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Fort Sumter

A description of the events that began the U.S. Civil War.
by

Alex Roda

on 24 August 2012

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Transcript of Fort Sumter

The Attack On Fort Sumter By Mr. Roda Fort Sumter is located in Charleston, South Carolina. It was the site of an attack by the Confederates that occurred on April 12th 1861. This attack on the U.S. Army was responsible for starting the Civil War. Previously, President Lincoln had General Robert Anderson move troops to the fort a few days after South Carolina seceded in December of 1960. Remember, South Carolina had been the first state to secede. However, after seven southern states had declared secession, by April 12th 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered General P.G.T Beauregard (Confederate Army) to remove Anderson and his men from Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter controlled the Charleston Harbor and was very important for defending the northern states, but it was the only area in Charleston that the Confederate states did not have control of. Under General P.G.T. Beauregard’s command, the batteries around the fort were strengthened, and all weapons were pointed at Fort Sumter. At the same time, the U.S. Army frantically tried to strengthen their military presence in the fort, by constructing additional guns. However, Anderson was running dangerously low on food and supplies. When Lincoln was elected as President of the United States in March of 1861, his initial concern was to resupply Fort Sumter. He notified South Carolina Governor, Francis Pickens, that he would be sending ships with supplies to the fort. Francis Pickens wasn’t exactly thrilled about this idea, and issued an ultimatum back to the President to remove U.S. Army troops from Fort Sumter immediately. General Anderson refused to give up their post, and thus the Confederate Army attacked. The first Shots were fired April 12th 1861 at 4:20 am. U.S. troops were not ready for the attack, and while they returned fire, the guns and bombardment from the Confederates was too strong. The U.S. Army was forced surrender Fort Sumter. Surprisingly, there were no casualties during the attack, which lasted 34 hours into April 13th. This attack caused the nation to realize that it was suddenly split in half. Both the northern and southern states had a call to arms, and began readying themselves for military action. After the attack and surrender of the fort, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to have fellow northern states help reunite the union, as the conflict appeared to be relatively small at the time. This action actually caused even more southern states to secede. The Civil War had begun.
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