|Inside Fort Pickens by an officer, 1861|
January 23, 1861
Southern newspaper readers were fascinated on this date today by the unique observations of a deserter from Fort Pickens at Pensacola. Although the identity of the man was not given, his account of the strength of the fort appeared in the Richmond Daily Dispatch 150 years ago today:
Fort Pickens, with 200 U. S. soldiers, and mounting 212 guns, is commanded by Lieut. Slimmer, a native of New England, who refuses to surrender. A deserter of it says:
|Land Face of Fort Pickens|
|Officer's Sketch of Fort Pickens, 1861|
The commander has committed the same act of hostility that Anderson did at Moultrie, but we do believe that he will soon surrender the fort, as the commandant at Baton Rouge did the arsenal, on the grounds of the presence of an overwhelming force, and the plea of avoiding useless blood shedding. He is reported to have said he would not fire on his countrymen. We do not believe that he will.
The editor's belief that Lieutenant Adam Slemmer in Fort Pickens would not fire on Southern forces does not coincide with the statements provided by the officer himself in his reports to Washington, D.C. He planned to defend the fort by all means at his disposal and was fully prepared to shed the blood of any attacking force to do so.
To learn more about Fort Pickens, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortpickens1.