Back to South Carolina
Back to Charleston
Lunarpages.com Web Hosting
Hillsborough Recorder

Hillsborough Recorder

August 28, 1861

Page 2

From the Columbia (S. C.) Guardian

Evacuation of Fort Sumter—Secret History


Headquarters, Aug. 3d, 1861

I have every reason , from information received by me in the most confidential manner, (not forbidding publication, however,) and through one very near the most intimate counsels of the President of the United States, to induce me to believe that the following article was submitted, as a proof-sheet, to Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet; that a proclamation, in conformity with its general views, was to be issued; and that a change in the decision of the Cabinet was made in one night, when exactly the contrary course was adopted.  It is asserted in this article, (which, in all probability, is a proof-sheet from a confidential New York paper,) that if the President desired to excite and madden the whole North to a war of extermination against slavery, and in favor of the absolute plunder and conquest of the South, he had only to resolve that Major Anderson and his garrison at Fort Sumter should perish, as it appears was well known would have to be the case.  Major Anderson and his men were to be used as fuel, to be thrown in to kindle the flames of fanaticism, and to force the Northern people into a united war, which would give the abolition leaders absolute control over the Government and country.  What must be the feelings of the civilized world, when it is known that the President of the United States and his Cabinet did so act, and with a view expressly to carry out this policy of exciting the whole Northern mind.

Major Anderson had officially informed the former Administration that he could hold Fort Sumter, and of course, if the object of that Administration was to betray the Government into the hands of the Secessionists, as is charged in the article, then Major Anderson must have been a party to the treason, and if he informed the new President, on the fourth of March, as is said to be the case, that he could not hold the Fort, then he acted out his part fully in aiding to place Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet exactly where they were, and to compel them to evacuate the fortress, or to use the garrison as victims, to be slaughtered on the unholy altar of blind fanaticism, and mad ambition.

I know the fact from Mr. Lincoln’s most intimate friend and accredited agent, Mr. Lamon, that the President of the United States professed a desire to evacuate Fort Sumter, and he (Mr. Lamon) actually wrote me, after his return to Washington, that he would be back in a few days to aid in that purpose.  Major Anderson was induced to expect the same thing, as his notes to me prove.  I know the fact that Mr. Fox, of the U. S. Navy, after obtaining permission from me, upon the express guarantee of a former gallant associate in the navy, to visit Major Anderson “for pacific purposes” planned the pretended attempt to relieve and reinforce the garrison by a fleet, and that Major Anderson protested against it.  I now believe that it was all a scheme, and that Fox’s disgraceful expedition was gotten up, in concert with Mr. Lincoln, merely to delude the Northern public into the belief that they intended to sustain and protect Major Anderson, when in fact, according to the article now published for the first time, they decided to do no such thing, and acted with the deliberate intention to let the garrison perish, that they might thereby excite the North and rouse them to unite in this unholy and unnatural war, by which the desperate profligate leaders of an infuriated and lawless party might gratify their vengeance and lust of power over the ruins of their country, and amid the blind passions of a maddened people.

The document now published, and the peculiar circumstances, show the basest and most infamous motives that have ever actuated the rulers of any people, except, perhaps, in the days of the French revolution, when history shows that wholesale murder was often planned by insurrectionists in Paris, under the deliberate guidance of malignant leaders, whose whole objects were universal plunder and murder, in order to exterminate one party and ride into power themselves.

A moment’s review of the line of argument pursued in the article, will show that the policy finally adopted in regard to Fort Sumter was intended and desired by Mr. Lincoln and his advisors to lead to a war, not to be regulated by the rules and usages among civilized and enlightened people, but to one of rapine, murder, and utter extermination of the people against whom it was intended to be waged, founded upon no principle of right, seeking not to re-establish any disputed authority, or accomplish any other object than to gratify a lust for power and revenge.

For the purpose of directly proving the motives and impulses of the United States Government in the inauguration of this war, it is also necessary to make several extracts from the article in question, as they will serve also to direct the special attention of the public to those portions which most vividly prove the unhallowed purposes of President Lincoln and his advisors.

One of the chief ends of the article seems to have been the proof of treason on the part of President Buchanan, and through all of it runs the oft-repeated “alternative” left them by him, of “permitting Major Anderson and his command to starve within fifteen days, or of ignominiously abandoning it to a nest of traitors,” etc.  This “alternative” proves, above all the rest, the purpose which they had in view when they adopted their final policy.  It is argued, and very elaborately, too, that the purpose of President Lincoln was to “preserve peace”—not to “make war”—“to protect the sacred Constitution” confided to his keeping—and to gain over, by his avowedly peaceful objects, those who had defied that “Constitution” and broken its laws.  It is asserted that President Lincoln could not suppress the “tears” of anguish which his signing the order for the evacuation of Fort Sumter called forth; and it is said, too, that he desired to “discharge his duty to humanity;” and yet he has chosen to “discharge” that “duty” in the singular way of resolving on a policy which, in his own words, he knew would “raise throughout the mighty North a feeling of indignation, which in ninety days, would have emancipated every slave on the continent, and driven their masters into the sea.”

