Book Chat
Fort Sumter, Charleston, and The Beginning of the Civil War
David Detzer

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 04/20/08 and covered Chapters 10, 11, & 12

4/20/2008 9:10 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the Sunday night book Chat. Tonight we focus on Chapters 10-12 of David Detzer's book Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War Reminder, please refrain from using the PM function for the duration of the chat.

4/20/2008 9:10 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Susan, we'd have to have an extra long chat then, wouldn't we? That would be OK with me - I could talk about this book all night.

4/20/2008 9:10 pm (et) Babs: You mean finish the book, Susan?

4/20/2008 9:10 pm (et) Teej: I'm on BHI, it was a late minute decision to come down so I forgot my book so I'm just going to lurk tonight.

4/20/2008 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes.

4/20/2008 9:12 pm (et) Basecat: Lets begin by delving into Chapter 10... The Wolf At The Door.

4/20/2008 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: Wigfall becomes a verb. I loved it.

4/20/2008 9:13 pm (et) Widow: The earlier description of Fort Sumter sounded grim enough. Now all this cold rain and wind, uncertainty, must have been hard.

4/20/2008 9:14 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Well, it seems that things hadn't changed much since we left off last week, Buchanan's cabinet couldn't even agree on the orders they gave Anderson. And I really got a kick out of a description of Wigfall. Wish we had a picture.

4/20/2008 9:14 pm (et) 20thMass: I have been to Fort Sumter and cold rain and wind is the norm there.

4/20/2008 9:14 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I have to say that I am a bit disappointed that Detzer did not include some details of just what made Wigfall so colorful. Those duels, a fist fight and “one additional shooting, “ all centered around a feud Wigfall had going with the Brooks family, over Wigfall’s support of a rival political candidate of the Brooks family.

4/20/2008 9:14 pm (et) Widow: I get a little mixed up about the combination of belligerence and courtesy in Charleston.

4/20/2008 9:14 pm (et) amhistoryguy: There were actually three near duels, Wigfall shot and killed a young man who had fired at Wigfall first. Duel One, was with a Brooks family member, and both men missed the mark and were persuaded to call it a draw. Duel Two, was with none other than Preston Brooks. Wigfall was wounded in the thigh, and Brooks was wounded in the hip. The wound Brooks received was the reason that he carried a cane, with which he later used to beat Senator Charles Sumner.

4/20/2008 9:15 pm (et) Basecat: A photo of Wigfall can be found at

4/20/2008 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Lincoln Fan Google Wigfall and you will find plenty of pictures.

4/20/2008 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Steve beat me to the Google.

4/20/2008 9:15 pm (et) Widow: Wigfall was a close friend of Joe Johnston.

4/20/2008 9:16 pm (et) Babs: Thanks for the details Dave. You are right those should have been included.

4/20/2008 9:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Most political actions have Wigfall involved somewhere.

4/20/2008 9:16 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Thanks for the great info AHG. And, Susan I meant to do that all week.

4/20/2008 9:17 pm (et) Widow: It's hard to keep a straight face when addressing a man with that last name.

4/20/2008 9:18 pm (et) Basecat: Just by reading this book, and others on the same subject, it amazes me that those inmates seemed to rule the asylum, at a time when they should not have had a hand in the business, IMHO.

4/20/2008 9:18 pm (et) Widow: All those senators and commissioners and spies burning the wires to Charleston. Who the heck was in charge?

4/20/2008 9:19 pm (et) Widow: People seemed inclined to believe the most outrageous rumors, and to disregard the more sober comments.

4/20/2008 9:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The conversation between Gov. Pickens and Lt. Snyder is rather odd, IMO.

4/20/2008 9:20 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Right Base. Floyd should have been long gone. And I was amused by Buchanans remark to the commissioners that they didn't give him time to pray. I think the only thing he prayed for was inauguration day.

4/20/2008 9:21 pm (et) Widow: Right, Fan. When you fire somebody, the least he can do is pack up and leave!

4/20/2008 9:22 pm (et) ole: Well. Technically Buck didn't fire him -- just invited him to resign.

4/20/2008 9:22 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Which conversation AHG, can't find it.

4/20/2008 9:22 pm (et) Teej: Buchanan was hoping to walk between the rain drops.

