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time：2023-12-03 09:31:57 Source: Originally writtenedit：thanks
Then, to the lasting credit of all concerned, the future political enemies parted as the best of personal friends. Sherman left everything in perfect order, accounted for every cent of the funds, and received the heartiest thanks and best wishes of all the governing officials, who embodied the following sentence in their final resolution of April 1, 1861: "They cannot fail to appreciate the manliness of character which has always marked the actions of Colonel Sherman." Long before this Louisiana had seceded, and Sherman had gone north to Lancaster, Ohio, where he arrived about the time of Lincoln's inauguration.
Meanwhile, on the eighteenth of February, the greatest of all surrenders had taken place in Texas, where nineteen army posts were handed over to the State by General Twiggs. San Antonio was swarming with Secessionist rangers. Unionist companies were marching up and down. The Federal garrison was leaving the town on parole, with the band playing Union airs and Union colors flying. The whole place was at sixes and sevens, and anything might have happened.
In the midst of this confusion the colonel commanding the Second Regiment of United States Cavalry arrived from Fort Mason. He was on his way to Washington, where Winfield Scott, the veteran General-in-Chief, was anxiously waiting to see him; for this colonel was no ordinary man. He had been Scott's Chief of Staff in Mexico, where he had twice won promotion for service in the field. He had been a model Superintendent at West Point and an exceedingly good officer of engineers before he left them, on promotion, for the cavalry. Very tall and handsome, magnificently fit in body and in mind, genial but of commanding presence, this flower of Southern chivalry was not only every inch a soldier but a leader born and bred. Though still unknown to public fame he was the one man to whom the most insightful leaders of both sides turned, and rightly turned; for this was Robert Lee, Lee of Virginia, soon to become one of the very few really great commanders of the world.
As Lee came up to the hotel at San Antonio he was warmly greeted by Mrs. Barrow, the anxious wife of the confidential clerk to Major Vinton, the staunch Union officer in charge of the pay and quartermaster services. "Who are those men?" he asked, pointing to the rangers, who wore red flannel shoulder straps. "They are McCulloch's," she answered; "General Twiggs surrendered everything, to the State this morning." Years after, when she and her husband and Vinton had suffered for one side and Lee had suffered for the other, she wrote her recollection of that memorable day in these few, telling words: "I shall never forget his look of astonishment, as, with his lips trembling and his eyes full of tears, he exclaimed, 'Has it come so soon as this?' In a short time I saw him crossing the plaza on his way to headquarters and noticed particularly that he was in citizen's dress. He returned at night and shut himself into his room, which was over mine; and I heard his footsteps through the night, and sometimes the murmur of his voice, as if he was praying. He remained at the hotel a week and in conversations declared that the position he held was a neutral one."
Three other Union witnesses show how Lee agonized over the fateful decision he was being forced to make. Captain R. M. Potter says: "I have seldom seen a more distressed man. He said, 'When I get to Virginia I think the world will have one soldier less. I shall resign and go to planting corn.'" Colonel Albert G. Brackett says: "Lee was filled with sorrow at the condition of affairs, and, in a letter to me, deploring the war in which we were about to engage, made use of these words: 'I fear the liberties of our country will be buried in the tomb of a great nation.'" Colonel Charles Anderson, quoting Lee's final words in Texas, carries us to the point of parting: "I still think my loyalty to Virginia ought to take precedence over that which is due to the Federal Government; and I shall so report myself in Washington. If Virginia stands by the old Union, so will I. But if she secedes (though I do not believe in secession as a constitutional right, nor that there is sufficient cause for revolution) then I will still follow my native State with my sword, and, if need be, with my life. I know you think and feel very differently. But I can't help it. These are my principles; and I must follow them."
Lee reached Washington on the first of March. Lincoln, delivering his Inaugural on the fourth, brought the country one step nearer war by showing the neutrals how impossible it was to reconcile his, principles as President of the whole United States with those of Jefferson Davis as President of the seceding parts. "The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government." Three days later the provisional Confederate Congress at Montgomery in Alabama passed an Army Act authorizing the enlistment of one hundred thousand men for one year's service. Nine days later again, having adopted a Constitution in the meantime, this Congress passed a Navy Act, authorizing the purchase or construction of ten little gunboats.
In April the main storm center went whirling back to Charleston, where Sherman's old friend Beauregard commanded the forces that encircled Sumter. Sumter, still unfinished, had been designed for a garrison of six hundred and fifty combatant men. It now contained exactly sixty-five. It was to have been provisioned for six months. The actual supplies could not be made to last beyond two weeks. Both sides knew that Anderson's gallant little garrison must be starved out by the fifteenth. But the excited Carolinians would not wait, because they feared that the arrival of reinforcements might balk them of their easy prey. On the eleventh Beauregard, acting under orders from the Confederate Government, sent in a summons to surrender. Anderson refused. At a quarter to one the next morning the summons was repeated, as pilots had meanwhile reported a Federal vessel approaching the harbor. Anderson again refused and again admitted that he would be starved out on the fifteenth. Thereupon Beauregard's aides declared immediate surrender the only possible alternative to a bombardment and signed a note at 3:20 A.M. giving Anderson formal warning that fire would be opened in an hour.
Fort Sumter stood about half a mile inside the harbor mouth, fully exposed to the converging fire of four relatively powerful batteries, three about a mile away, the fourth nearly twice as far. At the northern side of the harbor mouth stood Fort Moultrie; at the southern stood the batteries on Cummings Point; and almost due west of Sumter stood Fort Johnson. Near Moultrie was a four-gun floating battery with an iron shield. A mile northwest of Moultrie, farther up the harbor, stood the Mount Pleasant battery, nearly two miles off from Sumter. At half-past four, in the first faint light of a gray morning, a sudden spurt of flame shot out from Fort Johnson, the dull roar of a mortar floated through the misty air, and the big shell--the first shot of the real war--soared up at a steep angle, its course distinctly marked by its burning fuse, and then plunged down on Sumter. It was a capital shot, right on the center of the target, and was followed by an admirable burst. Then all the converging batteries opened full; while the whole population of perfervid Charleston rushed out of doors to throng their beautiful East Battery, a flagstone marine parade three miles in from Sumter, of which and of the attacking batteries it had a perfect view.
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