Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard (Brady, 1860-65).
On April 11, 1861, Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard sent a letter to U.S. Major Robert Anderson, demanding the removal of U.S. forces from Fort Sumter.
The letter read:
“I am ordered by the government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My aides, Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may select. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down. Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee will, for a reasonable time, await your answer.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
That same day, Major Anderson sent a response to General Beauregard, refusing to leave. Anderson’s letter read:
“General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to my government, prevent my compliance. Thanking you for the fair, manly and courteous terms proposed, and for the high compliment paid me,
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding”
At 3:20 a.m. on April 12, General Beauregard sent word to Major Anderson that the Confederacy would open fire on Fort Sumter…within the hour. True to his word, Beauregard ordered his forces to fire at 4:30 a.m.
These were the first shots fired in the War Between the States.
The New York Times reported on the incident on December 30, 1860, putting blame on Major Anderson. Read the brief article here:
New York Times article about opening shots at Fort Sumter, December 30, 1860 ♢
The Storm Flag, pictured here, was still standing when Anderson surrendered. It was later taken to New York with Anderson’s men. Soon after the surrender, the flag went on a national tour to drum up support for Union forces. On that tour, the flag began to fade, and a face appeared just to the right of the center star. Men who served in Battery E of the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment had identified the face as that of the bearded Daniel Hough, still wearing his U.S. Army cap.
(Text/images: Scares and Haunts of Charleston; New York Times)