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HIST 191 Special Topics in History; Battle at Fort Sumter.pdf

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University of Waterloo
HIST 191
Julia Roberts

Ten Days that Shook the World: The Battle of Fort Sumter - April 12-13, 1861 - Bombardment of Fort Sumter - History of the United States - The civil war - absolutely essential/transformative - Triggered the War - first shots fired - day and a half - The event itself - immediate implications - The legacies of this most important of days in American history - Charleston North Carolina - most important commercial centre of the US - 1820’s-30 constructed Fort Moultrie - Beginning of the Civil War - Super Fortress - Fort Sumter - Election - Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. Abe won the election in Nov of 1860 - 2nd highest voter turnout in US history - 4 way race. Lincoln from Illinois - won all free states but not slave states. - Most citizens reacted with outrage - they thought him a radical - wide eyed abolitionist - Southern citizens defended slavery - exceptional institution that defined Southern Culture. “Peculiar Institution” - White southerners. - Immediately after his victory 3 governors from the Southern states who vowed to remove their stated from the united states if lincoln won formed institutions and conventions - Southern communities formed Militia's to drive invading Yankees away if they had to - by the end of 1860 it was becoming clear that the US was unravelling - Dec. 20th 1861 - North Carolina voted unanimously to leave the US - formed a new nation - Confederate States of America Feb. 1861 - Dr. Samuel Wiley Crawford - Jubilant celebration in NC - news spread like wildfire in the streets, everyone entitled to it appeared at once, the heart of the people had spoken - South Carolina felt they had no choice but to Suceed - Succession - of the two evils this is the lesser - If they didn’t succeed the believed Northern soilders would occupy their land and destroy slavery - James Buchanan still president - Inaguration in March - He did absolutely nothing - In the next - Missippi, florida, louisiana, Alabama, texas - Tennesee, Arkansas - These States gathered for the creation of CSA - it’s on constitution, own governent - the selected former senator and decorated war veteran: Jefferson Davis - He addressed a crowd of 10,000 people - Obstacle may reatrd, but they cannot prevent the cause sustained by a victorious people - agaist this backdrop of tension - Fort Sumter: the new federal fortress at the mouth of Charleston Harbour, Charleston, South Carolina. - Most of it still under contruction, - only 15 guns mounted, - SC voted to leave the Union on 20 Dec 1860 - - Dec. 26th, 1860 - Major Robert Anderson, US army, quietly trasfers personell and their families from the Aging Fort Moultrie to the state of the art Fort Sumter, secretly to protect. - The union flag - the north. SC saw the Union flag go up at Fort Sumter and they were outraged - They saw this as a sign of Northern Aggression - Symbol of a struggle between those loyal to the union and those loyal CSA - Sign of things to come. - the Successionist believed it belonged to them - The mood in Charleston was tense, the mood in the fort was tense, little food, lots of supplies, wood, etc. - Captain Abner Doubleday (June 26, 1819 - January 26, 1893), abolitionist, Army Officer & witness to the events of 12-13, 1861 - served in Mexican War 46-48, Seminal wars in what is now Florida. - served with distinction - dignified, courteous manner - believed slvery was evil and the fact that it even existed was a scar on the united states - had no hope that the commanding officer, a Southerner - would not do a good job defending Fort Sumter - this didn’t happen - Jan - April, 1861: Union Army Soldiers stubbornly occupy Fort Sumter, despite Confederate demands for surrender - Jan 1861 - The US warship star of the west is turned away for Confederate gunfire at Fort Sumter - By early April the were down to their last rations - finally, in the wee hours of the morning on the 12th of April, a delegation of Confederate leaders came out by rowboat to Fort Sumter to deliver an ultimatum for Anderson to surrender or Southern batteries would open fire on Fort Sumter - Anderson politely refused - Mood was tense, at 4:30 am - Confederates fired the first shots of the civil war, firing on Fort Sumter in an impressive display of firepower, shot could be heard from 50 miles away - Mary Chestnut - wrote in diary the morning of April 12th - to the house top, the shells were bursting, who could tell what each volley accomplished of death and destruction, the mood was festive in Charleston, but concerned in the Nations capital - Abe sent boats to the harbor but it was too little too late - The civil war: bloodiest conflict and the war that gave birth to modern America - confederate batteries fired 4000 rounds at fort Sumter - Not a single man was killed. - The union troops were allowed to leave peacefully on a steamship to NYC - Anderson: our southern brothers have done wrong... they must be brought back, the necessity breaks my heart - Doubleday - new respect for Anderson - Mood in NYC - greeting the soldiers from Sumter - “with this first shell fired at Sumter, the entire North was united” - By the 14th, there were celebration in the North and the South - The mood for war was all across the country - The Northerners reacted with a huge outburst for support in the war - Southerners as well were enthusiastic about entering the war - “I will receive 200 able bodied me” - his call for war - “come on boys if you want a heap of fun and to kill some yankees” - Both Nations mobilized for war - both sides predicted the war would be short, and both sides predicted
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