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Text for Page 246 [08-14-1879]

              [loose newspaper clipping]
  In the August number of the North American
Review there is an anonymous article entitled the
�Diary of a Public Man,� in which the writer gives
the substance of a conversation held at Washington
on the 28th of December, 1860, with Mr. L. L. Orr, of
South Carolina, touching the removal by Major An-
derson of the garrison of Fort Moultrie to Fort
Sumter on the 26th of December, 1860.  The lan-
guage used is as follows:�
  His (Mr. Orr�s) explanation of Anderson�s movement is
that he lost his head over the excitement of two or three
of his younger officers, who were not very sensible, and who
had got themselves into hot water on shore with some of
the brawling and silly young bloods of Charleston.
  Mr. Orr was one of the three Commissioners sent
by the convention of South Carolina to bear the copy
of the ordinance of secession to the government at
Washington in December, 1860, and as the respect-
ability of its origin might lead people to accept this 
story as an historical fact, I feel it to be a duty as one
of the surviving officers of that garrison to make the
following statement:�
  The movement from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter
on the evening of the 26th of December, 1860, was
conceived and executed by Major Anderson alone,
without consultation with any one.  The officers,
whose co-operation was necessary to the success of
the movement, were informed of his purpose only
upon the day on which it was made.  It was made from
a standpoint purely military and in view of instruc-
tions from the Secretary of War, Mr. Floyd, conveyed
to Major Anderson by Major Don Carlos Buell, then
an officer of the Adjutant General�s Department, on
the 11th of December, 1860.  In accordance with them,
Major Anderson was commanded to hold the forts to
the last extremity if attacked, and that any attack
upon or attempt to take possession of either would
be considered a hostile act, and that he might move
his command into either fort he deemed proper, and
this authority was extended to cover any tangible
evidence that a hostile act was contemplated.
Major Anderson believed that he had such evidence
and he moved his command.
  The responsibility for the movement was distinctly
avowed by Major Anderson in his reply to Colonel
Pettigrew of the First South Carolina Rifles, who
came to Fort Sumter on the morning of the 27th of
December as an envoy of the Governor of the State
to demand that Major Anderson should return with 
his command to Fort Moultrie.  He stated openly to
Colonel Pettigrew that the movement was made upon
his own responsibility solely and because he con-
sidered that the safety of his command required it.
The same responsibility was assumed by him in his
reply to the telegrams from the Secretary of War
asking an �explanation of the report� of his move-
ment.  �I abandoned Fort Moultrie,� said he, �be-
cause if attacked my command would have been sac-
rificed,� &c.
  There was no �excitement� of his younger officers,
nor was there then or at any time before the movement
any interruption of the courtesy which had charac-
terized the intercourse of the garrison with the citi-
zens of Charleston.  The true �explanation of An-
derson�s movement� rests upon the highest mili-
tary grounds.  The version of it given in the re-
ported conversation with the �Public Man� is with-
out foundation in fact.          S. W. CRAWFORD,
Brevet Major General, United States Army, formerly
  an officer of Major Anderson�s command.
  NEW YORK, August 14, 1879.               
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