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Confederate pressures shelled ft Sumter because that three and a fifty percent days before Northern commander significant Robert Anderson surrendered. This picture depicts ft Sumter as it showed up in 1861.

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It all began at ft Sumter.

On December 20, 1860, southern Carolina seceded from the Union. Five days later, 68 commonwealth troops stationed in Charleston, southern Carolina, withdrew to ft Sumter, an island in Charleston Harbor. The North considered the ft to be the building of the United claims government. The human being of southern Carolina believed it belonged to the new Confederacy. Four months later, the an initial engagement the the Civil battle took place on this questioned soil.

The command at fort Sumter, major Robert Anderson, to be a previous slave owner that was nonetheless unquestionably faithful to the Union. Through 6,000 southern Carolina militia ringing the harbor, Anderson and also his soldiers were cut off native reinforcements and resupplies. In January 1861, as one the critical acts that his administration, chairman James Buchanan sent 200 soldiers and also supplies on an unarmed seller vessel, Star the the West, come reinforce Anderson. It quickly departed as soon as South Carolina artillery started firing top top it.


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Fort Sumter lies in the center of Charleston Harbor.

In February 1861, Jefferson Davis to be inaugurated together the provisional president of the Confederate says of America, in Montgomery, Alabama. On in march 4,1861, Abraham Lincoln take it his oath that office as president of the Union in Washington, DC. The fate of fort Sumter put in the hand of these 2 leaders.

As mainly passed, pressure prospered for Lincoln to take some activity on fort Sumter and to reunite the states. Lincoln thought of the southerly secession as \"artificial.\" once Jefferson Davis sent a team of commissioners come Washington to negotiate because that the transfer of ft Sumter to south Carolina, they to be promptly rebuffed.

Lincoln had actually a dilemma. Fort Sumter was running out of supplies, however an strike on the ft would appear as northern aggression. Claims that tho remained part of the Union (such together Virginia and North Carolina) can be driven into the secessionist camp. World at home and also abroad might become sympathetic come the South. Yet Lincoln can not permit his troops come starve or surrender and also risk showing significant weakness.


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

At critical he arisen a plan. On April 6, Lincoln called the governor of south Carolina the he to be going to send provisions to fort Sumter. He would certainly send no arms, troops, or ammunition — unless, that course, southern Carolina attacked.

Now the dilemma sat v Jefferson Davis. Attack Lincoln\"s resupply brigade would certainly make the south the wild party. But he simply might not allow the ft to be resupplied. J.G. Gilchrist, a southerly newspaper writer, warned, \"Unless friend sprinkle the blood in the confront of the people of Alabama, they will certainly be back in the old Union in much less than ten days.\"

Davis made decision he had actually no choice but come order Anderson come surrender Sumter. Anderson refused.

The civil War began at 4:30 a.m. ~ above April 12, 1861, as soon as Confederate artillery, under the command of basic Pierre Gustave T. Beauregard, opened fire on ft Sumter. Confederate battery showered the fort with over 3,000 shells in a three-and-a-half day period. Anderson surrendered. Ironically, Beauregard had developed his military an abilities under Anderson\"s instruction at West Point. This was the first of numerous relationships and also families devastated in the civil War. The fight was on.

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QUIZ TIME: fort Sumter