The Turner Brigade turner3.gif



March-April 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, April 9, 1861.


Charleston-Fort Sumter-South Carolinians Ready for Action.

The Charleston Courier announces that Governor Pickens and General Beauregard were on Wednesday, to visit and inspect all the batteries for the last time, and to arrange matters for decided action, as all the batteries are now thoroughly ready. The Courier further remarks:

It is said now that the last mortar is in its place, and that the ammunition and supplies are all in our possession, so that every means for the speedy reduction of Fort Sumter may be said to be entirely accomplished. There is no possibility of supplies or reinforcements being thrown in from the sea, for there is not the power in the United States navy to do it, and of course the reduction of Fort Sumter is only a matter of time.

There is one thing clear, that if the government resorts to force and a sectional war, there must be a very strong and powerful party at the North opposed to them. This party constitutes the commercial cities and moneyed men and those interested in the industrial pursuits of that section. This division being made at the North, compels the government, in an issue of force, to rely exclusively upon the Black Republican party for the supply of men and money. Whereas, on the contrary, the Confederate States will present one united and unbroken front, with no division, but all ready to defend their homes and their altars. In such an issue there can be no doubt as to the final result. In addition to this, if there be an appeal to force, it will at once throw the border States of the Southern country against the Black Republican party and the government. In such a struggle as this, the total overthrow of the government at Washington is inevitable, and confusion and revolution will be inaugurated in the Northern States, that must end in their entire and final destruction.

The Mercury of Wednesday confirms the reports that Major Anderson's supplies had been ordered cut off. It says:

“Yesterday a dispatch was received from the commissioners to Washington, advising a change of policy. In their opinion, no more roast beef, no more barrels of potatoes, in short, no more supplies of any description, should be suffered to reach Fort Sumter. A decision has been reached here. Fort Sumter must shortly provision itself. To morrow the garrison must fall back upon its own stores. Its licensed intercourse with the city must cease. But there is something more to be mentioned. A dispatch has been sent to President Davis, in which immediate action is not indirectly hinted at. No reply has been received, but a telegraph reply is hardly to be looked for. The mail will undoubtedly bring an answer. Our citizens, we are aware, are excited in regard to these matters. Patience with them, however, has become a cardinal virtue. Let them exercise it.”

A correspondent of the Mercury says:

“Up to this time two hundred pounds of fresh beef and three dozen cabbages have been sent to Fort Sumter three times a week-besides potatoes by the barrel. Thus both officers and privates have been allowed to have, at least, a considerable amount of wholesome provisions for seventy men, and what cause is there for complaint? These facts are derived from the best authority, and are reliable. Let Northern people do justice to Southern liberality.”

A dispatch from Charleston states that the mortar batteries on Morris Island, on Wednesday evening, fired into a New Jersey schooner which attempted to enter the harbor without displaying her colors. Three shots were fired, one taking effect. She was loaded with ice. Major Anderson immediately dispatched a messenger to Governor Pickens to demand an explanation. A violent gale was blowing at the time, and the vessel put to sea again. This affair tended to increase the prevailing excitement. The military leaders are unusually active, and members of the convention now in session, belonging to the several fortifications have been ordered to their stations. A thousand rumors are in circulation, the principal of which indicate that Fort Sumter will be attacked in the course of two days, and that the attack will be from the forts. The Charlestonians generally say there shall be no more boys’ play. Evacuate or fight is the prevailing sentiment.


Capt. Isaac Willetts, of the Baltimore steamer George's Creek, publishes in the Savannah Republican the correct version of the firing into his steamer on the night of 30th ult:

“I came to anchor about one-fourth of a mile below Fort Jackson, with my lights showing brilliantly, but the steady swinging round with the flood tide hid them from view; upon which without being hailed, two blank cartridges and one shot were fired, when I sent a boat ashore to explain the cause to the officers.”


Mr. Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States, has addressed a circular to each of the banks of the Confederacy, recommending the adoption of a resolution to redeem in specie such of their respective notes as may be paid in upon the authorized load of the Confederacy. This measure, Mr. Memminger states, is necessary to prevent the inequalities and confusion which must else arise from the paying of subscription in currencies of varying values. He also urges the present as the most desirable time for a general resumption of specie payment.


The call of President Davis for 1,000 volunteer troops from Georgia, to serve at Pensacola, has been responded to with much enthusiasm, and at last accounts they were rapidly assembling at Macon, where they are to rendezvous, until ordered to march to the anticipated field of action. On Monday night last two companies, embracing prominent citizens, left Augusta for Macon. The whole city seems to have turned out to see them off, many stores having been closed for the occasion. The Augusta Chronicle after describing the immense throng, including many ladies, assembled at the depot, says:

The scene enacted in the way of leave-taking would fill a larger space than we can afford, if fully reported. We venture to say but few “public functionaries” ever shook more hands in the same space of time than did the volunteers. They were finally “all aboard,” the engine gave two or three premonitory whistles, and began slowly to move from the depot. Then there arose from the vast throng such a shout as made the welkin ring; hats and handkerchiefs were waved, the artillery fired a parting salute and the train sped on its way, taking off some aching hearts, no doubt, but leaving behind many more. It is perhaps worthy of mention, that many of our much abused and “cruelly treated” slaves took most affectionate leave of their masters who are among the departing troops, in some instances shedding heartfelt tears; and it is not amiss to say that some of their masters manifested as much devotion as themselves.

Click here to return to March-April 1861 main page.


Back to Turner Brigade Home Page