Friday, April 8, 2011

Relief expedition heightens tensions

Inside Fort Sumter
·       In Washington this afternoon, the Confederate peace commissioners telegraph the Confederate government in Montgomery, Alabama, saying they have been formally notified by US Secretary of State William Seward that the United States has refused recognition, reception, or negotiation with them. The Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker promptly alerts General Braxton Bragg, and repeats an order given earlier in the day to prevent the reinforcement of Fort Pickens at "every hazard." Meanwhile on Pennsylvania Avenue, with both the Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens expeditions in the process of departing New York, Lincoln writes the governor of neighboring Pennsylvania, saying that the necessity of being ready "increases. Look to it."/1861
Anderson's quarters at Fort Sumter
·         Meanwhile at Fort Sumter, Major Anderson drafts a response to Lincoln's letter of April 4, expressing surprise at a relief expedition. He explains that Ward H. Lamon's visit had convinced him that Fox's plan would not be carried out, and he warns President Lincoln that an effort to relieve the fort under these circumstances "would produce most disastrous results throughout our country," adding that Fox's plan is impracticable and would result in a loss of life which would far outweigh the benefits of maintaining a position of no military value unless the surrounding Confederate positions were taken as well. Anderson concludes that his garrison would, nevertheless, "strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see is to be thus commenced. That God will still avert it, and cause us to resort to pacific measures to maintain our rights, is my ardent prayer." But the imperial-minded Lincoln is not so inclined. Anderson's letter will never make it to Washington. It would be seized by South Carolina authorities following Confederate government orders to stop his mail./1861 
USRC Harriet Lane
·      [SEIGE OF FORT SUMTER] As the tug Yankee and the Federal revenue cutter Harriet Lane departs Brooklyn, New York, Navy Yard for Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, US State Department clerk Robert S. Chew and Captain Theodore Talbot arrive in Charleston about 6 o'clock in the early evening and read a letter from President Lincoln to Governor Pickens of South Carolina stating that President Lincoln is sending food, and not soldiers to Fort Sumter, providing Pickens with a copy. This, however, is a blatant lie. Two hundred men are on board the fleet to reinforce Fort Sumter. Governor Pickens calls in General Beauregard and reads him the same message. Beauregard refuses Talbot's request to return to his post at Sumter or to communicate with Major Anderson, saying he is under orders to permit no communication with Fort Sumter, unless it conveyed an order for its evacuation. 

With the meeting over, Chew and Talbot are escorted to the railroad depot and leave Charleston at 11 p.m. Then Pickens and Beauregard forward Lincoln’s threatening letter to President Davis in Montgomery that "provisions would be sent to Sumter peaceably, otherwise by force." Accordingly, Davis orders Confederate forces under Beauregard to ready its forces around Charleston Harbor for military action and that "under no circumstances" was he to allow provisions to be sent to Fort Sumter."/1861

No comments:

Post a Comment