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The Civil War Begins
Digital History ID 428


Date:1861

Annotation:

Upon learning of Lincoln's plan, Jefferson Davis ordered General Pierre G.T. Beauregard (1818-1893) to force Fort Sumter's surrender before the supply mission could arrive. At 4:30 a.m. April 12, Confederate guns began firing on Fort Sumter. Thirty-three hours later, the installation surrendered. Incredibly, there were no fatalities on their side.

Ironically, the only fatalities at Fort Sumter occurred just after the battle ended. During the surrender ceremony, a pile of cartridges ignited, killing one soldier, fatally wounding another, and injuring four.


Document:

TERRIBLE NEWS!

THE FIGHT RAGES!

FORT SUMTER ON FIRE!

WASHINGTON IN DANGER!

SURRENDER OF FORT SUMTER!

REBEL VICTORY!

The Fleet to Enter the Harbor

The opinion prevails that an attempt will be made before sunrise to run the eight draught vessels of the fleet up to Fort Sumter to reenforce Major Anderson and also supply him with provisions.

The Battle Still Raging

The cannonading is going on fiercely from all points, from the vessels outside and all along the coast.

It is reported that Fort Sumter is on fire.

Fort Sumter on Fire!

The roof of Fort Sumter is in a sheet of blaze. Major Anderson has ceased firing to extinguish it. Two of his magazines have exploded. The shells are flying over and around Fort Sumter in quick succession. The war vessels cannot get in on account of the ebbing tide. They are at anchor. Fort Moultrie appears to be considerably disabled. The Federal flag still waves over Fort Sumter.

Anderson's Shells fly by Thick and Fast

At intervals of twenty minutes the firing was kept up all night on Fort Sumter. Major Anderson's strongest shells fly thick and fast, and they can be seen in their course from the Charleston City Battery.

How Lincoln Received the News

The President received the war news calmly.

Good News from Texas

Dispatches from Col. Wade, commander of the Texan forces states that a strong Union feeling is growing.

Gov. [Sam] Houston predicts the return of the secessionists to their allegiance, they are terrible taxed. Houston has been offered armed support by the Mormons in every part of the State.

Sumter in Distress

The flag on Fort Sumter is at half mast--signal of distress.

Sumter Shows the White Flag!

The White Flag was raised, and Fort Sumter surrendered this evening.

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: Marietta (Ohio) Home News Extra, April 13, 1861

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