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Confedeprice forces shelled Fort Sumter for 3 and also a half days before Northern commander Major Robert Anderson surrendered. This picture depicts Fort Sumter as it appeared in 1861.

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It all started at Ft Sumter.

On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Five days later on, 68 federal troops stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, withdrew to Ft Sumter, an island also in Charleston Harbor. The North considered the fort to be the residential property of the USA federal government. The world of South Carolina thought it belonged to the new Confederacy. Four months later, the first engagement of the Civil War took location on this questioned soil.

The commander at Ft Sumter, Major Robert Anderboy, was a previous slave owner that was neverthemuch less unquestionably loyal to the Union. With 6,000 South Carolina militia ringing the harbor, Anderson and also his soldiers were cut off from reinforcements and also reprovides. In January 1861, as one the last acts of his administration, President James Buchanan sent 200 soldiers and gives on an unequipped merchant vessel, Star of the West, to reinforce Anderkid. It conveniently departed as soon as South Carolina artillery began firing on it.


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Fort Sumter lies in the center of Charleston Harbor.

In February 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the provisional president of the Confedeprice States of America, in Montgomery, Alabama. On March 4,1861, Abraham Lincoln took his oath of office as president of the Union in Washington, DC. The fate of Ft Sumter lay in the hands of these two leaders.

As weeks passed, push flourished for Lincoln to take some action on Ft Sumter and also to reunite the says. Lincoln thought of the Southern secession as "artificial." When Jefferchild Davis sent a team of commissioners to Washington to negotiate for the transport of Ft Sumter to South Carolina, they were promptly rebuffed.

Lincoln had a dilemma. Fort Sumter was running out of provides, but an attack on the fort would show up as Northern aggression. States that still remained part of the Union (such as Virginia and also North Carolina) can be pushed into the secessionist camp. People at house and abroad could become sympathetic to the South. Yet Lincoln might not allow his troops to starve or surrender and also risk reflecting significant weakness.


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Jefferkid Davis was inaugurated provisional president of the Confedeprice States of America on February 18, 1861, and also chosen president of the CSA later that year.

At last he developed a plan. On April 6, Lincoln told the governor of South Carolina that he was going to sfinish provisions to Fort Sumter. He would send no arms, troops, or ammunition — unless, of course, South Carolina attacked.

Now the dilemma sat through Jefferboy Davis. Attacking Lincoln"s resupply brigade would certainly make the South the aggressive party. But he simply can not enable the fort to be reprovided. J.G. Gilchrist, a Southern newspaper writer, warned, "Unmuch less you sprinkle the blood in the challenge of the civilization of Alabama, they will be back in the old Union in much less than ten days."

Davis decided he had actually no choice yet to order Anderkid to surrender Sumter. Anderkid refsupplied.

The Civil War started at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861, when Confedeprice artillery, under the command also of General Pierre Gustave T. Beauregard, opened up fire on Ft Sumter. Confederate batteries showered the fort through over 3,000 shells in a three-and-a-half day period. Anderson surrendered. Ironically, Beauregard had occurred his armed forces skills under Anderson"s instruction at West Point. This was the first of plenty of relationships and also families devaproclaimed in the Civil War. The fight was on.

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QUIZ TIME: Ft Sumter