LBST 2102

History 2284




Chapter Four.

The Culmination of the Crisis. 


     President Lincoln entered his office above the East Room in the White House on the  morning of the day following his inauguration and discovered a bundle of documents on his desk.  The most important was a letter from Joseph Holt, Buchanan’s departing Secretary of War.  Until then Lincoln had believed that he would have ample time to work out the specifics of how he intended to fulfill his pledge to hold on to Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens.  Such was not to be.  Holt’s letter contained the disquieting news that Major Anderson was running low on provisions, that the Federal garrison at Charleston could hold out for only a few weeks at most, and that any attempt to send  supplies would, in Anderson’s opinion, require twenty thousand “good and well disciplined men.”[1]  “I confess that I would not be willing to risk my reputation on an attempt to throw re-enforcements into this harbor within the time for our relief rendered necessary by the limited supply of our provisions,” Anderson had declared on February 28th.[2]

       According to Holt, the War Department, which had until recently had no inkling that Anderson’s situation was so dire, was unprepared to undertake a mission of such substantial size.  There were only some 16,000 troops in the entire United States army, most of whom were deployed at small garrisons in the West.  Dismayed, Lincoln summoned Winfield Scott and ordered him to study Holt’s letter and to make comments.   Scott, who completed his assignment that very night, was even more discouraging than Holt and Anderson had been.  “I now see no alternative but a surrender, in some weeks,” Lincoln’s general in chief reported.  “Evacuation seems almost inevitable, & in this view our distinguished Chief Engineer . . . concurs--if, indeed, the worn out garrison be not assaulted & carried in the present week.”[3]  Scott said that he would need at least four months to assemble a force of requisite strength to get through to Fort Sumter.

     Consider the impact these unanticipated developments must have had upon Abraham Lincoln.  Only one day before he had promised to a crowd of thousands that under his Administration no Federal property would be lost in the South.  Clearly, the place of greatest patriotic symbolism in the mind of the public was Fort Sumter.  The President was only too aware that Robert Anderson and his gallant band of men in Charleston Harbor had become heroes throughout the North.  For him to admit that he had spoken prematurely and had overestimated his ability to control events and for him to instruct Major Anderson to obey Confederate demands to vacate Fort Sumter would be shameful. Even more importantly, it would destroy his political base. 

      “All together, the information and advice which Lincoln received on his first full day in office were enough to stagger a less determined or resilient man,” says Richard N. Current in Lincoln and the First Shot.[4]  Always the pragmatic politician, Lincoln searched for some way out of this impasse.  He doggedly refused to accept the guidance of his military advisors, including that of his Secretary of War, Simon Cameron (1799-1889), a Pennsylvanian whom Lincoln had appointed to his Cabinet for strictly political reasons and who was in no sense the President’s friend or confidant.  On March 9th the President told the members of his Cabinet about the grievous state of affairs.  Astonished by the news, the majority of secretaries suggested that Lincoln get more detailed information. Lincoln concurred and ordered Winfield Scott to reexamine the topic of how Major Anderson might be helped.  Scott, a Virginian, submitted a detailed analysis of the situation to the President on March 11th.  “As a practical military question the time for succoring Sumter with any means at hand had passed away nearly a month ago,” Scott maintained.  “Since then a surrender under assault or from starvation has been merely a question of time.”[5]  In Lieutenant General Scott’s opinion, this settled the affair.  He anticipated that he would soon be ordered to make the necessary preparations to evacuate Anderson and his men and to bring them North.  That the men at Fort Sumter thought they would be withdrawn is certain.  “Unless otherwise directed I shall discharge my force when the orders for evacuation arrive, and leave with the command, with my assistants, and report to you at Washington,” Captain Foster told his military superiors on March 14th.[6]

      President Lincoln, aware that abandoning Fort Sumter would be politically devastating, persisted in holding out for a more acceptable solution. “If Fort Sumter is evacuated, the new administration is done forever,” stated the writer of a  letter that appeared in the New York Times.[7]  To understand more fully how matters stood at Fort Sumter, the President went across town to see Mrs. Abner Doubleday. He requested that she permit him to read her husband’s recent letters to her.[8]  Lincoln  met on March 13th  with Montgomery Blair (1813-1883), his Postmaster General, and with Blair’s brother-in-law, Gustavus Vasa Fox (1821-1883), a former naval officer.  A bald-headed textile executive from Massachusetts, Fox had already presented a plan for resupplying and reinforcing Fort Sumter to President Buchanan, but it had been rejected.[9]  He now explained the scheme to Lincoln.  “Mr. Blair took me at once to the White House, and I explained the plan to the President,” Fox declared several weeks later.[10]

     Fox insisted that Scott’s and Cameron’s analyses of the situation were flawed, because their conclusions rested upon the assumption that the only way to reach Fort Sumter was to overwhelm the artillery batteries guarding the harbor entrance, especially those at Cummings Point on Morris Island and those at Fort Moultrie.  In Fox’s opinion, the key to success was to disperse the small Confederate naval force that guarded the sandbar some three miles off the harbor entrance, so that shallow draft vessels, specifically three tugboats, could maneuver across the sandbar and use a variety of approaches into the harbor.  Fox insisted that it would be extremely difficult for shore batteries to hit a small boat maneuvering freely at night. He therefore suggested that the tugboats be used to take men and supplies to Fort Sumter under the cover of darkness once the harbor entrance had been cleared of naval defenders.  Fox was confident that Anderson and his tiny garrison could be reinforced in weeks, not months as General Scott and Secretary Cameron continued to assert. The President was intrigued.

