Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.

  [Sidenote] Foster to De Russy, Dec. 4, 1860, W.R.  Vol.  I., p. 85.

Nevertheless, the working party of thirty was quartered in Castle Pinckney as quietly as possible, in order not to irritate the sensitive Charlestonians, and the officers and overseers in the two forts were instructed to sound and test the loyalty and trustworthiness of the mechanics and laborers.  Those in Sumter had been brought from Baltimore, and in them Captain Foster placed his greatest hopes; but they disappointed him.  On December 3 his overseer informed him that while they professed a willingness to resist a mob, they were disinclined to fight any organized volunteer force, and he was reluctantly compelled to abandon the scheme, at least as to Fort Sumter.  But he still clung to the hope that the thirty men sent to Castle Pinckney, having been chosen with more care, might prove of some service in the hour of need.  He gave orders to his officers to resist to the utmost any demands or attempts on the works, “Having done thus much,” he wrote to the department, “which is all I can do in this respect, I feel that I have done my duty, and that if any overt act takes place, no blame can properly attach to me.  I regret, however, that sufficient soldiers are not in this harbor to garrison these two works.  The Government will soon have to decide the question whether to maintain them or to give them up to South Carolina.  If it be decided to maintain them, troops must instantly be sent and in large numbers.”

Though neither Major Anderson nor Captain Foster could obtain any official replies to distinct and vital questions involving the issue of peace or war, a trivial episode soon furnished them a very broad hint as to what the Secretary of War would ultimately do about the forts.

  [Sidenote] Ibid., Dec. 20, 1860.  W.R.  Vol.  I., p. 100.

On the same day on which, the South Carolina secession convention met at Columbia, the State capital, Captain Foster had occasion to go to the United States arsenal in the city of Charleston to procure some machinery used in mounting heavy guns.  While there he remembered that two ordnance sergeants, respectively in charge of Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney, had applied to him for the arms to which they were by regulations entitled.  He therefore asked the military storekeeper in charge of the arsenal for two muskets and accouterments for those two sergeants.  The storekeeper replied that he had no authority for the issue of two muskets for this purpose, but that the old order for forty muskets was on file, and the muskets and accouterments were ready packed for delivery to him.  Foster received them, and after issuing two muskets to the ordnance sergeants at Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney, placed the remainder in the magazines of those two forts.

  [Sidenote] Humphreys to Foster, Dec. 18, 1860.  W.R.  Vol.  I., p. 96.

Project Gutenberg
Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook