Support the Police, Blue State Big Cities Are Dead Civilizations Walking

Support the Police
Southern States Should Hire the Good Police Officers
Who Are Being Defunded in Blue States
Blue State Big Cities Are Dead Civilizations Walking
Law and Order Will Cause the South to Ascend to
National Dominance
Florida Is a Great Example

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

SOUTHERN STATE LEGISLATURES should immediately pass strong resolutions supporting the police and back it up with legislation designed to train them to be the best, and give them the equipment they need to make their jobs safer and more effective.

Qualified immunity should be strengthened, and it should be made clear that it will always be there because we appreciate the hard job our police do every single day when they put their lives on the line to protect us.

The idiotic states that have been attacking the police the hardest with defund the police efforts and other ways to harass and hamstring the police are examples of a civilization in a death spiral. It's leaders are leftist ideologues who have lost their common sense if they ever had any. They are weak like the cowardly, feckless mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler.

The blue states, themselves, will survive because of their rural populations where life is safe and happy but many of their cities will not. Their sanctuary status guarantees cover to criminals and gangs, and police departments get weaker and more hesitant to protect the public. Who can blame them.

Cultural death is apparent in many places. Who in his right mind would invest money in a business in downtown Kenosha, Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Portland, Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places where the INEVITABLE next shooting will immediately put hundreds of violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter supporters in the street, looting, rioting, committing assault and murder, setting buildings on fire. Woke leaders encourage it like they did last summer, Biden and Harris leading the way, and the vile news media will lie and make the police look guilty no matter how professional they have acted.

Citizens in those places are on their own, yet often those same liberal leaders have made it impossible to own a gun for protection. You are the bad guy in their minds, but criminals are OK because they vote Democrat and are oppressed by the white man, according to Critical Race Theory promoted by idiotic, racist, 100% liberal academia.

Woke liberal leaders in many blue state cities have done away with bail, so, a criminal can set a building on fire or commit an assault, get booked and be back out on the street to do it again before the ink is dry on the paper. That has happened over and over this past year.

There is a criminal element in every human society and always has been, but woke Democrats today are the first political party to empower them over law-biding citizens and working families.

The first obligation of any government is to protect its citizens from violence, murder, rape, theft and other crimes but Democrats protect criminals and vilify the law-biding and want to take their guns.

New York City Council this past March moved to get rid of qualified immunity, which protects police doing their jobs from being sued. NY City Council passed legislation that would allow individual citizens to sue police officers and departments.1 What person in his right mind would be a cop in New York where he could be set up by a criminal, sued before a liberal judge (are there any other kind in New York?), and end up bankrupt or in jail?

If woke white liberals would only realize the hellish world they are creating for their own children and grandchildren they might rethink some of their idiocy. But they think they are such good people, surely the mob will know this and their children will be exempt from rape and murder.

It reminds me of the folks during last years non-stop, year long, violent riots and destruction who put signs in front of their businesses supporting Antifa and Black Lives Matter, thinking they would be spared.

They were not.

The mob will kill you and burn you out as quick as any other victim because MOB.

We can not help that woke white liberals are so stupid and out of touch but let them lay in the bed they've created. We don't have to.

Droves of good police officers are quitting in blue states. In New York City alone, 830 have left since the beginning of this year. In 2020, there was a 75% increase in police officers retiring or quitting which totaled to 5,346. That is "2,300 more than left in 2019" when 3,053 left the NYPD. This is all according to the New York Post.2

We should hire the best of them in the South and entice them by making it clear that our legislatures support them 100% and our cities will support them with good pay, expert training, and the means to do their jobs.

We should make it clear that we encourage our school children to look up to police, fire fighters, EMTs and all first responders who are on the front line against chaos, violence and anarchy.

By doing that, we guarantee respect for the policemen and women who risk their lives every day for us.

People in the South want law and order. We are sick of the woke idiocy in other places. We can show the superiority of our culture by having a region that cares, unapologetically, about citizens first, and not criminals.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York says:

The Mayor and City Council [of New York] are absolutely trying to abolish the police. They’ve kept our pay absurdly low. They’ve ratcheted up our exposure to lawsuits. They’ve demonized us at every opportunity. And they’ve taken away the tools we need to do the job we all signed up for, which is to keep our communities safe.

Now the NYPD is spending money on slick recruiting ads to replace the experienced cops who are leaving in droves. City Hall should just admit the truth: police abolition-through-attrition is their goal. They won’t stop until the job has become completely unbearable, and they’re getting closer to that goal with every passing day.

A black police officer gave an interview to Katy Faust of The Federalist April 26, 2021.3 He asked to go unnamed but his employment was verified by The Federalist.

He said Derek Chauvin's trial was not fair because the jury was not sequestered and they saw all the media accounts of riots and violence, the threats by Maxine Waters, Joe Biden and others, that if they did not convict, all hell was going to break loose.4

An alternate juror admitted the threats shook her up and she was certain it shook up others.5

In America, everybody is supposed to get a fair trial. You can not lynch somebody in the media, no matter how much it helps your politics.

The black police officer was asked: "Trevor Noah recently said of Derek Chauvin, 'We're not dealing with bad apples, we're dealing with a rotten tree.' What do you say to that?"

He answered:

It's funny when the media wants to talk about a rotten tree. The irony there is amazing. Big media talking about a tree being corrupt? Give me a break.6

The pathetic LIES in most of the news media from the Associated Press to CNN to the rest of the vile racist frauds are never-ending. The hatred and division the news media is sowing is unprecedented.

CNN was caught on video in massive corruption recently by Project Veritas (see endnote for links to all three parts of Project Veritas's CNN Exposed series indicting CNN as the liars and frauds they are).7 Project Veritas is also suing CNN and Twitter for defamation.8 Go to and support this outstanding fearless organization.

Less than a month ago CBS falsified a video to remove the gun carried by 13-year-old Adam Toledo, a Mexican-American boy who was shot dead by police on Chicago's West Side. In their write-up, CBS did not mention that Toledo was armed, nor did much of the rest of the lying press who wanted to paint the cop as a racist though the shooting was entirely justified.9 The cop ought to sue CBS into bankruptcy.

Just days ago NBC's Nightly News "clipped the 911 call that drew officers to [Ma'Khia] Bryant and deceptively edited police bodycam video to mask the knife Bryant was wielding and instead highlight it lying on the ground later."10 NBC should be sued too.

Much of the news media is a horrid, racist institution that is deliberately causing hatred and division among Americans. You have got to be an immoral group to do this. No American should have an iota of respect for CNN, CBS, NBC and all the others. They should all be SUED constantly until they are forced to report the news with some modicum of truth and fairness. Their boards of directors and shareholders should be ashamed and outraged. They should be labeled as the enemies of America that they are. Congress should get involved with that level of corruption but don't hold your breath under Biden. He enables it, just as Barack Obama is the father of today's hate.

In fact, the black police officer in the interview blames Obama for all the division in the country and he is correct. Obama could have been a great uniter and president -- a two-term black president, which proves America is not the least bit racist -- but his dedication to liberal wokeness and racist identity politics doomed him, plus his lack of understanding about the economy. But what to you expect from a "community organizer." About Barack Obama, the most mediocre divisive president in American history, the black police officer said:

In my opinion, the anti-cop narrative began with the Obama administration. He made negative law enforcement comments, and in controversial cases would show up to the deceased's funerals (which  were later justified as lawful shootings). The Dallas five were killed under Obama and he didn't show any respect toward them.11

I remember one time, at the height of the passion over Trayvon Martin's shooting, Obama said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." Of course, the pictures the media showed us of Trayvon Martin, where he looked like an innocent kid at the mall, were far different than the large, aggressive man who started a fight with George Zimmerman who ended up killing him in self-defense.

The black police officer was asked if policing is "systemically racist."

He said, "Ha. Absolutely not. No."

He said things have been so much more difficult since the start of BLM, and:

All these cases involve a false narrative of police racism, from Trayvon Martin to Rayshard Brooks to George Floyd, causing tension and a divide between law-enforcement and the community. People want us to solve their problems, but they don't want us to defend ourselves or the community while doing it.

And facts don't matter. Even though the false Michael Brown "hands up don't shoot" narrative was proven false, I still can't drive around the city without someone eyeballing me and putting their hands up and saying "don't shoot" while I drove past.12

Though large numbers of police officers have quit, the ones who remain are negatively affected too. They are hesitate to do the jobs they used to do. The black officer says people have never wanted to be arrested but "now it's, 'I don't wanna go to jail. And if this dude has an underlying medical condition I don't know about and he decides to fight or he is on drugs or he strokes out on me, a jury might send me to jail for this.' It changes the kinds of calls we respond to."13

About morale, he writes:

Each agency has its own subculture, but this region’s morale is generally crappy. A lot of officers are leaving. We don’t have anybody, anybody applying to be officers here, so we are lowering standards to get numbers up.

The academy has lowered their physical fitness standards and we have dropped ours completely. Now if you’ve got a pulse and some experience? We will take you. Because that’s how bad we are hurting for bodies. Of course, the lowering of standards does not increase the odds that things are going to be done right. So it will perpetuate the problems.

But even before we had to lower standards, we were still struggling. The public thinks that we are ninjas, that we are all MMA fighters. For a while that belief was helpful because it instilled a bit of healthy fear, of not wanting to mess with us.

But the reality is that most police officers have a YMCA degree (not to knock on the YMCA) but it’s like they went to one little seminar on self-defense and that’s kind of it. The level of training we get is so subpar compared to the demands.

Not only that, but there are important and serious limitations on our interactions with suspects. As an officer, I have a responsibility, we as a police force have a responsibility, to limit the amount of force to get someone into custody. But if they are overcoming my efforts, I can escalate my use of force, within reason, to effectuate that arrest.

The Chauvin case is, in my opinion, simply that: a typical officer struggling to control a large, uncooperative human. His death sucks, it sucks. I wish we were better trained. I wish Chauvin was better trained. Could his death have been avoided? Yeah, I think so.

In our precinct, we pitch and brainstorm ways that we can get better training. Unfortunately, “defund the police” is a movement, so our funding has already been slashed. There’s no money for classes or overtime for us to go.14

Predictably, crime has skyrocketed in blue state big cities: "rape reports are up 322 percent in New York City over the past year, shootings were up 97 percent and murders up 44 percent -- a good start to the new era of all-against-all, where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."15

In the South and other red states, civilization, and law and order are paramount, and we have the strong leaders to enforce it. Florida is leading the way. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Combatting Public Disorder Act recently which

[P]rotects funding for municipal law enforcement from the progressive efforts to “defund police” and raises penalties for demonstrators who engage in criminal conduct. Under the new law effective immediately, “riot” is defined as a group of three or more people engaging in a violent public disturbance with common intent to injure others, damage property, or pose an imminent danger of injury or damage.

“This is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis celebrated in a signing ceremony press conference with lawmakers and police. “There’s just nothing even close.”

The law — made controversial by Democrats, who claim with routine criticism that the bill to deter the destructive Black Lives Matter rioting is racist — also opens the door for residents to sue local governments that fail to protect their communities from outbreaks of domestic terrorism. The legislation also creates a second-degree felony for those criminally culpable in riots of more than 25 people that cause significant bodily harm, create an excess of $5,000 in property damage, block roadways, or even threaten the use of a deadly weapon.16

ALL legislatures in the South and other red states should pass legislation like Florida's but go further. Business owners and individuals should be allowed to shoot people who enter their businesses during a riot to commit crimes, violence, fires and other destruction. Florida's law may allow this. All of them should.