     Lincoln summoned his Cabinet on March 14th  to hear experts from the army and navy  assess the feasibility of Fox’s plan.  The army insisted that the Confederate shore artillery would obliterate any ships attempting to enter Charleston Harbor.  General Scott “informed the President that my plan was practicable in February, but that the increased number of batteries erected at the mouth of the harbor since that time rendered it impossible in March,” Fox reported.[11]  Planners from the navy were less pessimistic about the chances for success.  They argued that small ships, especially if they approached Fort Sumter at night, would probably escape destruction.  The greatest danger, the navy explained, would occur when the troops were disembarked at Fort Sumter.  The President, remembering that Abner Doubleday had also declared in one of the letters to his wife that it would be very hard to hit a diminutive boat bobbing atop the waves, accepted the tactical soundness of Fox’s notion. Lincoln sent a note the next day to the members of the Cabinet, asking each Secretary to state in writing whether he thought such a relief mission should be sent. Four advised against dispatching the ships; two supported the mission; and one, Secretary of the Interior Caleb B. Smith, was ambiguous.  Secretary of War Cameron still advised against any endeavor to reinforce Anderson.  “I beg leave to say . . . that my mind has been most reluctantly forced to the conclusion that it would be most unwise now to make such an attempt.”[12]

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

    William H. Seward, Lincoln’s self-assured, cigar-smoking Secretary of State, was particularly strident in opposing Fox’s scheme, but his reasons were political, not military. Any efforts to relieve Fort Sumter, he contended, would “provoke combat, and probably initiate a civil war.”[13] Like Lincoln a former Whig, Seward believed that Unionists in the South, even the Deep South, would in time be able to gain political ascendancy and subdue regional demands for separate nationhood.  But the only hope for such a fortuitous outcome, he argued,  was for the United States to accept General Scott’s advice and withdraw Anderson and his men from Fort Sumter.  Seward contended that if Washington had to demonstrate the legitimacy of its prerogatives, it should do so by reinforcing the  Federal troops at Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Fla., not those at Fort Sumter.  The Secretary of State further elucidated his position in a lengthy memorandum he delivered  to President Lincoln on April 1st.  Again, he urged the President to order Major Anderson to evacuate Fort Sumter and even went so far as to suggest that the United States assert its interests against Spain and France in hopes that such actions would “rouse a vigorous continental spirit of independence.”[14]

      Convinced that he was more politically adroit and seasoned than the President, the Secretary of State had conducted indirect, secret talks with Confederate commissioners who had come to Washington at the beginning of March to seek a peaceful settlement of the crisis.[15]  On March 15th, two justices of the Supreme Court reported orally on discussions they had had with Seward about the prospects for peace.  Judge John Campbell told the commissioners that Confederate officials  would learn in the very near future that “the order for the evacuation of Sumter had been made.”[16]  “If there is faith in man we may rely on the assurances we have as to the status” of affairs, the commissioners stated on March 20th in a communiqué to Robert A. Toombs, Confederate Secretary of State.[17] Ex-Senator Louis Wigfall of Texas expressed similar optimism.  “Believed here that Anderson will be ordered to evacuate Sumter in five days,”  he reported on March 11th.[18] Such undertakings by the Secretary of State served no good purpose.  In addition to undermining the President, these conversations raised unrealistic expectations in the South.  Once disappointed, as they inevitably would be, Confederate officials would become even more convinced of the insincerity of the Federal government.

     Two events on March 28th were critical in persuading President Lincoln to make the final decision to attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter.   First, he received a disappointing report from a special emissary, Stephen Hurlburt, an Illinois friend and native South Carolinian whom he had sent South to gauge the level of Unionist sentiment.  There was “no attachment to the Union,” Hurlburt declared.[19]  This information enervated the contention, advanced by people like Seward and Cameron,  that eschewing a military confrontation with the seceded States might result in eventual reunification.  Second, Lincoln  got a communiqué from General Scott that made the President increasingly skeptical about his general-in-chief’s understanding of the situation. Scott argued that the evacuation of Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens  “would instantly soothe and give confidence to the eight remaining slaveholding States, and render cordial adherence to this Union perpetual.”[20]  To Lincoln’s way of thinking, General Scott was advocating nothing less than total appeasement.  Moreover, Scott’s course of action would be politically suicidal.  Lincoln would have none of it. The President gave final approval  on April 4th for Fox to proceed with his mission.   “It having been decided to succor Fort Sumter you have been selected for this important duty,” declared Secretary of War Cameron in his dispatch to Fox.[21]

Gustavus Vasa Fox

     Fox had visited Fort Sumter on March 25th as a special intermediary of President Lincoln’s and was, therefore, thoroughly familiar with the site. Sailing from New York City on April 10th aboard a chartered steamer, the Baltic, with some two hundred troops and enough supplies to sustain Anderson and his men for a year, Fox anticipated that he would rendezvous off Charleston Harbor with a powerful Union armada, including the three tugboats that would be used to make the final push across the sandbar and on to Fort Sumter.[22]  The Secretary of War notified Anderson that a relief expedition was on the way.  “Hoping still that you will be able to sustain yourself till the 11th or 12th instant, the expedition will go forward; and, finding your flag flying, will attempt to provision you, and, in case the effort is resisted, will endeavor also to re-enforce you,” read Cameron’s dispatch, which was sent by ordinary mail and received by Anderson on April 7th.[23]  Incredibly, this was the first direct contact Anderson had had with the Lincoln administration.

      Unlike the ill-fated Star of the West episode, this attempt to resupply Fort Sumter was not to be a covert operation. Governor Pickens was forewarned on April 8th.  A letter sent by special courier told the South Carolina Governor  to expect “an attempt . . . to supply  Fort Sumter with provisions only.”  If Confederate forces did not resist, the letter continued, “no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition” would be attempted.[24]

     Major Robert Anderson and his small band of troops had watched for weeks as the Confederates under P. T. Beauregard  had systematically fortified their positions.  The Federal defenders paid particular attention to Confederate efforts to strengthen the artillery batteries on Morris Island.  The Union soldiers realized that the guns at that location were the closest to Fort Sumter and could fire shells that could reach the gorge or southwestern side of the citadel, where the wharf and the main gate were situated and where any troops attempting to reinforce the garrison would have to land.  “It is reported that General Beauregard visited the batteries on Cummings Point yesterday,” declared Captain Foster on March 5th.[25]   Much to Abner Doubleday’s displeasure, Confederate steamers passed by unmolested almost hourly on their voyages to and from Cummings Point, transporting men, equipment and supplies.  Major Anderson was simply obeying his orders.   His most recent military instructions had arrived from Secretary of War Holt on February 23rd.  “You will continue, as theretofore, to act strictly on the defensive,” the dispatch had read, “and to avoid, by all means compatible with the safety of your command, a collision with the hostile forces by which you are surrounded.”[26]

P. T. Beauregard

     “The preparation of Sumter for defense afforded a fine field for ingenuity,” proclaimed Captain James Chester.[27]  With only about 80 troops under his control, Anderson recognized that the greatest threat to his bastion would occur if a Confederate landing party attacked at several points simultaneously and gained access to the interior of the fort.  He took several steps to meet such an eventuality.  The wharf was mined, and a brick wall about six feet high with an opening in the middle barely large enough for a single man to pass through was constructed across the main gate.  Riprapping or the loose assemblage of large stones at the water’s edge was lowered about five feet so that invaders could not climb easily into the gun embrasures or openings in the outer escarpment wall.  Anderson ordered the construction of machicolations to impede the progress of enemy troops moving along the esplanade or narrow path between the base of the fort and the edge of the water. These were iron-lined boxes with holes in the bottom.  Anchored by long beams that extended over the parapet, the box portion of the gallery could be pushed beyond the edge of the wall.  A soldier stationed inside the box could fire straight down on the hapless invaders.  Hand-grenades, with long lanyards attached to friction fuses, were assembled.  Soldiers could throw them over the parapet and cause them to explode about four feet from the ground.  Masonry jars filled with stones and gunpowder were distributed along the outer base of the fort.  Lanyards extended inside the citadel, where soldiers stood ready to pull the cords and send rocks flying.  The Federal forces even fashioned three barrels loaded with stones and gunpowder that they planned to roll over the parapet in hopes of killing and maiming unwelcome intruders.  One was tested with dramatic results.  “. . . the explosion did look very destructive, as the paving-stones dashed up the water for a distance of fifty feet from the fort,” remembered Abner  Doubleday.[28]

     The pace of everyday life inside Fort Sumter during the late winter and early spring of 1861 was characterized by hard work, boredom punctuated by moments of high drama, and a growing sense of deprivation and frustration.  The weather was changeable.  Warm one day.  Bitterly cold the next.  The troops grumbled because they had to chew rope as a most unsatisfactory alternate for tobacco.  Dysentery, the soldier’s seemingly universal malady, was common.  Food was scarce, even though Governor Pickens still allowed meager supplies of beef and vegetables to proceed by boat from Charleston to Fort Johnson and then to Fort Sumter.  Pork and hard biscuits were standard larder.  There was no soap.  There were no candles.  Fuel began to run short.  “The sixth and last temporary building on the parade ground is being demolished for fuel,” Foster reported on March 26th.[29]   The troops had to substitute bits of  torn-up shirts for cartridge bags.  “The last barrel of flour was issued day before yesterday,” wrote Anderson on April 4th.[30]  The high point of the daily routine was the arrival of the  mail boat, which Governor Pickens also continued to permit.

      One day the artillerymen at Fort Sumter tested a cannon by firing it toward the Charleston waterfront with what they thought was a small charge of powder.  The shell sailed much farther than they expected, and Confederate authorities journeyed to Fort Sumter the next day to protest this untoward event and  obtain an explanation from the embarrassed perpetrators.   Photographers visited Fort Sumter on February 8th and took group portraits of Anderson and his scraggly band.  “I think it proved a profitable speculation, for the sale was quite large,” remembered Doubleday.[31]   On March 8th, Confederate gunners at Cummings Point accidentally set off a loaded cannon, and the shell struck Fort Sumter.  “Major Stevens  came with a white flag and a letter from the commanding officer, Colonel Gregg, offering an ample apology,” Foster told his military superiors.[32] “A negro boy, escaping from the city, came down last night about 11 o’clock in a canoe to this fort,” declared Captain Foster on March 12th.  “He was at once sent back.”[33]   On April 3rd, with the culmination of the crisis unknowingly fast approaching, a schooner flying the  American flag sailed into the harbor and was fired upon by the batteries on Morris Island. The captain, who had thought that he was arriving at Savannah, quickly recognized his mistake and hastened unharmed back to sea.

      Major Anderson was becoming increasingly annoyed by the course of events in Charleston Harbor.  Consider what this harried man had experienced since coming to Charleston on November 21, 1860.  For the first five weeks  he had repeatedly  sent requests for reinforcements, only to be denied again and again by Burchanan’s Secretary of War.  It had been the absence of sufficient troops, coupled with prohibitions from Washington against his taking even  the most rudimentary defensive measures, which had prompted Anderson to make the daring move from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter on December 26th.  Anderson, it is worth remembering,  had regarded this transfer not as a provocative measure but  as a ploy that would provide sufficient time for diplomats to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the crisis.  After December 26th, and he never deviated from this position, Anderson opposed the sending of reinforcements to Fort Sumter, because he did not think they would contribute to the settlement of the crisis.  When the Star of the West had arrived off Charleston Harbor on January 9, 1861, Anderson had been asleep in his apartment for a very simple reason.  He had had no word from official circles that a relief mission was on the way.  On January 10th,  Secretary of War Holt had congratulated Major Anderson on his almost instantaneous decision to withhold fire. Six days later, Holt had assured Anderson that no attempt would be made to reinforce him unless Anderson informed Washington that he was about to run out of supplies.

     Robert Anderson’s political sympathies were with the South.  He believed that the people of South Carolina were the legitimate owners of Fort Sumter.  “He was in favor of surrendering all the forts to the States in which they were located,” proclaimed Abner Doubleday.  “This course would simply be an acknowledgment that the sovereignty did not vest in the United States.”[34]  But Anderson believed that he was duty bound to resist if he were attacked.  The commander of Fort Sumter did not anticipate that the outbreak of hostilities would occur, however, because the only precipitating act -- another effort to reinforce him -- would never happen unless he requested it.  Moreover, in his opinion, it made no sense to try to send supplies and additional troops to Charleston.  “He agreed with General Scott that an entrance from the sea was impossible,” Fox reported Anderson as saying during their talks at Fort Sumter on March 25th.[35]  Captain Seymour, one of Anderson’s chief subordinates, agreed.  “To do so openly,” he declared, “by vessels alone, unless they are shot-proof, is virtually impossible, so numerous and powerful are the opposing batteries.”[36]  General Winfield Scott agreed.  Secretary of War Cameron agreed.  Secretary of State Seward agreed.  Indeed, no credible military official advocated dispatching a relief expedition to Fort Sumter. 

      Throughout March and early April,  Anderson anticipated that any day he would receive his orders to evacuate Fort Sumter.  Commenting on his decision to send civilian laborers ashore, he sent the following message on April 1st to his military superiors.  “Having been in daily expectation . . . of receiving orders  to vacate this post, I have kept these men here as long as I could.”[37]  On April 6th,  the day before he got word that Fox’s armada was on the way, Anderson expressed utter frustration about the complexities of the situation that surrounded him. 


              The truth is that the sooner we are out of this harbor

              the better.  Our flag runs an hourly risk of being in-

              sulted, and my hands are tied by my orders, and if

              that was not the case, I have not the power to pro-

              tect it.  God grant that neither I nor any other offi-

              cer of our Army may be again placed in a position

              of such mortification and humiliation.[38]


      Imagine how Robert Anderson must have felt on April 7th when he learned from a Federal emissary that Fox was coming.  He did try to send a dispatch to U. S. Army Headquarters on April 8th.  The note, which Jefferson Davis  called a “frank and manly letter,” was intercepted and retained by South Carolina officials.[39]  In it Anderson wrote movingly about his feelings concerning Lincoln’s decision to send the relief mission to Charleston Harbor.  “I ought to have been informed that the expedition was to come,” he proclaimed.  Anderson foresaw and agonized over the inevitable consequences of the expedition.  “We shall strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see to be thus commenced.,” he confessed.  “That God will still avert it, and cause us to resort to pacific measures to maintain our rights, is my ardent prayer.”  Anderson’s disdain for Fox’s military judgment is evident in this communiqué.  “Even with his boat at our walls the loss of life (as I think I mentioned to Mr. Fox)  in unloading her  will more than pay for the good to be accomplished by the expedition.”  Anderson reminded Washington that Fort Sumter would still  be “out of position, surrounded by strong works, which must be carried to make this fort of the least value to the United States Government.”  He ended  by saying he had been led to believe that “the idea, merely hinted at to me by Captain Fox, would not be carried out.”[40]  Clearly, Robert Anderson believed that President Lincoln was about to make a calamitous mistake.

Jefferson Davis

    Confederate authorities had been uncertain until April 8th about what the Federal government would do with respect to Anderson and his men.  As early as March 9th, Confederate Secretary of War L. P. Walker had speculated that Fort Sumter was silent “only because of the weakness of the garrison.”  “Should re-enforcements get in,” he had predicted, “her guns would open fire upon you.”[41]  On April 2nd, Walker had announced that his government had “at no time placed any reliance on assurances by the Government at Washington in respect to the evacuation of Fort Sumter.”[42]  On other occasions, however, Southern expectations, no doubt fueled at least in part by Seward’s unofficial negotiations and by headlines in newspapers in the North and South,  had been more sanguine.  “Has Sumter been evacuated?”, the Confederate commissioners in Washington had asked Beauregard  on March 20th.  “Any action by Anderson indicating it?”[43]  “The probability is, if there be any reliance on rumors semi-official in their character, that Fort Sumter will be shortly abandoned,” Beauregard had reported on March 21st.[44] 

     Such is the nature of military affairs that one may hope for the best, but one must plan for the worst.  Accordingly, Beauregard had labored night and day during late March and early April to invigorate Charleston’s defenses.  Hundreds of black slaves were dispatched to Morris Island to dig trenches, place timbers, haul cannon, and otherwise assist in building up the shore fortifications and artillery near the entrance to the harbor.  Rather than creating a single battery, Beauregard devised a scheme for dispersing his guns.  He reasoned that an attacking force would be hard pressed to silence the Confederate artillery  if a series of strong points, each protected with heavy merlons and traverses, was constructed along the shore.[45] “One gun ashore, well protected, is equivalent to many guns afloat, and the advantage is certain to be on the side of the fire of the detached batteries, especially when guarded against a land attack by a proper supporting force,” writes Alfred Roman, an early  student of Beauregard’s tactics.[46] Mortars were brought to Charleston from as far away as Savannah and Pensacola and distributed at various points to create a circle of fire with Fort Sumter at its center. Advising Beauregard in this innovative arrangement was Charles C. Lee, a member of the faculty of the North Carolina Military Institute, a private military school that had opened in Charlotte, N.C. on October 1, 1859.[47]

      Beauregard expended considerable time and resources on efforts to increase the firepower at Fort Moultrie.  He reasoned that from that location the Confederates would be able to bring Anderson’s barbette guns, those mounted on exposed platforms along the parapet, under enfiladed fire.  “They are also at work on a new battery, not far from the Moultrie House, on Sullivan’s Island,” Anderson reported on March 23rd.  “This makes, as far as we can judge, four batteries between the fort and the east end of the island.”[48]  The Federal garrison became even more alarmed by the threat from Sullivan’s Island on April 10th.  “ . . . a house directly opposite to us in Moultrieville, at the nearest point, was suddenly removed, disclosing a formidable masked battery,” wrote Abner Doubleday. The New Yorker immediately told the troops and laborers in Fort Sumter  to start erecting sand-bag traverses, but Anderson decided  to abandon the guns along the parapet.  “This, of course, was much less dangerous for the men, but it deprived us of the most powerful and effective part of our armament,” Doubleday explained many years later, still unable to disguise his  disagreement with Anderson’s tactical decisions.[49]  The final and most ingenious weapon system that the Confederates placed at Sullivan’s island was a floating, iron-clad  artillery battery.  It was a bizarre contraption.  Little more than a big houseboat that cost South Carolina approximately $12,000 to construct, this clumsy craft carried four pieces of artillery.  Originally designed to be placed between Charleston and Fort Sumter so it could blow holes in the rear wall of the citadel, the iron-clad barge was anchored instead at a wharf on Sullivan’s Island, because the Confederate troops, nicknaming it “The Slaughter Pen,” refused to go aboard the vessel unless it remained in shallow water.[50]

   General Beauregard had no doubts about his responsibilities as Confederate commander at Charleston. S. C.  “Under no circumstances are you to allow provisions to be sent to Fort Sumter,” Secretary Walker told Beauregard on April 8th.[51]  Beauregard moved quickly to finish his final arrangements. Mail service to the Federal garrison ended that very day.  Supplies to Fort Sumter had been cut off the day before.   Beauregard sent steamboats back and forth between Charleston and Morris Island, taking large numbers of troops to defend the shore batteries there against possible Federal landing parties.  At Cummings Point he completed the installation of a Blakely 12-pounder, the first rifled gun fired in combat in North America.  “It throws a shell or twelve-pound shot with the accuracy of a dueling pistol and with only one and a half pounds of powder,” exclaimed Governor Pickens.[52] Manufactured in Liverpool, England, this formidable weapon was a gift to the people of South Carolina from former Charlestonian Charles K. Prioleau.  Beauregard mounted  a nine-inch Dahlgren gun near the western end of Sullivan’s Island, to which he had recently sent the ominous floating battery.[53] Observers were stationed atop the Charleston Lighthouse.  Turning their spyglasses toward the horizon, they were to sound an alarm if any hostile vessels were sighted.  Finally, Beauregard sent barges into the channel entrances.  Loaded with wood, they were  to be set afire if Federal ships attempted to steam into the harbor.

James Chesnut

      Charleston was abuzz with excitement and anticipation.  Mary Chestnut, who had turned 38 on March 31st, was making the social rounds of Charleston, principally because her husband, Colonel James Chestnut, was one of Bauregard’s chief aides.  She attended waltzes.  She participated in elegant dinners where she consumed such delicacies  as biscuit glace¢  and champagne frappe¢.  But beneath this veneer of frivolity there existed a sense of dread and foreboding in the depths of this sensitive woman’s soul.  “One’s heart is in one’s mouth all the time,” she wrote on April 4th.  “Any minute, the cannon may open on us, the fleet come in.”[54] Two days later she declared, “The plot thickens, the air is red-hot with rumors.”[55]  Keziah Brevard, still on her plantation near Columbia, S. C., was also apprehensive about the trend of events in Charleston. Her mood was almost forlorn.  “I pray that all things will be in order for peace,” Brevard stated on April 11th.  “Why are they stubborn about the forts,” she continued, “if they have any thought about reconciliation?”[56]  Even George F. Robertson, a seven-year-old boy in distant Tennessee, writing many years later as an adult, remembered these fateful days as a time totally devoid of joy.  “I’ll never forget it, if I were to live a thousand years,” he proclaimed.  “There was an oppressive feeling of solemnity resting down upon everybody. I think the whole population old enough to appreciate something of the state of affairs, felt that oppressiveness.  It was as if half the people were attending the funeral of the other half.”[57]    

      Meanwhile, in Montgomery, Ala., President Jefferson Davis and the members of his Cabinet were considering their options.  Lengthy deliberations were held on April 9th and April 10th.  “The Confederate government was now behind a big diplomatic eight ball,” writes historian T. Harry Williams.  “If it let the expedition proceed peaceably to Sumter, the fort could hold out for months, a physical mockery of the new government’s claims to sovereignty within its own borders.  If it acted to stop the expedition, it would . . . place itself in the position of opening war by firing the first shot.”[58]  Davis and his colleagues gave no serious thought to backing down.  They knew that the South Carolinians would respond to equivocation or retreat on Davis’s part by taking matters into their own hands and attacking Fort Sumter on their own.

      The main question was one of timing.  Should the Confederate government instruct Beauregard to wait until the arrival of Fox’s flotilla before opening fire or should it tell the Confederate commander to proceed prior to the appearance of the Federal fleet?  Military considerations mandated that Beauregard not tarry.  Otherwise he would have to deal with the Federal guns at Fort Sumter as well as with those aboard Fox’s ships.  H. J. Hartstene, commander of the small Confederate fleet that was to guard the harbor entrance, told Beauregard that if Federal ships arrived before Fort Sumter was overwhelmed and if they opened fire in support of Anderson, the Confederdates would lose all their steamers “as there will be no escape for me.”[59]

     On April 10th, Secretary of War Walker sent the following dispatch to General Beauregard.

                                  If you have no doubt of the authorized  charter

                                 of the agent who communicated to you the intention

                                 of the Washington Government to supply Fort Sumter

                                 by force you will at once demand its evacuation, and

                                 if this is refused proceed, in such manner as you

                                 may determine, to reduce it. Answer.[60]


Beauregard replied that he would make the demand at noon the next day.  “The attempt to represent us as the aggressors in the conflict which ensued is as unfounded as the complaint made by the wolf against the lamb in the familiar fable,” declared Jefferson Davis many years later.[61]

L. P. Walker

     It was not until about 3:45 P.M. on Thursday, April 11th  that Beauregard’s emissaries, including James Chestnut, arrived by rowboat at Fort Sumter and presented the demand that Anderson and his soldiers evacuate. “We must wait,” Mary Chestnut inscribed in her diary.  “Why did that green goose Anderson go into Fort Sumter?  Then everything began to go wrong.”[62] Beauregard had no desire to humiliate his former teacher at West Point. The terms were generous. The Federal troops, it was proposed, could salute the American flag as it was taken down.  They could keep their weapons and their personal property, and they would be transported to any post in the United States they selected.  Anderson thanked his visitors and withdrew to confer with his fellow officers.  The Union commander returned some 45 minutes later and handed Chestnut and his two companions a written response.  “I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to my Government, prevent my compliance,” Anderson’s note proclaimed.[63] As he escorted Beauregard emissaries back to the wharf, Anderson inquired as to whether he would be notified before the bombardment began?  He was assured that he would be.  Anderson then made a most purposeful remark and, even more importantly, agreed that it could be delivered to Beauregard.  “I shall await the first shot,” he said, “and if you do not batter us to pieces, we shall be starved out in a few days.”[64]

     “This gratuitous information ought never have been given to the enemy, in view of the fact that a naval expedition was on its way to us,” wrote Abner Doubleday in his published reminiscences.[65] One cannot help but conclude that Anderson was trying to circumvent his fellow officers, all of whom had voted for continued resistance during their recent meeting with Anderson.  Anderson’s behavior, however inappropriate from a strictly military perspective, was consistent with his on-going efforts to prevent the outbreak of hostilities.   Still hoping that he could somehow find a legitimate reason to vacate Fort Sumter, Anderson apparently seized upon the final two sentences in the note he had received from Secretary of War Cameron on April 7th.  “It is not, however, the intention of the President to subject your command to any danger or hardship beyond what, in your judgment, would be usual in military life,” Cameron had stated.  “Whenever, if at all, in your judgment, to save yourself and command, a capitulation becomes a necessity, you are authorized to make it.”[66]

     The Confederate emissaries returned to their rowboat, headed back toward Fort Johnson and then on to Charleston, where they told Beauregard what Major Anderson had said.  After conferring by telegraph with Secretary of War Walker and President Davis, Beauregard sent word back to Fort Sumter.  He stated that if Anderson would announce when Federal troops would evacuate and in the meantime not open fire, the Confederates would delay opening hostilities.  “The forbearance of the Confederate government, under the circumstances, is perhaps unexampled in history,”  Jefferson Davis wrote some twenty years later.[67]

    James Chestnut and his compatriots got back into their rowboat one last time and headed across the foggy harbor to deliver Beauregard’s message and to obtain Anderson’s reply.[68]  Mary Chestnut was only too aware of the momentous consequence of her husband’s mission.  “I do not pretend to go to sleep,” she proclaimed.  “How can I?  If Anderson does not accept terms at four o’clock, the orders are he shall be fired upon.”[69]  Anderson gave a conditional response.  He said  that he would abandon the fort at noon on April 15th if the Confederates did not attack him and if prior to that time he did not receive “controlling instructions” from Washington or  get “additional supplies.”[70] The other Union officers at Fort Sumter had agreed to support this answer, because they reasoned that Fox’s relief expedition would arrive by mid-day on the 15th  if it were going to come at all.

     James Chestnut, who was authorized to act on Beauregard’s behalf, was disappointed.  He shook his head and walked into a nearby artillery embrasure where he wrote the following response and handed it to Major Anderson.


Sir:  By authority of Brigadier Beauregard, command-

ing the Provisional forces of the Confederate States,

we have the honor to notify you that he will open the

fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from

this time.[71]


It was about 3:30 A.M., Friday, April 12, 1861. Chestnut and the other Confederate emissaries pushed off from Fort Sumter and disappeared into the darkness. When Chestnut and his compatriots went ashore at Fort Johnson, they ordered Captain George S. James, commander of the mortar battery at that location, to fire the first shot at 4:30 A.M.  Sailing in a high arc and bursting almost directly above Fort Sumter, this single artillery round was the signal that all other Confederate batteries should commence shooting.  The Civil War had begun.

     There was something almost surrealistic about the artillery duel that played itself out between the Confederate and Union batteries in Charleston Harbor on April 12th and 13th.    Throngs of people gathered on roof tops to watch the culminating spectacle.  “Pa went down to Charleston just in time to witness from the top of the Charleston Hotel, the whole proceeding of the bombardment,” wrote Ella Thomas.[72]  “The women were wild, there on the house top,” proclaimed Mary Chestnut.  “Prayers from the women and imprecations from the men; and then a shell would light up the scene.”[73]  The Charleston Mercury reported that crowds of people “thronged to the East Bay Battery and other points of observation.”[74] Alfred Waddell, a newspaperman from Wilmington, N.C., was traveling to Charleston that morning by train.  About 20 miles from the historic port he heard a “single dull, heavy report like a clap of thunder.”  “The excitement on the train at once became intense,” Waddell remembered.  The engineer pushed the throttle forward, propelling the locomotive forward into town, the engine’s whistle screaming all the way to the station.   “Springing from the train and dashing through the silent street we entered our hotel and ascended to the roof,” Waddell continued, “and there I experienced sensations which never before or since have been mine. . . . I  realized that I was looking upon a civil war among my countrymen.”[75]

Bombardment of Fort Sumter

      It was not a fair fight.  The Confederates had 48 guns aimed at Fort Sumter, and Anderson had only 21 with which  to fire back.  There were about 7000 troops manning Beauregard’s batteries.   Only 128 soldiers and laborers were with Anderson.  Beauregard had ample supplies of lubricants, powder, and shells.  Anderson’s provisions were meager.

      Confederate troops were relieved that their endless days of waiting were over.  They scurried from their tents all around Charleston Harbor in the early morning darkness and  began loading and aiming their guns, including the deadly Blakely.  Shell after shell slammed into Fort Sumter. “Then the batteries opened on all sides,” remembered James Chester, “and shot and shell went screaming over Sumter as if an army of devils were swooping around it.”[76]   Anderson decided to wait until daybreak to return fire.  “As we had no lights, we could in fact do nothing before that time, except to wander around in the darkness, and fire without an accurate view of the enemy’s works,” Doubleday explained.[77] 

     The engagement had a distinctly chivalrous air.  When the Federal artillery did start up, the Confederate gunners cheered “Anderson for his gallantry, although themselves still firing upon him,” reported General Beauregard.[78] Meanwhile,  beyond the Charleston bar, Gustavus Vasa Fox and his rescue fleet were little more than spectators of these dramatic events.  Buffeted by heavy gales ever since leaving New York City, Fox had arrived off Charleston Harbor at 3 A.M. but because of the turbulent seas and because his entire fleet had not yet rendezvoused, he had decided not to proceed toward Fort Sumter at night.  When he finally did steam toward the harbor entrance shortly after daybreak, he became aware for the first time that hostilities had started.  “Nearing the bar it was observed that the war had commenced, and, therefore the peaceful offer of provisions was void,” Fox wrote in his official report.[79]  When it became obvious that the Federal flotilla would stand off shore during the bombardment of Fort Sumter and would do nothing to help Anderson, the Confederate gunners at Cummings Point made “expressions of scorn at the apparent cowardice of the fleet in not even attempting to rescue so gallant an officer and his command,” Beauregard declared.[80]  Abner Doubleday was more forgiving.  “After the event much obloquy was thrown upon the navy because it did not come in and engage the numerous batteries and forts,” he said, “. . . but this course would probably have resulted in the sinking of every vessel.”[81]  So much for Fox’s facile assurances that a relief party could easily reach Fort Sumter.  In fairness, however, it must be mentioned that Fox had expected the warship Powhatan to come to Charleston with a sizeable landing force.  It had been dispatched to Pensacola instead.

