Robert Anderson's Officers at Fort Sumter


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 23, 1861

The March 23, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a stunning portrait of Major Anderson's command at Fort Sumter.  The paper also features important news associated with the opening days of the Civil War. The issue also features a portrait of Abner Doubleday, popularly remembered as the inventor of baseball, on the cover.


Major Anderson's Command

Major Anderson's Command

General Twiggs's Surrender

Affairs in Texas

The Alamo

The Alamo

Salmon P. Chase

Salmon P. Chase

Robert Anderson's Command

San Antonio Plaza

The San Antonio Plaza








[MARCH 23, 1861.


eric, easily-put-up, sort of a rough old file he was. So the news of the split between the old and the young one caused plenty of conversation, you may be sure ; and will Mr. Robert go down on his marrow-bones ? and what has he done ? was all the question. When we heard what he had done, we decided it would be the best for him if he did go down on his marrow-bones, but it was pretty certain that he wouldn't. For Mr. Robert, he also could be stiff when he pleased—he was a chip ! The fact was, Mr. Robert, as was generally known, had for a very long time been what is called sweet upon Susan Dawson, and she was something to be sweet upon : a plump, open-faced, young lass, not over- vain,. and sensible, though, of course, we couldn't think that, with her talking of one day marrying young Mr. Robert, which she did, till her father, being one of the Squire's tenants, properly stopped it, not before it came to the Squire's ear, though. So the Squire, who wanted Mr. Robert to marry one of his own is class, he on with his top boots and his round hat, and down he goes to Farmer Dawson.

"Dawson," says he, " I hear that boy of mine hangs about your doors a good bit. You'd better see to the locks and bolts. He's a sharp fellow, and don't give his time for nothing."

"Squire," says the farmer, "if he chooses to act scarecrow outside there, I've no help for it ; but I'll take care he don't get to be a fixture inside."

" Keep a sharp eye on your daughter, Dawson," says the Squire.

" One in a family's enough, Squire," says the fanner. And he must have spoken heavily, for his niece, Martha Green, had gone away in a bad manner out of that very house where he sat. Some said it was Mr. Robert himself who had beguiled the poor girl, and was now at the same game with her cousin : others thought better of him as to that, and were sure it was his college friend Mr. Danby, who had been seen about with her during his visits at the Squire's. She left Farmer Dawson's house after one of these visits. Mr. Robert was away at the time, and that gave a color to what was said against him. But his friends didn't believe it, if his enemies did.

Now, when Mr. Robert found the farmer's door banged in his face he was mighty wrath, you may credit me. Worse when he heard it was through the Squire having been down there on particular business. What does he do but go straight to the Squire and ask him what he meant. The Squire retorts by asking him what he means. That's how the split began. The servants said that Mr. Robert burst out of the library, swearing he would go and marry Susan Dawson on the spot. He didn't -do that, but he managed to appoint to meet her by night. She went, as she'd have gone through fire and water. Then he asked her to go off with him to London to be married. While she was debating about it—for I suppose she hesitated—up came Will Green, her cousin, Martha's brother. Will was whistling, and stood with his hands in his pockets, looking at them. He was an odd, indifferent fellow—one who made you believe that nothing affected him. "Don't think you'll astonish me," was his customary expression. So, be says, " You're going after Martha, are you, Susan? Make my compliments to her." And then he turned on his heel and sauntered off. Susan had a shock at the mention of Martha. The upshot was, that she went home and so did Mr. Robert, and the next morning the great quarrel took place, for the Squire somehow had heard of Mr. Robert's meeting with Susan. They got to high words. The Squire threatened to kick him out of the house, and as Mr. Robert had money, he said he would go, and not return till he was asked. He went in a huff with us all. We heard of him spending money like fire. He was away two years just, when we heard he was in prison for debt, and one morning Miss Susan was missing. Didn't the gossips fly about. Farmer Dawson hung his head a while, and then he woke up again and was cheerfuler than could be expected. By-and-by Susan returns. The farmer took her in, which he was much praised for, and he was kind to her, and wouldn't let the vicar rebuke her, which rather went against his character, in our place. However, things passed like of old. The Squire seemed to have forgotten Mr. Robert ; Susan was mum, Will Green did his farm-work, and sneered away at his superiors.

You must know that we had fine roads round Bentholme. It lay just between two market-towns, and was not such a distance from a tolerable sized city. The roads were lonely, and people used often to say they wondered more bad work wasn't done. They even gave up wondering. The vicar rode home one night cleaned out, and saving my respect for his memory, in as awful a fright as mortal man can be. A highwayman had stopped him. A pretty commotion there was in Bentholme. Within a month we had as many as twelve downright open robberies—three to a week ! There was a meeting of magistrates—constables were moved about, and all the farmers said they'd be cautious. But farmers never are cautious after market-days. Besides, this was a terrible fellow. He not only knew who they were, and where they were going—he knew always exactly how much money their purses contained, and used to name the sum ! That was what unmanned them more than any thing. They gave up at that. It didn't look human. How we came to know this was through Farmer Burmess. He was riding home from Ockham market one night—plenty of ale in him, and up trots my gentleman.

" Good-night, Farmer Burmess," says he.

"Good-night," answers the farmer, looking at him queerly, for he had a veil on his face.

"I am rather in want of cash to-night," says the other. " Can you accommodate me ?"

" It's an uncivil request civilly put," says Farmer Burmess. "No, I can't—so good-night again."

"I'm sorry to have to enforce it," says the other ; "but I'm only a borrower. You'll have it again some day, which you can't say for your brains, if they go."

With that he outs with a pistol. The farmer stopped short. He was a cool hand, but he had no weapons. Says he :

" You seem pretty clever. Now, if you'll tell me what money I've got about me, to a shilling, I'll hand it out. If not, we'll part as we are. Is that fair ?"

" Quite," says the highwayman.

"'Then it's a bargain!—flow much is it?" says Farmer Burmess.

" Hand out 22 13s. 6d. and I am satisfied." The farmer started—he didn't want telling how much he had. He and his purse parted company. The highwayman called out to him : "Mind! it's only borrowed," and rode his way. Farmer Burmess told the story, and from that time the terrible highwayman was called the Borrower.

Suspicion somehow fell upon Will Green. He dressed better—got a watch, and other things costing money. Will didn't mind a bit. "Wait till I'm caught. at it," he said But he began to badger poor Susan. He wanted the girl to marry him. Once he was heard to say he could make her wretched for life if she didn't. Then suddenly she began to grow thin and miserable as a starved kitten. She couldn't put her hand to a thing—she that used to be the freshest serviceablest creature in all the county. People said it was because of Will's nightwork, and that she had begun to care for him.

One night the Squire had been dining in or about Ockham. He ordered his horse to be saddled, and while he was in the hall one of the gentlemen said to him: "Look out that you don't have to lend your money tonight, Squire!"

" How much do you want ?" says the Squire, whose fist was never shut to a friend.

" Oh, I'm not the Borrower," says the gentle-man, laughing—that set them talking about the robberies on the road of late.

" Well," says the Squire, "I'll wager you the fellow doesn't borrow a penny from me."

He took two of the gentlemen at a bet of fifty pounds apiece. He :et out, and shortly after they mounted to follow, and see fair play The night was fine, the moon was up—one of those pleasant summer nights when you'd rather be awake than asleep. The Squire trotted on merrily. He turned when he came to the lane leading down to Bentholme river, and stood up under a hedge, and presently he heard the two gentlemen trot past. He suspected a trick, do you see, and when he saw one of them turn into a gate some way down the road, to make a short cut, thinks he: "I know what they're up to, but I'm their match." So he drew his hat low down over his head, and on he went. Bentholme Meads is a lonely place. You're is good couple of miles from any habitation : you have the river on one side of you, and Spenth Woods on the other. Just as the Squire was riding round the hedge out of the road to have a gallop on the grass, a man on horseback leaps in front of him. The Squire pulled back into the shadow, and, disguising his voice to have a moment's fun, " Hulloa !" he sings out gruffly, " be you Mr. Borrower ?"