It is time for us with our dynamic economies, opportunity for all, commitment to Martin Luther King's colorblind meritocracy, love of America and our founding, to assert ourselves as the dominant cultural region in America. Blue state big cities are a dead civilization walking. That's why people are leaving in droves and coming to the South where there is a real, proud, strong American culture.

In "We Are Witnessing A Last Minute Mass Exodus Before The Final Collapse Of Our Major Cities," Michael Snyder writes:

Americans fled the big cities "in droves" in 2020, and one recent survey discovered that even more American are planning to move in 2021. The corporate media is attempting to frame this mass exodus as a temporary phenomenon, but there is nothing temporary about it. Millions upon millions of people can see that our society is literally melting down all around us, and they want to get somewhere safe while they still can. In recent weeks, I have written articles about the specific problems that we are witnessing in Chicago and San Francisco, but the truth is that virtually all of our major cities are coming apart at the seams, and this is motivating more people than ever to seek greener pastures.17

The absolute proof of this shifting of population to well run areas and away from the woke hatred in the Marxist anarchist controlled Democrat Party blue states, is in the last census where red, mostly Southern states, picked up five House seats, while blue states lost:

Data from the 2020 U.S. census shows Americans are moving South and West, shaking up the number of congressional seats in some states. Five of the seven states set to gain House seats are run by Republicans as people flee Democrat strongholds such as California and New York.

Texas stood to gain the most with two House seats while other red states such as Florida, Montana, and North Carolina saw population boosts that granted them one extra seat each. Other western states such as Colorado and Oregon also gained one seat. Blue states like Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, however, all lost seats.18

Woke liberalism is on a death spiral and it can't happen soon enough. That's why liberal Democrats in Congress are so determined to stack the Supreme Court and add new liberal states. They know this is their last hurrah and they better do it now because nobody wants their kind of hatred and division. If they hadn't stolen the last election with massive mail-in voting fraud, we wouldn't be in this situation today.

It won't happen again.

Nobody wants to lose America because the enormous opportunity and American Dream is still all around us. Everybody can see it except ignorant woke liberals in academia, the news media and Democrat Party who have destroyed their cities and their credibility.

New York, on its current trajectory, is not coming back. With no police, property values will go down and people will not be able to sell and leave. They will be stuck in hell. Pretty soon, New York and other woke blue state big cities, with no police, or ineffective police, will be the most crime ridden violent places on the planet with no culture because people who appreciate the arts won't dare venture outside. You can't undo overnight what these woke idiot liberals have done, but we can make damn sure they don't do it to us.

Southern and red state legislatures should ALL pass resolutions IMMEDIATELY supporting the police and law and order. We should make it clear that good police officers are welcome here and will be respected, supported and given the training and equipment necessary to do their jobs.

Remember during 911 when the NYPD and other first responders ran into the twin towers to rescue people and many, many of those brave officers died. We'd love to have folks of that high caliber here in the South and in other red states. They will fit right in and love it here.

Our culture is not in a death spiral. It is ascending to dominance. Here, you are going to obey the law or go to jail and stay your ass in jail. We will never be so stupid as to abolish bail or qualified immunity. We will strengthen those things.

The black cop interviewed earlier ends that interview with:

I think that it's important for people to know that we still have a heart to have people's backs. There isn't a cop I know who isn't willing to lay their life on their line for someone else in a life-or-death situation.19

Sir, come on down.


1 James Craven, "New York City Council Passes Qualified Immunity Reform," March 31, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21.

2 Hank Berrien, "NYPD Officers Leaving In Droves, 75% Increase in Quitting or Retirement in 2020," April 25, 2021,,, accessed 4-27-21.

3 Katy Faust, "Black Cop: Lies About 'Institutional Racism' Are Making America More Violent," April 26, 2021, The Federalist,, accessed 4-26-21.

4 Ibid.

5 Jordan Davidson, April 23, 2021, The Federalist, "Stunning Chauvin Juror Confession: I Was Worried About 'Rioting And Destruction' And 'People Coming To My House' To Protest Verdict,", accessed 4-27-21.

6 Katy Faust, "Black Cop: Lies About 'Institutional Racism' Are Making America More Violent," April 26, 2021, The Federalist, accessed 4-26-21.

7 "PART 1: CNN Director ADMITS Network Engaged in ‘Propaganda’ to Remove Trump from Presidency … ‘Our Focus Was to Get Trump Out of Office’ … ‘I Came to CNN Because I Wanted to Be a Part of That’", April 13, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21; "PART 2: CNN Director Charlie Chester Reveals How Network Practices ‘Manipulation’ to ‘Change the World’… “There’s an Art to Manipulation… Inflection, Saying Things Twice … It’s Always Like Leading Them in a Direction Before They Even Open Their Mouths’ …", April 14, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21; "PART 3: CNN Director Charlie Chester Says Network Is ‘Trying To Help’ The Black Lives Matter Movement By Protecting The Group’s Narrative On Race … ‘I Haven't Seen Anything About Focusing On The Color Of People's Skin That Aren't White’", April 15, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21.

8 "Project Veritas SUES CNN After Network Host Said PV’s Twitter Ban Was Result Of ‘Misinformation’ Crackdown … ‘If You Think Defaming Us is Without Consequence, Think Again’", April 26, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21.

9 Kylee Zempel, "Corporate Media And Other Race-Baiters Have Incited More Violence Than Trump Ever Did", April 23, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21.

10 Ibid.

11 Katy Faust, "Black Cop: Lies About 'Institutional Racism' Are Making America More Violent," April 26, 2021, The Federalist, accessed 4-26-21.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 James Howard Kunstler, "Peak National Dysfunction," April 24, 2021,, accessed 4-24-21.

16 Tristan Justice, "DeSantis Signs Anti-Riot Bill As Second Summer Of Rage Threatens To Ignite," April 19, 2021,, accessed 4-27-21.

17 Michael Snyder, "We Are Witnessing A Last Minute Mass Exodus Before The Final Collapse Of Our Major Cities," March 2, 2021,, accessed 4-28-21.

18 Jordan Davidson, "Census Reapportionment Awards 5 Red States Extra House Seats As People Flee Democrat Strongholds," April 26, 2021, The Federalist,, accessed 4-28-21.

19 Katy Faust, "Black Cop: Lies About 'Institutional Racism' Are Making America More Violent," April 26, 2021, The Federalist,, accessed 4-26-21.

A Colossal Lie, Guest Post by H. V. Traywick, Jr. with H. L. Mencken in Agreement

A Colossal Lie
Guest Post by H. V. Traywick, Jr.
with H. L. Mencken in Agreement

History is the propaganda of the victorious.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : My good friend, Bo Traywick, wrote this powerful concise piece on the Yankee myth of American history, slavery, racism, and the truth about the War Between the States. It cuts right to the chase. At the end, Bo mentions the Gettysburg Address as "Orwellian doublespeak" which gave me the chance to bring in the great H. L. Mencken who said FAR worse than that about the Gettysburg Address in May, 1920.

Below is Bo's bio from the inside cover of his book, Of Apostates and Scapegoats, Confederates in the "City Upon a Hill," followed by his "A Colossal Lie," followed by H. L. Mencken putting Lincoln in his place and stating, among other truths:

What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States?

Mencken goes on to say "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue" than the Gettysburg Address because:

The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.

Mencken's piece is short. Definitely read it to the end because all his fire, the parts you'll want to quote, are in the last paragraph.]

H. V. "Bo" Traywick, Jr. : A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, H. V. Traywick, Jr. graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1967 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Regular Commission in the US Army. His service included qualification as an Airborne Ranger, and command of an Engineer company in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star. After his return, he resigned his commission and ended by making a career as a tugboat captain. During this time he was able to earn a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, with an international focus on war and cultural revolution. He currently lives in Richmond, where he writes, studies history, and occasionally commutes to Norfolk to serve as a tugboat pilot.

In 2018 he published The Monumental Truth: Five Essays on Confederate Monuments in the Age of Progressive Identity Politics, and is author/editor of five other books: Empire of the Owls: Reflections on the North's War against Southern Secession (2013), currently in its third printing; Road Gang: A Memoir of Engineer Service in Vietnam (2014); Virginia Illiad: The Death and Destruction of "The Mother of States and Statesmen" (2016); A Southern Soldier Boy: The Diary of Sergeant Beaufort Simpson Buzhardt 1838-1862 (2016); and Starlight on the Rails: A Vietnam Veteran's Long Road Home (2018).

Two of his book have been awarded the Jefferson Davis Gold Medal for History by the Virginia Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, one of which, Empire of the Owls, has also been commended by the Virginia General Assembly for its scholarship.

Visit his website at:, where you can contact him. He also has several articles on the Abbeville Institute blog at, and on Reckonin' at

A Colossal Lie

by H. V. Traywick, Jr.

“The Myth of American History” claims that the righteous North went to war against the evil South to free the slaves, and that Confederate war memorials are monuments to Treason, Slavery, and Racism and must be torn down. This myth has become “the lie agreed upon” by all, to make the conveniently-dead Confederacy the scapegoat for our sins. But as Thomas Carlyle said, all lies are cursed and damned from the beginning. Only the truth will make us free.

Consider the truth: To accuse the Confederacy of treason, one must wipe one’s feet on the Declaration of Independence, signed by the thirteen slave-holding Colonies1 that seceded from the British Empire in 1776. Lincoln’s war on the Southern States, which he did not recognize as being out of the Union,2 is treason according to Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution. Self-defense is not. No Confederate was ever tried for treason, much less convicted, but why not Lincoln?

As for slavery, the wealth of New York and New England was founded on the African slave-trade and the manufacture and shipping of slave-picked cotton.3 To claim the North went to war to free the slaves, one must ignore Lincoln’s disclaimer in his First Inaugural Address, ignore his Emancipation Proclamation two years later plainly stating that slavery was alright as long as one were loyal to his government,4 and ignore that West Virginia, a “slave State,” was admitted into the Union afterwards. Slavery was not abolished in the United States until Lincoln and the Confederacy were in their graves.5

As for racism, please note that the first “Jim Crow” laws originated in Northern States long before the war.6 Alexis de Tocqueville, in his Democracy in America, testified to the virulent racism in the North. The North’s strong opposition to slavery in the Territories was due to its strong opposition to Blacks in the Territories. Lincoln, a documented and life-long White Supremacist, supported these “Jim Crow” laws7 and worked until the day he died to deport freed Blacks to Central America or back to Africa.8 As for Black racism, remember that it was Black Africans who captured and sold Black Africans into slavery in the first place.9 Furthermore, early US census records listed many free-Black owners of slaves --- from New Orleans to New England.10

What, then, is the truth about that war? Do not confound the many causes of secession with the single cause of the war, which was secession itself. Follow the dollar and know the Truth. Cotton was “King” in the mid-nineteenth century, and with the South’s “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union and free-trading with Europe, the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” with its piratical tariffs would collapse into financial ruin and social anarchy,11 so Lincoln --- rebuffing all peace overtures by Confederate diplomats --- launched an armada against Charleston Harbor to provoke the South into firing the first shot. South Carolina responded to Lincoln’s provocation just as Massachusetts had responded to King George’s provocation at Lexington and Concord, and Lincoln got the war he wanted.12 Virginia, “The Mother of States and of Statesmen,” stood solidly for the Union until Lincoln called for her troops to invade and subjugate the Confederacy, whereupon Virginia refused, indicted Lincoln for “choosing to inaugurate civil war,”13 and immediately seceded. Four other States (including occupied Missouri) followed her out. There stands the Truth --- not with the North’s mythical “Battle-Cry of Freedom.” Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” claiming his war of invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance against the South was to save “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” is pure Orwellian doublespeak. How else would one define political allegiance at the point of a bayonet? Slavery was just the smelly “red herring” dragged across the track of an unconstitutional and murderous usurpation of power.

