Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Robert S. Chew [1]

[War Department.] Washington, April 6. 1861

Sir---you will proceed directly to Charleston, South Carolina; and if, on your arrival there, the flag of the United States shall be flying over Fort-Sumpter, and the Fort shall not have been attacked, you will procure an interview with Gov. Pickens, and read to him as follows:

``I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort-Sumpter with provisions only; and that, if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or amunition, will be made, without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the Fort''

After you shall have read this to Governor Pickens, deliver to him the copy of it herein inclosed, and retain this letter yourself.

But if, on your arrival at Charleston, you shall ascertain that Fort Sumpter shall have been already evacuated, or surrendered, by the United States force; or, shall have been attacked by anPage  324 opposing force, you will seek no interview with Gov. Pickens, but return here forthwith. [Respectfully SIMON CAMERON

Secy of War]


Notice carried by R. S. Chew to Gov. Pickens, and his report as to how he gave the notice.


[1]   ADf, AD, AE; DLC-RTL. In addition to Lincoln's autograph draft of the letter, the paragraph quoted in the letter, and the endorsement on the envelope, Cameron's LS copied from Lincoln's draft and Chew's report to the President on April 8, are in the Lincoln Papers. Bracketed portions are not in Lincoln's draft, but are reproduced from Cameron's LS. Robert S. Chew was a clerk in the State Department. His report is as follows:

``To the President Charleston S. C. April 8th 1861

``Under the foregoing orders I left Washington at 6 P. M. Saturday April 6th, 1861, in company with Capt. Theodore Talbot, U. S. Army, and arrived at Charleston, S. C. on Monday at the same hour. Finding that Fort Sumter had neither been surrendered, evacuated nor attacked, I immediately thro' Capt. Talbot, requested an interview with Governor Pickens, which was at once accorded to me, and I then read to him the portion of said orders in italics [quotation marks], and delivered to him the copy of the same which was furnished to me for that purpose, in the presence of Capt Talbot. Govr. Pickens received the Copy and said he would submit it to General Beauregard, he having, since the ratification of the Constitution of the Confederate States by South Carolina, been placed in charge of the Military operations in this vicinity. Genl. Beauregard was accordingly sent for, and the Governor read the paper to him.

``In reply to a remark made by Governor Pickens in reference to an answer I informed him that I was not authorised to receive any communication from him in reply. Respectfully submitted R. S. CHEW''