" I am," says the other.

The Squire was expecting the voice of his friend. Not hearing that, he saw that it was no joke. Keeping still in the shadow, he drew his pistol—he was peppery—cocked it, and fired point-blank. The highwayman's right arm fell, and he gave a groan. His hat dropped off, his face was bare.

" Good God !" cried the Squire.

Just then he heard his friends coming up behind the hedge.

"Here it is," the Squire sang cut in his assumed voice, and thrust his purse out for the highwayman to take. He seemed surprised, but hearing voices, he turned right about and galloped off.

When the other two gentlemen had managed to push through the hedge, they could hardly believe their senses to see the Squire as pale as death, trembling like a child. They told him he had lost the bet, and he said they should be paid next day. The story flew like wild-fire. People shook their heads. They couldn't believe the Squire a coward. But what were they to think ? The Squire had paid the money, beyond a doubt.

After that, Squire Sigister shut himself up. He was aged twenty years by that night. He walked to church like a very old man. Nothing more was heard of the Borrower, and the roads got safe again. One day Susan was sent for to come to the hall. She put on her best Sunday dress, and went in a dreadful flurry, not knowing what to think of it. When she came back she looked brisker. The truth was, the Squire had said to her, " Find out my son, wherever he may be : fetch him here alive, and I'll marry you both within a week, so help me Heaven!" We only heard this later, for Susan kept her own counsel.

Susan knew that Will Green was aware of Mr. Robert's whereabouts. I needn't tell you what women are, and what they'll condescend to do when they want to worm any thing out of a man. Susan began her cajoleries with Mr. Will. He swore afterward that she had deceived him. I fancy she made him think, in some wonderful woman's way, that she cared no more, for Mr. Robert, and that perhaps her mouth was commencing to water for Will Green. At any rate, by Will's aid, she managed to light upon Mr. Robert in a cottage twenty miles off. She brought him home to the Squire, with his arm in a sling: father and some were reconciled : and then came the extraordinary thing. Susan refused to marry Mr. Robert !

This caused her, of course, to be very much observed and spoken about. She was called a number of names ; but she didn't seem to care for it, and this was vexation to one of our gossips, Mrs. Gillett, the grocer's wife. She put on her bonnet, one evening, and proceeded to pay Farmer Dawson a visit. The farmer was out, but she hit upon Susan alone.

" Well, Susan," says she, after rounding about the business, " so you're to be married at last !" " I ?" cries Susan, " you're mistaken, ma'am." " Not at all," replies the old lady. "And now

that he's reclaimed from the error of his ways, it's very proper you should."

Susan grew pale. "What ways ?" she gasped.

"Well," says the old lady, " you know how the whisper goes. The robber doesn't rob now, and Will Green stops at home. I make no accusation."

" Will Green !" Susan pronounced the name, and from close upon a faint she burst into a laugh. "Do you suppose, ma'am, I am going to marry him? Pray undeceive yourself instantly!"

"Yes! there's two to speak to that. Pray, undeceive yourself instantly," says Will Green, in person, as he marches into the room.

He didn't look so delighted, but he was jaunty and careless, as usual. When they were alone, she said to him, " I hope you're not offended, Will."

" What at ?" he shouts, savagely. " Because you won't marry me ? Lord bless you !"

"Because I said so rather hastily," Susan put in, as soft as she could. "You know, Will, I'm not going, to marry at all."

She fell to crying, as she spoke. Will stepped up from his chair. I must tell you that he wasn't a black-looking, or a black-hearted fellow : only strange, and loose, uncertain and full of his moods.

"Susan," says he, " it's better you should marry Robert Sigister than keep, pumping salt-water all day long."

" Marry him, and ruin him '' says she, pumping harder.

