April 12, 2011 is the 150 th anniversary of what may be one of the greatest American myths ever concocted. On that day in 1861, South Carolina batteries fired upon Fort Sumpter and forced Union Colonel, Robert Anderson, to surrender the fort back to the state. Unfortunately, that is about all most Americans know about this event. Due to our long time lack of knowledge about this event, we have been willing to accept for years the premise that the firing started what is now called the "Civil War".
However, irrefutable facts about this event, if commonly known, would likely lead most Americans to a different conclusion. I want to get your opinion once you have considered these facts about the firing on Fort Sumpter:
1. There were NO CASUALTIES incurred by either side as a result of the firing on Fort Sumpter
2. Union Colonel, Anderson was WARNED IN ADVANCE of the firing by his former student and teaching assistant, Confederate General, P.G.T. Beauregard
3. South Carolina originally owned the property but ceded it to the Union in 1828 for the purpose of defending the state
4. The fort, on an island in the inner Charleston harbor, was VACANT when South Carolinians peacefully voted to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860
5. In Washington, commissioners sent by South Carolina were ignored when they attempted to negotiate payments for Union fortifications that were made to the property they wanted back
6. Once the people of South Carolina voted to secede from the Union, the fort in the inner Charleston harbor, was of NO VALUE TO THE UNION but was indispensible in defending the city of Charleston
7. President Buchanan negotiated an agreement primarily with South Carolina legislators in Congress that he would not reinforce or make any changes regarding forts there and the state would ensure the peace
8. By April of 1861, Union General Winfield Scott had drawn up evacuation orders for Fort Sumpter after Colonel Anderson transferred his garrison there in the middle of the night in conflict with the agreement
9. By April of 1861, Colonel Anderson had sent communications that Fort Sumpter should not be resupplied and he offered South Carolina to surrender the fort as soon as supplies ran out
10. In spite of all this, on April 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln personally insisted on reinforcing Fort Sumpter and issued an order for a joint naval / civilian mission to send supplies and reinforcements to the fort
11. When South Carolina discovered the reinforcement effort was in progress, General Beauregard had no choice but to fire on the fort and force an immediate surrender just as the supplies and warship arrived
12. After Colonel Anderson surrendered the fort, South Carolina allowed his garrison to fire salutes to the Union before evacuating
So the question is, now that you know these easily verifiable facts, do you believe that the firing on Fort Sumpter could have started a war which left 620,000 Americans dead, more American dead than all other wars combined. Send me message. I would like to hear your opinion either way.
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