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CASE HISTORICAL MUSEUM

CIVIL WAR COMES TO AMERICA - FORT SUMTER

4-12-1861

   December 20, 1860, a recently assembled convention met in Charleston to deside if, South Carolina should break her bonds with the Federal Union.

   On the shores of Charleston Harbor stood Fort Moultrie, the only garrisoned fort there.  Major Anderson was the commander of the garrison.  Because of the political situation in Charleston, many of his officers urged him to remove his command to Fort Sumter.

   On December 26, 1860 Major Anderson's moves his command to Fort Sumter, a better defensive position. 

   January and February of 1860 rolled on in tense apprehension.

   On March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States.  Almost the first difficulty which he had to face was the vexing problem of Fort Sumter.  Lincoln sent an expedition of six ships carrying troops and provisions to Fort Sumter.

   On April 8, 1861, the ship "Harriet Lane" sailed and was the first to arrive off Charleston Harbor.

   On April 12, 1861, The military phase of the war opened in Charleston Harbor, with the bombardment of Fort Sumter by Confederate shore batteries.

   On April 14, 1861, at 4:00 a.m. Major Anderson and his troops marched out of Fort Sumter as the Confederate troops marched in and hoisted the Confederate flag.

Immediately after the fall of Fort Sumter Lincoln issued a proclamation, commanding the people of the seceded states (Which by now numbered seven) to disperse and return peacefully to their homes within twenty days.  Simultaneously, he issued a call for 75,000 militia, as a result, four states soon joined the Confederacy.

   Both sides considered the proclamation a declaration of war, and began to prepare for it.