4/20/2008 9:22 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Which conversation, AHG. Can't find it.

4/20/2008 9:23 pm (et) Widow: Teej - apres moi, le deluge. And me with no umbrella.

4/20/2008 9:23 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Bottom of 149 in my copy - Pickens asks Snyder if Doubleday would surrender the fort if he demanded it.

4/20/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Pickens had no military training and didn't listen to his experts.

4/20/2008 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: He would not listen to a council of war that proposed moderation he said.

4/20/2008 9:24 pm (et) ole: At least he had Beau to look out for military matters.

4/20/2008 9:25 pm (et) Widow: It tickled me that even some Charlestonians got fed up with Pickens, they knew an idiot when they saw one.

4/20/2008 9:25 pm (et) Babs: I think the war might have been avoided had it not been for the ninnys.

4/20/2008 9:25 pm (et) Susansweet: I love the quote on page 145 about those that know war best Heroism is fine for books , but that disaster lurks everywhere.

4/20/2008 9:25 pm (et) Teej: My bad, Widow. :-)

4/20/2008 9:25 pm (et) mobile_96: Far too many ninnys stiring the pot at that time.

4/20/2008 9:26 pm (et) Babs: Why was Pickens based in Charleston? Shouldn't he have been in Columbia? Did he just come to "handle" the Sumpter crisis?

4/20/2008 9:26 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Incredible that Anderson was given no instruction regarding the arrival of The Star of the West. His assumption that a civilian vessel would not be sent, and the lack of communication to him of the plan, such as it was, made a big difference in the way the war was begun.

4/20/2008 9:27 pm (et) Widow: No sensible or moderate person could make himself heard. The Citadel cadets, the farm boys, the rich planters' sons, all wanted glory, so the politicians worked to arrange it for them.

4/20/2008 9:27 pm (et) ole: Small pox in Columbia. The whole government moved to Charleston.

4/20/2008 9:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: IIRC Pickens was in town to handle the Convention, which had been moved to Charleston.

4/20/2008 9:27 pm (et) Widow: Ole, good detail. I'd forgotten that.

4/20/2008 9:28 pm (et) Babs: Then he became a pox on the whole country.

4/20/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: That was going on in Charleston too Dave

4/20/2008 9:28 pm (et) Widow: AHG, I agree that leaving Anderson ignorant was indefensible.

4/20/2008 9:28 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Wonderful, Babs!

4/20/2008 9:29 pm (et) Babs: :^)

4/20/2008 9:30 pm (et) mobile_96: Or was there a fear that the orders/information to Anderson might be read by the wrong side?

4/20/2008 9:30 pm (et) Widow: Gov. Pickens was allowed to read Anderson's messages to Washington, but Washington didn't send any to Anderson. Weird.

4/20/2008 9:30 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I'm not understanding something. If people like Anderson's brother Lars could enter Sumter, why could he get no communication from Washington. People seemed to be entering and leaving when necessary.

4/20/2008 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: By the way the site of the Citidel today is not the one during this time period . They out grew it , the old one is now a Holiday Inn I believe or Best Western.

4/20/2008 9:31 pm (et) amhistoryguy: He could get no communications from Washington because none were sent.

4/20/2008 9:31 pm (et) 20thMass: You can stay there for the muster.

4/20/2008 9:31 pm (et) Widow: Fan, Washington didn't communicate with Anderson. No matter who came and went. Cruel and unusual punishment for a loyal soldier.

4/20/2008 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: Not at the price of a room.

4/20/2008 9:32 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I can imagine that after time passed, Anderson must have felt some reliet that many people in the north supported him.

4/20/2008 9:33 pm (et) mobile_96: So the last official communication was thru Butler?

4/20/2008 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Dave his brother told him so when he visited.

4/20/2008 9:33 pm (et) Widow: Yes, AHG, at least he had that comfort, that people believed he had done the right thing. But still no word until Floyd's replacement at the War Dept. took over.

4/20/2008 9:33 pm (et) Babs: I think it's a later chapter, but some credited Anderson with keeping Kentucky in the union.

4/20/2008 9:34 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Anderson was really hung out to dry. All these plans to send or not send reinforcements and no one asked hin what his situation was or asked for any input.

