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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2012 12:35 am
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Hellcat
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I'm reading through this concerning the What if on Fort Sumter thread and there's one thing that seriously bothers me. I know exactly what it is but I want to see if anyone else gets it.

http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/38pickens/38facts2.htm

This page may be helpful in seeing what I'm getting at.

http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/38pickens/38facts1.htm

Last edited on Mon May 21st, 2012 12:35 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 01:52 am
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Hellcat
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Ok, the pages are January, 1861 setting if you read both. But the thing that's bothering me in 38facts2 (first link) is

On January 15, 1861, Chase went to Fort Pickens in person to try to persuade Slemmer to surrender. When he was unsuccessful, Chase reported to Confederate President Jefferson Davis that in order to take Fort Pickens troops would have to scale the walls.

President who? Of where? Davis did become President of the Confederacy until February. In fact I thought the Confederacy didn't exist until the convention in Mongomery in February.



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 03:13 am
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Texas Defender
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Hellcat-

  You are correct that the 15 January 1861 date does not compute with any report being sent to President Jefferson Davis.

  Jefferson Davis was named Provisional President of the CSA on 09 February and inaugurated on 18 February. The convention to form the Confederate Government began in Montgomery, AL on 04 Feb.

  Perhaps the report of what happened on 15 January was actually sent at a later date.



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 03:53 am
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Hellcat
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But the thing that bother's me, TD, is if you check out both pages it seems this is being taken care of entirely in January and reported to Davis then. Not a couple days or so after the 15th but close to two weeks after. Link 38facts1 states:

Stationed at Fort Barrancas, U.S. Army Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer realized that if war proved inevitable and Southern forces attacked, his small force of 51 men could not possibly defend all four forts. On January 10, 1861, the same day Florida seceded from the Union, he concentrated all his troops in Fort Pickens, which he believed was the key to the defense of Pensacola’s harbor. Two days later, Slemmer’s men watched as Southern soldiers moved into the other forts across the channel, removing the U.S. flags. Then, on January 15, soldiers from Florida and Alabama demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens. Lieutenant Slemmer refused. On January 28, 1861, a truce was reached that stated that the South would not attack and Fort Pickens would not be reinforced.


So the situation at Fort Pickens is temporarily ended in a truce with the South (or probably more accurately Florida and Alabama) not attacking and Fort Pickens not supposed to be reinforced by the federal government. But link 38facts2 sounds like Chase is unsuccesful and goes to tell President Davis of his failure before the end of January. It even has the script for a little skit for the events of January 15, 1861 which states:

Slemmer: I will give this letter due consideration...I will give you my answer tomorrow morning.

[Pause, Confederates exit stage. Then Farrand returns--this time with his glasses on--stating he has received a letter (from Slemmer) addressed to Chase, which he reads:]

Farrand: Under the orders we now have from the War Department, we have decided...that it is our duty to hold our position until such a force is brought against us as to render it impossible to defend it, or until the political condition of the country is such as to induce us to surrender the public property in our keeping to such authorities as may be delegated legally to receive it.

We deprecate as much as you or any individual can the present condition of affairs, or the shedding of the blood of our brethren. In regard to this matter, however, we must consider you the aggressors and if blood is shed that you are responsible therefore.


If the Confederacy doesn't exist on January 15th, how can Confederate officals leave the scene? It just seems like everything is supposed to be taking place before the Confederacy and 38facts2 is placing the Confederacy earlier. If it were to have said that Chase reported this to Davis after he became President then I could accept that. But not to say that and to have the script have Confederate officals leaving the fort on January 15th, it just seems something is wrong with the page.



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 04:27 am
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Hellcat-

  The folks demanding the surrender of Ft. Pickens in January of 1861 were Florida state troops, not Confederate troops. There weren't any CSA troops yet.

  William Henry Chase was an officer in the Florida militia. The situation at Ft. Pickens is explained here:

William Henry Chase - Pensapedia, the Pensacola encyclopedia


Even here they use the term: "Confederate" when: "State militia" would be more accurate. Perhaps Chase's initial report went to FL Governor Perry who authorized him to seize federal property in Pensacola.


Chase's gravesite:

William Henry Chase (1798 - 1870) - Find A Grave Memorial

Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 04:39 am by Texas Defender



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 04:58 am
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Hellcat
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TD, that's my point and what I'm saying is wrong with the page. It's saying they were Confederates and Chase reported to the Confederate government, in particular Davis. This is supposed to be teaching material for historic places put out by the National Park Service, but what all is it teaching exactly?



 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 05:24 am
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Hellcat-

  As Admiral Farragut might have said: "Thats difficult to fathom."   :?



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