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Governor F. W. Pickens.
Dear Sir: I wrote you a note yesterday announcing to you my disappointment at the circumstances which prevented me from meeting you on my way home. You will not be surprised when I say to you that my quiet hours are mostly spent in thoughts of Charleston Harbor, and may therefore pardon the frequency of my letters.
Colonel Hayne has doubtless informed you of the condition in which he found matters here. The opinion of your friends, which has been communicated to him, is adverse to the presentation of a demand for the evacuation of Fort Sumter. The little garrison in its present position presses on nothing but a point of pride, and to you I need not say that war is made up of real elements. It is a physical problem from the solution of which we must need exclude all sentiment. I hope we shall soon have a Southern Confederacy, shall soon be ready to do all which interest or even pride demands, and in the fullness of a redemption of every obligation. The more impatient will find indemnity for any chafing, in the meantime, they would have to endure. We have much of preparation to make, both in military and civil organization, and the time which serves for our preparation, by its moral effect tends also towards a peaceful solution. Secure of ourselves, walking steadily onward to the purpose we have avowed, if any should misunderstand us, it will be only to awake from their delusion to the realization of the virtues and powers which will seem all the greater for their sudden development.
I learn but vaguely the progress of your works, but rest content in the conviction that all is done which is possible.
The occurrence of the Star of the West seems to me to put you in the best condition for delay, so long as the Government permits that matter to rest where it is. Your friends here think you can well afford to stand still, so far as the presence of a garrison is concerned, and if things continue as they are for a month, we shall then be in a condition to speak with a voice which all must hear and heed.
I should be very happy to hear from you at Jackson, Miss.; and hoping to meet you soon, permit me to assure you that my heart will be with you, and my thoughts of you.
Very respectfully and truly,
(Signed) Jefferson Davis.
- Jefferson Davis
- The genesis of the Civil War: the story of Sumter, 1860-1861 (1887), Crawford, Samuel Wylie