NOTES to "A Colossal Lie" follow Mencken.

*  *  *  *  *

From H. L. Mencken

"Five Men at Random" in H. L. Mencken: Prejudices: First, Second, and Third Series, Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, editor (NY: Library of America; Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2010), 398-400. First published in 1919 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.


Abraham Lincoln

The backwardness of the art of biography in These States is made shiningly visible by the fact that we have yet to see a first rate life of either Lincoln or Whitman. Of Lincolniana, of course, there is no end, nor is there any end to the hospitality of those who collect it. Some time ago a publisher told me that there are four kinds of books that never, under any circumstances, lose money in the United States---first, detective stories; secondly, novels in which the heroine is forcibly debauched by the hero; thirdly, volumes on spiritualism, occultism and other such claptrap, and fourthly, books on Lincoln. But despite all the vast mass of Lincolniana and the constant discussion of old Abe in other ways, even so elemental a problem as that of his religious faith---surely an important, matter in any competent biography---is yet but half solved. Here, for example, is the Rev. William E. Barton, grappling with it for more than four hundred large pages in "The Soul of Abraham Lincoln." It is a lengthy inquiry---the rev. pastor, in truth, shows a good deal of the habitual garrulity of his order---but it is never tedious. On the contrary, it is curious and amusing, and I have read it with steady interest, including even the appendices. Unluckily, the author, like his predecessors, fails to finish the business before him. Was Lincoln a Christian? Did he believe in the Divinity of Christ? I am left in doubt. He was very polite about it, and very cautious, as befitted a politician in need of Christian votes, but how much genuine conviction was in that politeness? And if his occasional references to Christ were thus open to question, what of his rather vague avowals of believe in a personal God and in the immortality of the soul? Herndon and some of his other close friends always maintained that he was an atheist, but Dr. Barton argues that this atheism was simply disbelief in the idiotic Methodist and Baptist dogmas of his time---that nine Christian churches out of ten, if he were alive to-day, would admit him to their high privileges and prerogatives without anything worse than a few warning coughs. As for me, I still wonder.

The growth of the Lincoln legend is truly amazing. He becomes the American solar myth, the chief butt of American credulity and sentimentality. Washington, of late years, has been perceptibly humanized; every schoolboy now knows that he used to swear a good deal, and was a sharp trader, and had a quick eye for a pretty ankle. But meanwhile the varnishers and veneerers have been busily converting Abe into a plaster saint, thus making him fit for adoration in the chautauquas and Y.M.C.A.'s. All the popular pictures of him show him in robes of state, and wearing an expression fit for a man about to be hanged. There is, so far as I know, not a single portrait of him showing him smiling---and yet he must have cackled a good deal, first and last: who ever heard of a storyteller who didn't? Worse, there is an obvious effort to pump all his human weaknesses out of him, and so leave him a mere moral apparition, a sort of amalgam of John Wesley and the Holy Ghost. What could be more absurd? Lincoln, in point of fact, was a practical politician of long experience and high talents, and by no means cursed with inconvenient ideals. On the contrary, his career in the Illinois Legislature was that of a good organization man, and he was more than once denounced by reformers. Even his handling of the slavery question was that of a politician, not that of a fanatic. Nothing alarmed him more than the suspicion that he was an Abolitionists. Barton tells of an occasion when he actually fled town to avoid meeting the issue squarely. A genuine Abolitionist would have published the Emancipation Proclamation the day after the first battle of Bull Run. But Lincoln waited until the time was more favorable---until Lee had been hurled out of Pennsylvania, and, more important still, until the political currents were safely running his way. Always he was a wary fellow, both in his dealings with measures and in this dealings with men. He knew how to keep his mouth shut.

Nevertheless, it was his eloquence that probably brought him to his great estate. Like William Jennings Bryan, he was a dark horse made suddenly formidable by fortunate rhetoric. The Douglas debate launched him, and the Cooper Union speech got him the presidency. This talent for emotional utterance, this gift for making phrases that enchanted the plain people, was an accomplishment of late growth. His early speeches were mere empty fireworks---the childish rhodomontades of the era. But in middle life he purged his style of ornament and it became almost baldly simple---and it is for that simplicity that he is remembered to-day. The Gettysburg speech is at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history. Put beside it, all the whoopings of the Websters, Sumners and Everetts seem gaudy and silly. It is eloquence brought to a pellucid and almost child-like perfection---the highest emotion reduced to one graceful and irresistible gesture. Nothing else precisely like it is to be found in the whole range of oratory. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous.

But let us not forget that it is oratory, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it! Put it into the cold words of everyday! The doctrine is simple this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination---"that government of the people, by the people, for the people," should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle an absolutely free people; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and vote of the rest of the country---and for nearly twenty years that vote was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely any freedom at all. Am I the first American to note the fundamental nonsensicality of the Gettysburg address? If so, I plead my aesthetic joy in it in amelioration of the sacrilege.


A Colossal Lie

1 See US census of 1790.

2 Abraham Lincoln. “First Inaugural Address” (1861) in Charles W. Eliot, LL D, ed. The Harvard Classics. 50 vols. (New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1910). Vol. 43, American Historical Documents, pg. 334.

3 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank. Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery. (New York: Ballantine Books, 2005) passim.

4 Abraham Lincoln. “Emancipation Proclamation” (1863). Eliot, Vol. 43, pg. 345.

5 US Constitution, Article XIII, December 18, 1865.

6 Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis, eds., with Komozi Woodard. The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle Outside of the South. (New York: New York UP, 2019) pgs. 13-7.

7 Lerone Bennett, Jr. Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream. (Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 2000) pgs. 183-214.

8 Thomas J. DiLorenzo. The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. (New York: Three Rivers P, 2003) Pgs. 16-20.

9 Zora Neale Hurston. Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.” Ed. Deborah G. Plant. (New York: Amistad/HarperCollins, 2018) pgs. 9-10.

10 Dr. Carter G. Woodson, PhD. Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830. (Washington, DC: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1924) pgs. 1-42.

11 Gene Kizer, Jr. Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States: The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston and James Island, S. C.: Charleston Athenaeum P, 2014) pgs. 56-69.

12 Charles W. Ramsdell, “Lincoln and Fort Sumter,” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 3, Issue 3 (August 1937), pgs. 259-88, in Kizer, pgs. 197-248.

13 Gov. John Letcher to Sec. Simon Cameron, April 16, 1861, in Richmond Enquirer, April 18, 1861, pg. 2, col. 1. Microfilm. The Daily Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 1, 1861 – June 29, 1861. Film 23, reel 24 (Richmond: Library of Virginia collection).

I Like Ike! Washington and Lee University Must Keep Lee in Its Name

I Like Ike!
Washington and Lee University
Must Keep Lee in Its Name

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an American war hero and one of our best presidents. On April 23, 1954, during his first of two terms, he said in a speech at Abraham Lincoln's birthplace of Hodgenville, Kentucky:

In my office in the White House, I have sketches of four great Americans on the wall: one is--and the oldest--Benjamin Franklin; George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee.1

President Eisenhower loved and respected Robert E. Lee, and Eisenhower is a much better judge of Lee's character and place in history than today's racist, hate-filled, politically correct academia.

Academia is a sick place that often is anti-white and anti-free-speech, where a true debate with diverse opinions is impossible because academia is 100% liberal and increasingly hard left liberal.

Professors and administrators know that cancel culture is alive and well in academia and if they do not enthusiastically endorse leftist positions, the liberal mob, often violent, will show up at their office. Buck the hard left and tenure is out. Often social justice warriors, rather than serious scholars, have a preference in hiring.

Eisenhower has the unique honor of having defeated the Nazis.

Eisenhower speaks with some of the 101st Airborne Division June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day invasion.
Eisenhower speaks with some of the 101st Airborne Division June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day invasion.

Academia acts like Nazis therefore Eisenhower is the perfect person to defeat the Nazis twice.

Academia has given us Critical Theory and racist identity politics.

Academia has also given us Critical Race Theory, which is nothing but anti-white racism so that leftists can shake down patriotic Americans and enrich themselves with reparations and such, and increase their political power. It rejects the thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Academia and leftists in the news media do not care that these positions promote abject hatred and horribly divide our country. They are at war with America anyway, like cancer is at war with the body it inhabits, and the only result can be death.

State legislatures need to encourage whistleblowers and students in academia to report when Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory are promoted, so that the offending institution can be defunded. It is an abomination that the good, decent American public has to finance one penny of academia's racism, political correctness and hate.

The good people who are still in academia should encourage this even if they can't do it publicly, because, if this kind of garbage is not removed from academia, academia will soon have ZERO credibility just like most of the news media.

Just two nights ago (April 13, 2021) James O'Keefe of Project Veritas ( released damning video footage of CNN's utter corruption and admission to manipulating the news toward their extreme leftist positions.2 CNN pretends to be part of the news media while acting more like Goebbels's broadcast wing. Project Veritas has several days of incredible undercover video of CNN to expose this week in its CNN Exposed3 series.

No wonder our country is in trouble when major institutions like academia and the news media are so corrupt.

It is time to end cancel culture and a good place to start is the misguided attempt by a small loud group to remove Robert E. Lee's name from Washington and Lee University. These virtue signaling social justice warriors are always the problem because they never analyze things with intelligence and put them in context. They only shout the sound bites that will play in the corrupt news media and among the leftists in academia who are trying desperately to keep the mob away from their offices.

Gen. Lee alone rescued the struggling Washington College after the War Between the States. In 1865, it only had 50 students and awarded one degree. To its great credit, it had been one of the few colleges to stay open during the war.

Here's General Lee's part as described on the Washington and Lee website:

Prior to the Civil War, Lee had been superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his five years at Washington College, he proved to be a creative educator whose curricular innovations transformed the classical college into a modern university. He incorporated the local law school; instituted undergraduate courses in business and journalism; introduced modern languages and applied mathematics; and expanded offerings in the natural sciences.

Lee also endorsed a lasting tradition of student self-governance, putting the students in charge of the honor system that the faculty had previously overseen. "As a general principle you should not force young men to do their duty," Lee said, "but let them do it voluntarily and thereby develop their characters." That principle remains part of the foundation for a campus culture that fosters honor, integrity, and civility.

