How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 10

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 10

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s Secretary of State Robert Augustus Toombs wired Gen. Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard with orders to demand Anderson’s surrender, or else once he was certain the fort was about to be resupplied, to open fire. Beauregard replied...
How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 9

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 9

The Confederate Cabinet met in Montgomery on April 9 and decided to force Fort Sumter’s surrender by attacking it before President Lincoln’s naval expedition arrived with additional supplies and forces. All around Charleston, Confederate troops prepared for the...
How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 8

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 8

U.S. Maj. Robert Anderson and S.C. Gov. Francis Pickens both received President Lincoln’s message that a large naval expedition was on its way to Charleston to resupply Fort Sumter with supplies, additional troops, and arms. As noted in our April 6 entry, Lincoln’s...
How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 7

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 7

S.C. Gov. Francis Pickens’ 56th birthday was fraught with worry. U.S. Maj. Anderson refused to surrender Fort Sumter peacefully. Pickens did not want to initiate the Civil War, but nor could he allow Federal troops to hold one of his state’s principal military assets....
How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 6

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 6

In a message drafted in his own handwriting, President Lincoln wrote to U.S. Maj. Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter saying: “I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only;...
How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 5

How the Civil War Began, an April 1861 Timeline – April 5

Gideon Welles, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, gave orders that two warships, the USS Powhatan and USS Pawnee, along with the steamer USS Pocahontas and USS Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane, were to provision Fort Sumter. Another steamer, the Baltic, carried about 200...