4/20/2008 9:34 pm (et) ole: I was struck by Detzer's observation that the flag wasn't all that big a deal until it was fired on at Sumter.

4/20/2008 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Right Babs it comes in Chapter 13 I think

4/20/2008 9:35 pm (et) Widow: Ole, are you speaking about the firing on the Star of the West?

4/20/2008 9:36 pm (et) ole: No. Sumter.

4/20/2008 9:36 pm (et) Basecat: Fan, add to it that those in SC knew that the government in DC was in a state of chaos, they acted for their own interests first. Kinda sick when you ponder on it.

4/20/2008 9:36 pm (et) Widow: Which by the way, was pretty good shooting. Those loose cannonballs skipping over the water. scary!

4/20/2008 9:37 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Base, it's almost likethe Union didn't have a government, only Southerners trying to do as much damage as possible before they left.

4/20/2008 9:38 pm (et) Babs: no problem if the Star of the West was hit. They would just plug the holes with mattresses. What a plan!

4/20/2008 9:39 pm (et) Basecat: Fan...After all these years, am still trying to figure out just what the US Government did that was so bad in SC...but what do I know.:)

4/20/2008 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: What blew me away was Eba showing up at Fort Sumter.

4/20/2008 9:39 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Does anyone think that an early armed response by the Federal Government, say the success of the Star of the West in getting to Sumter, or an early, say January or February, military suppression of activities in Charleston would have put out the fuse that had been lit by South Carolina secession?

4/20/2008 9:39 pm (et) ole: I must also be noted that Lincoln dithered away 5 weeks as well.

4/20/2008 9:39 pm (et) amhistoryguy: My own opinion is that it would not have.

4/20/2008 9:40 pm (et) Susansweet: Strong Federal government had stopped Charleston before when Andrew Jackson was president.

4/20/2008 9:40 pm (et) secret squirrel: Guy i don't think so, i look at the british in the revolution and them sending troops. look what happened then.

4/20/2008 9:40 pm (et) ole: Seems that Detzer believes that an earlier intervention might have stirred up some compliance.

4/20/2008 9:40 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...I don't think so, and I really think Lincoln did not want to have the onus of firing a first shot of a war.

4/20/2008 9:41 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: OK, when exactly was the first shot of the war. Was it from Morris Island at the Star of the West? Was it the one from Ft. Moultrie? A lot of shots fired before April.

4/20/2008 9:41 pm (et) mobile_96: But with no militia in place then Susan.

4/20/2008 9:41 pm (et) 20thMass: Didn't a foreign leader advise Lincoln to let the South fire the first shot so they would be the bad guys

4/20/2008 9:41 pm (et) Susansweet: OR was it that shot in Vicksburg he mentions.

4/20/2008 9:41 pm (et) ole: Nor do I. SC was hell-bent on a shooting war, and if it hadn't happened over Sumter, it would have happened some other way.

4/20/2008 9:42 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Shots fired in Florida too.

4/20/2008 9:42 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Or was it Pensacola (getting ahead)?

4/20/2008 9:42 pm (et) ole: Might be the sentry's warning shot at Baracas.

4/20/2008 9:42 pm (et) mobile_96: In Pensacola Jan 7th.

4/20/2008 9:42 pm (et) Basecat: Again, and just my opinion...the war started in the 1850's out in Kansas and Missouri....just was not acknowledged "officially" as a war.

4/20/2008 9:43 pm (et) Widow: Strange for Pickens, he was aware how unprepared SC was for a shooting war. But he did everything he could to bring it on. What a ninny.

4/20/2008 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: That is what our speaker at the round table said this week Steve.

4/20/2008 9:44 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: My vote is Pensacola.

4/20/2008 9:44 pm (et) Widow: The press reported about Sumter, but not about Ft. Pickens or Vicksburg or Missouri, so that's where the war "officially" started.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Widow: Like Pearl Harbor wasn't really the beginning of WW II.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: The war over Kansas Missouri was all over the papers.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Lawrence , Pottawatomie creek.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Bushwackers and Jayhawkers.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: JOHN BROWN

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Even then the media controlled events.

4/20/2008 9:45 pm (et) Widow: Susan, you're right, sorry, I got mixed up.