     The situation for Anderson and his men was becoming increasingly hopeless.  Exchange of fire between the combatants continued throughout April 12th.  By sunset the Union guns fell virtually silent because of Anderson’s lack of sufficient ammunition.  The Confederate artillery remained active during the night and resumed heavy firing after sunrise on the 13th.  Shortly after 7 A.M., hot shot (cannon balls heated in an oven before being rammed down the barrel of a cannon) struck the wooden barracks inside Fort Sumter and set them ablaze. Black smoke billowed into the sky.  Flames moved ominously toward the powder magazine. “The scene at this time was really terrific,”  Doubleday remembered.  “The roaring and crackling of the flames, the dense masses of whirling smoke, the bursting of the enemy’s shells, and our own which were exploding in the burning rooms, the crashing of the shot, and the sound of masonry falling in every direction, made the fort a pandemonium.”[82]

     Anderson’s men ran to the far corners of the fort, laid flat on the ground, and put moist handkerchiefs over their noses and mouths  to try to escape the noxious fumes of acrid smoke. “Everything was wet and burned badly,” Captain James Chester proclaimed, “yielding an amount of pungent piney smoke which almost suffocated the garrison.”[83] The flag pole came crashing down shortly before 1 P.M.  Beauregard’s troops shouted triumphantly as the Stars and Stripes plummeted behind Fort Sumter’s walls.  As a final act of defiance, one Union soldier plucked up the flag  and hoisted it atop a pole that he nailed to a pile of gun carriages on the parapet.  “This was gallantry done,” declared Abner Doubleday.[84]

     No amount of braggadocio could hide the fact that the end was near. A white flag finally appeared above Fort Sumter about 2 P.M.  In his official report, Major Anderson included the following explanation of his actions.


Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four

hours, until the quarters were entirely burned,

the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge

walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded

by flames, and its door closed from the effects

of heat, . . . and no provisions remaining but

pork, I accepted the terms of evacuation offered

by General Beauregard.[85]


The official terms of surrender were agreed to near sunset on April 13th.  Major John Anderson and his entire command, including such stalwart officers as Abner Doubleday, James Chester, and J. G. Foster,  walked to the wharf and boarded a Confederate steamer, the Isabel,  the next day.  They were transported to Fox’s flagship beyond the Charleston bar. Shortly thereafter, General Beauregard marched his troops into Fort Sumter and hoisted the Confederate flag to the top of a new flag pole.  Even Mary Chestnut was caught up in the excitement of the moment.  “Mrs. Preston, Mrs. Joe Heyward and I drove around the Battery,” she reported.  “We were in an open carriage.  What a changed scene!  The very liveliest crowd I think I ever saw.”[86]  Writing many years later in his published reminiscences, Abner Doubleday remembered what it was like for the Federal troops to pass through the flotilla of small craft in Charleston Harbor that Sunday morning. Most of the boats were filled almost to the gunnels with jubilant South Carolinians.  “. . . could they have seen into the future with the eye of prophecy, their joy might have been turned into mourning,” Doubleday declared.[87]

     Some reflections upon the Fort Sumter crisis are in order. There is something unsettling about Lincoln’s behavior during his first fateful weeks in office.  Unquestionably, the notable contributions of others notwithstanding, the central character in this drama and the person who was ultimately responsible for the outbreak of hostilities was Abraham Lincoln. Why did he ignore the advice of his military experts and support the chimerical notions advanced by Gustavus Fox and send a relief expedition to Fort Sumter? Why did he not maintain on-going contact with Major Anderson about the state of affairs in Fort Sumter? Should not the President have at least ordered Gustavus Fox, who visited Fort Sumter on March 25th,  to tell Anderson what was being considered?  Is it possible that President Lincoln did not want to hear what Anderson would probably have said? Why did the President not exercise sufficient control over the clumsy diplomacy of Secretary of War Seward? The questions go on and on.

     In this writer’s opinion, Lincoln does not emerge as the firm, resolute leader that many of his admirers would have you believe he was.  The majority of historians contend that Lincoln followed a blueprint of sorts in devising his strategy toward the secessionists.  According to this school of thought, Lincoln seduced the Confederates into firing the first shot by mounting a relief expedition, announcing its arrival beforehand, and telling Jefferson Davis and Governor Pickens that Federal troops would open fire only if they were attacked. “He would send a relief expedition to Sumter, and if the Confederates opened fire, the momentous issue of civil war was indeed in their hands,” writes Stephen B. Oates, a more or less typical exponent of this interpretation of Lincoln’s actions in March and April, 1861.[88]

     Historian David Donald comes closer to the truth.  He portrays Abraham Lincoln as an exhausted, inexperienced chief executive who was  feeling his way from day to day during March and April, 1861.  Despite his commitment to certain immovable objectives, Lincoln was essentially a tactician, not a strategist.  “None of these able scholars has, in my opinion, given enough attention to Lincoln’s newness in Washington, his inexperience as an administrator, and his fatigue after his exhausting journey and inauguration,” says Donald.  “Nor has Lincoln’s essential passivity, his preference to react to events rather than to take the initiative, been sufficiently stressed.”[89]  Lincoln was preeminently a pragmatic politician.  There was nothing extraordinary about his statesmanship.  Lincoln had a masterful sense of timing and an exquisite capacity to perceive the outer limits of what his constituents were willing to  support.  But he never demonstrated a capacity to reach out in a truly meaningful way to the South. Contrary to the claims of some scholars, Lincoln did not deliberately provoke war. But the fundamental difference between James Buchanan and Lincoln was the overriding desire of the former to prevent the outbreak of hostilities and the willingness of the latter to regard war as an acceptable, if not desirable, political outcome of the crisis.

      It was a fundamental failure of leadership that ultimately destroyed the peace and propelled the American people into the catastrophe known as the Civil War.  “When a country is guided by true statesmen the role of accident is minimized; when it is not, unforeseen occurrences are numerous and dangerous,” states historian Allan Nevins.[90]  Evidence abounds that much that happened during the Fort Sumter crisis was not planned but accidental..  The outcome might have been different if the planter elite had not exercised a virtual monopoly over political affairs in South Carolina or if the American political system had been devised to prevent the election of a President whose base of power was entirely regional. One cannot help but wish that the outcome of this calamitous confrontation had been different.  But history is not about what could have happened or what should have happened.  It’s about what did happen. According to historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "the unhappy fact is that man occasionally works himself into a log-jam; and that log-jam must be burst by violence."[91]





[1]  Quoted in  Current, p. 45.


[2]  O R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 197.


[3]  Quoted in Current, p. 46.


[4]  Current, p. 48.


[5] Quoted in Current, p. 51.


[6] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol 1.,  p. 196.


[7] Quoted in McPherson, p. 269.


[8] According to Abner Doubleday, President Lincoln was particularly interested in the amount of provisions remaining at Fort Sunter (see Doubleday, p. 130.).


[9] For additional information on the development of Fox’s plan and his first approaches to President Buchanan, see Ari Hoogenboom, “Gustavus Fox And The Relief Of Fort Sumter.” Civil War (December, 1963), pp. 383-398.


[10] Official Records Of The Union And Confederate Navies In The War Of The Rebellion (Government Printing Office, 1896), Ser. 1, Vol. 4, p. 246.  Hereafter cited as N.O.R.


[11] N.O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 4., p. 246.


[12] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol 1.,  p. 196.  Cameron based his recommendation upon the thinking of his principal military advisers, including Scott, Totten, and even the officers at Fort Sumter, including Major Anderson and Captain Foster.  Foster, for example, had opined on March 1st that it would take a minimum of 6,000 regular troops and 10,000 volunteers to capture the artillery batteries on Morris Island and those at Fort Moultrie (see O.R.,  Ser. 1., Vol 1., p. 189.


[13] Quoted in Donald, p. 286.


[14] Quoted in Donald, p. 289.


[15] The commissioners were Martin J. Crawford of Georgia, John Forsyth of Alabama, and A. B. Roman of Louisiana.


[16] Quoted in Davis, Vol. 1., p. 232.  These comments are contained in letter published in February, 1874.


[17] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 277.


[18] O.R., Ser. 1.,  Vol 1., p. 273.


[19] Quoted in Daniel W. Crofts, Reluctant Confederates Upper South Unionists In The Secession Crisis (The University of North Carolina Press, 1989), p. 285.


[20] O.R., Ser. I., Vol. 1., p. 201.


[21] O.R., Ser. L., Vol. 1., p. 235.


[22] Fox had been led to believe that the side-wheel man-of-war Powhatan would be sent to Charleston.  It was instead sent on a mission to Fort Pickens.


[23] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol 1., p. 235.


[24] Quoted in Hendrickson, p. 175.


[25] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 190.


[26] O.R., Ser., Vol 1., p.182.


[27] Battle and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol 1., p. 63.


[28] Doubleday, p. 122.


[29] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 221.


[30] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 228.


[31] Doubleday, p. 119.


[32] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 192.


[33] O.R., Vol 1., p. 195.


[34] Doubleday, p. 126.  Anderson’s position on this issue was essentially the same as that of Senator Stephen A. Douglas.  Speaking in the United States Senate during the crisis, Douglas introduced a resolution on March 15th advocating the withdrawal of Federal troops from Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens.  “Whoever holds the States in whose limits those forts are placed,” he intoned, “is entitled to the forts themselves.”  He continued, “We cannot deny that there is a Southern Confederacy, de facto, in existence, with its capital at Montgomery.  We may regret it.  I  regret it most profoundly; but I can not deny the truth of the fact, painful and mortifying as it is . . .  I proclaim boldly the policy of those with whom I act.  We are for peace. (see  Davis, Vol 1., p. 242.


[35] N.O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 4., p. 247.  Interestingly, Fox did not explain his plan to Anderson during this visit.


[36] O.R.,  Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 197.


[37] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 230.


[38] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 245.


[39] Davis, Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 244.


[40] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 294.


[41] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 272.


[42] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 285.


[43] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 277.


[44] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 279.


[45] A merlon is an opening in a crenelated  wall.  A traverse is a wall or embankment, usually made of sand, that is especially vital as a protection against enfiladed fire.


[46] Alfred Roman, The Military Operations of General Beauregard ( Da Capo Press, 1994), Vol 1., p. 37.


[47] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 275.


[48] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 212.


[49] Doubleday, p. 240.


[50] Doubleday, pp. 127-128.


[51] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 289.


[52] Quoted in Ripley, p. 148.  The gun was named for its inventor, former Royal Artillery Captain Alexander Theophilis Blakely.  Unlike the North, which developed substantial ordnance manufacturing capabilities, the South was dependent upon the importation of British guns throughout the war.


[53] This gun was one of a series of smooth-bore artillery pieces devised for the U.S. Navy by  Admiral  John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren (1809-1870), who would serve as head of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from 1863 until 1865.


[54] Chestnut, p. 32.


[55] Chestnut, p. 33.


[56] Brevard, p. 114.


[57] George F. Robertson, A Small Boy’s Recollections of the War Between The States (Standard Printing Co, 1932), p. 17.


[58] Williams, p. 56.


[59] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 299.


[60] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 297.


[61] Davis, Vol. 1., p. 252.


[62] Chestnut, p. 35.


[63] Quoted in Swanberg, p. 292.


[64] Quoted in Swanberg, p. 292.


[65] Doubleday, p. 141.


[66] O.R.. Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p.235.


[67] Davis, p. 252.


[68] There was a fourth person on the second trip to Fort Sumter.  He was Roger Pryor.


[69] Chestnut, p. 36.


[70] Quoted in Swanburg, p. 296.


[71] Quoted in Swanberg, p. 296.


[72] Thomas, p. 183.


[73] Chestnut, p. 36.


[74] Eugene P. Moehring and Arleen Keylin, eds., The Civil War Extra.  From The Pages Of  The Charleston Mercury & The New York Times (Arno Press, 1975), p. 13.

[75] Alfred Moore Waddell, Some Memories Of My Life (Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1903), p. 54.


[76] Battle and Leaders, Vol. 1., p. 66.


[77] Doubleday, p. 142.


[78] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p.28.


[79] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 11.


[80] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 28.


[81] Doubleday, p. 150.


[82] Doubleday, p. 158.   Another example of  chivalrous military etiquette occurred after the barracks in Fort Sumter caught fire.  “I immediately dispatched an offer of assistance to Major Anderson, which, however, with grateful acknowledgements, he declined,” Beauregard said in his official report (O.R., Ser. 1., Vol. 1., p. 29.


[83] Battles and Leaders, Vol. 1., p. 71.


[84] Doubleday, p. 159.


[85] O.R., Ser. 1., Vol 1., p. 12. Ironically, the only deaths that occurred during the entire engagement resulted  from an accidental explosion during the U.S. flag lowering ceremony.  One man was killed.


[86] Chestnut, p. 39.


[87] Doubleday, p. 173.


[88] Oates  Abraham Lincoln The Man Behind The Myths, p. 85.


[89] Donald, p. 645.


[90] Nevins, Vol. 2., p. 470.


[91] Quoted in Hawkins, p. 72.