Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War by David DetzerOriginal and deeply human, this tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated soldiers, is a clear and intimate portrait of the prolonged drama that unfolded at Fort Sumter and incited the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861.
The six-month-long agony that began with Lincolns election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. With little help from Washington, D.C., Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy, almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight.
Skillfully re-created from a decade of extensive research, Allegiance exposes the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and the individuals on both sides who changed American history forever.
5 Facts about the Battle of Fort Sumter
The election of Abraham Lincoln in November of brought to a head the issue of slavery in the United States. The first state to secede was South Carolina on December 20, By February , six more states had joined the new Confederate States of America. With their secession declarations came the demands that all United States property be turned over to those states, including military property, and said installations abandoned by United States soldiers, sailors, and marines. The new Lincoln administration sought not to provoke armed conflict but refused to surrender Federal installations to the Confederates.
The battle occurred after a declaration of secession by South Carolina on December 20, An attempt by U. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area except for Fort Sumter. After Abraham Lincoln won the election of the South reached their breaking point. South Carolina became the first state of the union to secede from the United States and quickly demanded the removal of all federal military from their state. The removal was refused and shortly after South Carolina fired the first shots of the Civil War.
It was the first armed conflict between Union loyal forces and Confederate army. It also triggered the civil war and secession of four more slave states, thus bringing up the number of rebel states to eleven. South Carolina was the first state to announce secession from the union in December, and was followed by seven more states by February, In December, after the announcement of secession by South Carolina, an army garrison loyal to Union, commanded by Major Robert Anderson in Charleston, South Carolina moved out of its relatively smaller indefensible fortification at Sullivan Island and moved into the bigger and strategically important Fort Sumter that controlled the entrance to Charleston harbor. However, as the ship approached harbor it was fired upon by Confederate artillery positions on the shore and it had to withdraw. He knew that very soon his position would be attacked. He busied himself in improving the defenses of the fort.
Lincoln and War
Email Us. It was later captured and bombarded during the American Civil War by forces of the Confederacy on April 12, The attack was led by Brigadier General P.
On December 24, Pickens sent proxies to Washington to negotiate what would be done about the occupied forts and to ensure Anderson remained at Fort Moultrie. However, on December 26 Anderson put his plan into action: he assembled his men, loaded them and their families onto boats, and rowed to Fort Sumter. What followed was basically a siege of Fort Sumter, with supplies and communication controlled by Pickens. On January 9, , the Star of the West , a side-wheel merchant steamer that had been sent from New York with supplies and reinforcements for Anderson, was unable to reach Fort Sumter because Pickens had built up the harbor defenses and fired on it. Anderson, under orders to fire only in defense, could only watch as the ship was turned back. Shortly after, on January 11, Pickens demanded surrender and Anderson refused.
Toggle navigation. Construction of Fort Sumter began in , but it was never completely finished. Fort Sumter was intended to serve as part of the United States' primary line of defense against foreign invaders, as the country had such a small standing army and virtually no navy for most of the nineteenth century. It remained a relatively unimportant and obscure post until the First Battle of Fort Sumter began on April 12, with Confederate forces besieging the small number of Union soldiers inside the fort. The fort was surrendered by the Union garrison to the Confederate forces on April 13, The battle effectively started the United States Civil War The fort is comprised of brick with granite used to build up a sandbar to its entrance.