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The Latest from Washington–Virginia Union Delegates at the Capital


March and April 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, Friday, April 19, 1861.



Virginia Union Delegates at the Capital.



Doubtful Report of the Seizure of Harper’s Ferry.


Major Anderson and his Spartan Band in New York.


Interesting Details of the Battle and Capitulation.



Virginia Backing Down—Officially Against the Union.

The Mississippi River to be Blockaded.

Newport and Covington Arming for Protection.

A Montgomery Version of Virginia’s Position.
The War Feeling and Response of the People.
The Boston Banks Shell Out $3,850,000.

WASHINGTON, April 18.―Capt. Cullom of the corps of engineers has been appointed aid-de-camp to Gen. Scott, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and is officially announced as such to the army.  He is to be obeyed and respected accordingly.

Messrs. Carlisle and Dent, delegates of the Virginia State Convention, arrived here this morning.  They are of the strongest Union sentiments, and their presence here at this time occasions much surprise.  They say there is no further use for them in the convention.  Mr. Carlisle remarked that he left Richmond a sad man.

It is the intention of the War Department to muster companies enough in this district to yield a force approaching 3,000 men.

The soldiers of the war of 1812, are about adopting a military organization and offering their services for the defense of the seat of government.

The Massachusetts and Rhode Island regiments, and the 7th regiment of New Jersey are expected here immediately.  A special government messenger has just arrived from Pensacola.

It is stated in financial circles, as coming direct from authority, that the government has advices that Harper’s Ferry is in the hands of the authorities of Virginia.

The War Department officially announces the establishment of a new military department to be called the Department of Washington.

Major Bealle, Paymaster of the army, resigned his commission to-day.

NEW YORK, April 18.―The steamer Baltic, from Charleston bar, came up to the city and anchored off the Battery at 1 P. M.  The Baltic had flying from her main mast head the flag of Fort Sumter, and at her foremost mast the flag from Moultrie.

The Harriet Lane sailed in company with the Baltic; also the Pawnee, with her troops, and Pocahontas, for Norfolk.  The Powhattan was not nor had she been at Charleston.  The Pawnee did not arrive at Charleston until after the surrender of Fort Sumter.  During the whole time the fleet remained off the bar the wind blew a gale from the southeast, rendering the fleet useless, so far as Fort Sumter was concerned.

Major Anderson landed at the Battery, and was received by an immense crowd.  His carriage was surrounded by the people, who expressed in cheers and other demonstrations their congratulations, and he was followed by an immense throng through Broadway to the Brevoort House, where he joined his wife.

The following is a digest of Capt. Doubleday’s statement:

The demand to surrender Sumter was made on the 11th, and refused, not only by Anderson, but by the unanimous voice of his command.  On Friday morning, at three o’clock, the rebels sent word that fire would be opened in an hour, and at four o’clock the fire was opened on us from every direction, including a hidden battery.

Fire opened with a volley from 17 mortars, firing ten inch shells and shot from 33 guns, mostly columbiads.  We took breakfast, however, very leisurely.  The command was divided into three watches, each under the direction of two officers.  After breakfast they immediately went to their guns and opened fire on Moultrie, Cumming’s Point, and Sullivan Island.  The iron battery of Cumming’s Point was of immense strength and most of our shots glanced [illegible].  Major Anderson refused to allow the men [illegible] guns on the parapet on account of the terrific fire.

There was scarcely a room left in Moultrie inhabitable.  Several shots went through the floating battery, but it was little damaged.  Two guns on the iron battery were dismounted.  A man was stationed who cried shot or shell when the rebels fired, and the garrison were thus enabled to dodge.  At first the workmen were reluctant to help work the guns, but afterwards they served most willingly and effectively against the iron battery.  The barracks caught fire several times on Friday, but were extinguished by the efforts of Mr. Hart, of New York, and Lyman, of Baltimore, both volunteers.

On Saturday the officers quarters caught fire from the shell, and the main gates were burnt.  The magazine was surrounded by fire, and 90 barrels of powder was taken out and thrown into the sea.  When the magazine was encircled by fire all our materials were cut off, and we had eaten our last biscuit two days before.  The men had to lay on the ground with wet handkerchiefs on their faces to prevent smothering, and a favorable steady wind was all that saved our lives.  The cartridge bags gave out and five men were employed to manufacture them out of our shirts, blankets, sheets, &c.  It will take half a million dollars to repair Fort Sumter’s interior.  Most of their shots were aimed at the flag.

The following is the conversation between Maj. Anderson and Wigfall:

The latter said, “Gen. Beauregard wishes to stop this, sir.”

