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Confederate pressures shelled fort Sumter because that three and a half days before Northern commander major Robert Anderson surrendered. This image depicts fort Sumter as it showed up in 1861.

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It all started at ft Sumter.

On December 20, 1860, southern Carolina seceded native the Union. Five days later, 68 federal troops stationed in Charleston, south Carolina, withdrew to ft Sumter, an island in Charleston Harbor. The North considered the fort to it is in the home of the United says government. The world of southern Carolina thought it belonged come the brand-new Confederacy. 4 months later, the first engagement the the Civil battle took place on this debated soil.

The commander at ft Sumter, significant Robert Anderson, was a previous slave owner that was nevertheless unquestionably loyal to the Union. Through 6,000 southern Carolina militia ringing the harbor, Anderson and his soldiers were cut off indigenous reinforcements and resupplies. In January 1861, as one the critical acts that his administration, president James Buchanan sent out 200 soldiers and also supplies on one unarmed seller vessel, Star that the West, to reinforce Anderson. It quickly departed as soon as South Carolina artillery started firing ~ above it.


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Fort Sumter lies in the center of Charleston Harbor.

In February 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated together the provisional president of the Confederate claims of America, in Montgomery, Alabama. On march 4,1861, Abraham Lincoln take it his oath the office together president that the Union in Washington, DC. The fate of ft Sumter place in the hands of these two leaders.

As weeks passed, pressure flourished for Lincoln to take it some action on ft Sumter and also to reunite the states. Lincoln thought of the southern secession as "artificial." when Jefferson Davis sent out a team of commissioners to Washington come negotiate for the deliver of fort Sumter to south Carolina, they were promptly rebuffed.

Lincoln had a dilemma. Fort Sumter to be running out of supplies, but an assault on the ft would appear as northern aggression. Says that quiet remained part of the Union (such as Virginia and North Carolina) can be driven into the secessionist camp. Human being at home and also abroad might become sympathetic come the South. Yet Lincoln could not enable his troops come starve or surrender and also risk showing considerable weakness.


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Jefferson Davis was inaugurated provisional chairman of the Confederate says of America on February 18, 1861, and also elected chairman of the CSA later that year.

At last he occurred a plan. On April 6, Lincoln said the branch of south Carolina the he was going come send provisions to fort Sumter. He would certainly send no arms, troops, or ammunition — unless, that course, south Carolina attacked.

Now the dilemma sat with Jefferson Davis. Attacking Lincoln"s resupply brigade would certainly make the south the wild party. But he simply might not permit the ft to be resupplied. J.G. Gilchrist, a southern newspaper writer, warned, "Unless girlfriend sprinkle the blood in the face of the world of Alabama, they will be back in the old Union in less than ten days."

Davis determined he had no choice but to order Anderson to surrender Sumter. Anderson refused.

The polite War started at 4:30 a.m. ~ above April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery, under the command of basic Pierre Gustave T. Beauregard, opened up fire on ft Sumter. Confederate battery showered the fort with end 3,000 shells in a three-and-a-half job period. Anderson surrendered. Ironically, Beauregard had occurred his military an abilities under Anderson"s instruction in ~ West Point. This to be the first of plenty of relationships and families ravaged in the civil War. The fight was on.

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