View Full Version : Start of the Civil War

04-08-2004, 09:33 PM
For a paper for a history class, I was reading a speech Jefferson Davis gave to the Confederate Congress on April 29, 1861. In it he says, "I was sincerely anxious to avoid the effusion of blood, and directed a proposal to be made to the commander of Fort Sumter, who had avowed himself to be nearly out of provisions, that we would abstain from directing our fire on Fort Sumter if he would promise to not open fire on our forces unless first attacked. this proposal was refused."
My question is was Anderson really told this? I had always heard that Fort Sumter was asked to surrender when the Confederates heard that it would be supplied, and that it was fired on after Anderson refused to surrender. This makes it sound like Anderson may have been the aggressor-or at least a potential aggressor. Does anyone know the truth behind this?

04-08-2004, 09:51 PM
David et al,

I closed this thread because this is a classic example of someone coming onto the forums looking for answers from someone else who has done the work.

My suggestion is that you search the web or go to the library and look at sources covering the year 1861. Dozens of books have been written on Fort Sumter and the political atmosphere of the nation prior to the war.

I'm of an age where we still used card catalogues at the library;) . Even research has gotten easier.

By learning how to do research, people can become contributors to this forum. I'm not trying to pick on David here, but we can't allow students and new guys to come on the forum and have answers handed to them without doing the work themselves.

Another way to ask for this information would be; "I'm doing a research paper on the political happenings prior to Fort Sumter and I am looking for some sources that others have found containing information on this topic."

Good luck in your search for information.

04-09-2004, 11:56 AM
David, a forum member suggests the following source.

Why don't you recommend Allegiance by David Detzer to the gentleman who questions who started the thing at Sumter. Well written and very informative! (It certainly changes a perspective that i grew up with as a native Charlestonian!!)
David Chinnis
<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->__________________
David Chinnis
Palmetto Living History Association
www.morrisisland.org (http://www.morrisisland.org/)

"We have captured one fort--Gregg--and one charnel house--Wagner--and we have built one cemetery, Morris Island. The thousand little sand-hills that in the pale moonlight are a thousand headstones, and the restless ocean waves that roll and break on the whitened beach sing an eternal requiem to the toll-worn gallant dead who sleep beside."

Clara Barton
October 11, 1863