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The Melancholy News Confirmed


March and April 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, April 15, 1861.




The Melancholy News Confirmed.

Five Brave Men Wounded.





Major Anderson’s Command Embarked.

CHARLESTON, April 13, 1:30 P. M.—The firing has ceased, and an unconditional surrender has been made. The Carolinians are surprised that the fight is over. Soon after the flagstaff was shot over, Wigfall was sent by Beauregard to Sumter with a white flag to offer assistance to subdue the flames. He was met by Maj. Anderson, who said he had just displayed a white flag, but the batteries had not stopped firing. Wigfall replied that Anderson must haul down the American flag. Surrender or fight was the word. Major Anderson then hauled down the flag.

Several of Gen. Beauregard’s staff came over and stipulated that the surrender be unconditional for the present, subject to the terms of Gen. Beauregard. Major Anderson was allowed to remain in actual possession at present.


CHARLESTON, April 14.—The negotiations were completed last night. Major Anderson’s command will evacuate in the morning and embark on the war vessels now off the harbor.

Five of Anderson’s men were wounded, one of them thought mortally. After the surrender, a boat was sent from a ship of war outside to Morris Island, requesting permission for the vessel to enter and take off Anderson’s command. It is reported that Anderson’s surrender was because his quarters and barracks were destroyed, and he had no hope of reinforcement. The fleet lay by for thirty hours, and could not or would not help him. His men were prostrated by over exertion. The explosions heard at Sumter were caused by a lot of shells igniting. The barracks caught fire three times from hot shot from Fort Moultrie. Everything is in ruins but the casemates. Many guns are dismantled. The walls look like honey comb.

Fort Moultrie is badly damaged, and the houses on the island are badly riddled.

A boat from the fort to night officially notified the fleet of the surrender of Fort Sumter.

It is not known what will be done with Fort Sumter or the vanquished.


CHARLESTON, April 14—Major Anderson and his men leave to night on the Isabel for New York. The fleet is still outside.


From Washington.


Force to be Repelled by Force.

WASHINGTON, April 13.—In Mr. Lincoln’s reply to the Virginia Commissioners, after expressing his regret that the public mind is still uncertain as to his course, and re-affirming the policy marked out in his inaugural address, he said: “But if, as now appears to be true, in the pursuit of a purpose to drive the United States authority from those places, an unprovoked assault had been made upon Sumter, I shall hold myself at liberty to repossess if I can like places which had been seized before the government was devolved on me, and in any event I shall, to the best of my ability, repel force by force.

“In case it proves true, that Sumter has been assaulted, as is reported, I shall, perhaps, cause the United States mails to be withdrawn from all the States which claim to have seceded, believing that the commencement of actual war against the government justifies and probably demands it. Whatever else I may do for the purpose I shall not attempt to collect the duties and imports by any invasion of any part of the country, not meaning by this, however, that I may not land force if deemed necessary to relieve a fort upon the border of the country.”

WASHINGTON, April 14.—Arrangements have been made to concentrate the military at any threatened point. The greatest anxiety is manifested to hear further Southern news. It is rumored that an attack will be attempted on Fort Delaware, Md. The War Department has taken steps to prevent it. Five officers of the navy tendered their resignations and they were refused. The names will be probably stricken from the list. The National Volunteers passed resolutions denouncing the military operations of the government and expressing their sympathy with the secessionists. The guards at the departments have been largely increased.



President Lincoln’s Proclamation.

The Forts and Property of the Government to be Retaken.


WASHINGTON, April 14.—The President’s Proclamation says: Whereas the laws of the United States have been, and are now, opposed in several States by combinations too powerful to be suppressed in the ordinary way, I therefore call forth the militia of the several States of the Union to the aggregate number of 75,000, to suppress said combinations and execute the laws. I appeal to all loyal citizens to facilitate and aid this effort to maintain the laws and the integrity of the National Union and the perpetuity of popular governments and redress wrongs that have long been endured.