The sacrifice was made; Anderson and his command were forced to become liable as victims to fanaticism; Fort Sumter was wrapt in flames; and yet, forsooth, they tell us that the only man who could have prevented it was “resolved to discharge his duty to humanity,” and that his purpose was “peace”—his aversion “war.”  His “purpose” was changed, and he resolved to bring on this unhallowed war.  It is a Government actuated with these feelings that we are to defend ourselves against; it is this kind of war, then, that the people of the South are to meet; and under these circumstances it becomes my duty to publish the article in question for the information of the people of the Confederate States, and the cool and unbiased contemplation of the civilized world.

A war thus inaugurated—from such motives and under such circumstances—surely can never meet with favor of Heaven.  A people educated and trained up to constitutional liberty can never, for any length of time, sustain such a war.




Necessity Knows no Law—There are periods in the history of nations and individuals when the force of even this proverb is illustrated.  The law, or rather, the demands of justice, self-respect, national honor, and the vindication of our nationality in the eyes of Europe, all demand that we should retain possession of Fort Sumter at any and every sacrifice; and no man in this nation is more deeply impressed with the paramount importance of so doing this than Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States.  He feels and recognizes his duty in the premises; but the Law of necessity steps in, puts at defiance his wishes and his duty, and sternly forbids his attempting to hold or relieve the noble fortress so promptly snatched from the hands of the Rebels and Traitors of Charleston by the timely action of Major Anderson.  Buchanan and his traitor Cabinet had deliberately planned the robbing of our arsenals under the superintendence of, and with the connivance of the miserable fellow John R. Floyd, whose portrait now hangs so conspicuously in the Rogue’s Gallery of our city police; and we all know that when Major Anderson took possession of Fort Sumter, Floyd demanded its restoration to the Rebels, and Buchanan actually yielded to the demand, until threatened with danger to his person if he ventured upon any such act of treachery.  He yielded to a stern necessity; but in yielding he determined to accomplish by management and finesse what he had not the courage to do openly.  He accordingly refused to permit the Fort to be reinforced as it could have been in those days, with the necessary men and stores to enable it to hold out for a year at least against any force which could be brought against it; and it was not until Morris Island had been fortified, that he sanctioned the abortive attempt to succor made by the Star of the West, and even countermanded that order before it was carried into effect.

From Christmas until the fourth of March, the traitors and rebels of Charleston and the Cotton States received every countenance and support from Mr. Buchanan which could be afforded them; and when he retired from office on the 4th inst., he gloated over the conviction that he had fostered rebellion and treason until they had become so rampant that they were beyond the control of his successor.  And the one great source of his glorification was, that Fort Sumter was without provisions, and that, of necessity, the garrison must surrender from starvation before it would be in the power of the Republican Administration to relieve and reinforce it.

Of course, Abraham Lincoln could know nothing of this treason; and when in his inaugural he spoke of occupying the public forts and collecting the revenue, he little dreamed that his predecessor had treasonably arranged to make the abandonment of Fort Sumter a political necessity.  He was soon apprised, however, that the treason of his predecessor had cunningly devised for him the most serious mortification that could be inflicted, and that he had presented to him the alternative of permitting Anderson and his command to starve or promptly to withdraw them, and ignominiously permit the fort to fall into the hands of the rebels.  To reinforce the garrison or to supply them with provisions, are equally impossible, because James Buchanan and his associate traitors designedly refused to do so while it was in their power to do it, and compelled the commandant of the Fort quietly to permit the construction of works in his immediate vicinity and under the range of his guns, which would effectually prevent his being relieved when an honest man assumed the Government on the 4th of March.  Buchanan’s final act of treason has been consummated. He prevented the late Congress passing a law giving power to the Executive to call for volunteers to occupy and recapture the public forts and arsenals, and he designedly left Fort Sumter in a position which renders relief physically impossible without an army of from ten to twenty thousand men, and the employment of a naval force greater than we can command; and he and his myrmidons now exultingly and tauntingly say to the Republican President, “Do your worst.  We have designedly withheld from you the means of relieving and holding Fort Sumter, and we invite you to the pleasing alternative of permitting Anderson and his command to starve within fifteen days, or of ignominiously abandoning it to a nest of traitors and rebels whom we have turned into existence as the only certain mode of destroying the Republican party.”

Such are the simple facts of the case as they are presented to the new President upon his assuming the reins of Government; and we speak advisedly and from knowledge when we say, that while the country has been wickedly made to believe that the time of the Administration has been occupied with the disposal of offices, four fifths of all the hours spent in consultation by the Cabinet have been devoted to the consideration of the all-important question—how to save Fort Sumter and avert from the Government the dishonor of abandoning it to the miserable traitors who for months have been in open rebellion against the authority of the Government?  Generals Scott and Totten, and all the military and naval chiefs at Washington, have been consulted; every plan which military science could conceive or military daring suggest has been attentively considered and maturely weighed; with a hope at least that the work of the traitor Buchanan was not so complete as he and his associates supposed.  But all in vain.  There stands the isolated, naked fact—Fort Sumter cannot be relieved because of the treason of the late Administration; and Major Anderson and his command must perish by starvation unless withdrawn.

