Sunday, December 2, 1860
Major Anderson, commanding the handful of men at the forts in Charleston Harbor, updated Washington on the progress of the defenses.
Castle Pinckney was under the command of Captain Foster. He told a few people in Charleston that he would soon be putting his men to work, repointing the brickwork, digging a moat so the fortifications could not be taken in a rush. Foster reported that the gentlemen he talked to in Charleston took no offense at all to the Federal government men restoring a fort so close to Charleston.1
Of course, it was a widely held notion not only that Pinckney would be the first fortification attacked,2 but that it was so close to Charleston that the secessionists already counted it as their own.3 Why would they object to the Union rebuilding the Secessionists’ forts?
Even so, Anderson was convinced that when Castle Pinckney was completed, the South Carolinians might surround it, but wouldn’t dare to even attack it. He also noted that a full supply of provisions was expected on the 10th. This seems like more of a reminder as he continues, “I trust that such arrangements will be made as will secure their delivery, as well as that of the supply of ordnance and ordnance stores recently required.”4
Pinckney could be held, but only with provisions, reinforcements and ordnance. This was only a bit more hopeful than before.
Also, this was the first anniversary of the hanging of John Brown. A meeting commemorating him was scheduled to take place the following day in Boston’s Tremont Temple. The public was invited and, as you’ll see, they most definitely came.