The Civil War News & Views Open Discussion Forum

My Heart Is Not In This War

[Note the date...April 8th, 1861.]

{Major Anderson had been informed by a letter written by Mr. Lincoln, but put in the hand of Secretary Cameron, of the effort about to be made to supply the fort; and in this letter the President took occasion to say kindly that he had no desire to expose him to unusual dangers, and mentioned that it would be expected for him to give up the fort when his judgment showed him the propriety of doing so.

Major Anderson's answer to this letter, dated April 8th, fortunately for this unpatriotic representative of the Nation's bounty, was never seen by Mr. Lincoln, as it fell into the hands of the rebels and there remained until after the war. After speaking of the active warlike operations of the Charleston authorities, he concludes with these lines:—

"I had the honor to receive, by yesterday's mail, the letter of the Honorable Secretary of War, dated April 4th, and confess that what he there states surprises me very greatly, following as it does, and contradicting so positively, the assurance Mr. Crawford telegraphed he was 'authorized' to make. I trust that this subject will be at once put in a correct light, as a movement made now, when the South has been erroneously informed that none such would be attempted, would produce most disastrous results throughout our country. It is, of course, now too late for me to give any advice in reference to the proposed scheme of Captain Fox. I fear that its result can not fail to be disastrous to all concerned. Even with his boat at our walls, the loss of life (as I think I mentioned to Captain Fox) in unloading her will more than pay for the good to be accomplished by the expedition, which keeps us, if I can maintain possession of this work, out of position, surrounded by strong works which must be carried to make this fort of the least value to the United States.

"We have not oil enough to keep a light in the lantern for one night. The boats will have to, therefore, rely at night entirely upon other marks. I ought to have been informed that this expedition was to come. Colonel Lamon's remark convinced me that the idea, merely hinted-at to me by Captain Fox, would not be carried out.

"We shall strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in this war, which I see is to be thus commenced. That God will still avert it, and cause us to resort to pacific means to maintain our rights, is my ardent prayen

"I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Robert Anderson,

"Major 1st Artillery, Commanding."}

Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom, J.V. Denson.
The Republic, or, A History of the United States of America, J. R. Ireland

Here we see several points. Anderson knew a war was about to begin, and he was against it. This letter allarmed the Confederate authorities to the desception of Lincoln- Lincoln was not sending food supplies but was sending a massive force for the reinforcement of Fort Sumter in complete violation of all assurances previously made. President Davis now understood, not only from this letter, but also other sources, that Lincoln was sending a threatening army of reinforcements in the form of ships, cannons and men, which would arrive not only in Charleston but Pensacola.

David Upton

Messages In This Thread

My Heart Is Not In This War
Re: My Heart Is Not In This War
Re: My Heart Is Not In This War