The first service assigned to the force will be to repossess the forts, places and property that have been seized from the Union. The utmost care will be taken consistent with the object to avoid destitution and destruction or interference with the property of peaceful citizens in any part of the country, and I hereby command persons composing the aforesaid combination to disperse within twenty days from date. I hereby convene both Houses of Congress for the 4th of July next, to determine upon measures which the public safety and interest demand.

[Signed,] ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.
By W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


Preparation for Active Operations.


WASHINGTON, April 14.—The President will issue to morrow a proclamation calling for 75,000 militia, to suppress the combinations in the seceded States and cause the laws to be duly executed. The first service will probably be to re-possess the forts that have been seized from the Union. It also convenes Congress on the 4th of July. The war Department is preparing the details to communicate to the States.








Fire Near the Magazine.


The Charleston Account Continued.

CHARLESTON, April 13.—The cannonading is still going on fiercely from all points, from the vessels outside and all along the coast. It is reported that Fort Sumter is on fire.


CHARLESTON, April 13, 10:30 A. M.—At intervals of twenty minutes, firing was kept up all night on Sumter. Major Anderson ceased firing from Sumter at 6 o’clock in the evening. All night he was engaged in repairing damages, and protecting the barbette guns. He commenced to return the fire at 7 o’clock this morning.

Fort Sumter seems to be greatly disabled. The battery on Cumming’s Point does Fort Sumter great damage. At nine o’clock this morning a dense smoke poured out from Fort Sumter. The federal flag is at half-mast, signaling distress. The shells from Fort Moultrie and the batteries on Morris Island fall into Major Anderson’s stronghold thick and fast, and they can be seen in their course from the Charleston battery.

CHARLESTON, April 13.—Two of Major Anderson’s magazines exploded. Only occasional shots are fired from Fort Moultrie. The Morris Island battery is doing heavy work. It is thought that only the smaller magazines have exploded. The greatest excitement prevails. The wharves, steeples, and every available place is packed with people.

The United States ships are in the offing, but have not aided Major Anderson. It is too late, now, to come over the bar, as the tide is ebbing. The ships appear to be quietly at anchor; they have not fired a gun yet. The entire roof of the barracks is one sheet of flames. Shells from Cumming’s Point and Fort Moultrie are bursting in and over Fort Sumter in quick succession. The federal flag still waves. Major Anderson is only occupied in putting out fire. Every shot on Fort Sumter now seems to tell severely.

The people are anxiously looking for Major Anderson to strike his flag. It is stated, from a reliable source, that up to 10 o’clock to day no one at Fort Moultrie was killed. Eleven shots from Fort Sumter penetrated the floating battery below the water line. The few shots fired by Major Anderson early this morning knocked the chimneys from the officers’ quarters at Moultrie like the whirlwind. Major Anderson’s only hope is to hold out for aid from the ships. Two ships are making in toward Morris Island, with a view to land troops and silence the batteries.

Fort Sumter is undoubtedly on fire. The flames are raging all around it. Major Anderson has thrown out a raft loaded with men, who are passing up buckets of water to extinguish the fire. The fort is scarcely discernible.

The men on the raft are new objects of fire from Morris Island. With glasses balls can be seen skipping over the water, striking the unprotected raft. Great havoc is created among the poor fellows.

It is surmised that Maj. Anderson is gradually blowing up the fort. He scarcely fires a gun. At half-past eleven o’clock flames were bursting from all the port holes. The destruction of Fort Sumter is inevitable.

Four vessels, two of them large steamers, are in sight over the bar. The largest appears to be engaging Morris Island. The flames have nearly subsided in Sumter, but Major Anderson does not fire any guns. Gen. Beauregard left the wharf just now in a boat for Morris Island. The excitement is, if anything, increasing. I have read a letter from S. B. Boylston, dated six o’clock this A. M. He says not one man was killed or wounded. The iron battery had been damaged. The rifled cannon of the battery did great execution on Sumter and were all aimed at Anderson’s port holes.

Three of Sumter’s barbette guns were dismounted, one of which was a ten inch columbiad. A corner of Fort Sumter opposite Moultrie was knocked off.

The steamers Water Witch, Mohawk and Pawnee, it was thought, were the three first vessels seen in the offing.

