Fort Sumter Essay

870 WordsSep 28, 20124 Pages
The Attack on Fort Sumter Fort Sumter was located near Charleston, South Carolina. It started the civil war by South Carolina wanting control over the fort from the U.S Army. On December 26, 1860, U.S. Major Robert Anderson( a native of Kentucky, he was a protégé of Winfield Scott, the general in chief of the Army, and was thought more capable of handling a crisis than the garrison's previous commander, Col. John L. Gardner, who was nearing retirement. Anderson had served an earlier tour of duty at Fort Moultrie and his father had been a defender of the fort (then called Fort Sullivan) during the American Revolutionary War) moved his small command from the indefensible Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. The President, James Buchanan, tried to resupply the fort by the ship known as Star of the West failed when it was fired by batteries on the shore on January 9, 1861. In March, Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, the first general officer of the newly formed Confederate States of America, was placed in command of Confederate forces in Charleston. He directed the strengthening of batteries around Charleston harbor aimed at Fort Sumter. Conditions in the fort grew dire as the Federals rushed to complete the installation of additional guns. Anderson was short of men, food, and supplies. Finally, the resupply from President Abraham Lincoln reached the desperate force. He notified the Governor of South Carolina, Francis W. Pickens, that he was sending supply ships, which resulted in an ultimatum from the Confederate government: evacuate Fort Sumter immediately. Anderson refused, although he reportedly commented, "I shall await the first shot, and if you do not batter us to pieces, we shall be starved out in a few days." The aides returned to Charleston and reported this comment to

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