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majority of her people favored the old Union. Both Kentucky and Missouri, however, sent members who acted as such in the Confederate Congress, and troops to our armies.*
*If those States, with their vast resources of men and stock, of meat and bread, had gone promptly with the other border States, and joined heartily in it, as did Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas, there can be no ground to doubt that the achievement of Confederate independence would have been the result of a short war bei ween the North and South. And even if she had had Kentucky without Missouri the cause would not have been lost.
PREPARATIONS FOR WAR.–COMPARATIVE STRENGTH AND
RESOURCES. - OPENING OF HOSTILITIES. — FIRST
THE PEOPLE. After the secession of the cotton States and the organization of the Confederacy, in most of those States the military spirit, in anticipation of warlike movements, began to be kindled. Volunteer companies in the towns and cities began to inure themselves to drill and discipline, and new ones to form in every direction. It was not to cast lots upon whom the burden should fall of defending the South, but the questions were, who can soonest get ready, organize, and equip for the post of danger ? Who can get arms, and who shall be the favorites of the government in being allowed the honor of going first to the war—of repelling by force the invading foe?
The government of the United States had garrisoned Fort Sumter, which commanded the approach of the city of Charleston ; and Fort Pickens, which commanded the approach to the navy yard at Pensacola. The State of South Carolina, while indignant at the action of the government in covering her designs, and in trifling with that State, and in garrisoning Fort Sumter contrary to representations held out to her commissioners at Washington; and while many of her people desired and urged a different course, very wisely forbore to make any assault upon the fort or attempt to regain it by force, but contented herself with preparations to prevent the reinforcement of the garrison. Such was the condition of affairs when the conduct of them by the State was relinquished to Confederate authority. Major Anderson of the United States army was in command of the garrison in the fort, while its reduction was confided to the command of Brigadier-General G. T. Beauregard of the Confederate States provisional army, then composed of such State military organizations as had been turned over to the Confederacy, and of such volunteer companies as had been tendered to and accepted by the Confederacy. The South Carolinians guarded the approach of United States vessels which might be intended to provision or reinforce the fort while the works projected for the reduction of it were being constructed. Major Anderson contented himself to witness these hostile demonstrations without attempting to disturb them although they were under the range of his guns.
The artillery fire from one of the Confederate batteries, erected to command the approach to the fort, upon a United States vessel approaching the fort with supplies in violation of the faith of the United States government not to attempt to provision or reinforce it but under orders from her military authorities, may be denominated the first shot of the revolution. This was followed within a few days by the opening of General Beauregard's batteries upon the fort, which resulted in its reduction. All efforts that peaceful inclination or honor required having been exhausted, the single alternative was left of reducing the fort, or suffering it to remain in the hands of the United States forces in a threatening posture towards Charleston.
The question as to who begun hostilities depends upon the right of secession. If secession was an act of rebellion
the attempt to occupy the fort and expel the forces of the United States was an attack upon that government and clearly an act of war. If secession was the exercise of a right to which the States were entitled, then Fort Sumter was within the jurisdiction and limits of a government foreign to that of the United States, and the occupation, garrisoning, and holding it in a threatening posture, and the attempt to provision and reinforce it against the consent of the new government were all acts of war on the part of the United States; and the reduction by force, and the occupation of the fort, and the expulsion of the troops of the United States on the part of the Confederate States, were acts of self-defence.
The right of secession was a foregone conclusion with us and we could not hesitate as to the proper course to pursue in that emergency. That right was denied by the government of the United States. The authorities of that government, therefore, held that the firing upon the vessel in their service and upon the fort in the occupancy of their troops were acts of war. This difference of opinion and different line of action in consequence of it brought the two nations to the conflict of arms. But there was underlying this ostensible issue of forces, and antecedent to it, a settled purpose on the part of the United States government to resort to coercion. If she had been peacefully inclined, there can be no possible doubt that she could without dishonor, and would without hesitation, have given the matter a direction which would have met the ardent wishes of the South by avoiding the resort to
Our only mode of avoiding the issue of battle was to submit unconditionally, and of this our people and government were fully sensible.
The works projected for the reduction of Fort Sumter
as well as the bombardment are said to have been conducted with consummate skill, and the latter was attended with scarcely any serious casualties upon either side. The great God of battles seemed unwilling, even after the peace of a continent was broken in the thunders of battle, that the red tide of war should be opened upon such a country.
The success of General Beauregard's operations against Sumter raised him to the full measure of public confidence, and the acts of hostilities had the effect to raise the blood of both sections to fever heat. All hope of avoiding war was now blighted, and the purpose of cultivating peaceful measures, abandoned. The demand of the South to be let alone, she had lawfully determined to enforce if possible, regardless of the cost in resources, treasure, and blood. Invasion and conquest under the guise of suppressing the rebellion and restoring the Union engrossed the great Northern mind, and stirred the passions of that people to the utmost capacity. Their public journals were the daily chronicles of busy preparations for war. The gates of Janus closed amid the profound peace
of the United States for thirteen years were now fully open. The storm of popular passion had now reached the point of madness, and devoted the people of both sections to destruction, and the “red right hand ” of Omnipotence was upraised to smite them.
By the census report of the United States for the year 1860, the total population was 31,646,869; that of the non-slaveholding States was 18,950,759 ; that of the nonslaveholding territories, 262,701; white and black population of the slaveholding States, 12,433,409. This, however,