When Lee died on Oct. 12, 1870, the college had regained its financial footing and enrollment had grown to more than 400 students. Upon his death, the faculty requested that the trustees rename the college in Lee’s honor. The trustees agreed, changing the name to Washington and Lee University.4

The website goes on to criticize George Washington and Robert E. Lee for being slaveholders though it is questionable whether Lee was a slaveholder. Many scholars maintain that Lee was not a slaveholder. There is no record of Lee ever purchasing a slave himself. Some have speculated that Lee could have inherited a few slaves from his mother, Ann Hill Carter Lee, in 1829 at her death, but there is no record of that either. Encyclopedia Virginia describes it this way:

Ann Carter Lee itemized the slaves she bequeathed to her daughter, Ann Kinloch Lee, but the only designation of property to her youngest son was a vague division of “the remainder of my estate” among Robert and his two older brothers, Charles Carter Lee and Sidney Smith Lee.5

Robert E. Lee was executor of the estate of his father-in-law, George Washington Parke Custis, who died in 1857. Custis's estate included slaves, but the executor of an estate is not the owner. Lee did not own Custis's slaves. Lee executed the will in accordance with Custis's final instructions and he freed Custis's slaves.

The Washington and Lee University websites goes on to say:

We unequivocally denounce the motivations behind the Confederate cause that Lee chose to defend as well as the views of individuals and groups who employ Confederate imagery to promote an agenda of white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia.

We are committed to educating our community and the public about our namesakes and their role in shaping the history of this institution, our country, and the values that continue to inform our world today. That includes acknowledging that Robert E. Lee chose to fight on the side that sought to preserve the institution of slavery.

Washington and Lee is not committed to "educating our community and the public about our namesakes." They are committed to a politically correct slander of Gen. Lee and the Southern cause.

Southerners were fighting for independence, not slavery. Slavery was unquestionably protected in the Union by the Constitution and as proven by the many resolutions and votes of the United States Congress supporting slavery after the South seceded. Lincoln supported, and the Congress voted for, the Corwin Amendment that would have left blacks in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. Several Northern states ratified it until the war started and made it moot.

There is also the War Aims Resolution of the Northern Congress stating clearly that the war is being fought, as Lincoln said over and over, to preserve the Union, not interfere with slavery.

There is irrefutable proof that the North did not fight the war to end slavery. They fought because 1) Lincoln thought, with the enormous advantages of the North such as four times the white population of the South and 100 times the manufacturing, an army, navy, unlimited immigration to feed Northern armies (25% of the Union Army were new immigrants, etc.) they could win easily; and 2) the North did not want a free trade nation with 100% control of King Cotton on its southern border; 3) the Northern economy was in serious trouble, which is why Northern newspapers like the New York Evening Post said things like this:

[A]llow railroad iron to be entered at Savannah with the low duty of ten per cent., which is all that the Southern Confederacy think of laying on imported goods, and not an ounce more would be imported at New York: the railways would be supplied from the southern ports. Let cotton goods, let woolen fabrics, let the various manufactures of iron and steel be entered freely at Galveston, at the great port at the mouth of the Mississippi, at Mobile, at Savannah and at Charleston, and they would be immediately sent up the rivers and carried on the railways to the remotest parts of the Union.6

This panic was all over the North. It was not slavery they were worried about. It was their money. Here is the Manchester, New Hampshire Union Democrat:

[W]hen people realize the fact that the Union is permanently dissolved, real estate will depreciate one half in a single year.---Our population will decrease with the decline of business, and matters will go in geometrical progression from bad to worse---until all of us will be swamped in utter ruin. Let men consider---apply the laws of business, and see if they can reach any different conclusion.7

Of course, academia is so shallow and politically correct no student will ever hear any of that, so Washington and Lee University's statement that "We are committed to educating our community and the public about our namesakes" is a LIE. They are committed to one-sided slander and character assassination because it fits their liberal politics. They are not the least bit committed to truth.

Another important thing.

Virginia did not secede over anything to do with slavery. Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina, in which 52.4% of white Southerners lived, rejected secession at first, when the Cotton States seceded.

However, the moment Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina seceded, and clearly, the issue was their horror at the prospect of Federal coercion. They did not believe the Federal Government had a right to invade a sovereign state and murder its citizens and destroy their property.

Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina's motives were the most honorable imaginable. There was nothing in the Constitution in 1861 that required or permitted Abraham Lincoln and his Northern states to invade the peaceful states of the South that just wanted to govern themselves. Southerners were defending their homes from a barbaric invasion.

Southerners would have ended slavery within a generation in a much better way than 750,000 men dying and over a million being mutilated on the battlefield, followed by a century-and-a-half of second class citizenship for African Americans.

The most powerful affirmation of Gen. Robert E. Lee's character comes from General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower who, as stated, had a sketch of Gen. Lee on his White House wall his entire eight years in office, along with sketches of Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington.

So, both of Washington and Lee University's namesakes had their sketches on the wall of the White House office of one of our most famous military leaders and presidents the whole time he was in office.

There is much more.

President Eisenhower left a detailed letter in his official records praising Gen. Lee as the courageous, inspiring hero he was.

The official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower by James Anthony Wills.
The official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower by James Anthony Wills.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1st Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in World War II, later president of the United States for eight years, received an angry letter from a New York dentist, Dr. Leon W. Scott, on August 1, 1960, upset about President Eisenhower's picture of Robert E. Lee in his office. Eisenhower took the time to write a thoughtful, detailed letter back to Dr. Scott. Below is Dr. Scott's letter followed by Eisenhower's.

Scott wrote on August 1st:

I do not understand  how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.

The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did, was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being held as one of our heroes.8

President Eisenhower wrote back on August 9th:

Dear Dr. Scott:

Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.

General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee's caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation's wounds once the bitter struggle was over, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.


Dwight D. Eisenhower9

I'd say leaving the name as Washington and Lee University is a no-brainer.

Washington and Lee has a chance to help America by making an unequivocal statement that they are rejecting cancel-culture, and the rest of the country should too.

P.S. Please get this article into the hands of the good folks fighting for Gen. Lee at Washington and Lee University in hopes it will help them WIN their important fight. Millions of Americans across the country are FED UP with wokeness and political correctness, and are pulling hard for them!


1 President Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Remarks at the Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Hodgenville, Kentucky", April 23, 1954,, accessed 4-14-21.

2 James O'Keefe interview on Fox News, Tucker Carlson Show, 4-13-21.

3 James O'Keefe, Project Veritas, CNN Exposed,, accessed 4-14-21.

4 Washington and Lee University website, University History,, accessed 4-15-21.

5 Lee, Robert E. and Slavery, entry in Encyclopedia Virginia,, accessed 4-15-21.

6 New York Evening Post, March 12, 1861, "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?" in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol II, 598.

7 The Manchester (N.H.) Union Democrat, "Let Them Go!", editorial of February 19, 1861 in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 592.

8 Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee, August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively,, accessed 5-3-20.

9 Dwight D. Eisenhower letter, August 9, 1960, to Leon W. Scott, in "Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee," August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively,, accessed 5-3-20.

The Battle of Fort Sumter by DuBose Heyward — Part Two, Conclusion

Part Two, Conclusion, of

The Battle of Fort Sumter

Adapted from Peter Ashley
by DuBose Heyward


[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : DuBose Heyward is best known for his 1925 novel, Porgy, which eventually became the famous George Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess.

Heyward wrote Peter Ashley, and Herbert Ravenel Sass wrote Look Back to Glory, and both of those works were adapted for the shorter Fort Sumter, 1861-1865, from which this blog article comes. Citation: DuBose Heyward, Herbert Ravenel Sass, Fort Sumter, 1861-1865 (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1932).

Here is Part Two, the exciting conclusion of The Battle of Fort Sumter by DuBose Heyward!]

Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter, Confederate Batteries, April, 1861.
Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter, Confederate Batteries, April, 1861.

A SUDDEN FLASH ON JAMES ISLAND. An audible cosmic sigh from the town, lost after a moment in a deep, flat report. From the mainland a spark hurtled up into the night, executing small rapid circles as it swung up and over the harbor in a wide arc, descended, seemed to hover for a split second, then burst into flame. A rending report struck the low clouds and was hurtled downward.

Fort Johnson on James Island, from where the first shot of the War Between the States was fired April 12, 1861.
Fort Johnson on James Island, from where the first shot of the War Between the States was fired April 12, 1861.

Behind Chardon a voice said facetiously, "There goes a pill that even a Black-Republican stomach can't digest."

"Ah," Chardon thought, as he recognized the voice as that of a neighbor who was given to studied witticisms, "He's had that ready for a month."

And now the narrow streets that lay dark between the downtown mansions leapt from silence to sound. Through their confining channels torrents of humanity set out toward the water front. Doors slammed. The hooves of the night patrol rang on the cobbles, slowed down. A peremptory voice demanded passage. Voices, excited laughter, rose to the roofs. Chardon, peering down, saw in the gray half-light a world in flux, pouring out over the White Point Gardens and massing solidly along the sea wall.

Then the noise was drowned by a tremendous explosion on James Island. That would be the old frame building that had screened the Howitzer Battery, and that was scheduled for demolition as soon as the engagement commenced. To the northeast, Fort Moultrie went into action, her great guns slashing the darkness with blades of flame. So familiar was Chardon with the location of the various defenses that even in the masking blackness he had no difficulty identifying the batteries as they went into action. From Moultrie the contagion spread to Cummings Point, and thence back across the harbor to the Floating and Enfilade batteries, with the intervening stations filling in the gaps, until the harbor lay, a wide crescent of fire, the two horns resting on Sullivan's and Morris Islands, and the opening toward the sea.

The sound became deafening and continuous. You could no longer say, "There goes Moultrie" or "Now the Iron Battery is in." Caught between the low ceiling of cloud and the floor of the harbor, separate explosions were hurled back and forth until, augmented by the constantly increasing fire, they merged into a concerted roar that rose and fell like a hurricane surf but never let up into a definite break.

A Confederate battery firing on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861.
A Confederate battery firing on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861.

Dense clouds compounded of smoke and the acrid fumes of burning sulphur and saltpeter commenced to drift across the town. They discomposed the ladies, and they could be seen retiring from the roofs to the clearer air below stairs.

At times, a number of shells bursting together over Sumter would illumine the forbidding mass that lay unresponsive under the rain of metal.

At five-thirty Anderson made his first acknowledgement, scarcely more than a taunt flung into the teeth of his assailants. From his upper-tier two guns were discharged at Moultrie, then the fortress sank again into silence.

At seven, dramatically, Sumter entered the engagement. Looking from his vantage point, Chardon saw the fort surge up in the thinning dark and stand in silhouette against a gray and haggard dawn. Then suddenly the inert mass broke into life. Fire leaped from every embrasure. The barbette guns crowned the fortress with flame. The detonation was terrific. In the gray half-light forms on the neighboring roofs seemed to reel under the impact.

In the second that followed there was almost silence. Chardon caught a phrase from "The Star-Spangled Banner" and raised his field glasses just in time to see the flag go up over the cloud of smoke that was obscuring the fort.

Damaris had not gone below when the other ladies had abandoned the roofs. She had remained beside Chardon, at times resting on the chair that Caesar had placed for her, now and again rising and slipping her arm through that of her companion. During the three hours of that first watch, neither spoke. By her failure to mention Peter's absence, Chardon judged that she knew that he was on duty, but he refrained from any comment that might confirm her fears, or that, by putting his apprehensions into words, might increase his own sense of impending disaster.

