Harper's Weekly 04/27/1861
THE BOMBARDMENT OF FORT
We devote most of our space this week to illus-
trations of this memorable event. On pages 264
and 265 will be found a general picture of the
Bombardment, seen from Fort Johnson. On
page 260 we give a picture of the Interior of
Fort Sumter during the terrible rain of shot and
shell from the Confederate batteries; and on page
261 an accurate Map of the Harbor of Charles-
ton, showing the relative position of Sumter and
of the batteries by which it was surrounded. We
now subjoin, by way of record, a brief account of
On 8th April Lieutenant Talbot and Mr. Chew,
messengers from the President, informed General
Beauregard that the Government would supply
Major Anderson with provisions—which were de-
nied him by the South Carolinians—peaceably if
they could, forcibly if they must. General Beau-
regard referred the message to his Government at
Montgomery, and was ordered to reduce the fort.
He summoned Major Anderson to surrender on
11th. The reply was:
“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
communication, demanding the evacuation of this fort, and
to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I
regret that my sense of honor and my obligations to my
Government prevent my compliance.”
Accordingly at 4.27 A. M. on 12th fire was opened
from Fort Moultrie on Fort Sumter. To this Major
Anderson replied with three of his barbette guns,
after which the batteries on Mount Pleasant, Cum-
mings's Point, and the Floating Battery opened a
GENERAL THOMAS SWEARING IN THE VOLUNTEERS CALLED INTO THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES AT WASHINGTON. D. C.
brisk fire of shot and shell. Major Anderson did
not reply, except at long intervals, until between
seven and eight o'clock, when he brought into ac-
tion the two tiers of guns looking toward Fort
Moultrie and Steven's iron battery. The fire con-
tinued brisk all day. At 7 P.M. a beavy rain-storm
caused a cessation of hostilities till 11 P.M. Major
Anderson appears to have employed the interval
in repairing damages. At or about 11 P.M. the
fire recommenced, and a shell was thrown into Fort
Sumter from each battery every twenty minutes
during the night. With daybreak the heavy bom-
bardment recommenced from all the batteries; the
fire was returned from Fort Sumter with vigor un-
til about 8 A.M., when Fort Sumter was perceived
to be on fire. Major Anderson's fighting then
slackened, but the fire of the besiegers increased in
intensity. At about 10 A. M. Major Anderson low-
ered his flag to half-mast in token of distress; per-
haps as a signal to the United States vessels which
were lying at anchor outside the bar, unable to get
into the harbor so as to participate in the conflict.
About half past ten one or two explosions took
place in the fort; it has since been ascertained that
these proceeded from the heating of piles of shells.
Meanwhile the fire progressed rapidly; the whole
roof of the barracks was a sheet of flame, and flames
and smoke issued thickly form the casemates. At
or about eleven Major Anderson ceased firing, and
devoted his whole attention to putting out the fire.
At about noon some of his men were noticed on the
wharf of the fort handing in buckets of water; the
besiegers' fire, which had never slackenced, was at
once directed upon them. In a few minutes after-
ward Major Anderson hauled down his flag. A boat
then put off, containing ex-Governor Manning, Ma-
jor D. R. Jones, and Colonel Charles Allston, to ar-
range the terms of surrender, which were the same
as those offered on the 11th. These were official.
They stated that all proper facilities would be af-
forded 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. Major Ander-
son stated that he surrendered his sword to Gen-
eral Beauregard as the representative of the Con-
federate Government. General Beauregard said
he would not receive it from so brave a man.
The correspondent of the Press telegraphs on
“The last act in the drama of Fort Sumter has been con-
cluded. Major Anderson has evacuated, and, with his com-
mand, departed by the steamer Isabel from the harbor.
He saluted his flag, and the company, then forming on the
parade-ground, marched out upon the wharf, with drum
and fife playing `Yankee Doodle.'
“During the salute a pile of cartridges burst in one of
the casemates, killing two men and wounding four others.
One was buried in the fort with military honors. The oth-
er will be buried by the soldiers of South Carolina.
“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, amidst 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.
“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.
“Several fire companies were immediately sent down to
Fort Sumter to put out the fire, and any amount of assist-
ance was offered.
“The fort is burned into a mere shell; not a particle of
wood-work can be found. The guns on one side of the par-
apet are entirely dismounted, others split, while the gun-
carriages are knocked into splinters.
“The flames have destroyed every thing. Both officers
and soldiers were obliged to lie on their faces in the case-
mates to prevent suffocation.