The Start of Hostile Feelings

BEAUREGARD takes command

War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0257 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – CONFEDERATE.

[FEBRUARY 18 (?), 1861.]

Governor PICKENS, Charleston, S. C.:

Kingman, known as “Ion,” who corresponds with the Baltimore Sun, and is considered reliable, in his letter of yesterday, says he has seen and read a letter from a former member of Congress from South Carolina, which assures him that Fort Sumter will be taken on or before the 4th of March, “without reference to what the Montgomery government may advise or order on the subject.”

This startles the President. Will you quiet him by your reply?

The State commissioners will adjourn during the week. No result yet.


WASHINGTON, February 20, 1861.

His Excellency F. W. PICKENS:

Attempt to re-enforce Anderson by stealth at night in small boats determined on.

Answer if received.


FEBRUARY 21, 1861 – 1/2 to 7 p. m.

Governor PICKENS, Charleston, S. C.:

The statement I gave you came directly from Chase.

I have not received your telegram as to what was reported by members of Congress.


17 R R
Page 258

CONGRESS, February 22, 1861.

Mr. Bartow, from the Committee on Military Affairs, reported the following resolution, which was adopted, viz:

Resolved, That the President of the Confederate States be requested to communicate, in such manner as he may deem expedient, to the governors of South Carolina and Florida the resolution of Congress concerning Forts Sumter and Pickens.

[Copy of the resolution above referred to.]

RESOLUTION in relation to the occupation of Forts Sumter and Pickens.

Resolved by the Confederate States of America in Congress assembled. That it is the sense of this Congress that immediate steps should be taken to obtain possession of Forts Sumter and Pickens, by the authority of this Government, either by negotiations or force, as early as practicable, and that the President is hereby authorized to make all necessary military preparations for carrying this resolution into effect.*

Passed February 15, 1861.



Charleston, S. C., February 27, 1861.


Montgomery, Ala.:

DEAR SIR: I received your dated the 22nd instant by Colonel Lucas, inclosing the resolution of Congress expressly taking charge of the military operations in the harbor of Charleston.+ I have the fullest confidence that you and Congress will do everything that may be due to the honor and the rights of South Carolina.

Of course we feel that our honor and safety require that Fort Sumter should be in our possession at the very earliest moment possible. We have had great difficulties to contend with. By the extraordinary move


* Communicated to governor of South Carolina under date of February 22, but letter of transmittal not found. See Governor Pickens’ letter of February 27, 1861, p. 258.

+ Resolutions approved February 15 and 22. See under last date.

Page 259

ment of the United States garrison from Fort Moultrie we were suddenly and unexpectedly precipitated into a situation which created the most hostile feelings, and were at the outset involved in the most scientific and expensive branches of modern warfare, where the most exact military knowledge and experience were required.

I felt this, and therefore telegraphed you to come by Charleston on your way to Mississippi, in order to consult on military matters, & c. I again sent to the governor of Georgia for General Twiggs, and then sent to you for a military engineer, as I desired the highest military approbation. Before taking the last step I earnestly wished the best military counsels.

Major Whiting is here, and thinks our energies have been too much directed to attacking Fort Sumter, and not enough to the defenses of the harbor, so as to prevent re-enforcements, & c. You will see him, and, of course, now we will await your orders and the directions of Congress, as we feel that our cause is common, and that it is due to our common government that we should do nothing to involve all the States united in a permanent war by any separate act of ours, unless it shall be necessary in self-defense or to prevent re-enforcements; but in the mean time I will go on with the same activity as ever in preparing our defenses and our men for any event that may arise.

We would desire to be informed if when thoroughly prepared to take the fort shall we do so, or shall we await your order; and shall we demand the surrender, or will that demand be made by you?

An answer to this by telegram is desired.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Page 260


Montgomery, March 1, 1861.

Brigadier General P. G. T. BEAUREGARD:

SIR: You will proceed without delay to Charleston and report to Governor Pickens for military duty in that State.

You are authorized by your appointment as brigadier-general, under the provisions of the third section of an act of the Congress to raise Provisional Forces for the Confederate States, to receive into the service of this Government such forces as may be tendered or may volunteer, not to exceed five thousand men, as you may require, or for whom you can make suitable provision. A copy of the act referred to has been this day transmitted to Governor Pickens.

You will report to this Department your arrival at Charleston, and give such information with respect to the defenses of that harbor as you may consider important. You will also secure, if possible, the services of a competent adjutant, and report your action in that behalf to this Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


I want to remind everyone I will NOT  be posting the daily activities of the military


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s