“I’ll sail you over to the fort to see him whenever you ask me to,” she said impulsively.
“Dear child, I may have to ask you, but I hope not. ’Twould be a dangerous undertaking,” she said, leaning over to kiss Sylvia’s cheek.
That was the sixth of January, 1861, and on the ninth a steamer, The Star of the West, with supplies and reinforcements for Major Anderson, entered Charleston harbor and was fired upon by a Confederate battery concealed in the sand-hills at Sullivan Island.
And now for many days the Fultons heard only discouraging news. Everywhere there was great activity among the Confederates. Mrs. Carleton became more and more anxious for news of Captain Carleton, but she did not remind Sylvia of her promise.
Grace and Sylvia were together a great deal, and every morning Sylvia would run out to the front porch to wave a good-bye to Grace on her way to school. Then there was Estralla’s lesson hour, her own studies, and Mrs. Carleton was teaching her to crochet a silk purse as a gift to Mr. Robert Waite, so that Sylvia did not think very much about the soldiers at Fort Sumter.
“What do you think about starting for Boston with us, Mrs. Carleton?” Mr. Fulton said one night just as Sylvia was going up-stairs. “I really think the time has come for me to take Sylvia and her mother to Boston, and I am sure Captain Carleton would want you to go with us.”
“And Estralla and Aunt Connie will go, too; won’t they, Father?” said Sylvia, running back to her father’s side.
“Yes, child. But I thought you were upstairs,” responded Mr. Fulton. “Do not speak of our leaving Charleston to anyone. Remember. Not to Grace or Estralla, until your mother or I give you permission.”
Sylvia promised. It seemed to her the best of good news that they would soon see Grandmother Fulton, and she went happily off to bed thinking of all she would have to tell her grandmother, and of the long letters she would write to Flora and Grace. “And when summer comes they must both come and make me a visit,” she thought, little knowing that when summer came no little southern girl would be allowed to visit a Boston girl.
“Two little darky girls”
“When will Mr. Lincoln be President?” Sylvia asked a few mornings after her father’s announcement of his intention to return to Boston.
“He was inaugurated yesterday,” replied her mother.
“Then can’t Captain Carleton go north with us?” asked Sylvia, who had convinced herself that when Mr. Lincoln was in charge of the Government that all the troubles over Charleston’s forts would end.
But Mrs. Fulton shook her head.
“Captain Carleton must stay and perhaps fight to defend the flag,” she replied. “I wish we could leave at once, but we must stay as long as we can.”