4/20/2008 9:46 pm (et) Babs: I vote with Sue and Base. It was out west.

4/20/2008 9:46 pm (et) Basecat: John who? :) Sorry..I can see the chat is starting to ramble...Only half way through this chapter, so my bad for not keeping it focused on the book.

4/20/2008 9:47 pm (et) Susansweet: Sorry base I know he was dead by the time Sumter was fired on.

4/20/2008 9:47 pm (et) Babs: Base, We'll start to call you Buchanan :^)

4/20/2008 9:48 pm (et) Widow: What was with that "escort" Gourdin, who took Larz and Eba out to the fort? A spy? A protector?

4/20/2008 9:48 pm (et) ole: It is a bit strange that there wasn't a bigger to-do over the Star of the West.

4/20/2008 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...Thanks and surprise...Have been called worse..;)

4/20/2008 9:49 pm (et) mobile_96: Snoop.

4/20/2008 9:49 pm (et) ole: Gourdin was there to make sure the two didn't have private time.

4/20/2008 9:50 pm (et) ole: Pretty much everyone permitted to visit also had a "guardian."

4/20/2008 9:50 pm (et) Widow: That must have been an embarrassing predicament for Gourdin. What was he supposed to do, hide behind the curtains?

4/20/2008 9:51 pm (et) Widow: Oops, no curtains in a fort.

4/20/2008 9:51 pm (et) mobile_96: Prevent the passing of info about what was happening in Charleston, and prevent secret messages from being passed out of Sumter.

4/20/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: I was surprised that they dropped hulks in the channels to block them and that they didn't work. Union did it later on with whaling vessels and it didn't work then either. Wonder if they knew it had been tried before ?

4/20/2008 9:52 pm (et) Widow: But Larz had a message in his pocket when he returned to Washington.

4/20/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: The harbor in Charleston is very shallow , you have to stay in the lanes or run aground.

4/20/2008 9:53 pm (et) mobile_96: So Gourdin missed 1.

4/20/2008 9:53 pm (et) ole: They couldn't very well block all the channels.

4/20/2008 9:53 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Anderson did have time with Eba. I think sending an escort was another way of Pickens showing that he had control of things.

4/20/2008 9:53 pm (et) ole: And didn't Detzer say there were 4 channels?

4/20/2008 9:53 pm (et) Babs: The tide ruined the plans.

4/20/2008 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: Four channels and they blocked all but one.

4/20/2008 9:54 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Tides are very strong in the harbor, and moved obstructions out of the way.

4/20/2008 9:54 pm (et) Widow: Good point, Fan.

4/20/2008 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: Exactly Dave.

4/20/2008 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: That is what happened later to the whaling ships too.

4/20/2008 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Not having buoys ,and lights and light houses makes that entrance very dangerous.

4/20/2008 9:56 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I was disappointed at Captain McGowan & Lt Woods. They knew they were going into a potentially hostile situation and turned the ship around because they were afraid of being in a conflict. I don't remember, were their orders to turn back if fired upon?

4/20/2008 9:56 pm (et) Widow: I'm amazed that the pilots from New York thought they could take the Star into Charleston.

4/20/2008 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on this Chapter?? My last, and just looking at the final comment by Wigfall...Your flag has been insulted...redress it if you dare shows what a nut job this guy was. And a traitor.

4/20/2008 9:58 pm (et) Widow: Wigfall, Ruffin, Toombs, what fire-eaters.

4/20/2008 9:58 pm (et) Basecat: Surly old men who were not used to not having their way IMHO.

4/20/2008 9:59 pm (et) Basecat: Well...Wigfall was not old, but you get my point.

4/20/2008 10:00 pm (et) Widow: Perzackly right, Base. They were sorely oppressed by the tyrants at Washington.

4/20/2008 10:00 pm (et) Basecat: Let's move on to Chapter 11...Hostages.

4/20/2008 10:00 pm (et) Widow: And they wanted to show their bravery.

4/20/2008 10:01 pm (et) Babs: So... You guys who have been in the military... Did you ever play leapfrog as a way to pass the time?

4/20/2008 10:01 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The near physical assault between Scott and Toombs was an interesting part of the story that I had not been aware of prior to this. I would have loved to be in charge of the seating arrangements : )

4/20/2008 10:02 pm (et) Widow: I liked Detzer's line describing the "Mercury" reaction: The "Mercury" SQUIRMED with pleasure, it GLOATED about half a century of scorn and outrage.

