Monday, April 11, 2011

Sumter's surrender demanded

Major Robert Anderson - Commander of Fort SumterImage via Wikipedia
Major Robert Anderson
Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
  • [SIEGE OF FORT SUMTER] At 2 o’clock pm, Brigadier General Beauregard dispatches a party to demand the surrender of the United States garrison at Fort Sumter commanded by Major Robert Anderson. The party bearing the demand is composed of Confederate Colonel James Chestnut, former US Senator from South Carolina, Colonel A.R. Chisolm representing South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens, and Captain Stephen Dill Lee, formerly of the US Army. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Aid-de-camp Captain Stephen D. Lee tenders the request for surrender personally from Beauregard to Anderson that Beauregard is “ordered by the Government of the Confederate States of America to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter.” General Beauregard's liberal terms are as follows: "That Anderson evacuate the fort with his command taking small arms, private and company property, saluting the United States flag as it is lowered and being conveyed, if he desires it, to any Northern port." After consulting with his officers, Anderson formally answers that his sense of honor and his obligations to his government prevent his compliance. Anderson also casually remarks that the garrison would "be starved out in a few days." Upon his refusal, Beauregard telegraphs War Secretary Walker in Montgomery and communicates both the official answer and Anderson's informal verbal remarks. In the evening, Beauregard receives instructions from Secretary Walker to get a specific commitment from Anderson as to the time he would evacuate the fort, as well as an agreement that he would not use his guns against them unless under attack. Walker encourages Beauregard to wait and see if Anderson instead evacuates Sumter in order to “avoid the effusion of blood.” "If this or its equivalent be refused," Walker orders, "reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable." As they have done throughout the insulting siege of Fort Sumter, from the time Anderson ran in the night from Fort Moultrie and turned guns on the citizens of Charleston after Christmas, the Confederate government, eager to pursue a peaceful separation, has maintained its restraint and continues to hold its fire while the Lincoln Administration do nothing to escalate the crisis./1861 
  • The three Confederate Peace Commissioners, Crawford, Forsyth, and Roman, sent weeks ago to the US Government to forge peaceful relations with the new Lincoln Administration, leave today for the Confederate capital of Montgomery, Alabama. Despite the diplomatic efforts of US Secretary of State William Seward, they are arrogantly rebuffed, ignored, and unrecognized by the new war-mongering President eager to take his stand, enforce his will, and retain the large federal tax revenues of the seceded South./1861
  • An 1861 engraving of Fort Sumter before the at...Image via Wikipedia
    Fort Sumter
  • The First Louisiana Regulars depart New Orleans and head to Pensacola, Florida./1861
  • Adjutant and inspector general of the Confederate army Sam Cooper communicates an order to Colonel Earl Van Dorn, to go to Texas to take charge of Confederate forces there. His main responsibility will be to make sure that U.S. troops are not allowed to leave the state. Those willing to enter Confederate service should be accepted, those not willing are to be treated as prisoners of war./1861

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