Saturday, January 15, 2011

Florida demands surrender of Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida
  • Colonel W.H. Chase, commander of Florida state military forces with over 800 men, demands the surrender of Fort Pickens at Pensacola from Lieutenant A.J. Slemmer with 81 men under his command. Chase asks Slemmer to act to prevent the shedding of blood and offers him and his men parole at Fort Barrancas until they are removed or, if the issues between Florida and the Union are resolved, Slemmer could retake command of the military installations in the bay. Slemmer responds saying he will reply tomorrow./1861
  • At Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida, Captain John M. Brannam, seeing that with only four months supplies and 70,000 gallons of water his 44 men cannot stand an organized siege, requests immediate reinforcement with two vessels to guard the harbor entrance to prevent a landing out of his guns’ range. Since US mail service in Florida has stopped, Brannam requests correspondence be sent through the American consulate in Havana./1861

  • Florida state authorities seize the US Coast Survey schooner Dana./1861
    • Attorney General of South Carolina, Isaac Hayne, is in Washington to work out an agreement with the Buchanan Administration concerning Fort Sumter and other relations. The proposed agreement is that if Buchanan would not reinforce Fort Sumter, then South Carolina forces would not attack the installation. This agreement includes an extension to February 15. The President wants the agreement in writing, but before he can send a letter, something happens. Today AG Hayne receives a letter signed by ten Southern senators asking him to withhold negotiations with the Administration until the South could be unified. Hayne agrees to wait until he hears from Governor Pickens. /1861

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