Another correspondent says the bombardment has closed. Major Anderson has hauled down the stars and stripes and displayed a white flag, which has been answered from the city, as a boat is on the way to Sumter.

The breaches made in Fort Sumter are in the side opposite to Cumming’s Point. Two of the port holes are knocked into one, and the wall from the top is crumbling. Three vessels, one of them a large sized steamer, are over the bar, and seem to be preparing to participate in the conflict. The fire of Morris Island and Moultrie is divided between Sumter and the ships of war. The ships have not yet opened.

CHARLESTON, April 13, A. M.—The batteries of Sullivan’s Island, Cumming’s Point and Steven’s battery are pouring shot and shell into Fort Sumter. Major Anderson does not return the fire. Fort Sumter is still on fire. There has just been two explosions at Fort Sumter.

CHARLESTON, April 13, P. M.—The federal flag was again hoisted over Fort Sumter, when Porcher Miles, with a flag of truce went to the Fort. In a few minutes the federal flag was again drawn down by Major Anderson and the white flag again unfurled.

CHARLESTON, April 13, via Augusta.—Fort Sumter has surrendered. The Confederate flag floats over its walls. None of the garrison or Confederate troops are hurt.

CHARLESTON, April 13.—Gen. Beauregard has just gone to Fort Sumter; also, three fire companies to quench the fire before it reaches the magazine.


Third Dispatch.

Fort Sumter has been unconditionally surrendered. The people are wild with joy. No Carolinians are hurt.

Two thousand shot were fired, altogether. Anderson and men were conveyed to Morris Island under guard. Major Anderson has reached the city, the guest of Gen. Beauregard. The people sympathise with Anderson, but abhor those in the steamer, in sight, who did not even attempt to reinforce him.

The wood work and officers’ quarters of Fort Sumter are all burnt. No officers were wounded. The Fort was taken possession of to night.


From Washington.

WASHINGTON, April 12.—The Virginia commissioners arrived in this city this morning, and during the afternoon they visited the President, but not in their official capacity, and were received by him directly after the cabinet meeting adjourned.

The President has made the following appointments: Charles A. Phelps, Surveyor of the port of Boston, in place of Fletcher Webster, who was removed at the earnest request of the Massachusetts congressional delegation; Eugene L. Norton, Navy Agent, Boston; Richard H. Dana, District Attorney, John S. Keys, Marshal; Jno. A. Goodwin, Postmaster, Lowell; C. C. P. Baldwin, Marshal, and George How Attorney for Vermont; James C. Aiken, Marshal, and Ed. G. Bradford, Attorney for Delaware; Lansing G. Vance, Postmaster at Morristown, Pa.; Harmon Bernett, Postmaster, Norwich , Conn.

It is denied that any portion of the Confederate States loan has been offered in New York. The entire amount has been arranged at par within the limits of the Confederacy.

WASHINGTON, April 13.—The President has directed that Capt. Wm. B. St. Jons, Third Infantry, and Lieut. Abner Sneed, First Artillery, cease to be officers of the army. The regular troops here have been ordered to proceed to the outskirts of the city to watch every avenue thereto, while the volunteers, recently mustered, guard the armories and public buildings. Videttes are constantly seen riding through the streets.

The President, in the exercise of his discretion to designate a newspaper here in which the Executive advertisements shall be published, in addition to the two papers publishing them by virtue of their circulation, has designated the National Republican.

There is comparatively but little excitement here relative to affairs at Charleston.


The President’s Reply to Virginia.

WASHINGTON, April 13.—The reply of the President to the Virginian Commissioners, repeats his purpose to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and collect the duties on imports, but not to use force except when necessary for this object.

WASHINGTON, April 13.—The Commissioners from Virginia had a pleasant interview with President Lincoln this morning. The result was simply a statement by the President that he will act according to the inaugural programme—hold the public property and maintaining the defensive. The President’s reply was given in writing. It will be recollected that the Commissioners came here under instructions to respectfully ask the President to communicate to the Virginia State Convention the policy to be pursued in regard to the Confederate States.