Thursday, April 12, 2012


Ft. Sumter - Charleston harbor
Letter from Brig. Gen. P.G. T. Beauregard (Charleston) to Maj. Robert Anderson (Ft. Sumter) - APRIL 11, 1861: I am so ordered by my govt. - the Confederate States of America - to demand the immediate evacuation of Ft. Sumter. I await your reply.
P.G.T. Beauregard
Anderson’s reply: I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to MY govt., prevent my compliance of your request. I shall await your first shot, and if you do not batter us to pieces, we shall be starved out in a few days.
Robert Anderson
3:30 a.m. APRIL 12, 1861, Col. James Chesnut delivers this message to Major Anderson: By authority of Brig. Gen. Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that we will open fire our Batteries on Ft. Sumter in one hour of this time.
Ft. Johnson
4:30 am.
1st SHOT: fired from Ft. Johnson by Lt. James S. Farley – a signal shot.
2nd SHOT: from Ft. Johnson by Lt. W.H. Gibbes.

Edmund Ruffin

3rd SHOT: from Cummings Point fired by Virginian Edmund Ruffin.

And what were Charleston folks doing during the battle? Why, they were doing what Charleston people do best, PARTYING!!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

TODAY IN HISTORY, 1863: First Battle of Charleston Harbor

The First Battle of Charleston Harbor was an engagement near Charleston, South Carolina that took place April 7, 1863, during the Civil War. The striking force was a fleet of nine ironclad warships of the Union Navy including seven monitors that were improved versions of the original USS Monitor. A Union Army contingent associated with the attack took no active part in the battle. The ships, under command of Rear Admiral Samuel Du Pont, attacked the Confederate defenses near the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Navy Department officials in Washington hoped for a stunning success that would validate a new form of warfare, with armored warships mounting heavy guns reducing traditional forts.
Rear Admiral Du Pont
Du Pont had been given seven of the Passaic class monitors, the powerful New Ironsides, and the experimental ironclad Keokuk. Other naval operations were sidetracked as their resources were diverted to the attack on Charleston. 
New Ironsides
After a long period of preparation, conditions of tide and visibility allowed the attack to proceed. The slow monitors got into position rather late in the afternoon, and when the tide turned, Du Pont had to suspend the operation. Firing had occupied less than two hours, and the ships had been unable to penetrate even the first line of harbor defense. The fleet retired with one in a sinking condition and most of the others damaged. 
USS Keokuk
One sailor in the fleet was killed and twenty-one were wounded, while five Confederate soldiers were killed and eight wounded. After consulting with his captains, Du Pont concluded that his fleet had little chance to succeed. He therefore declined to renew the battle the next morning.