4/20/2008 10:02 pm (et) Susansweet: I like the description of Pickens as he replies to Anderson asking if he approved of the firing . . . puffed up with self righteous bombast.

4/20/2008 10:03 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Going into the next chapter, we can add William Izzard Bull to the nut list who commented on one of ANderson's notes to Pickens, of the indignity "for a mere commandant of a fort to send so insulting a message to a sovereign people..."

4/20/2008 10:03 pm (et) Widow: Maybe, Babs, they did it with cannonballs in their pockets. Just to add a little challenge.

4/20/2008 10:04 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Yes Babs, while I was in we played every weekend. : )

4/20/2008 10:04 pm (et) Widow: AHG, :=)) What a sight. Better than tug-of-war.

4/20/2008 10:04 pm (et) Babs: AMguy. ok ok. I don't want more details.

4/20/2008 10:04 pm (et) Basecat: Fan...Which is a fine point, as in folks in SC are the only sovereign people of that time? Hard not to shake your head in disgust when you read a comment like that.

4/20/2008 10:05 pm (et) mobile_96: How important was Bull?

4/20/2008 10:05 pm (et) Widow: What a name. Izzard Bull. Again, how can you take him seriously?

4/20/2008 10:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Some BIG egos in South Carolina !!

4/20/2008 10:06 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Bull was a wealthy planter who was full of, well, bull.

4/20/2008 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: The Bull family was one of those long time big families.

4/20/2008 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: I have seen the family plot at Sheldon church.

4/20/2008 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Goes back to the beginnings

4/20/2008 10:07 pm (et) Widow: Interesting that Lt. Meade, the Petersburger, was the least bellicose of Anderson's officers.

4/20/2008 10:08 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Respect and Honor as they perceived it, were far more important than Common Sense or The best interests of the "common man.

4/20/2008 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: The paragraph on page 170 about the flags in the north reminds me of how it was right after 911 when flags appeared everywhere.

4/20/2008 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Teej what is it you always say about South Carolina and Virginia ?

4/20/2008 10:10 pm (et) Widow: Common sense ain't for gentlemen, right?

4/20/2008 10:11 pm (et) Widow: NC is a vale of humility between two mountains of pride.

4/20/2008 10:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Not fire eaters at least.

4/20/2008 10:11 pm (et) Basecat: You notice that the majority of these big mouths did not fight in the War?? And those that did join up, were a disgrace to the men they commanded?? Maybe I am being harsh, but the proof is in the pudding or the Bull**** depending how you think on it.

4/20/2008 10:12 pm (et) Widow: Base, you're right. Mary Chestnut complained about that a lot too.

4/20/2008 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: You mean the druggie?

4/20/2008 10:12 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I thought about that, too, Susan. Mary Chestnut complained about everything.

4/20/2008 10:13 pm (et) secret squirrel: Susan, are you saying Mary was a druggie? Do tell.

4/20/2008 10:13 pm (et) Widow: Ruffin did his fighting in April 1861. Then he went to Richmond and orated some more.

4/20/2008 10:13 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Sorry, first part of the last message was to you, Susan. The last part to Widow.

4/20/2008 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: I got it fan.

4/20/2008 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Everything Mary says has to be taken with a grain of salt she was on the drug Hood was accused of taking .

4/20/2008 10:14 pm (et) Basecat: Other line I found ironic from scanning the chapter...the line from the US Army guide telling soldiers to avoid damp places. Can't make this stuff up.:)

4/20/2008 10:14 pm (et) Widow: Detzer's observations about the distribution of food in the fort interested me.

4/20/2008 10:15 pm (et) Babs: SS, Mary suffered from depression or melancholy and bad headaches. She took what she needed to.

4/20/2008 10:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Right on a man made fort in the middle of a winter in Charleston where it even snows which is VERY rare for Charleston

4/20/2008 10:15 pm (et) Widow: Mary complained about Hood, too, Susan.

4/20/2008 10:15 pm (et) amhistoryguy: U. S. Army guide also warns about playing leap frog in a swamp : )

4/20/2008 10:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Know Marie will kill me but never been a Mary fan.

