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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 188 [12-27-1860]

	A Northern Secessionist Frightened.
me into the City Hall to see the statue of
Calhoun, whom I scared him audibly by the
expression of an opinion that if Jackson had
hung him, as he once intended, this business
of Secession might never have grown to such
a bulk.     �For God�s sake don�t talk like
that, here!� quoth the World�s special corres-
pondent.   Parting, I went to my room and
scratched off the following hasty note to
the Post:

[newspaper clipping: first column]
Major Anderson�s Evacuation of Fort Moultrie�How
  the Guns were Rendered Useless�The Carolinians
  Intending to Undo the Major�s Labors�Prospects.
  CHARLESTON, S. C., December 27, 1860�11 A. M.
  The telegraph will have anticipated, by two days,
the skeleton facts of which I write.  I may clothe
them with detail and circumstance.
  All Charleston is frantic�the leading secession-
ists tearing their hair, and Major Anderson the hero
of the occasion.  Last night he effected a secret
evacuation of Fort Moultrie, having previously
spiked the guns, tarried them inside and out and set
the gun-carriages on fire.  They are iron barbette
cannon, forty in number.  The effect of the tarring
and combustion is to render them utterly useless.
The fire destroys their �horizontalness,� if I may
be allowed the expression.  There are wild rumors
afloat to the effect of their being charged to the
muzzle with gunpowder; that at any attempt to pre-
serve them by the townspeople, they may explode
and kill all who approach.
  All the ammunition, appurtenances, &c., which
could be removed are with Major Anderson, and up-

[newspaper clipping: second column]
wards of four hundred men in Fort Sumter, whose
guns command the harbor and city.  The long
Columbiads are pointed towards the abandoned
Fort Moultrie; hence it could not be held, even for
an hour, by the Charlestonians.  They talk of the
ground being mined, and, at this hour of writing,
are shy of visiting Sullivan�s Island.
  Everybody is surprised and exasperated.  Major
Anderson has done his duty nobly.  He is
master of the strongest fort in the harbor, a low-
lying one, islanded by water, which, in considera-
tion of all that can be brought against it by Charles-
tonians, is a Redan�a Malakoff.  They talk of
starving him out, but it is distrusted that he has not
allowed the past two months to elapse without pro-
viding amply for the present emergency.
  The works recently in progress within Fort Moul-
trie are supposed to have been a blind.  The labor-
ers employed have been pressed into United States
service, and nobody doubts their pluck and loyalty.
  I heard Keitt blaspheming in a most energetic
manner only an hour ago, on the steps of the Mills
House.  I may write again by to-night�s mail.

[Gunn�s diary continued]
The above comprises what was believed in
Charleston on that day, what Ripley told me.
Its errors appeared subsequently to be these,
the guns were not rendered permanently useless,               
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