls can now be got over without any assistance renders the place more of a trap, in which the garrison may be shot down from the parapet, than a means of defense. To persons looking on it appears strange, not to say ridiculous, that the only Breck to garrisoned fort in the harbor should be so much banked in with sand, that the walls in some places are not one foot above the tops of the banks."



Deas, June 18, 1860.

By the 14th of November Captain Foster had removed the sand which had drifted against the walls, repaired the latter, and supplied certain expedients in the way of temporary obstructions and defenses which were suggested by his professional skill, and available within his resources. "I have made these temporary defenses as inexpensive as possible," he writes, "and they consist simply of a stout board fence ten feet high, surmounted by strips filled with nail-points, with a dry brick wall two bricks thick on the inside, raised to the height of a man's head, and pierced with embrasures and a sufficient number of loop-holes.

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