4/20/2008 10:16 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Lots of traffic between Charleston and Washington during this time. Isaac Hayne goes to DC asking for the fort. He's accompanied by Lt. Hall, I believe (who doesn't seem to spend too much time at Sumter). Wonder what they talk about on those trips.

4/20/2008 10:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Only frogs are allowed to play leapfrog in a swamp.

4/20/2008 10:16 pm (et) Basecat: amhg..:) LOL...Regulatons..regulations.:)

4/20/2008 10:16 pm (et) Widow: Sad story about sending the wives and kids away on the Marion, then they suffered even more, alone in New York.

4/20/2008 10:17 pm (et) Babs: I was surprised that Pickens sent food to Sumter.

4/20/2008 10:17 pm (et) Susansweet: Another great line is the workmen, women and children were like a chorus in a Greek play.

4/20/2008 10:18 pm (et) Susansweet: It is the master taking care of his people Babs.

4/20/2008 10:18 pm (et) Widow: It's incredible that Anderson didn't think to use the barracks for fuel. There are those Army regs again.

4/20/2008 10:18 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: It's interesting that Maj. Anderson never burned all the wood he had, even when they were so in need of it.

4/20/2008 10:19 pm (et) Babs: This whole situation lingered on much longer than I realized.

4/20/2008 10:20 pm (et) Widow: Imagine receiving those CARE packages of fine delicacies when the garrison is facing scurvy.

4/20/2008 10:21 pm (et) Susansweet: Foster is amazing you can't have his food but when his runs out he wants Anderson's.

4/20/2008 10:22 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I wonder what Robert Gourdin (who turns out not to be a spy, but Anderson's friend,) says to him to persuade him to accept the supplies.

4/20/2008 10:22 pm (et) Susansweet: Fan maybe eat or it will go bad?

4/20/2008 10:23 pm (et) Widow: I love the description of Witzmann's cheval-de-frise outside the fort. What a bizarre combination of defenses on an island!

4/20/2008 10:23 pm (et) Widow: Think of all the starving children in China?

4/20/2008 10:23 pm (et) Babs: Or don't be another ninny.

4/20/2008 10:24 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Hooray for the two enlisted men who elected to stay without pay after their hitch was up.

4/20/2008 10:25 pm (et) Widow: Thank goodness the new Sec. of War, Holt, had the sense to write to Anderson. At last, official word from Washington.

4/20/2008 10:25 pm (et) Susansweet: I don't remember hearing at Fort Sumter about all the defense devices that the soldiers created .

4/20/2008 10:25 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I don't know if Detzer overlooked the incident, or by leaving it out of the book he reveals something of a bias, but the guns of Sumter also fired a "mistake" round, that missed Broad Street by only 516 feet.

4/20/2008 10:26 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Susan, they probably didn't know what to call them.

4/20/2008 10:26 pm (et) Widow: Susan, my edition has those infernal devices on pp 182-3.

4/20/2008 10:26 pm (et) 20thMass: Wow I didn't know that Dave.

4/20/2008 10:27 pm (et) Widow: Is it possible that the mistake is in a later chapter?

4/20/2008 10:27 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: So maybe, Dave, we should be reading this book with the understanding that it may be slightly biased.

4/20/2008 10:28 pm (et) Babs: Are we to that goofy armored thingamagig yet?

4/20/2008 10:28 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Happened in February, and much of what is going on at this point in the book is March already. Could be brought up later.

4/20/2008 10:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Not at all that is last chapter

4/20/2008 10:29 pm (et) ole: The floating battery? Not yet.

4/20/2008 10:29 pm (et) Babs: I'm surprised it floated.

4/20/2008 10:29 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Recognized bias is not a bad thing.

4/20/2008 10:29 pm (et) Susansweet: That is a long way Dave . Fort Sumter is I believe three miles out.

4/20/2008 10:30 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I liked when Anderson returned the Citadel's solute of thirteen, then seven guns with a 34 gun salute.

4/20/2008 10:31 pm (et) 20thMass: I am surprised they had guns that could fire at that distance back then.

4/20/2008 10:31 pm (et) Widow: The gamesmanship is beautifully calculated to needle the other side.