Anderson only replied “Well,well.”

Wigfall―”You’ve done all that can be done, and Gen. Beauregard wishes to know upon what terms you will evacuate the fort.”

Anderson―”Gen. Beauregard is already acquainted with the terms.”

Wigfall―”Do I understand you will evacuate on the terms proposed?”

Anderson―”Yes, and only on those.”

Wigfall then retired.  A few minutes after, Col. Chestnut and others came from Gen. Beauregard, asking if Anderson wanted any help, stating that Wigfall had not seen Beauregard for two days, and had no authority for his demand on Anderson, to which the Major only replied:  “We’ve been sold.  We’ll hoist the flag again.”  But they requested him to keep it down till communication was had with Gen. Beauregard.

The firing then ceased, and three hours after another deputation came, agreeing to the terms previously decided upon.  On Sunday morning the steamer Isabel came down and anchored off the fort, when all the baggage was put on the steamer Clinch.  The troops were under arms.  A portion were told to salute the flag, and when the last of the fifty guns were fired the flag was lowered amid loud and hearty cheers of the men, when they embarked to the tune of Yankee Doodle.

Two men were killed on the second round of salute by the premature explosion of a shell.  Four were wounded, one badly, and left at Charleston.

Fort Sumter has not been reinforced on any occasion.  The Baltic arrived off Charleston on Friday morning, after the firing commenced on Sumter.  The Pawnee and Pocahontas arrived next day.  The Powhattan and Atlantic have not been seen.  The steam tugs have been blown to sea, and have not been seen.  The day that Anderson evacuated, preparation to reinforce him had been made for that night.  A schooner was seized, and an agreement made to pay the pilot and captain $500 to put men into the fort, but the fort was evacuated before the attempt could be made.

Capt. Fox had instructions to attempt to provision the fort without troops.  If fired on he was to rush in the best he could, but the gale prevented the arrival of tugs and transports.  The Harriet Lane is soon expected to arrive.  The Pawnee has gone to Washington.  Among the many incidents of the battle is that of Mr. Hart, a volunteer, who, when the flag was shot down and the rebel fire was concentrated on the flag-staff, gallantly nailed the stars and stripes amid a deadly fire and the cheers of the United States troops.

As the Baltic came up the harbor, salutes were fired from all the forts, and an immense throng on the battery were nearly wild with excitement and enthusiasm.  Anderson’s brother officers express the deepest indignation at the aspersions cast on their brave commander.  Numerous friends waited on Anderson and other Sumter officers during this afternoon, and the appearance of any officer or soldier from Sumter in the street was the signal for a crowd and enthusiastic cheers.

The Fifth Regiment paid their respects to Maj. Anderson, this afternoon, to which he responded from the balcony of the Brevoort House, by returning a simple military salute, amidst the cheers and vociferations of thousands.  Both the Major and his command show the careworn effects of their gallant siege.

The following is Maj. Anderson’s dispatch to the Secretary of War:

“Sir:  Having defended Fort Sumpter thirty-four hours, until quarters were entirely burned, main gates entirely destroyed by fire, the George wall seriously injured, magazine surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effects of heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions but pork remaining, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by Gen. Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th inst., prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst., with colors flying, drums beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting the flag with fifty guns.

“Signed:                      “ROBERT ANDERSON,
“Major First Artillery.”

BALTIMORE, April 18.―A party of secessionists on Federal Hill raised a secession flag at noon and commenced firing a salute.  In a few minutes the working men from all the foundries in the vicinity, hearing the report, rushed on them, tore down their flag, spiked the gun and threw it in the river.  The secessionists fled in consternation, and the flag was torn in tatters.

The enthusiasm was universal for the Union.  Not less than 5,000 persons were present.

HARRISBURG, April 18.―Trains are leaving with troops as fast as they are prepared.

Lewis W. Hall, of Blair county, was elected Speaker of the House this A. M.  The Governor’s war proclamation will be issued to-morrow.

500 volunteers left via the Northern Central Railroad for Washington this morning.  700 men arrived to-day, and were sent forthwith.  The Governor ordered out Gen. Patterson’s division.  6,000 stand of arms are expected here to-day.

Both Houses of the Legislature met in convention at the Hall of the House this morning, to hear the Star Spangled Banner sung.  The refrain was joined in by all the members and galleries, amid the wildest cheering and enthusiasm.  The same was afterwards sung in the Senate.  In both cases the members and spectators, seemed mad with patriotic devotion.  Both Houses have adjourned sine die.

