Fort Sumter Fallen – New York Times article (April 15, 1861)

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

New York Times article (April 15, 1861) – Charleston, South Carolina

FORT SUMPTER (sic) FALLEN.; PARTICULARS OF THE BOMBARDMENT. The Fort On Fire and the Garrison Exhausted. NO ATTEMPT AT REINFORCEMENT. The Cessation of Firing and the Capitulation. NO LIVES LOST ON EITHER SIDE.  Major Anderson and his Men Coming to New-York. How the News was Received in Washington. Call for Seventy-Five Thousand Militia. AN EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS War Feeling Throughout the Northern and Western States. FORT PICKENS REINFORCED.

CHARLESTON, Saturday, April 13 — Evening. Major ANDERSON has surrendered, after hard fighting, commencing at 4 1/2 o’clock yesterday morning, and continuing until five minutes to 1 to-day. The American flag has given place to the Palmetto of South Carolina. You have received my previous dispatches concerning the fire and the shooting away of the flagstaff. The latter event is due to Fort Moultrie, as well as the burning of the fort, which resulted from one of the hot shots fired in the morning. During the conflagration, Gen. BEAUREGARD sent a boat to Major ANDERSON, with offers of assistance, the bearers being Colonels W.P. MILES, and ROGER PRYOR, of Virginia, and LEE. But before it reached him, a flag of truce had been raised. Another boat then put off, containing Ex-Gov. MANRING, Major D.R. JONES and Col. CHARLES ALLSTON, to arrange the terms of surrender, which were the same as those offered on the 11th inst. These were official. They stated that all proper facilities would be afforded for the removal of Major ANDERSON and his command, together with the company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States he might elect. The terms were not, therefore, unconditional. Major ANDERSON stated that he surrendered his sword to Gen. BEAUREGARD as the representative of the Confederate Government. Gen. BEAUREGARD said he would not receive it from so brave a man. He says Major ANDERSON made a staunch fight, and elevated himself in the estimation of every true Carolinian. During the fire, when Major ANDERSON’S flagstaff was shot away, a boat put off from Morris Island, carrying another American flag for him to fight under — a noteworthy instance of the honor and chivalry of South Carolina Seceders, and their admiration for a brave man. The scene in the city after the raising of the-flag of truce and the surrender is indescribable; the people were perfectly wild. Men on horseback rode through the streets proclaiming the news, amid the greatest enthusiasm. On the arrival of the officers from the fort they were marched through the streets, followed by an immense crowd, hurrahing, shouting, and yelling with excitement. Several fire companies were immediately sent down to Fort Sumpter to put out the fire, and any amount of assistance was offered. A regiment of eight hundred men has just arrived from the interior, and has been ordered to Morris Island, in view of an attack from the fleet which may be expected to-night. Six vessels are reported off the bar, but the utmost indignation is expressed against them for not coming to the assistance of Major ANDERSON when he made signals of distress. The soldiers on Morris Island jumped on the guns every shot they received from Fort Sumpter while thus disabled, and gave three cheers for Major ANDERSON and groans for the fleet. Col. LUCAS, of the Governor’s Staff, has just returned from Fort Sumpter, and says Major ANDERSON told him he had pleasanter recollections of Fort Moultrie than Fort Sumpter. Only five men were wounded, one seriously. The flames have destroyed everything. Both officers and soldiers were obliged to lay on their faces in the casemates, to prevent suffocation. The explosions heard in the city were from small piles of shell, which ignited from the heat. The effect of the shot upon the fort was tremendous. The walls were battered in hundreds of places, but no breach was made. Major ANDERSON expresses himself much pleased that no lives had been sacrificed, and says that to Providence alone is to be attributed the bloodless victory. He compliments the firing of the Carolinians, and the large number of exploded shells lying around attests their effectiveness. The number of soldiers in the fort was about seventy, besides twenty-five workmen, who assisted at the guns. His stock of provisions was almost exhausted, however. He would have been starved out in two more days. The entrance to the fort is mined, and the officers were told to be careful, even after the surrender, on account of the heat, lest it should explode. A boat from the squadron, with a flag of truce, has arrived at Morris Island, bearing a request to be allowed to come and take Major Anderson and his forces. An answer will be given to-morrow at 9 o’clock. The public feeling against the fleet is very strong, it being regarded as cowardly to make not even an attempt to aid a fellow officer. Had the surrender not taken place Fort Sumpter would have been stormed to-night. The men are crazy for a fight. The bells have been chiming all day, gun firing, ladies waving handkerchiefs, people cheering, and citizens making themselves generally demonstrative. It is regarded as the greatest day in the history of South Carolina.


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