4/20/2008 10:31 pm (et) Susansweet: And Broad is the fifth street in from the Battery.

4/20/2008 10:32 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Yes, it is Susan, that is why some officers got permission from Anderson to test a gun, and to show Charleston that they had a gun that could reach them. They used a much smaller charge of powder, and expected the dummy shell to not come nearer than 1000 yards.

4/20/2008 10:32 pm (et) ole: I especially liked Humphrey's salute when he hauled down his flag. He omitted the one for South Carolina.

4/20/2008 10:32 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Also we can add to the nut list another character. Gen. David Emanuel Twiggs who gave up the whole department of Texas, then headed south.

4/20/2008 10:32 pm (et) Babs: Twiggs the twit.

4/20/2008 10:33 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on this Chapter?? If not let's finish with Chapter 12... The Boys On The Beach.

4/20/2008 10:33 pm (et) amhistoryguy: See "Sumter, The First Day of the Civil War," by Robert Hendrickson, page 153.

4/20/2008 10:33 pm (et) Widow: Definitely a traitor. He was still an Army officer!

4/20/2008 10:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes I have one He explains Allegiance again on page 183.

4/20/2008 10:34 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Anderson made an apology for the shot.

4/20/2008 10:34 pm (et) Widow: Just imagine, Base, those poor boys in the camps got fried chicken and goodies. How they suffered, if not from boredom, then from indigestion.

4/20/2008 10:34 pm (et) Susansweet: How trifling party difference appear in view of the great danger to our country now . We here have forgotten then all as we stand around our flag

4/20/2008 10:35 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Now, about that floating battery. I can't believe the ugly thing even floated. And they thought the Monitor was ugly!

4/20/2008 10:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Dearer than ever to us now that we know and feel that it is in danger.

4/20/2008 10:36 pm (et) Babs: It looks as though it was designed by a committee.

4/20/2008 10:36 pm (et) Widow: I loved that Pickens postponed the war because it was Race Week in Charleston. Let's keep our priorities straight, right?

4/20/2008 10:37 pm (et) Susansweet: I also love the comment about Pedestals are precarious on page 186.

4/20/2008 10:38 pm (et) amhistoryguy: For all those who object to calling the conflict a Civil War, I direct your attention to Jefferson Davis' statement to begin this chapter -"We are on the verge of a Civil War."

4/20/2008 10:38 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Pickens does show some bit of sanity when he realized that, guess what, the boys just aren't prepared to fight just yet.

4/20/2008 10:38 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...Glad you posted that...Stuck out with me as well..

4/20/2008 10:39 pm (et) Widow: Interesting to learn about the conflict between the independent Commonwealth of South Carolina and the new Montgomery government. Had no idea it started so early.

4/20/2008 10:40 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: AMG, I didn't catch that but it should settle a lot of arguments. If Jeff Davis calls it a civil war then that's what it is.

4/20/2008 10:41 pm (et) Widow: War among people of one nation.

4/20/2008 10:41 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yes, Widow, and the Montgomery government couldn't wait to remove Pickens from the Sumter situation.

4/20/2008 10:42 pm (et) Widow: A pre-emption to prevent a pre-emption, or something, Fan? I still get mixed up.

4/20/2008 10:43 pm (et) Susansweet: I love one of the Ravel family says Pickens should never have been elected Governor.

4/20/2008 10:43 pm (et) Widow: Surely there were many people wondering who's in charge, or if the whole country has gone crazy. The uncertainties must have been deeply troubling.

4/20/2008 10:43 pm (et) Susansweet: Ravel family is still in power today.

4/20/2008 10:44 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: The Ravels. Alas - a voice of reason!

4/20/2008 10:45 pm (et) Widow: Nice short bio of Beauregard. I wonder if his wife called him Pierre, Gus, or Toot.

4/20/2008 10:46 pm (et) Widow: Or maybe just General.

4/20/2008 10:46 pm (et) ole: Pickens wasn't exactly elected. It was his turn. SC legislature appointed senators and representatives and governors.

4/20/2008 10:46 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: He probably wasn't home a lot, Widow.

4/20/2008 10:47 pm (et) Susansweet: True but Ravel speaks of impeaching him.

