Sunday, April 10, 2011

From the Charleston Mercury, 9 April 1861

"Our authorities yesterday evening received notice from Lincoln’s Government, through a special messenger from Washington, that an effort will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions and that if this were permitted, no attempt would be made to reinforce it with men! This message comes simultaneously with a fleet, which we understand is now off our bar, waiting for daylight and tide to make the effort threatened.

We have patiently submitted to the insolent military domination of a handful of men in our bay for over three months after the declaration of our independence of the United States. The object of that self humiliation has been to avoid the effusion of blood, while such preparation was made as to render it causeless and useless.

It seems we have been unable, by discretion, forbearance, and preparation, to effect the desired object, and that now the issue of battle is to be forced upon us. The gage is thrown down, and we accept the challenge. We will meet the invader, and the God of Battles must decide the issue between the hostile hirelings of Abolition hate and Northern tyranny, and the people of South Carolina defending their freedom and their homes. We hope such a blow will be struck in behalf of the South, that Sumter and Charleston harbor will be remembered at the North as long as they exist as a people.”

At this time, the sloop of war USS Pawnee was dispatched from Hampton Roads to relieve Maj. Robert Anderson's garrison at Fort Sumter.  Leaving Hampton Roads, the ship would get caught in a storm, arriving too late to help the fledgling fort.  Time was running out, or had already run out for the Navy's assistance of the garrison. 

Reproduction of the Charleston Mercury article courtesy of the Daily Observations of the Civil War, a great site detailing the daily events during the sesquicentennial.  The link may be found at:

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