It was just after Sumter opened fire that Rene Berrenger arrived. Some inner sense that always functioned where Peter was concerned warned Chardon before Rene spoke. He turned quickly to meet him, to warn him that Damaris was present. But before he could reach him he was surrounded by a group of excited questioners.

Yes, he was just from headquarters. He had been given four hours off for sleep. As if he wanted to sleep now! Some fellows had all the luck. There had been some changes in plans that necessitated the delivery of dispatches to one of the batteries. The choice had lain between Peter and himself, and Peter had got it. Rene sighted Chardon then, but, full of his grievance, failed to recognize his signals.

"It was on your account, confound you, sir,---excuse me, sir," he blurted out. "The general said you were a gallant soldier. That Peter had a tradition to live up to and he was going to be given a chance."

It was too late now to stop the young fool. Of course Damaris had heard. Wake asked Rene if he knew the station to which Peter had been sent, but he couldn't tell him. They had been damned secretive about it. And of course he didn't know when he might be expected back. The boat might be caught by daylight and have to stay if the route lay under Sumter's guns.

Chardon returned to Damaris. She was sitting as he had left her, but as he approached he noticed an uncompromising rigidity about the little figure, as though the instinct to turn and look into his face were being held under deliberate control. He said with a good show of casualness, "Peter's off with dispatches, and you needn't feel alarmed. There is probably very little danger."

She looked up then. Her face was white, her composure absolute. She shook her head in negation, took his hand in her for a moment, then turned her gaze back to the harbor with its cross play of fire that was growing pallid now in the gathering light. Chardon urged her to go home, but she only shook her head again. He had not heard her voice since she had arrived at a little after four o'clock.

He sent for Proctor Gordon, who had gone below with his wife and had missed Rene's arrival. When his friend reached the roof they conferred, and Gordon went to Daramis.

"Come, little one," he bade her. "It's time to go home and get some rest."

She got up then, meekly, like an obedient small child, and preceded her father from the roof.

And now with a fine rain setting in, their ears deafened by sound, and eyes unable to penetrate the heavy atmosphere, the crowds commence to leave the water front for the bulletin boards uptown. For blocks about the office of the Mercury and the Courier the streets are packed with humanity. At headquarters there is no such thing as censorship of news. And this is proper, for, after all, this is Charleston's war, and who should be informed if not Charlestonians! Bulletins are rushed from Institute Hall to the papers, and are posted simultaneously on both boards. Analyzed, they have little of value to impart, but the temper of the crowds is such that each announcement is endowed with momentous significance and is hailed with appropriate cheers or hisses.

8 A.M. Opening shot fired from Howitzer Battery by the venerable Edward Ruffin,1 chivalric Virginian who had volunteered with the Palmetto Guard.

Esteemed Virginian Edmund Ruffin in the uniform of the Palmetto Guard, with whom he was serving.
Esteemed Virginian Edmund Ruffin in the uniform of the Palmetto Guard, with whom he was serving.

9 A.M. News that Stevens' Iron Battery and Floating Battery are breaching south and southwest walls of Sumter.

Outside view of the Confederate Floating Battery.
Outside view of the Confederate Floating Battery.
Action inside the Confederate Floating Battery.
Action inside the Confederate Floating Battery.

11 A.M. Iron Battery great success. Shot glance from sheathing like marbles thrown down by a child on the back of a turtle.

12 M. Messenger from Cummings Point reports two guns dismantled on Sumter.

12:30 P.M. The rifled cannon recently received from England and the first to be used in America proves a marvel of accuracy, the whirling projectiles playing a large part in breaching of Sumter's walls.

1 P.M. Two guns in Stevens' Battery temporarily disabled, but great havoc being wrought in return. Estimated wall of Sumter will be breached in two hours.

1:30 P.M. Three steam vessels reported off bar. Doubtless relief flotilla for Sumter.

2 P.M. Capt. R. S. Parker reports Moutrie and Enfilade Battery giving good account of themselves.

2:30 P.M. Stevens' Iron Battery most formidable. Effect of Dahlgrens and 64-pounders terrific. Clouds of brick dust and mortar rise from fort as the "shot hiss on their errand of death."

3 P.M. Southwest wall of Sumter reported breached.


Nine o'clock Friday morning found Chardon and Wake standing in the rain before Institute Hall. Neither the prestige of the older man nor the uniform of the younger had been able to win them admittance to the building. Only staff officers and messengers were allowed to pass the sentries.

There were surprisingly few people about. The policy of giving out news from the offices of the papers had concentrated the crowds away from headquarters. Those who were waiting in such cover as they could find in adjacent doorways were, Chardon surmised, like themselves, facing the realization that War, while a master showman, was a prompt and inexorable bill-collector.

Across the street he saw his cousin Bull-Smith, taking the weather in stolid indifference to discomfort, and he remembered with a pang of pity that his booming relative had two sons on Morris Island. Certainly there was no bluster about him now, as he stood waiting for news in the sulphurous drench of smoke and rain, with the shattering concussions from the harbor rocking the unclean atmosphere about him.

At eleven Rene Berrenger appeared for duty. Wake and Chardon fell upon him eagerly. He promised to return at once with such news as he could gather. It was half an hour before he descended the steps and approached them. His face was grave. Chardon gripped his stick and stood waiting.

"He's still out," Rene told them. "No one seems to know where he was sent. It was some private mission of the general's." Chardon's questions elicited the additional information that Peter had gone out on the dispatch boat Antelope. That the boat had returned and been sent up the river out of the range of fire, and that Peter had not been aboard when she had touched town on her way up.

"But you needn't have the slightest fear for Peter," Rene assured them, a trace too hastily. "I have it on good authority that no casualties have been reported."

Chardon thought with a sinking heart that Beauregard was much too good a general to post losses at the beginning of an engagement. Wait until there was a victory to show for it, then publish the cost.

They stationed a servant near the Hall, and Rene promised to send any word that came in. Then with no end that could be served by waiting longer they turned their steps downtown.

At seven Friday evening the fire slackened, then settled into a routine of a discharge every twenty minutes. There was no wind, and the air, loaded with smoke and moisture, pressed heavily and muffling upon the town. It produced a silence that was singularly lifeless, and across this three times in every hour came the blam! of a discharge from Moultrie, caught up and hurled back like an echo from one of Sumter's barbette guns.

Looking back, Chardon always remembered this ominous interlude as the most trying phase of the engagement. It was like that period following the delirium of fever, when one lies counting slow heartbeats, and waiting for the crisis with its verdict of life or death.

In the streets now there was no laughter, no noisy boasting. The roofs were deserted. Night fell before its appointed time. By seven, the darkness was an impenetrable wall that circled each separate light, isolating families from the sustaining presence of their neighbors, destroying that confidence which is bred of crowds, and without which only the truly courageous can face destiny. In looking back Chardon always recalled that time with an involuntary shudder, for he knew that it was then that the Dark Angel had first touched the spirit of his beloved city, prophetically, with a hovering wing.

By eight o'clock a small company had assembled at the Chardon residence. The spirit of the gathering was different from that of the early morning. Chardon could scarcely believe that this was the same day as the one on which he had stood looking at Wake while watch in hand he was counting off the minutes for the opening gun.

Proctor and Mrs. Gordon were there, and Damaris; Thomas and Emily Ashley, who had heard the guns and had driven down, arriving just before dark; Wake, and Chardon. Caesar had made them comfortable in the master's room, from the windows of which one commanded a limited view of the harbor. There was a tea table with a cold supper, a decanter of sherry and one of brandy, and a bowl of ice from the last ice schooner down from New England.

No one seemed to be hungry. Under the candelabra the crystal and silver lay in an orderly pattern of high lights against sleek dark mahogany. Wake had been rattling ice absently in an empty glass. Ashley broke a long silence with, "For God's sake, stop that noise."

Emily Ashley was tatting, the small precise circles of the fancywork falling from under her busy fingers and coiling upon her lap. At each stroke, the small bone shuttle struck her wedding ring, and so absolutely was the silence that the sound was plainly audible, insistent, cadenced, progressive, like the ticking of a watch.

Damaris sat looking out of a window. She was fanning herself with an ivory fan that Peter had given her. The slow, unfaltering rhythm made Chardon think of a mechanism that someone had started and had forgotten to stop. At each discharge of the guns, a slight shudder ran through her body. She was perfectly composed, and for the first time Chardon noticed that she was wearing rouge. He wondered whether it was customary, and was only now apparent against her pallor, or whether it was a brave front she was putting up. He wished that she hadn't. There was something of her behind it that had been extinguished, and that made it seem strangely incongruous.

They had just got word from Berrenger. At six-thirty Peter had not returned, and Rene had been unable to discover his whereabouts.

At eight o'clock a rush of clean cold rain passed over the town, setting the stagnant air in motion, and purging it to a momentary clarity. Lights emerged from the murk. It had been assumed that with the coming of night and the tide at the flood, the fleet would attempt to enter and establish contact with Anderson, and a heavily augmented harbor patrol was out. The red and yellow of petroleum flares, and the harsh white of calcium burners, kept passing and repassing in the outer harbor, and streaming along the horizon in a continuous line. They reminded Chardon more than anything else of a distant water carnival.

He rose from his chair and filled a sherry glass, then he crossed to where Damaris was sitting and presented it to her. She looked up and their eyes met. Then she drained the glass and returned it. He was turning away when she caught his hand and pressed it silently to her cheek. Then she let him go and resumed her vigil.

At ten, a violent rain storm commenced, and simultaneously the bombardment was reopened. The effect was spectacular in the extreme. From horn to horn the crescent of fire bore down on Sumter. The upper dark was latticed by a cross fire from the mortar batteries, the shells taking the air like giant rockets, curving, hovering, and exploding over the fort. At times the sheeted rain would obscure details, and illuminated by the explosions, would lie over the mass of Sumter with an effect like that of vapors flung upward from a caldron of molten ore.

For hour after hour the bombardment continued with unabated fury, with Anderson replying from every gun at his command. Then, just before dawn, it commenced to slacken. The wind veered to the westward and blew strong, tonic and unsullied from the St. Andrews fields. It tumbled the clouds out over the Atlantic, and swept the harbor clean. Dawn was a taut crimson backdrop against which the fleet showed in spidery outline. Then the sun lifted, wet and shining, and deluged the bay, the forts, the town with light.

Instantly the mercurial spirits of the old city responded. Trap doors banged open and the roofs commenced to take on life. The scattered spectators along the sea wall were joined by returning crowds refreshed by a few hours' sleep. Judge Magrath was back with an April rose in his lapel.

Charlestonians on rooftops watching the fight amidst the deafening roar of almost non-stop cannon fire.
Charlestonians on rooftops watching the fight amidst the deafening roar of almost non-stop cannon fire.

Chardon noticed that some of his neighbors were preparing to breakfast informally on their roofs, so that they need miss nothing that was taking place, and thinking that the invigorating upper air would prove refreshing to the ladies, who had been resting below, he had Caesar carry up a card table and a few chairs, and tell Daphne to prepare a light breakfast.

At eight o'clock, with only a desultory fire taking place, it became apparent that Fort Sumter was on fire. A dense smoke rose from the ramparts into the sky, hanging there like a great thunder cloud with exploding shells vibrating like lightning at its heart.

