present governor (Pickens) came into office, he found an understanding existing between the
previous governor (Gist) and the President of the United States, by which all property Within the
limits of the State was to remain as it was; that no reinforcements were to be sent here,
particularly to this post; that there was to be no attempt made against the public property by the
State, and that the status in the harbor should remain unchanged. He was directed also to say to
Major Anderson that it had been hoped by the governor that a peaceful solution of the difficulties
could. have been reached, and a resort to arms and bloodshed might have been avoided; but
that the governor thought the action of Major Anderson had greatly complicated matters, and that
he did not now see how bloodshed could be avoided; that he had desired and intended that the
whole matter might be fought out politically and without the arbitration of the sword, but that now
it was uncertain, if not impossible.
To this Major Anderson replied, that as far as any understanding between the President and the
governor was concerned, he had not been informed; that he knew nothing of it; that he could get
no information or positive orders from Washington, and that his position was threatened every
night by the troops of the State. He was then asked by Major Capers, who accompanied Colonel
Pettigrew, "How?" when he replied, "By sending out steamers armed and conveying troops on
board ;" that these steamers passed the fort going north, and that he feared a landing on the
island and the occupation of the sand-hills just north of the fort; that 100 riflemen on these hills,
which commanded his fort, would make it impossible for his men to serve their guns; and that
any man with a military head must see this. "To prevent this," said he earnestly, "I removed on
my own responsibility, my sole object being to prevent bloodshed." Major Capers replied that the
steamer was sent out for patrol purposes, and as much to prevent disorder among his own
people as to ascertain whether any irregular attempt was being made to reinforce the fort, and
that the idea of attacking him was never.. entertained by the little squad who patroled the harbor.
Major Anderson replied to this that he was wholly in the dark as to the intentions of the State
troops, but that he had reason to believe that they meant to land and attack him from
the north; that the desire of the governor to have the matter settled peacefully and without
bloodshed was precisely his object in removing his command from Moultrie to Sumter; that he
did it upon his own responsibility alone, because he considered that the safety of his command
required it, as he had a right to do. "In this controversy," said he, "between the North and the
South, my sympathies are entirely with the South. These gentlemen," said he (turning to the
officers of the post who stood about him), "know it perfectly well." Colonel Pettigrew replied,
"Well, sir, however that may be, the governor of the State directs me to say to you courteously
but peremptorily, to return to Fort Moultrie." "Make my compliments to the governor (said
Anderson) and say to him that I decline to accede to his request; I cannot and will not go back."
"Then, sir," said Pettigrew, "my business is done," when both officers, without further ceremony
or leavetaking, left the fort.
Colonel Pettigrew and Major Capers returned to the city and made their report to the governor
and council who were in session in the council chamber of the city hall. That afternoon Major
Anderson raised the flag of his country over Sumter, and went vigorously to work mounting his
guns and putting the fort in military order. The same afternoon the governor issued orders to
Colonel Pettigrew, First regiment of rifles, and to Col. W. G. De Saussure, First regiment
artillery, commanding them to take immediate possession of Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie.
Neither fort was garrisoned, and the officers in charge, after making a verbal protest, left and
went to Fort Sumter, and the Palmetto flag was raised over
Moultrie and Pinckney.