The Southern Cause Vindicated. 337
could not violate it in one or more particulars, and require or expect the other to observe the residue. No stronger argument can be made that the Constitution is a whole, and, to be binding on one side, must be obeyed as a whole by the other. The Constitution was the chain that linked the States in union ; the breaking of one link dissolved the tie.
The authorities all tend to the one inevitable conclusion, that the Union exists alone by the Constitution, and its observance in every particular. Being the terms of union, one, party may not be per- mitted to violate it in any particular, and insist on its observance by the other as to any of its terms, whatever they may be. The right to its enforcement as a whole, or its rejection as such, is inalienable and indestructible.
In the investigation of the question, my trouble has not been in finding authority of the highest and clearest and most convincing character. It has been in avoiding its multiplicity. I have relied on testimony of those not at all in sympathy with the institution of slavery, passing by the opinions and utterances of Southern states- men and jurists.
Under the condition of things, as slightly, and but slightly, por- trayed in this addrebs, the Southern States began the work of seces- sion and organizing a new government ; they hoped, as they right- fully might, that they would not be interfered with, that there would be no war. In this they were mistaken, the " originally small party," which had then come into power, ordered the relief squadron with eleven ships, carrying 285 guns and 2,400 men, from New York and Norfolk to reinforce Fort Sumpter, peaceably if permitted, forcibly if they must. This was of itself an act of war.
After several attempts and failures on the part of General Beaure- gard to have some understanding with Major Anderson, seeing that unless he took action his forces would be exposed in front and rear and perhaps destroyed for usefulness, he fired the first gun of the war. This he did in self-defence. He was in command of forces of a government foreign to that of the United States. The harbor of Charleston belonged to the Confederate States, or rather to the inde- pendent government of South Carolina. Being then the property of another government, there was no authority vesting with or in the government at Washington to interfere with it. It was that gov- ernment's duty to withdraw its troops, at least when demand was made by General Beauregard. Failing to do so, it became his imperative duty to take the necessary steps to remove them, and