History - Siege of Charleston


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I finally put together an educational video (slide show really) of the Siege of Charleston and adjacent areas during the American Civil War (War between the States, or War of Northern Aggression).

I had been gathering photos for awhile and had finally found a large collection in the Library of Congress archives. These images are mostly from 1865, but a few are from as early as 1861 with one as late as 1871. Music is from the early Grammaphone and Edison wax cylinder recordings from the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Areas represented are Fort Sumter, Fort Johnson, Castle Pickney, Fort Wagner, Morris Island, Sullivan's Island, Fort Putnam (aka Battery Greg), Battery Bee, Naval vessels, artillery, and the first ever photograph of a battle in progress.

Clicking the link below will show you a small version of the presentation, double click it to expand it to be readable. It has resolutions up to high def so if it seems blurry, crank the resolution up, especially if running in full screen mode.



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I'm not a historian, but I do have a streak of Charleston and Southern hisotry in my blood.
It seems to me that when Charleston succeeded they had a right to ask the Federal military to leave their territory.
By remaining they were deliberately defying and provoking a response.
Had the Union army been able to resupply the fort, they would have most certainly held the harbor hostage.
The way I see it they were already in a formal millitary position when they refused to leave.
In a way they asked for it and they got.
The north should have removed their miltary presence and sent ambassadors, negotiators, and perhaps other diplomats to try and resolve the situation.

Their actions directly precipitated the bombardment. Of course, history can't recognize these points, they'd have to rewrite their history books yet again.

Anyone heard the reference to the confederate tax collector who was defied, run off the fort on pain of death and warning shots fired on his leaving . . the day before the war started?



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I had never heard of that story.

The Ship, "Star of the West" was fired upon by Fort Moultrie and some smaller batteries on January 9, 1861. At that time Fort Sumter made no reply although Major Anderson, Commanding, did send notice to the Governor that if some reply as to the justification of the incident were not forth coming, he would begin firing on all vessels entering or leaving the harbor within range of his guns. Further parlay reached a form of ceasefire while Anderson awaited word from Washington.

I have always considered this to be the first shots of the war.

On April 11, Anderson was sent a formal request to evacuate the fort or be fired upon, which he refused, stating he would soon be starved out by the 15th of April. However, on the 12th of April, at 3:20am, with Union ships carrying supplies for Anderson's relief gathering at the mouth of the harbor in violation of previous agreement, Fort Sumter received a final letter stating that hostilities would begin in one hour. At 4:30am, a mortar located at Fort Johnson reportedly fired the first shot.