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Historical Documents
"War Begun" headline
1861

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Fueled by the ever-growing conflict over the issue of slavery, the North and the South during the 1850s were on a collision course. In response to the 1860 election of an antislavery, Republican president, eleven southern states seceded from the Union.

In South Carolina, on an island at the entrance of Charleston harbor, stood a fort owned and manned by the United States government. Even before it seceded, South Carolina had demanded that the fort be turned over to the state. Now no longer associtated with the Union, the state government was all the more determined to drive out who they considered intruders.

On April 12, Confederate forced opened fire on the fort. The war between the States had begun.

This newpaper article, published on April 13, 1861 in the Boston Evening Transcript, reports on the battle.





WAR BEGUN

The South Strikes the First Blow

The Southern Confederacy Authorizes Hostilities.

Fort Moultrie Opens Fire on Fort Sumter, at four o'clock Friday afternoon

Maj. Anderson Returns the Fire, when the Other Forts and Batteries Engage in the Conflict.

The U.S. Fleet not heard from when the attack began.

Three war steamers arrive off the bar and the whole forge are probably near.

The Fire Suspended at Night, to be Resumed at Daybreak.

Charleston, 12th. The following is the tlegraphic correspondence between the War Department at Montgomery and General Beauregard, immediately preceding hostilities. The correspondence grew out of the formal notification by the Washington Government, disclosed in Beauregard's first dispatch:

(Number One)
Charleston, 8th. To L.P. Walker, Secretary of War at Montgomery: An authorized messenger from Mr. Lincoln has just infored Goveror Pickens and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter peaceable -- otherwise by force.
(Signed) G.T. Beauregard.

(Number Two.)
Montgomery, 10th. To Gen. G. T. Beauregard, Charleston. If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the intentions of teh Washinton Government to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacation, and if this is refused, proceed in such a manner as you may determine to reduce it.
Answer.
(Signed) L.P. Walker, Secretary of War

(Number Three.)
Charleston, 10th. To L.P. Walker, Secretary of War: The demand will be made tomorrow at 12.
(Signed) Beauregard.

Image Credit: Boston Daily Evening Transcript April 13, 1861




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Related Entries:
Emancipation Proclamation
The Civil War and emancipation





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