Battle of Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter is located in Charleston, South Carolina. The fort is in Charleston’s harbor. The fort was not even complete when war broke out. This was a big turning point for the United States of America. It separated the north from the south and in some cases it separated families. This war would impact how the United States saw slavery. It is the most deadly war that the United States has every seen in its history.
It all began with the secession of South Carolina. After this an understanding was established between the authorities in Washington and the members of Congress from South Carolina. They both agreed that the forts, Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter, would not be attacked, or seized as an act of war, until proper negotiations for their cession to the state. At the time of this Fort Sumter was in an unfinished state and did not have a garrison. (www.civilwarhome.com/CMHsumter.htm)
Major Anderson thought that the people of Charleston were about t attempt to seize Fort Sumter. He would not stand for this, so since he was commander of all the defenses of the harbor, and without any orders to disagree with him, he said that he could occupy any one of his choice. Since he was being watched he only told his plan to three or four officers that he knew that he could trust. He first removed the women and children with a supply of provisions. They were sent to Fort Johnson on Dec. 26 in vessels. The firing of tree guns at Moultrie was to be the signal for them to be conveyed to Sumter. In the evening the garrison went to Sumter. The people of Charleston knew that the women and children were at Fort Johnson and thought that Anderson would take his troops there. (www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/battlefort-sumter.html)
On March 5, 1861 Abraham Lincoln got a message for Maj. Robert Anderson, who was at Fort Sumter, saying that there was less than a six week supply of food left. On April 8, Lincoln told Gov. Francis Pickens of South Carolina that he was going to try to refurnish the fort. The Confederate government ordered Gen. Beauregard to demand the evacuation of the fort. If it was refused he was to force its evacuation. (www.us-civilwar.com/sumter.htm) Anderson received a letter from Gen. Beauregard telling him to evacuate the fort or he will force them out. Anderson refused even though that the lack of supplies would force him to evacuate. He replied to Beauregard that unless he received instructions or supplies from Washington by noon April 15 he would evacuate. (The atlas of the Civil War)
On April 11 Gen. Beauregard sent Maj. Anderson the following communication:
Headquarters Provisional Army, C.S.A.
Charleston, April 11, 1861
“Sir; The government of the Confederate States has hitherto foreborne from any hostile demonstrations against Fort Sumter, in hope that the government of the United States with a view to the amicable adjustment of all questions between the two governments, and to avert the calamities of war would voluntarily evacuate it.
There was reason at one time to believe that such would be the course pursued by the government of the United States, and under that impression my government has refrained from making any demand for the surrender of the fort. But the Confederate States can no longer delay assuming actual possession of a fortification commanding the entrance of one of their harbors and necessary to its defense and security.
I am ordered by the government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My aides, Col. Chestnut and Cap. Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may select. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted boy you on taking it down. Col. Chestnut and Cap. Lee will, for a reasonable time, await you answer.”
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Anderson replied as follows:
Fort Sumter, S.C.,
April 11, 1861
“Gen.: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to