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It was the
strongest of the defenses. Major Robert Anderson, learning that the
Confederates intended to take possession of it, secretly removed his
garrison from Fort Moultrie on the night of December 26, 1860. Anderson
was in a trying position, for the secretary of war, Floyd, and the
adjutant-general of the army, Cooper, to whom he was obliged to report,
were secessionists, and not only refused to give him help, but threw
every obstacle in his way. President Buchanan was surrounded by
secessionists, and most of the time was bewildered as to his course of
duty. He resented, however, the demand of Secretary Floyd for the
removal of Anderson because of the change he had made from Moultrie to
Sumter. Floyd resigned and was succeeded by Joseph Holt, of Kentucky, an
uncompromising Unionist, who did all he could to hold up the President
in his tottering position of a friend of the Union. The latter grew
stronger as he noted the awakening sentiment of loyalty throughout the
North. An admirable act was the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as
attorney-general, for he was a man of great ability and a relentless
enemy of secession.


JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Illustration: JEFFERSON DAVIS.]

Jefferson Davis, who had been chosen President of the Southern
Confederacy that was formed at Montgomery, Alabama, early in February,
was born in Kentucky, June 3, 1808. Thus he and President Lincoln were
natives of the same State, with less than a year's difference in their
ages. Davis was graduated at West Point in 1828, and served on the
northwest frontier, in the Black Hawk War. He was also a lieutenant of
cavalry in the operations against the Comanches and Apaches. He resigned
from the army and became a cotton-planter in Mississippi, which State he
represented in Congress in 1845-46, but resigned to assume the colonelcy
of the First Mississippi regiment.

Colonel Davis displayed great gallantry at the storming of Monterey and
at the battle at Buena Vista, and on his return home was immediately
elected to the United States Senate, in which he served 1847-51 and
1857-61. From 1853 to 1857 he was secretary of war under Pierce. He was
one of the Southern leaders, and had already been mentioned as a
candidate for the presidency. He resigned his seat in the United States
Senate in January, 1861, upon the secession of his State, and, being
elected Provisional President of the Southern Confederacy February 9th,
was inaugurated February 18th. In the following year he and Stephens
were regularly elected President and Vice-President respectively, and
were inaugurated on the 18th of the month.


INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN.

President-elect Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois, on the
11th of February for Washington. He stopped at various points on the
route, and addressed multitudes that had gathered to see and hear him. A
plot was formed to assassinate him in Baltimore, but it was defeated by
the vigilance of the officers attending Lincoln, who took him through
the city on an earlier train than was expected. General Scott had the
capital so well protected by troops that no disturbance took place
during the inauguration.


BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER.

The Confederate government sent General Beauregard to assume charge of
the defenses in Charleston harbor. Finding the fort was being furnished
with supplies, he telegraphed to his government for instructions. He was
ordered to enforce the evacuation. Beauregard demanded the surrender of
the fort, and, being refused by Major Anderson, he opened fire, early on
the morning of April 12th, from nineteen batteries. Major Anderson had a
garrison of 79 soldiers and 30 laborers who helped serve the guns. He
allowed the men to eat breakfast before replying. In a few hours the
supply of cartridges gave out, and blankets and other material were used
as substitutes. The garrison were kept within the bomb-proof galleries,
and did not serve the guns on the open parapets, two of which had been
dismounted by the fire from the Confederate batteries, which after a
time set fire to the officers' barracks. The flames were extinguished,
but broke out several times. The smoke became so smothering that the
men could breathe only by lying flat on their faces. Finally the
position became so untenable that Anderson ran up the white flag in
token of surrender. No one was killed on either side.

The news of the surrender created wild excitement North and South and
united both sections. While the free States rallied to the Union, almost
as one man, the Unionists in the South became ardent supporters of the
cause of disunion. It was now a solid North against a solid South.

[Illustration: FORT MOULTRIE, CHARLESTON, WITH FORT SUMTER IN THE
DISTANCE.]

Three days after the surrender of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln called
for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months, and Congress was
summoned to meet on the 4th of July. Few people comprehended the
stupendous work that would be required to crush the rebellion. While the
South was hurrying its sons into the ranks, 300,000 answered the call of
President Lincoln, who on the 19th of April issued another proclamation
declaring a blockade of the Southern ports.