PHILADELPHIA, April 18.―A special dispatch to the Bulletin says that the War Department at Washington has received a dispatch from Harper’s Ferry, stating that the arsenal, with 15,000 stand of arms, has been seized by Virginia troops.  The track of the B. and O. R. R. on each side of the town is torn up.  Governor Letcher telegraphs to the Department refusing to furnish troops and saying that Virginia will fight back.

NEW YORK, April 18.―The Post’s special says engineers are reconnoitering Washington with a view of erecting defensive works.  The Mayor of Georgetown is raising troops for the government.  Davis’s proclamation occasions renewed activity, and the delta of the Mississippi will be vigorously blockaded.

Col. Lefferts has issued orders for the Seventh regiment to report for duty at 3 P. M. to-morrow to leave for Washington.

CINCINNATI, April 18.―The citizens of Covington and Newport, Kentucky, held meetings to-day and resolved to form companies of Home Guards, to unite with the Home Guards of Cincinnati, for the protection of the three cities.

The report sent yesterday of the seizure of arms by our police, and the chartering of two steamers by the city for the purpose of searching passing boats, in without foundation.  The captain of the steamer Glenwood placed the arms in the possession of the police for safe keeping.  So far as the city authorities are concerned, no orders have been given to prevent the shipment of provisions to the South.

Governor Dennison, with the consent of the Secretary of War, has made Cincinnati, instead of Columbus, a rendezvous for troops.

INDIANAPOLIS, April 18.―The order given yesterday for the departure of the first Indiana regiment was countermanded by orders from the federal government.  An officer from Washington is en route to muster the troops into service.  The regiment will probably leave to-morrow.  The following companies are now encamped here:  Flying Artillery, Independent Zouaves, Zouave Guards, and National Guards of Indianapolis, Washington Guards, and Capt. Crittenden’s company of Marion, two companies from Lafayette; Fort Harrison Guards, Vigo Guards of Terre Haute, and one company each from Richmond, Cambridge City and Lawrenceburg.

Each of the above companies number 100 strong.  The Indianapolis City Greys go into camp to-morrow, and five or six companies are expected to arrive.  Recruiting is still going on here and two new companies are nearly full.  The ladies of the city have gathered thousands of blankets to-day for the soldiers, and the work of preparing lint and bandages progresses rapidly.  They have also purchased a number of American flags to present to the different companies.  Many of our surgeons have tendered their services.  Thirteen guns are fired on the arrival of every company.

BALTIMORE, April 18.―All the reports about the Harper’s Ferry seizure are false.  A dispatch, dated five o’clock, says that all is quiet there.  There is a full car of United States artillerists stationed there, and a strong Union population.  The excitement at Baltimore is increasing.  The Union men are thronging the streets, determined not to be overawed by the secessionists.  The minute men have the Union flag from their head quarters.  The governor and mayor will issue a joint proclamation to prevent any interference with the passage of federal troops through the city.  The Union sentiment among the mechanics is almost unanimous.

500 troops reached this city this P. M. from Harrisburg.  They marched through the city unmolested.  A large police force accompanied them.  At many points they were cheered by the Union men, who followed them in large numbers to the depot.  The streets have been thronged with people this P. M., and considerable excitement prevailed, but thus far no violence has occurred.

MONTGOMERY, April 18.―A dispatch was received at Savannah on the 16th, that Virginia had passed an ordinance of secession, to take effect in two days.  No advices have been received here.  Nevertheless it is believed by the government.

Unless the Cincinnati seizures are promptly redressed it will cause a non-intercourse and seizure of Ohio property in New Orleans.

One hundred guns are now firing all over the South for Virginia.  President Davis has just been officially notified.

NEW YORK, April 18.―Blank bonds for the Southern Confederacy, prepared by the Bank Note Company, were seized to-day by the District Attorney.  The Charleston steamer line has suspended its trips, and the Columbia and Marion were flying the American flag to-day.  A bookbindery and printing office in Gold street, which displayed the palmetto flag, had a dispensation of stones, execrations, and other demonstrations, nearly destroying the building.

The people endeavored to take the horses off Anderson’s carriage and drag him up Broadway, but his objections were regarded.

Some anxiety is felt about the Aspinwall steamer being seized by Southern letters of marque.

PHILADELPHIA, April 18.―A large enthusiastic meeting is being held to-night.  Capt. Haslett leaves for Columbus to-night.  Capt. Abbott will follow with another company in a few days.  A mob visited one of our printing-offices to-day and compelled them to hoist the stars and stripes.  The workingmen held a spirited meeting this afternoon, and were addressed by Maxwell P. Gaddis, of Cincinnati.  The employees of the working mills marched down street this afternoon as they came from their work and were presented with flags by the mill company.