What, then, is to be done?  Could the President leave them to starve?  Cui Bono?  Would the sacrifice of a handful of gallant men to the treason of thieves and rebels, have been grateful to their countrymen?  But, says the indignant yet thoughtless patriot, “think of the humiliation and dishonor of abandoning Sumter to the Rebels!”   We do not think of it, and weep tears of blood over the humiliation this brought upon the country by the traitor President who has just returned to Wheatland to gloat over his consummated treason.  And we are assured, too, and do not doubt the truth of the assurance, that when Abraham Lincoln was compelled to yield his reluctant consent to this most humiliating concession to successful treason, he did not attempt to suppress the sorrow and tears which it called forth.  But he had no alternatives.  “Necessity knows no law!”  and to save the lives of the gallant men who have so long held Fort Sumter against an overwhelming force of heartless traitors and wicked and unprincipled rebels, whose treason has been steeped in fraud and theft, vulgarly known as “Southern chivalry,” the President of the United States in the discharge of a duty to humanity, has signed the order for the evacuation of Sumter.

Had war, not peace, been his object—had he desired to raise throughout the mighty North a feeling of indignation, which in ninety days would have emancipated every slave on the continent and driven their masters into the sea, if needs be—he had only to have said “let the garrison of Fort Sumter do their duty and perish beneath its walls, and on the heads of the traitors and rebels of the slavery propagandist be the consequences.”  Such a decision would have carried joy to the bosoms of Phillips and Garrison and their fanatical associates, who so justly consider abolitionism and disunion synonymous ; but it would have brought upon the country such scenes of horror as the mind shrinks from contemplating.  Verily, the blood of the martyrs would have been the seed of “negro emancipation.”  For every patriot soldier thus sacrificed to the revival of the African slave trade and the establishment of a hideous slaveocracy at the South, ten thousand negro slaves would have been emancipated, and as many of their masters been driven into the ocean to expiate their crimes on earth.

But Mr. Lincoln desired to rouse no such feeling of revenge among the people of the Free States.  He knew—no man knew better—that he had but to hold on to Fort Sumter agreeably to the plainly expressed will of the people, and leave its gallant garrison to the fate prepared for them by rebels and traitors, to insure an uprising which would at once have wiped out slavery from the face of the country; and with it all engaged in this atrocious rebellion against the Government, but his purpose is Peace, not War.  His object is to restore, to rebuild and to preserve the Government, and the Constitution which enacted it; and his great aim is, while maintaining the Constitution and enforcing the laws, to bring back good men to their allegiance, and leave the thieves and rogues, and braggarts who compose the great mass of the rebels, under the cognomen of “Southern Chivalry,” to the uninterrupted enjoyment of their own precious society and the reflection which time must awake even in them.  He is mindful of his oath “registered in Heaven,” to preserve the Constitution and enforce the laws; and he feels that his mission is to reclaim and not extinguish; or most assuredly he could have left Fort Sumter to its fate; and that fate would have been speedy, certain, and absolute annihilation to the traitors now in rebellion against the Government, and to the very existence of the institution of slavery on the American continent.  But he has been faithful to his oath of office and to the Constitution; and by yielding to the necessity of the case and listening to the cry of humanity, slavery has had accorded to it its last victory over freedom and the Constitution of the United States.

The deed had been accomplished; the sacrifice has been made; traitors and rebels are again triumphant; and the Stars and Stripes are again to be dishonored in the sight of the nation and of astonished Europe.  The flag of the Union is to be pulled down, and the bloody banner of pirates, freebooters, rebels, and traitors, is to be run up and to wave triumphantly over Sumter, and be saluted from hundreds of guns in the rebel camp amid the cheers of thousands whose senseless gasconade and braggadocio vauntings have long since disgusted brave men and honest citizens.  And yet, we approve the act.  A traitor President rendered it a necessity, and humanity demanded that Abraham Lincoln should sacrifice all personal feelings, and gracefully yield to that necessity and the deliberately planned treason upon which it is based.  His countrymen will sustain him in this discharge of an humiliating but an imperative duty; but with him they feel that the account is now closed with treason.  There is nothing now to yield to traitors—nothing more to sacrifice in order to give to slavery and the slave trade the odor of nationality.  In future, the President of the United States has only laws to enforce and a Constitution to sustain; and woe be to them who thwart him in the performance of his duty, and to himself, if he dare to shrink from the performance of his whole duty.


[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]


North Carolina
South Carolina

Site News





Book Reviews


Research Notes

Free Site Ring from BravenetFree Site Ring from BravenetFree Site Ring from BravenetFree Site Ring from BravenetFree Site Ring from Bravenet