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Text for Page 155 [02-10-1861]

	Letter to the �Evening Post.�

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
of Fort Sumter, by adding a sense of humiliation
which is rapidly becoming deep and universal.
Few Charlestonians now allude to the subject with-
out bitterly-expressed regrets that the fort was not
attacked upon its occupation by Major Anderson,
denunciations of the treachery of President Bu-
chanan, assertions that he has played false from
first to last with the people of South Carolina, and
abjurgations on General Scott.  Not one in fifty
but believes �there will be a fight,� the bloodier
for its postponement.  More temporary lulls may
intervene, the responsibility may be pushed off
even to the verge of Lincoln�s inauguration, but it
must be grappled with, for the federal government
does unquestionably mean NOT to give up Fort
Sumter�it has, at last, definitely avowed this, ac-
cording to the words of Colonel Hayne�s despatch
to Governor Pickens, �a flat refusal, insulting in
its tone.�  In this the �fine baited delay� which
leaves us as we were four weeks ago, bating mili-
tary preparation, has ended.  What excuse is there
for further waiting?
  The fort her own, Charleston would have achieved
a perfect success in secession; without it, nothing
but detriment has accrued to her individually.  Few
vessels enter her menaced harbor, the underwriters
of Europe, believing her main channel blockaded,
divert the destination of their ships to other ports; 
the Tasman, the Canton and Paxton, cleared at
London, to wit.  Whatever the revolution results
in, our merchants sadly acknowledge that it will
take years to repair the damage done to Charleston
in effecting it.  Their exasperation, too, is all the
greater from the contrast presented by Georgia.
She secured her forts, seceded, temporarily tre-
bled her Savannah trade, and now beards New 
York by seizing six vessels as a forcible guaranty
for the delivery of arms which she yet indirectly
denies having purchased.  In Charleston this last
incident is spoken of with enthusiasm, blended
with envy.  South Carolina wishes �that heaven
has made her such another man� for ruler, as
Governor Brown.  His daring and audacity are con-
trasted with the presumed temporizing policy of
Governor Pickens in a manner by no means favor-
able to the latter.
  But as the supreme head his authority has de-
parted.  It now rests with Jefferson Davis, presi-
dent of the provisional government, which election
has given all but universal satisfaction, though
many of us would have preferred seeing him Secre-
tary of War, or Commander-in-Chief of the future
slaveholding republic.  As Vice-President, Senator
Stevens is more than acceptable.  Hitherto consi-
dered as a strong Union man, his going over to the

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
popular side is regarded as a triumph of ambition
over principle.
  We now look for some definite action on the part
of the provisional government with respect to our
position, but we are continuing our preparations
for the inevitable assault upon that provoking fort
in our harbor.  As far as can be ascertained, these
are as follows:
  A shell battery at Cumming�s Point, the nearest
point of attack, being less than three-quarters of a
mile distant.  This fort is defended by sand, pal-
metto logs and heavy facings of railroad iron.  It
mounts a certain number of columbiads (I do not
know how many) and a mortar, which are levelled
directly at the vulnerable side of Fort Sumter,
where its walls are said to be only three feet thick,
if Major Anderson has not increased them, as I do
not doubt the result will confirm.  Seawards this
battery presents a sharp, iron-cased angle, so that
any ball striking it is expected to ricochet off, with-
out effecting much damage.  The orifices for the
cannon, too, are provided with heavy iron coverings.
  Fort Johnson, one and three-quarters of a mile
distant from Fort Sumter, armed with cannon of
24 and 42 �-pound calibre.
  Fort Moultrie, which I have described before, one
and one-eighth of a mile distance from Sumter,
with which its columbiads are now in range.  The
remainder of its armament consists of 42-pounders.
This fort will fare badly if Major Anderson opens
fire upon it.  It cannot be held very long.
  Castle Pinckney, at two and five-eighths of a
mile distance from Sumter�too far off to be of any
  One or two floating batteries are in the course of
construction at Mount Pleasant, and one, spoken of
in detail in a former letter, lying between State
and Palmetto wharf, off Charleston.  The huge
joists forming the floor, the beams of the sides and
roof, have been added within the last day or two,
but at least two weeks must elapse before this bat-
tery can be completed.  Its plan and construction are
generally condemned and it is pronounced a mere
�slaughter-pen� by those who pretend to know-
ledge on the subject.  I have none, and pass no
  Respecting Major Anderson�s condition there are
the most conflicting rumors.  That he obtains meat
and provisions from the Charleston markets is as
true as that it is generally condemned.  He may
have been reinforced by night by means of boats; 
the thing is possible and practicable.  On the re-
turn of Colonel Hayne, a report gained some cre-
dence that the Major had sent a dispatch to Gover-               
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