A Union Dissolved
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- A Midlands Weekend
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- Three Days in Horse Country
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- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
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- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
Five days after South Carolina’s secession on December 21, 1860, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson moved his garrison from Fort Moultrie in Charleston harbor to nearby Fort Sumter. Over the next few months and into the spring, Anderson would ignore many calls to surrender the fort and Confederate forces would prevent any Union resupply or reinforcement. Shortly before dawn on April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries around Charleston—ironically none of which were at the Battery itself—opened fire on Fort Sumter for 34 straight hours, until Anderson surrendered on April 13.
In a classic example of why you should always be careful what you wish for, the secessionists had been too clever by half in pushing for the election of Lincoln. Far from prodding the North to sue for peace, the fall of Fort Sumter instead caused the remaining states in the Union to rally around the previously unpopular tall man from Illinois.
Lincoln’s skillful—some would say cunning—management of the Fort Sumter standoff meant that from then on out, the South would bear history’s blame for initiating the conflict that would claim over half a million American lives.
After Fort Sumter, the remaining four states of the Confederacy—Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia—seceded. The Old Dominion was the real prize for the secessionists, as Virginia had the South’s only ironworks and by far its largest manufacturing base.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition