Today in History:

54 Series II Volume I- Serial 114 - Prisoners of War


heroism they have evinced in resisting every conceivable inducement to imitate the conduct of their leader in his treason to the Stars and Stripes. Lieutenant Slemmer arrived at this port on Saturday, and remained until Monday evening; but no more notice was taken of him, his brother officers and soldiers, than if they had done nothing at Picknes to uphold the American flag! If Major Anderson deserved credit an commendation, honors and promotion, for moving his command into Fort Sumter-- and no press had lauded that act more than the Courier and Engineer-then was the conduct of Lieutenant Slemmer in transferring his command to Fort Pickens still more to be commended and still more creditable to the service and the country. Anderson, being ordered to hold and defend a work which he knew was not defensible, disappointed the purposes of the traitor Floyd and occupied a stronger work, where he knew he would be safe. It was a wise and meritorious act, and merited the universal approval which it received. Lieutenant Slemmer was called upon to surrender his command to a force irresistible in numbers, and saw one of the senior officers of the Navy cower before the rebel forces, and, with his brother officer ingloriously pull down the Stars and Stripes and surrender the navy-yard at Pensacola without a blow. He was admonished by his senior and by his example that such also was his duty; but he scouted at yielding, resolved upon resistance, and if defiance of the advice and example of Commodore Armstrong, who should have been driven from the Navy with disgrace, threw himself into Fort Pickens and bid defiance to the rebel force. It was a noble act, and, like Anderson's at Sumter, worthy of high praise; and even more creditable, because he is a much younger officer than Anderson, was threatened by a much superior force, and was obliged to resist the contaminating influence of the surrender of the navy-yard, its garrison, and all its munitions of war by a senior officer of the navy, without a struggle and with abundant means of defense. By his gallantry he and his handful of brave men saved Fort Pickens to the country, and gave notice that they were prepared to be starved or to be buried beneath the ruins of the fort, but that never should they surrender it to the rebels or permit their infamous colors to wave over its walls! They redeemed their pledge, have been relieved, and came among us on Saturday last. On Monday evening Slemmer and his brother officers left here in pursuit of their families; and although the press announced their arrival, who called to give them a welcome and say Godspeed to the noble young officers and gallant men who had so fearlessly and under such peculiar circumstances sustained the honor for their flag-of our States and Stripes- of the banner of the Union, to sustain which a quarter of a million of men are now in arms!

But let this pass; such is popular favor, and such the thoughtlessness of those whose duty it is to foster a sound public sentiment. Slemmer has gone, unnoticed and unhonored; and now, there will arrive to-day 700 non-commissioned officers and privates, accompanied, we presume, by some of their company officers, who should be received by our volunteers with every mark of honor.

When the traitor Twiggs abandoned his command and passed over some five millions of public property into the hands of the rebels, he escaped seizure from his officers by having scattered his command into small garrisons and surrounding himself with 1,500 rebel troops. Then, to take the surrender less offensive to the troops and less dangerous to the rebels, he provided for his 3,000 U. S. soldiers retiring peaceably and with their arms from the soil of Texas. A por-