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					179
	        Warlike Rumors.

[newspaper clipping: first column]
aspect is, emphatically, ominous.  The more tem-
perate assert that nothing will be undertaken be-
fore the decision of the Convention, which awaits 
advices from the South Carolina Commissioners at
Washington.
  A despatch from that city has been received from
ex-Governor Adams, as follows:  Defend the har-
bor.  Make immediate preparations for war.   The
Mercury of this morning, published an extra or
printed bulletin of the same import.
  The military are under orders and constantly in
motion.
  We have indefinite rumors of a pacific character
from the capital, but everything here contradicts
the probability of a peaceable solution.  If the new
year be inaugurated without the opening of as
bloody a civil war as ever desecrated the pages of
history, it will be extraordinary.
			   
        CHARLESTON. S. C., December 31, 1860, 8 P. M.
  Do you recollect the description of the Giant
Hearsay, who was fed upon rumors, in Rabelais?
This city is, just now, under his especial control.
Let me endeavor to chronicle some of his utter-
ances.
  That Secretary Floyd has resigned, in conse-
quence of Major Anderson s occupation of Fort
Sumter, and the administration s endorsing it.
That he hasn t; that the government is at logger-
heads on the question; that General Scott advises
coercion, the blockading the harbor, the violent
subjugation of South Carolinians, the maintenance
of the Union, at whatever cost of suffering or blood-
shed; that President Buchanan approves of the
action of Major Anderson; that he is indig-
nant at it, that he does not know what
to do, that he will resign, that he is
utterly distraught as he may very well be;
that anarchy reigns at Washington; that the Vir-
ginians have taken Old Point Comfort; the Wide-
Awakes of Chicago and St. Louis attacked the
arsenals of their respective cities, with or without
success; that misery is rife and mob-law imminent
in New York; that Abraham Lincoln will resign
and disappoint the southern confederacy of the
anticipated struggle; that Major Anderson ahs
received orders to evacuate Fort Sumter and to
return to Fort Moultrie, when he will have no alter-
native but to throw up his commission, and every-
thing may be settled peaceably; that nothing can
avert civil war, and that its beginning cannot be

[newspaper clipping: second column
delayed four-and-twenty hours longer.
  In the mean time the state troops garrisoning
Fort Moultrie and Pinckney must have experienced
an extremely disagreeable initiation into the re-
sponsibilities of soldiering, and one highly provoca-
tive of sickness, for it has rained persistently since
Sunday morning, and last night the floods descend-
ed in a perfect deluge.  There was an alarm of fire,
too, in the city, and so apprehensive have be be-
come under the stimulant of current excitement,
that many Charlestonians quitted their beds and
rushed into the streets, half expecting that hostili-
ties had actually commenced.  The town looked
dreary enough at that hour, in all conscience as
dreary as the prospect with which the new year
opens upon us; but perhaps it was something of a
relief to find that bomb-shells and canon-shots were
not among its accompaniments.
  All business is at a stand-still.  We do nothing
but listen to hearsay, buy arms, drill and organize
new military companies.  There are upwards of
twenty in the city each one averaging something
less than a hundred members.  The Mercury has
just issued a sensation extra, containing telegraph-
ic reports from Washington, penned under the in-
spiration of Rabelais s giant.  They reiterate the
accounts of the disorganization of the administra-
tion, assert that the President is exasperated at the
precipitation of South Carolina, disposed to
coerce her, that he has despatched the Harriet Lane
to Charleston harbor ( this is authentic! ) but
that unless overawed by the North and the North-
west, he will presently go to the extreme the other
way, which is not unlikely.  The Mercury extra
concludes with this advice:  Your business is to
prepare for war and to prevent reinforcements en-
tering the harbor. 
  Earthworks and trenches are said to have been
completed on the land nearest to Fort Sumter, with
a view to its speedy attack, by rafts or a flotilla of
boats, protected by barricades of cotton-bales.  As
already stated, the youth of the city are eager for
the attempt, and make no question of taking it by
escalade, though at a considerable loss of life.
That many persons seem to regard as almost desi-
rable, as throwing the responsibility of blood-shed-
ding upon the federal government, making retro-
gression impossible, and securing the immediate
co-operation of the rest of the slave states.  Already,
no doubt is entertained as to Alabama, Florida and
Georgia, the rest are considered doubtful.

[Gunn s diary continued]
ordinarily attributed to down-easters.   In-
deed, though accident threw me much in
Colt s company, it was not altogether agreable;
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen: page one hundred and ninety-six
Description:Includes Gunn's newspaper article regarding the rumors of coming war in Charleston.
Date:1860-12-31
Subject:Adams, James H.; Anderson, Robert; Buchanan, James; Charleston mercury.; Civil War; Colt, Amos H.; Fires; Floyd, John B.; Fort Moultrie (S.C.); Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Harriet Lane (Ship); Lincoln, Abraham; Military; Scott, Winfield
Coverage (City/State):Charleston, South Carolina; Washington, [District of Columbia]; Chicago, [Illinois]; St. Louis, [Missouri]; New York, [New York]; Alabama; Florida; Georgia
Scan Date:2010-04-30

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen
Description:Includes descriptions of attending a lecture by J.H. Siddons on Queen Victoria; seeing tightrope walker Charles Blondin perform; boarding house living; his freelance writing and drawing work; visits to the Edwards family and his friendship with Sally Edwards; a visit of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of Great Britain, to New York; his work as a reporter for ''The New York World;'' a visit to a dog fighting establishment; an evening spent at the 4th Ward police station awaiting 1860 election returns; and Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Civil War; Elections; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Police; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.