UNION TROOPS ATTACKED IN BALTIMORE.

Many of the Confederates demanded that an advance should be made upon
Washington, and, had it been done promptly, it could have been captured
without difficulty. Realizing its danger, the national government called
upon the States for troops and several regiments were hurried thither.
While the Seventh Pennsylvania and Sixth Massachusetts were passing
through Baltimore, they were savagely assailed by a mob. A portion of
the Sixth Massachusetts were hemmed in, and stoned and pelted with
pistol-shots. They remained cool until three of their number had been
killed and eight wounded, when they let fly with a volley which
stretched nearly a dozen rioters on the ground, besides wounding many
others. This drove the mob back, although they kept up a fusillade until
the train drew out of the city with the troops aboard.


ACTIVITY OF THE CONFEDERATES.

The Confederates in Virginia continued active. They captured Harper's
Ferry and the Norfolk Navy Yard, both of which proved very valuable to
them. Their government issued "letters of marque" which permitted
private persons to capture merchant vessels belonging to the United
States, against which the Confederate Congress declared war.

The border States were in perhaps the most trying situation of all, for,
while they wished to keep out of the war, they were forced to act the
part of buffer between the hostile States. The secessionists in
Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri made determined efforts to bring about
the secession of those States, but the Union men were too strong. The
armies on both sides received many recruits from the States named, which
in some cases suffered from guerrilla fighting between former friends
and neighbors.

Kentucky, whose governor was a secessionist, thought she could hold a
neutral position, but the majority of the citizens were Union in their
sentiments. Besides, the situation of the State was such that it was
soon invaded by armed forces from both sides, and some of the severest
battles of the war were fought on its soil.


THE WAR AS VIEWED IN EUROPE.

The prospect of the splitting apart of the United States was pleasing to
all the European powers, with the single exception of Russia. France was
especially urgent in favoring an armed intervention in favor of the
Confederacy, but England would not agree, nor would she recognize the
Confederate States as an independent nation, for, had she done so, the
United States would immediately have declared war against her. In May,
however, England declared the Confederacy a belligerent power, thereby
entitling it to make war and man war vessels, which could take refuge in
foreign ports. While this recognition was of unquestionable help, it
would not have amounted to a great deal had not England permitted the
building of swift and powerful cruisers, which were turned over to the
Confederates, and did immense damage to Northern commerce.

When June arrived, the Southern Confederacy was composed of eleven
States: South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. As soon
as Virginia seceded (May 23d), the capital was removed from Montgomery
to Richmond. It was clear that Virginia would be the principal
battle-ground of the war, and the Confederate volunteers throughout the
South hurried into the State.

An intelligent knowledge of the direction from which danger was likely
to come was shown by the placing of troops in western Virginia to meet
Confederate attacks, while soldiers were moved into southern Kentucky to
defend Tennessee. In Virginia they held the line from Harper's Ferry to
Norfolk, and batteries were built along the Mississippi to stop all
navigation of that stream. The erection of forts along the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts for protection against the blockading fleets soon walled in
the Confederacy on every hand.


THE MILITARY SITUATION.

General Scott for a time held the general command of all the United
States forces. But he was old and growing weak in body and mind, and it
was evident must soon give way to a younger man. The national forces
held the eastern side of the Potomac, from Harper's Ferry to Fort
Monroe, and a small section of the western side opposite Washington.
While enlisting and drilling troops, they strove to hold also Kentucky
and Missouri, succeeding so well that their grip was never lost
throughout the war.

[Illustration: A SKIRMISHER.]

With the opposing forces face to face, continual skirmishing was kept
up. This had no effect on the war itself, but was expressive of the
martial spirit which animated both sides. General B.F. Butler, who had
great executive but slight military ability, was in command at Fort
Monroe. While there he refused to surrender a number of fugitive slaves
that had fled into his lines, declaring them "contraband of war." The
phrase was a happy one and caught the fancy of the North.


UNION DISASTER AT BIG BETHEL.

Butler fortified Newport News, which is a point of land at the junction
of the James River and Hampton Roads.



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