Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

The Civil War began when Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, was bombarded  on April 12–13, 1861. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities. U.S. Major Robert Anderson who had moved his small command to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor refused to surrender.

Fort Sumter Flag

During the early months of 1861, Fort Sumter was under siege.  Several attempts to resupply them failed.  The resupply of Fort Sumter became the first crisis of the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. After a final surrender demand was refused, early the next morning on April 12, the Confederates bombarded the fort from artillery batteries surrounding the harbor.   After 34 hours, Major Anderson agreed to evacuate. There was no loss of life on either side as a direct result of this engagement, although a gun explosion during the surrender ceremonies on April 14 killed two Union soldiers.

Following the battle, there was widespread support from both North and South for further military action.Lincoln’s immediate call for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion resulted in an additional four states also declaring their secession and joining the Confederacy.

Tomorrow, The Battle of Gettysburg          Rita Bay


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