The Attack On Fort Sumter

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The Attack on Fort Sumter I am going to discuss the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Some of the things that I will explain in this essay are: the general circumstances around Fort Sumter before the attack, what happened during the battle, and finally the affect it had on the oncoming Civil War.

After the news of the Confederate states recession, the then president-elect Abraham Lincoln thought that Fort Sumter was well stocked and could hold out against a siege for some time. These ideas were proven wrong however, for soon after his election Lincoln received a letter from the commander of Fort Sumter, Robert Anderson, informing him that Sumter's supplies would not hold out as long as expected and that they would need many more troops to be able to successfully defend the fort. Lincoln was forced to make a decision. Should he abandon Fort Sumter, or should he order reinforcements to strengthen its defenses.

Lincoln opted to send supplies and reinforcements. The fort was attacked before any reinforcements could arrive however, and the fort had already fallen before they got there. The most obvious reason for this attack on the fort was that it sat in the middle of a slave holding state. Because of this, the fort was looked upon as a symbol of the Union's hold on the state.

Very early on the morning of April 12, representatives from the confederate army surrounding the fort gave Anderson one hour to order the evacuation of Fort Sumter. Anderson decided to stay and one hour later, at 4:20 am, the confederates began firing the first shots of the Civil War. At around 7:00 AM, Anderson ordered his cannons to return fire. The artillery battle lasted for two more days before Anderson finally surrendered the fort...