Excitement along the sea wall and on the roofs ran high. Telescopes and field glasses were leveled upon the fortress, and those who were fortunate enough to possess them reported to avid bystanders. A fantastic rumor ran from mouth to mouth that Anderson was signaling to the fleet to enter the harbor and come to his assistance. Jeers followed. "Poltroons if they stay out." "Yes, but Davy Jones' locker if they attempt to enter." Then one of Sumter's barbette magazines exploded, hurling debris and dense white smoke upward, and proving the genuineness of the fire.

U.S.S. Pawnee, one of three ships Lincoln sent to Charleston to start the war.
U.S.S. Pawnee, one of three ships Lincoln sent to Charleston to start the war.
The Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane. Of course Lincoln wanted his taxes.
The Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane. Of course Lincoln wanted his taxes.
S.S. Baltic, the third to Charleston. Other ships were sent to Pensacola to start the war there too.
S.S. Baltic, the third to Charleston. Other ships were sent to Pensacola to start the war there too.

By ten o'clock the fortress presented the appearance of an inferno, belching dense clouds of smoke and sheets of flame into the sky, while the Confederates poured a terrific cannonade into the structure. One by one Anderson's guns had ceased to reply. But at the height of the conflagration a spasm of firing broke from the fort. Only five guns were engaged, all that Anderson had left in commission. It was a tremendously gallant gesture. Sumter was dying, but dying with its boots on. Instantly the Confederate fire ceased, and after each discharge from the fort a burst of cheering went up from the encircling batteries.

Fort Sumter on fire.

Chardon, standing on his roof, heard the cheers, a slight, silvery not in the brazen clamor of war, a spontaneous tribute to a gallant opponent. One by one Sumter's guns fell silent as the flames drove the gunners back. Then when the last one was abandoned, the Confederates resumed the offensive, attempting to hasten a conclusion that had now become inevitable.


At twelve-forty-five Sumter's flag was shot away. An adjacent Confederate battery had been gunning for it since daybreak, and at last a ball had passed cleanly through the staff, carrying away its upper half and plunging the colors headlong into the smoke and flame.

Now, shoot away the flag in the midst of an engagement and you have a hero. The situation is as inevitable in its cause and effect as thunder and lighting, and like lightning there is no telling where the bolt will strike. The master brain that has built up the elaborate plan of attack will be forgotten. Of the scores of soldiers who are standing in the vicinity, there are doubtless dozens whose courage is equal to the emergency, but who are destined never to emerge from the obscurity of the mass. But somewhere near by there is always one whose brow has been shaped by Destiny to wear the laurel wreath. He may never have distinguished himself before; he may be destined immediately after to return to his native obscurity. But in that fleeting, white-hot moment the event and the man are fused into a single glorified symbol. The populace has its darling, war its justification, history its hero.

And up to this point the battle of Fort Sumter had been desperately in need of a hero. The engagement had presented a magnificent spectacle. Confederate cannon had pounded their way through the walls of the fortification, but except under the stimulus of the actual firing the items posted upon the bulletin boards would have made pathetically sterile reading.

And then suddenly the moment---and, inevitably, the man. But not, as might be supposed, the Union soldier who was groping through the flames to find and replace the fallen colors; not General Beauregard, whose genius had created the elaborate system that had produced the situation; but one whose temperament, personality, and appearance had so supremely prepared him that instinctively he gathered the moment to his breast and made it his own: in short, Colonel Louis T. Wigfall.

Former Texas U.S. Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall.
Former Texas U.S. Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall.

General Beauregard had stationed the doughty colonel with General Simons on James Island, probably concluding that the temperament of his aide better fitted him for the dangers of the bombardment than the more delicate task of conducting negotiations with Anderson when the fortress should fall, as inevitably it must. And the colonel was at his post on James Island when the flag went down. General Simons was away at the time. General Beauregard was five miles distant at headquarters, and---the moment had arrived. It was obvious that Anderson could not hold out in his present dire straights, and before he should attempt to replace his flag was the psychological moment for offering him an opportunity to surrender.

With that complete independence of spirit which is characteristic of those who are cognizant of their own greatness, Colonel Wigfall determined to act at once. The fact that the bombardment was at its height and that only by a miracle could one hope to reach the fort alive merely added that tang of adventure without which duty to the colonel was always an unappetizing morsel on the tongue.

At some distance behind the batteries, out of the range of fire, the negro laborers were stationed during the engagement. Had they exposed themselves, they would have been punished, for the companies using them were financially responsible to their owners in case of their loss, and they represented a heavy cash liability. It was accordingly the custom during action to station them at a safe distance, and such repairs and were necessary under fire were made by the private soldiers.

Into the midst of the recumbent blacks strode the terrifying figure of the colonel. With the thunders of the bombardment behind him, his great eyes under their shaggy brows lit by excitement, and his sword flashing, he must have seemed the incarnation of Africa's great god, Mabiali Mundembi. With an utter disregard for expense, he ordered two negroes who would have fetched a thousand dollars each, to precede him to the beach and take their places at the oars of a waiting skiff. When the party was on the point of embarking, Private W. Gourdin Young approached and volunteered to accompany the colonel. Young was a modest hero. He materialized, was given a seat in the stern, and was immediately lost in the glare that beat about him from the presence that placed itself before him, and that towered sword in hand above the cowering blacks.

From the point at which the skiff left the shore it was impossible to see the diminished flag pole on Sumter. It was also impossible for most of the Confederate batteries to see the skiff, and they continued to hurl a terrific fire over the fort and into the water that the colonel must traverse. Behind the receding boat, the James and Morris Island Batteries saw what was happening, ceased firing, and fell to cheering.

But the colonel was as oblivious in that moment to the cheers as he was to the hail of metal. Life had risen on a tedious crescendo of duels of words and affairs of honor, to this transcendent moment of realization, and the death which rowed with him in the skiff was not the lugubrious companion of the storybooks, with his narcotics and mumbled prayers, but a very good fellow indeed who held to his lips the ultimate, the supreme intoxicant.

The colonel had affixed his pocket handkerchief to the end of his sword and held it aloft as the skiff advanced, although in the smoke and the spray from flying projectiles it could not possibly have been visible to the fort. To his two oarsmen he must have presented a terrifying spectacle. His hair, which was thick and raven-black, fell almost to his shoulders, and his eyes of a golden-brown color gave under the heat of emotion the illusion of dilating and glowing like those of enraged lion. He was wearing his red sash, and his huge Texas spurs, and at regular intervals he would wave his bared sword with its pocket handkerchief flag, and send his enormous voice roaring toward the fort with a demand that it surrender.

From time to time a ball would take the water immediately before the advancing bow, causing the skiff to rock violently and deluging the occupants. At first when this happened it produced a temporary paralysis in the oarsmen. They would fall forward in a babblement of prayers and entreaties, addressed impartially to God and the colonel. But if centuries of servitude had taught the negro anything, it was to accept the inevitable, and after the initial shock they settled with a frenzy of physical effort into their task. Under the arch of the colonel's legs as he balanced himself Collossus-wise in the skiff, they could see the peaceful shore line of James Island receding into the distance. At their backs, as they bent to the oars, annihilating thunders roared, but they kept at it; there was no way out but through, because it had become obvious that even their last resort---that of reminding the gentleman tactfully, yet with a becoming blend of modesty and pride, of the fact that they were worth a thousand dollars apiece---would fall upon deaf ears. It had evidently pleased the gentleman to go on a perfectly magnificent bust, and there was nothing for it but to row.


In town at headquarters the fame of war was proceeding quite according to schedule. With Anderson's surrender imminent, Beauregard had summoned his staff to a conference. It was important that an immediate decision be reached as to the terms upon which Anderson would be allowed to evacuate. There was every disposition to treat Anderson like the soldier and gentleman that he was but, after all, he had invited the battle by remaining, and he had been vanquished.

When he had asked to vacate peaceably three days before, he had been offered the opportunity of marching out with all supplies, flags flying, band playing, and with a fifty-gun salute to the flag. Now, obviously, since he had remained and fought, the terms must be somewhat modified. The people expected it, and it was their right. It was finally concluded that the original terms should stand but with one exception. The flag would have to do without its fifty-gun salute.


With his skiff half full of water but, miraculously, no casualties, Colonel Wigfall finally reached the narrow beach from which the wall of the fort rose precipitously. At the moment their keel grounded, Anderson blew up his barracks in the hope of stopping the fire.

The detonation caught them with a physical impact so terrific that it was stupefying. They stood dazed for a moment, while a shattered heaven poured its debris down upon them. Then, when the universe rocked back to its balance, the colonel bade his crew await his return, and left them, to parley with Anderson. The negroes promptly turned the boat over and crawled beneath it, and Private Young demonstrated the superior courage of the Caucasian by seating himself fully exposed upon its upturned bottom.

While Wigfall had been in transit, the Stars and Stripes had been replaced upon the ramparts, and at this signal of defiance the Confederate cannonade had broken out with redoubled fury.

It was now that the colonel faced his greatest danger. He knew that his only hope of making his presence known to the defenders was to skirt the northern face of the fort to a small door at the rear. He did not hesitate a moment. His progress was of necessity very slow, for the tide was well in and the strip of beach was narrow and cluttered with unstable heaps of debris. Above him the wall was giving way under the merciless pounding, and from time to time landslides of masonry came crashing down the fifty-foot drop. Into the wall above him, roundshot crashed dull, metallic, like blows from a sledge in the hands of a Titan.


At last he turned the corner and came out on the western face of the fort, which was covered by his own battery. They must have picked him up at once with their glasses, for a distance cheer penetrated the din, precipitating him into that state of exaltation for which the profession of soldiering has no adequate term, and which we can convey only by borrowing from the vocabulary of the poet his magnificent and all-embracing "divine afflatus."

In that moment Colonel Wigfall became omnipotent. The destinies of nations lay quiescent in the hollow of his hand. He strode to the nearest embrasure and met the gaze of a smoke-begrimed soldier. Even after he had spoken, demanding to be shown in to the presence of Major Anderson, the man stood goggling at him, frankly skeptical of the evidence of senses. Finally, at the colonel's repeated demand, he disappeared and returned presently with an officer. The door was unbarred and the colonel strode majestically within.

Twenty minutes later, at exactly one-thirty on the afternoon of April thirteenth, to be historically accurate, Colonel Wigfall, the "Lion of Fort Sumter," emerged from the fort and returned to his skiff and simultaneously, high on the ramparts, a white square climbed the flag pole and flattened in the breeze.

*  *  *  *  *

With the approach of evening, the Gordons, who had gone home earlier in the day, returned to the Chardon residence. They were all back now. Emily had remained indoors all day. Thomas, Wake, and Chardon had just returned from their last unsuccessful visit to headquarters.

Chardon said, "We can learn nothing. Beauregard and his staff are locked up at headquarters. Everything is at a standstill. No word has been given out even as to when Anderson will evacuate."

Damaris said, "Some of our boys are already up in town. I saw some of the Cadets from Morris Island. They called out that there had been no casualties in their battery."

Thomas Ashley's voice, overemphatic almost to the point of argument, flung out: "That's what I've been telling you. Of course there's nothing official yet, but it's all over town that there have been no losses. There can't be a rumor like that unless it has some foundation."

Caesar appeared, to announce supper. He had opened the door, shuffled his foot to attract his master's attention. No one noticed him and he cleared his throat discreetly. It was very still.