Will was fond of Susan, and he had Mr. Robert in his power. The sight of her tears gave him a sort of melting feeling, and the knowing what they were shed for pricked him like poison. Between the two sensations, Will was wrought upon to say a kind thing and mean a black one. Or, perhaps, he meant nothing till circumstances were too much for him. However, he said to her, "Marry Mr. Robert, Susan."

Oh no ! She wouldn't. And then she would. " Will you be at the wedding ?" she asked. "I'll be at the wedding," says he.

The Sigisters were all married openly—walking from the hall to the church, and back again from the church to the hall. Children strewed flowers along the way, the bells pealed; there was feasting and fun for every body. It was given out that Mr. Robert was going to be married to Susan Dawson by consent of the Squire : the day was named, and all arrangements made. Just three days be-fore the wedding a lady and gentleman came to the Gold Stag, our village inn, and put up there. The gentleman appeared to be a friend of Mr. Robert's, and, after Mr. Robert had seen him, he sent word round that he wanted to speak to Will Green. But Will was nowhere to be found. He had sauntered away with his hands in his pockets, apparently caring for nobody. When the marriage bells were ringing, Will was still missing. This did not make Susan happier, for the poor girl feared he had done himself a harm. However, she was obliged to look as cheerful as she could. The morning was fine, and the procession set out. There was the Squire, looking glad and gay, Mr. Robert with his stiff right arm, bride and bridemaids, all blushing, as in duty bound. The whole village had turned out for a holiday, and lots had promised themselves to get tidily intoxicated before dark, as poor fellows will, when they haven't a chance every day—and we mustn't be too hard on them.

On the little bit of common in front of the church an old elm stands. The trunk is hollow, but the branches were in leaf. Leaning against the bark, with his back to the procession, a man was seen, holding a horse by the bridle. He wasn't noticed till he came near, and then people began to ask who he was, and talked of his manners. When we got so he faced about suddenly. Farmer Burmes sang out: "The Borrower !"

He had a veil over his eyes and nose. Mr. Robert was white as a sheet at the sight of him. The man took off his hat, and discovered that he was no other than the missing Will Green.

" Stop!” he cried, " I've a word to say to this."

There was a dead halt. Susan made an effort to go forward to him, but one of the handsome young ladies waiting on her had to hold her.

"What's the matter, Will ?" said Mr. Robert, trying to be calm and easy.

"Ruin for ruin," Will answered. " I swore I'd have you, and now's the time. Don't you think me a fool, Sir ? But you'll find I'm not a woman. You're going to be married. Now, here, publicly, I say you shall be married in your Borrower's uniform, or not at all. That's my word."

Every body was stunned. The old Squire walked between Will and his son, and put out his hand. "A hundred pounds," he whispered.

Will waved him off: "Not for a thousand !"

" Will," said Mr. Robert, huskily, "what have I done to you to deserve this? Is it because I'm going to marry Susan ?"

Mr. Robert shrank back, and seeing his bride's condition attempted to laugh it off.

" It won't do !" cried Will. "You're in my hands. What do you think I took this trouble for? Because you're a gentleman, and I'm a poor devil, whose sister's to be played with like a toy ?"

" Stand aside 1" said Mr. Robert, sharply.

"You won't submit to the terms? Good !" cried Will, and, stepping close up in front of them all, so as to block the way, he shouted, "Listen !"

But what he said was unintelligible, when a lady, the same that was stopping at the Gold Stag with the gentleman, rushed out, threw her arms round Will's neck, and called him "dear brother !"

Will looked stupefied, but presently thrusting her out at arm's-length "Aren't you ashamed to appear here?" he said.

"No, Will; not when my husband is by me,". said Martha.

and round. Then Will, with a dash of the back of his hand across his eyes, got from them, stood out before Mr. Robert, and said, in a low tone, " I've judged you wrong, Sir. I've been a black villain to you ; I led you into evil on purpose to ruin you, and revenge myself. That's my fault —I can't forget an injury. Do you forgive me?"