4/20/2008 10:48 pm (et) Widow: Ole, which illustrates exactly why the governor's position had no little power. The legislative branch most definitely ran things.

4/20/2008 10:48 pm (et) ole: They might have been able to swing it.

4/20/2008 10:48 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Interesting, Beauregard wanted to be assigned to Pensacola and Bragg served at Ft Mourtrie - so where does Davis send them. He's off to a good start.

4/20/2008 10:49 pm (et) Widow: Bragg would have retreated and Beauregard would have written complicated Napoleonic orders.

4/20/2008 10:50 pm (et) ole: Pickens is a figure only because the governor is in charge of the state's militia. Kinda had the whole ball game dropped into his lap.

4/20/2008 10:51 pm (et) Widow: I like Detzler's line, bottom of p. 207: PGTB energetically greased the hinges connecting politics and military and social affairs.

4/20/2008 10:51 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yeah, ole, but he doesn't want to give up the ball. In fact, he wants the whole stadium.

4/20/2008 10:52 pm (et) Basecat: And throw out the first "pitch" Fan.

4/20/2008 10:52 pm (et) Widow: Fan, do you suppose Pickens really believed that South Carolina would survive as an independent nation?

4/20/2008 10:52 pm (et) Widow: Base, perfect! :=))

4/20/2008 10:53 pm (et) Basecat: FWIW..I truly do feel they thought they could survive on their own at the start of this mess.

4/20/2008 10:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Beauregard only did that in Charleston as he saw it was necessary it wasn't his usual way.

4/20/2008 10:53 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yes, I do. He didn't feel SC shold have to take orders from any government, north or south.

4/20/2008 10:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Base they may still think that way today.

4/20/2008 10:53 pm (et) Widow: They must have thought it would be a short war, the Charleston banks still did business with the NY banks.

4/20/2008 10:54 pm (et) Basecat: Hard for me to imagine why, as Texas started as a Republic, and we all know how long that lasted.

4/20/2008 10:54 pm (et) ole: Base: That's the only way I can explain the craziness that went into those months.

4/20/2008 10:54 pm (et) Susansweet: So did California and it lasted for a very short time.

4/20/2008 10:54 pm (et) Widow: They'll both tell you there is a big difference between TX and SC. SC being larger, of course.

4/20/2008 10:55 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I was really surprised at how long they maintained financial relations with the north. Pride and states rights are one thing, but money is something also.

4/20/2008 10:56 pm (et) Widow: Sentimental bankers don't last long, do they?

4/20/2008 10:56 pm (et) Basecat: Fan...Bothers me that folks in my neck of the woods thought first of financial dealings and trade but then again some things never change.

4/20/2008 10:57 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: No, and the south probably needed the money to buy arms to use against us. Figure that out. It's still being done today as we all know.

4/20/2008 10:57 pm (et) ole: The money was in the north. If they wanted to loan it out, the south needed it.

4/20/2008 10:57 pm (et) Susansweet: Some things never change Fan.

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) ole: Didn't Detzer say that the commerce went on into '62?

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Look how long the Confederacy used U.S. postage stamps.

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) Susansweet: I think so Ole.

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I thought he said '63, but could be wrong.

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) mobile_96: But that was only for SC, IIRC.

4/20/2008 10:58 pm (et) mobile_96: '62 is correct

4/20/2008 10:59 pm (et) Basecat: My apologies to all for not finishing the homework. I tried. Am also gonna postpone chat for next Sunday, and resume in 2 weeks from tonight. 5 chapters in one chat would be too much, and for selfish reasons I would like the time to catch up reading wise. Homework for the next chat will be Chapters 13-15. Hope all are OK with that. :)

4/20/2008 10:59 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Thanks for catching that, guys.

4/20/2008 10:59 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Steve works for me

4/20/2008 11:00 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Fine with me Basecat - sounds good.

4/20/2008 11:00 pm (et) mobile_96: Fine with me Base

4/20/2008 11:00 pm (et) 20thMass: Sounds good

4/20/2008 11:00 pm (et) ole: I wanted to read again the part about Pickens demanding payment for his service in Russia, so the feds cut him a check payable at the US Treasury in Charleston. Talk about irony.

4/20/2008 11:00 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks all for a fine chat tonight, and look forward to resuming in 2 weeks.