Then suddenly the silence was shattered by the slamming of the front door. In the room everyone jerked erect. Boots rang staccato on the piazza floor, on the planking of the hall. In the doorway Caesar's jaw dropped, his eyes widened, then he was nearly thrown off his balance, and Peter was there in the middle of the room with Damaris in his arms.


"You know, of course, there were no casualties on either side," he told them later. "Yes, that's official. And you heard, I suppose, what Anderson said when he heard. It is the sort of thing that entirely changes your conception of war. Major Jones gave him the news when he went out on seeing the flag of truce. Anderson grasped his hand and exclaimed devoutly, 'Thank God!'---and mind you, we're supposed to be his enemies. Major Jones extended General Beauregard's congratulations on the fact that Sumter had experienced no losses. They say the two of them sat there like two gentlemen at a club. By God, it makes you feel proud, doesn't it?"

Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.
Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.
Union Major Robert Anderson.
Union Major Robert Anderson.

Peter was tremendously enthusiastic over Wigfall's exploit. Captain Tucker, with whom he had left headquarters, had taken him into Mills House on this way home and introduced him to the colonel. Peter launched into a detailed account of the spectacular harbor excursion.

Chardon sipped his Madeira absently and watched his nephew as he rattled on. He shrewdly suspected Beauregard of having deliberately sent the boy to the Floating Battery as a kindness to himself, and as a means of breaking Peter gently into the game of war. It was the sort of surprising little personal courtesy that, knowing the general, he might have expected.

But he wondered now whether it had actually been a kindness. Whether the comfort of a present illusion was worth the terror of the ultimate tragic awakening. The Battle of Fort Sumter! Good God, it wasn't a battle at all. It was little more than an exchange of civilities between gentlemen; a bloodless duel with pistols fired into the air. Commanding officers thanking God that their enemies had been spared! War was never war until men had been taught to hate.

Confederates in Fort Sumter the day after Anderson evacuated.
Confederates in Fort Sumter the day after Anderson evacuated.


1 Heyward is referring to "Edmund" Ruffin, not Edward Ruffin.

The Battle of Fort Sumter by DuBose Heyward — Part One

Part One of

The Battle of Fort Sumter

Adapted from Peter Ashley
by DuBose Heyward


[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : DuBose Heyward is best known for his 1925 novel, Porgy, which eventually became the famous George Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess.1

DuBose Heyward, author of Peter Ashley, and Porgy, around 1928.
DuBose Heyward, author of Peter Ashley, and Porgy, around 1928.
Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, late 1920s.
Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, late 1920s.

Heyward was born in 1885 in Charleston and died in 1940. He is descended from Thomas Heyward, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Much of his writing took place during the Charleston Renaissance, the period between World Wars I and II, when the arts flourished following the difficult period after the War Between the States. Writers included Heyward, John Bennett, Josephine Pinckney and Julia Peterkin, along with poets Hervey Allen and Beatrice Ravenel. Visual artists included Alfred Hutty, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, and Elizabeth O'Neill Verner.2

The Southern Renaissance (also known as the Southern Renascence) took place at the same time as the Charleston Renaissance, the 1920s and '30s. The Southern Renaissance featured writers such as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Caroline Gordon, Margaret Mitchell, Katherine Anne Porter, Erskine Caldwell, Allen Tate (and the other Fugitive Agrarians of I'll Take My Stand), Tennessee Williams, Robert Penn Warren, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Hurston was an African American anthropologist whose recently released book, Barracoon,3 is a truthful recounting of the origins of slavery in Africa whereby black tribal warfare produced captives who were held by other blacks in slave forts called "barracoons". They were held to be sold to mostly New England slave traders (and the British before them).

DuBose Heyward, during his time, was perhaps the foremost authority in the country on Southern black culture. He portrayed blacks with respect and not condescension.

During the same time period, he wrote Peter Ashley, set on the eve of South Carolina's secession from the Union. His goal was to capture the exhilaration and fire of the people of Charleston as they struck for independence.

Heyward was working on Peter Ashley (1932) at the same time he was working on Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin.

There is no better way to be transported back in time to an actual event as it happened than through exciting, accurate historical fiction.

Heyward wrote Peter Ashley, and Herbert Ravenel Sass wrote Look Back to Glory, and both of those works were adapted for the shorter Fort Sumter, 1861-1865, from which this blog article comes.

Citation: DuBose Heyward, Herbert Ravenel Sass, Fort Sumter, 1861-1865 (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1932).]


Foreword to Fort Sumter, 1861-1865:

FROM CHRISTMAS night in the year 1860 to the twelfth of the following April the attention of the civilized world was centered upon Fort Sumter, a fortification built upon a sand bar and commanding the entrance to the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. For there the great American experiment in government was facing its ultimate test, and the destiny of the Union hung in the balance.

Fort Sumter, 1861, before the bombardment.
Fort Sumter, 1861, before the bombardment.

Would Major Anderson, in command of the Federal garrison, evacuate the fort to the state of South Carolina and the newly formed Confederacy, or would he remain there flying the Stars and Strips and invite civil war?

President Buchanan whose tenure of office would expire on the fourth of March, reluctant to meet so grave an issue, took no action. When his successor, Abraham Lincoln, was inaugurated in March, 1861, the situation had reached an acute phase and an immediate decision was imperative. Anderson had exhausted his supplies and must either be reinforced or evacuated.

The new president decided to stand fast and send a fleet to Charleston with supplies. The Confederacy construed this as an overt act. The Battle of Fort Sumter ensued and the states were hurled into four years of devastating war.

In the spring of 1863 Fort Sumter, now in the possession of the Confederate States, became the scene of a second momentous drama, and again the eyes of the world turned toward the sand bar at the harbor mouth and the mass of defensive masonry that stood interposed between the city and the sea.

For now in the march of events had come the hour of the steel man-of-war, and the ironclad armada of the United States had arrived to match its strength against man's immemorial stronghold of brick and stone.

It is perhaps because of the enormous richness of our national historical heritage that these two events, so dramatic in themselves and far-reaching in their consequences, have received but scant attention; there being, so far as the authors of this book are aware, no detailed narrative account accessible to the general public except those contained in the two novels, Peter Ashley and Look Back to Glory, from which the following chapters are adapted.4

This is our justification for salvaging from the limbo of a past season's fiction two stirring and dramatic episodes of American history, and combining them in a convenient and readily accessible form. If we presume to present them in their new guise as history rather than mere entertainment, let it be said that they are based upon years of exhaustive research, and in some particulars are derived from sources that will not be available to future historians. For into these stories have gone not only a painstaking scrutiny of the written record, but the good talk of men now dead who knew the truth that lay behind the fact, and illumined it in the telling because they had felt as well as known.

With the exception of General Beauregard, Colonel Wigfall, Admiral DuPont, Colonel Rhett and other historical characters who are well known, the people who appear in the stories will be strangers to the reader, but this should not prove embarrassing. We have allowed them to remain so that through them he may glimpse the life of the time and place as we have reconstructed it, and see reflected in their talk and attitudes the forces which precipitated events and shaped history.

DuBose Heyward,
Herbert Ravenel Sass,
Charleston, South Carolina


Part One of

The Battle of Fort Sumter

THE READER is invited to witness the battle from the Chardon residence, a large Georgian dwelling situated on Charleston's Battery and commanding a sweeping view of the harbor. Assembled within the hospitable walls, or gathered upon the roof the better to view the engagement, are Pierre Chardon, the host, who is a veteran of the Mexican War, a widower, and the devoted guardian of his nephew Peter Ashley; Thomas and Emily Ashley, Peter's parents; Captain Wakefield Ashley, his brother; Damaris Gordon, his fiancee; and Proctor Gordon, Damaris' father. Rene Berrenger, Alicia Pringle, and others who enter and leave casually are friends of Peter.


MARCH, mad month in the maddest of years. Up in Washington, President Buchanan, "The Property Man," has handed the lighted fuse to Lincoln, and has dropped gently into oblivion. Lincoln, the untried, the unknown, standing amid the babel of advice, the pull of opposing wills, with his single immovable idea: "The Union must be preserved."

But time is racing now. The fuse that he is holding must presently be stamped out or its fire will reach Fort Sumter and detonate the waiting charge. Shall Anderson be reinforced? Shall Anderson be withdrawn? The old question, but no longer to be evaded. And the world watching, waiting, holding its breath, for the word.

In Montgomery, President Davis and his cabinet are facing a delicate problem. The Confederate government must assume command of the military forces at Charleston. And Charleston is known to be difficult. The task calls for a soldier, but it also requires something of a diplomat, and, emphatically, a gentleman. And the God of Battles that smiles with such inspiring indulgence upon the new Confederation presents them with Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Beauregard, great-grandson of Jacques Toutant-Beauregard who, under Louis XIV, had been in command of the flotilla to the Province of Louisiana, and on the distaff side direct descendant of Francois Marie Chevalier de Reggio, royal standard bearer under the Spanish domain. Oh, most emphatically a gentleman, but a soldier as well---hero of Chapultepec, Cerro Gordo, Vera Cruz, and late commander of the military academy at West Point.

Healy portrait of Gen. Beauregard in the National Portrait Gallery, Washington.
Healy portrait of Gen. Beauregard in the National Portrait Gallery, Washington.

March fourth. General Beauregard arrives at Charleston and assumes command of the military forces. On the fifth, he appears publicly with Governor Pickens and his aids at a performance at the Charleston Theater. Little Misses Fanny and Julia dance and sing. A competent cast performs The Lady of Lyons. But the sensation of the evening is the glittering presence in the proscenium box, and Charleston, remembering Jacques Toutant-Beauregard and Francois Marie Chevalier de Reggio, feels safe in taking the general unreservedly to its heart. Overnight he becomes the fashion. Ladies denude their gardens and convert headquarters at Institute Hall into a bower. Lads who have patiently cultivated fierce and warlike beards trim them  down without a quiver to the Beauregard mustache and goatee. Huguenots with one accord forget that the general is a Catholic, and remember only that he is French.

But Beauregard is now in seclusion at headquarters, facing a stupendous task, opposing order to chaos. Martial law is declared for the island defenses. There are no longer champagne punches and parties of laughing and delicately stepping ladies among the tents. Leaves are canceled.

March twelfth. By special correspondent of the News and Courier5 at Washington, "It is unofficially announced that the President favors withdrawal of Anderson from Sumter."

March eighteenth. "It is now generally conceded that within a few days Sumter will be vacated."

Maj. Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter; Brig. Gen. from May 15, 1861.
Maj. Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter; Brig. Gen. from May 15, 1861.

In his private office at Institute Hall, Beauregard takes the newspaper in his slender long-fingered hand, smiles his slow skeptical smile, and orders an extra draft of five hundred slaves to rush the work on the forts. That night, up the river, sledges ring on spikes until morning, where they are sheathing the floating battery with railroad irons.

On April second, the Honorable Louis T. Wigfall, late United States Senator from Texas, having decided to remove the seat of war from Washington to Charleston, arrives with his lady, and quarters himself at the Mills House. With his passing, Washington must seem strangely quiet, for the Senator's private campaign at the Capital has been violent and sustained.

U.S. Senator from Texas, Louis Trezevant Wigfall, before the war.
U.S. Senator from Texas, Louis Trezevant Wigfall, before the war.
Louis Trezevant Wigfall, date unknown.
Louis Trezevant Wigfall, date unknown.