Mr. Robert shook his hand.

"And you, Susan ?" She faltered a kind word.

Then Will, collecting himself, called in a strong voice : " People of Bentholme ! I was interrupted just now. I was going to tell you something. You've been troubled by a certain Borrower for some time lately. You may rest quiet in your beds from this day. Stand back. Give me a clear start. I'm the man!"

With that he jumped on his horse that he'd been holding all the while, and, nodding once, away he went, and we all breathed deep.

You don't want to hear any more, do you? Why, you may be sure the Borrower, whoever he was paid back the moneys he'd borrowed to a

fraction, and with tidy interest, too. And what's more, he did it through a legal gentleman, and had his acknowledgment for the same. As for Will, he never appeared in our parts again. We heard of him over in America, doing well, on a farm twice as large as the Squire's estate. Mr. Robert spoke of him forever after as the finest fellow he had known in the course of his life. But he had a twist in his character, that I declare.


NEVER bronze or slab of stone

Shall the shifting sea-weed float. Not for them the quiet grave

Underneath the daisied turf ;
They rest below the restless wave,

They sleep below the sleepless surf,

O'er them shall the waters wrestle

With the whirlwind from the land, But their bones will only nestle

Closer down into the sand : And for ever wind and surge,

Loud or low, shall lie their dirge; And each idle wave that breaks

Henceforth upon any shore, Shall be dearer for their sakes,

Shall be holy evermore.


WE publish on page 177 a group of portraits of the officers of the garrison at Fort Sumter. Our picture was taken from a photograph recently made by a Charleston photographer. Of the Commander, MAJOR ANDERSON, and of the Chief-Engineer, CAPTAIN FOSTER, we published portraits and biographical sketches in Nos. 211 and 215, respectively, of Harper's Weekly, and refer our readers to those numbers.


of the United States Medical Staff, at present the senior officer of Major Anderson's Staff, and medical officer of Fort Sumter, is a native of Philadelphia. Dr. Crawford is a son of the Rev. Dr. Crawford, so long and so favorably known in his connection with the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Crawford entered the army in 1851, at the head of his class, and has since that period been actively engaged in distant frontier service in Texas, New Mexico, and Nebraska. In 1857 Dr. Crawford traveled through Mexico, with his own conveyance and servants, and ascended successfully the Popocatapetl, carrying a barometer to its top. He spent a night in the crater, which he thoroughly explored; and for his daring exploration was honored with membership by the Geographical Society of Mexico. He was made bearer of dispatches by Mr. Forsyth to the State Department. In September last Dr. Crawford was assigned to duty with the First Regiment of Artillery at Fort Moultrie, and was one of the last to leave that work on the night of 26th December. The entire hospital department was crossed under his direction on the 27th; it was hardly completed when Fort Moultrie was occupied by State troops.


belongs to Major Anderson's regiment, the First Artillery. He is a native of Vermont, and was appointed from that State to his present regiment on 1st July, 1846. He served throughout the Mexican war, and distinguished himself by his gallantry in so marked a manner that, on 20th August, 1847, he was breveted Captain. He is not only an excellent soldier and a prudent officer, but is an accomplished scholar and artist.


also belongs to the First Regiment of Artillery. He hails from New York, and entered the army, as Second-Lieutenant in the Third Artillery, on 1st July, 1842. Another officer of the First Regiment of Artillery, serving in Fort Sumter, is


of Indiana. He entered the army, as Second-Lieutenant in his present regiment, on 17th June, 1848. And yet another is


of Kentucky, who was appointed Second-Lieutenant in that regiment on 22d May, 1847.

Under Captain Foster are serving two Lieutenants of Engineers,


 of New York, whose commission dates from 1st July, 1856; and


 Jun., of Virginia, who was appointed from that State on 1st July, 1857. He is a Second-Lieutenant.

On page 180 the reader will find a picture of Fort Sumter, with which the names of these galalant officers will always be connected.



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