BOSTON, April 16.―A meeting of the bank officers representing all the Boston banks was held this morning, when resolutions were adopted to loan the State of Massachusetts ten per cent. on their entire capital for the defence of the government.  The capital of the Boston banks amounts to $38,500,000.

LOUISVILLE, April 18.―Gov. Magoffin has issued a proclamation convening the Kentucky Legislature on the 27th instant.

CHICAGO, April 18.―The banks of this city to-day tendered Governor Yates half a million dollars asked for as a loan for extraordinary expenses.  The war feeling grows more intense.  Up to this morning, 2,000 men had signed the muster roll.  This is double then number that will be allotted this city.  The Zouave regiment is nearly full.  A movement is on foot to uniform and equip them by private subscription.  A wealthy citizen heads the list with $1,000.

The meeting called to-night for the purpose of sustaining the government, was the largest and most enthusiastic ever held in this city.  Speeches were made by prominent gentlemen of both parties.  Stirring resolutions were adopted.  Six thousand dollars subscribed for the support of the volunteers until taken charge of by the State.

PITTSBURG, April 18.―An intense war feeling prevails here.  Business is almost suspended.  Immense crowds fill the prominent streets.  Union flags are floating everywhere, and the volunteer companies are all filled and departing eastward.  Liberal subscriptions are being made for the comfort of the volunteers, and the support of their families.  Recruiting is still going on, although there are more than enough for the requirements of the State to fill the federal requisition.

A committee of public safety held a meeting to-day and organized.  A large quantity of powder which had been sent down the river was intercepted at Steubenville, it being feared it would fall into the hands of the secessionists.

Ropes were suspended to lamp posts last night by unknown persons, labelled:  “Death to Traitors.”  Some assaults have been made on persons who have expressed sympathies with secessionists.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 18.―Tenders of regiments and companies are pouring into the Adjutant General’s office.  None are put down as received who are not reported as full and officered by the captains.  Forty-nine companies are enrolled as received, and offers have been made thus far of about as many more.

The following gentlemen have offered loans:  J. W. Woodworth, President of the Western Marine and Fire Insurance Company, $50,000; E. I. Tinkman & Co., $25,000; B. F. Carver & Co., $50,000; also, the Merchants’ Savings, Loan and Trust Co., $50,000, all of Chicago.

Wm. B. Cerneau, a citizen of Springfield, has generously offered $1,000.

Preparations for the reception of troops at Camp Yates are in an active state of forwardness.  A quantity of provisions has already been sent out, and the commissaries are busily engaged in arranging for all necessary supplies.  Three banking houses in this city, J. Bunn, N. H. Ridgely & Co., and the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Co., have tendered the Governor $100,000 for present necessities.

A dispatch just received by the Secretary of State says that railroad lines will carry all accepted companies to the place of rendezvous free of charge.  All parties cordially unite in sustaining the Administration.  A detachment of one commissioned officer, two non-commissioned officers, and ten privates of Capt. Cook’s Zouave Grays, mount guard at Camp Yates this evening.

ERIE, Pa., April 18.―An awful catastrophe happened last night on the Buchanan farm, in the oil regions.  The gas from a spouting well took fire and exploded, killing seven men.  Among them was Mr. Rouse, an ex-member of the Legislature.  The Buchanan farm, on which over one hundred wells are yielding oil, is now in flames, and all the wells are on fire.  The loss in oil, derricks, etc., is immense.

VANDALIA, April 18.―A large and enthusiastic meeting was held here last night.  Forty responded to the call for volunteers at once.  The company is rapidly filling up, and will leave for Springfield early next week.

PONTIAC, Ill., April 18.―A large meeting was held last evening.  People thoroughly aroused, and great enthusiasm manifested.  A company will be organized Saturday evening.  General Green left for Springfield to-day.

Gov. Letcher Turned Kaiser.

RICHMOND, April 18.―Gov. Letcher has issued a proclamation, dated the 17th, recognizing the independence of the Confederate States.  He says the President has no right to call an extraordinary force against a foreign power, and believes the improper exercise of force against the people should be repelled.  He orders all the militia to hold themselves in readiness for immediate service.

Has Virginia Seceded?

NEW ORLEANS, April 18.―The secession of Virginia is received with immense cheering.  100 guns were fired.  The people are frantically joyous.  The True Delta flung out the Southern flag for the first time since the secession movement.