One by one the other Southern Senators and representatives had abandoned the fight as hopeless and left for their homes. Their deflection had only stiffened the resistance of the redoubtable Texan. Of tremendous physique, inexhaustible vitality, and known as a fearless and deadly duelist, he had set himself the task of destroying the hostile government at its source by the sheer power of his oratory. It was said that he never slept. Hour on hour the tremendous mellifluous voice poured its broadsides of invective into the ears of the exasperated but powerless Senators. At night he would pursue them to their clubs, and there, holding them with his fierce magnetic gaze, he would deliver a verbal chastisement that so exhausted them that, when he left in the morning fresh and vigorous to carry the fight back to the Senate chamber, they were incapable of following him. There was a half-hearted suggestion that he be arrested, tried for treason, and hanged, in the somewhat forlorn hope that he would thus be silenced. He laughed in their faces, told them that they were Yankee shopkeepers and poltroons, and that for his part he was done with them. They could consider themselves dismissed. He now had more important business before him. He would go to Charleston and attend to Major Anderson.

On the third of April the Senator appears at headquarters. He is wearing varnished top boots and huge Texas spurs. About the senatorial frock coat is tied a broad, red, tasseled sash, and through this is thrust a sword. In his hand he carried his black plainsman's felt hat, and his magnificent leonine head is bare to the spring morning. When he emerges he is Colonel Wigfall, and a duly appointed aide to the commanding general.

It is evident that Beauregard has remembered that he is not only a soldier and a gentleman, but upon occasion a diplomat as well. But it is not unlikely, as the door of the private office closes upon his magnificent newest colonel, that he feels somewhat as though he has reached out and closed his hand upon the tail of a flaming comet.

As to whether or not Beauregard desired war, we have only to remember that for six hundred years his forebears had distinguished themselves upon the field of battle and that, at that particular moment, should hostilities eventuate, he stood practically unrivaled upon the threshold of the supreme command. It is not likely that these circumstances would have conspired together for the creation of an ardent pacifist. He knew that President Davis and his cabinet did not desire war. He must have known that President Lincoln did not desire it. Had he been consulted as to his views, he would doubtless have replied that it was not the province of the soldier either to believe or to disbelieve that a war was imminent --- but to be prepared. And to this end, under the grave formal elegance of the man in the private office, there drove steadily forward all day and most of the night the irresistible momentum of a superb engineering machine.

It may have appeared that, knowing the reluctance of Montgomery to precipitate the effusion of blood and finding himself in Charleston which already considered itself at war, his position would have been embarrassing. But it was singularly the reverse. He was scrupulous in his dealings with the Confederate command. In every decision he deferred to Davis and awaited instructions. And he was in complete harmony with the Carolinians. He must have understood their temper completely. He surrounded himself with a group of aides taken for the most part from civil life, and incongruously attired in black frock coats, sashes and swords. They represented the flower of the commonwealth. Statesmen, orators, men of high courage, very great gentlemen, arrant individualists, they were, with their latest recruit Colonel Wigfall, the comet to which the general had attached himself and the Confederate States of America, while he kept flashing his full and punctilious reports out across the void toward Montgomery.


In Washington, on April seventh, Secretary of State Seward sends his famous message to the Confederate commissioners through the person of Associate Justice Campbell: "Faith as to Sumter fully kept. Wait and See."

On April eighth the papers contain official announcement that Lincoln had already dispatched his messenger to Charleston to state that Fort Sumter would be relieved peaceably or by force. The Powhatan, first vessel of the flotilla, had put to sea for Sumter on the sixth.

And now, dramatically, the moment has arrived. Destiny has leaped beyond human control. It remains only for those in authority to preserve a decent reluctance, to write into the record those final brief dispatches by which each side hopes to convince posterity that the other is the aggressor.

In Charleston the excitement is terrific. For two days the crowds never leave the bulletin boards.

The newspapers bombard them with headlines:

"Washington, April tenth. Special correspondent to The Courier reports: Lincoln's policy coercion and war. Fort Sumter to be relieved at all hazards. Anderson to open on Batteries. Four light draft cruisers have already sailed with troops."

"Montgomery calls for three thousand troops from each state."

"Leaving Columbia for Charleston: The Governor's Guards, Columbia Grays, Congaree Riflemen."

Orators thunder invective:

While the South has been listening in good faith to the promises of Seward, while Lincoln has pretended to consider Anderson's peaceable withdrawal, the Yankees have been deliberately playing upon the credulity of the south and making ready for war. Davis is openly criticized. Does he expect Charleston to sit calmly by until the arrival of reinforcements for Sumter?

But Beauregard will not be stampeded. He dispatches Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee to Anderson with a demand that he surrender, and offering him the opportunity of evacuating with all supplies and a fifty-gun salute to his flag. Anderson refuses but states that he will be starved out and have to vacate in a few days if, in the meantime, he has not been battered to pieces.

General Beauregard confers with Montgomery and submits: "If you will state the time at which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and agree that in the meantime you will not use your guns against us, unless ours shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain from opening fire against you."

At two-thirty A.M. April twelfth, Anderson replies that he will vacate by noon on April fifteenth, should he not receive prior to that time "controlling instructions" from his government or additional supplies.

The Confederate command, knowing that "controlling instructions" are already on their way to Fort Sumter, and that the relief flotilla is expected momentarily off the bar, sees in the reply a continuation of the tactics that have been employed by Washington, merely a postponement against a more complete preparedness.

At three-twenty A.M. on April twelfth, the final dispatch crosses the harbor toward Sumter:

"To Major Anderson,
United States Army, Commanding
Fort Sumter.


By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honour to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time.

We have the honour to be, very respectfully,
Your obedient servants,
James Chestnut, Jr., Aide-de-Camp.
Stephen D. Lee, Capt. S.C. Army
and Aide-de-camp."


*   *   *   *   *

The windows of Chardon's room were open and through them came the damp heavy pressure of an east wind. The sky was overcast, and when he looked down into the street he could distinguish nothing. But up out of the night came the sound of low, excited voices, and the shuffling of feet.

He heard Caesar's tread, then the front door opened and closed. Boots took the steps two in a stride, rang strong and vital on the corridor, and paused before his door. Then, with "I'm coming in, Uncle Pierre," Wake was in the room. He was carrying a lantern that he had taken from Caesar. The light, hanging low, showed Chardon military boots and gray breeches. Above, in the fainter, reflected glow, he saw the face of his nephew, flushed, eager, excited.

Wake said, "Hurry and dress, Uncle Pierre. We're opening on Sumter at half-past four."

Chardon, shivering in his nightshirt, answered testily: "You are, are you? Well, come in and close the door."

"But you don't understand, sir. I have some of the boys from the Rifles here, and we're hoping that some of the ladies will join us. I hope you don't mind, sir, but I'm having Caesar open the trap door to the roof. We want to be there for the first shot."

Something in Chardon wanted to cry out. Wanted to warn the boy that war was not, after all, a gala festival. But, as he often did when deeply affected, he sought concealment in irony.

"Perhaps," he suggested, "you had better send orders to Beauregard to hold his fire until you have your gallery arranged and your ladies seated. It would be a pity to have them miss the first act." Then his manner changed. He asked sharply: "Where's Peter?"

"I don't know," Wake told him. "He's on duty tonight. That's how we got the word so promptly. He knew when Colonel Chestnut sent the last dispatch to Anderson, and he sent Washington out to the camp on Starling to tell us to come down."

He stood a moment looking at his uncle, then said, "I hope you don't mind us coming here, sir. It's not going to last long, you see; we had to hurry. Someone said---"

"Yes, yes, I know. You'll probably be breakfasting in Washington. But get along to the roof now, with your friends, and I'll join you as soon as I am decently covered."

Chardon lifted his head and shoulders through the trap door and looked about him. Clouds, heavy with moisture, hung low and dense. A wind from the Atlantic drove steadily westward over the roofs. It had body, substance, and when it flung its weight against Chardon, his footing became uncertain on the ladder.

But he was immediately sighted by the group of men who were gathered about the lantern on the flat roof of the rear piazza. Lawrence and Wake were at his side in a moment. They lifted him out lightly, as though he had been a child, to the secure footing of the roof. Their tenderness and solicitude embarrassed him, as, each holding him by an arm, they conducted him across the short distance to the group. His bad leg always stiffened up while he slept, making his lameness more apparent. He was compelled to say with dignity: "You needn't carry me. I am fully capable of maintaining my own footing."

He pulled himself together, welcoming them to his home, and summoning Caesar to bring up a decanter and glasses.

He noticed then that lights were coming up on adjacent roofs, and from one to another excited voices were calling across the darkness. The De Saussures had assembled quite a party. He could see hoop skirts swinging in the wind like large bells, and negroes were bringing up chairs and rugs for the ladies.

Presently the Gordons and Alicia Pringle arrived. Damaris kissed Chardon in silence, and slipped an arm through his. They stood a little apart from the others, saying nothing, their eyes staring out into the darkness. Caesar came with decanter and glasses, supplied the guests, and retired.

Wake was standing by the lantern, his watch in his hand. Chardon had seen him often with that look of concentration on his face, as he stood timing the start of a race on the Pineville track.

"We've only three minutes to wait," he announced. "It is four-twenty-seven." A great silence had fallen over the roofs. From the street came the sound of hurrying feet, but  no talk.

Wake's voice came wire-tense in the stillness.


Minutes passed. The suspense became unbearable. Feet shuffled. Alicia Pringle cried, "I can't bear it!" Chardon, with his finger nails pressing little pains into his palms, stood motionless, his gaze focused on the spot in the night where the fort stood waiting.

The boats of the night patrol were coming in. He could see the flares moving toward the town, bright gouts of blood on the water, with smears drawn from them toward the shore.


To be concluded next week, April 8, 2021.



1Porgy was also made into a play in 1927 by DuBose Heyward's wife, Dorothy. Porgy and Bess came out in 1935. In 1959, it was adapted as a film of the same name.

2 The Gibbs Museum of Art came about during that time, and the Poetry Society of South Carolina, which DuBose Heyward helped to create along with John Bennett and Hervey Allen.

Also, historic preservation began with Charleston becoming the first city in the nation with historic preservation laws. Women were a powerful force for historic preservation and in related fields. Laura Bragg became the first woman in America to run a publicly funded museum, the Charleston Museum, during the Charleston Renaissance.

3 Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon, The Story of the Last "Black Cargo", Edited by Deborah G. Plant (New York: Amistad, 2018, by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust). Only 5% of the black exodus from Africa known as the African Diaspora, came to America. Many went to South America and other places.

4 The following footnote was denoted by an asterisk in the text: "The Defense of Charleston Harbor" by Major John Johnson, Engineer in charge at Fort Sumter, 1863-1865, and for many years after the war rector of St. Philip's Church in Charleston, was published by Walker, Evans and Cogswell Co., Charleston, in 1890. This book of 276 pages, with voluminous appendices and numerous illustrations, is an admirable detailed technical account of the military and naval operations in the Charleston district. The work is a model of its kind, but has long been out of print.-----[Publisher's Note: This book is back in print today, 2021, and can be found online.]

5 The Charleston Courier was around in 1861, but the Charleston Daily News was not founded until 1865. They merged and formed the News and Courier in 1873. This is according to Wikipedia, The Post and Courier,, accessed 3-31-21.