Fort Sumter1 Essay
It would be an understatement to say that the Civil War caused unfortunate bloodshed and left a heritage of grief and bitterness in its path.This war is perhaps the most tragic of all time. Its epic feats and uncanny combats merit it as not only an unforgettable event in history, but a war that took over 600,000 lives.It was the only war fought on American soil by Americans, and for that reason the Civil War has always of interest.Ironically, but not surprisingly, the Civil War still remains a fascinating event in American history.
Few leaders have faced decisions as difficult as those confronting Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis in April of 1861.At stake was the allegiance of the northern tier of slave states, wavering between the Union and their sister slave states.Beyond that, Lincoln had to find some way to get all the states back into the Union, and Davis to prevent it.All this now focused on Fort Sumter.With so much depending on this Fort and the events surrounding the outbreak of the Civil War, it is imperative to assess the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln’s decision to hold Fort Sumter, and Jefferson Davis’s decision to take it.
Located on an island inside the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, and garrisoned by less then 100 U.S. soldiers, Fort Sumter was to both North and South a symbol of national authority in the states claiming to have seceded (McPherson 264). The 40 foot brick walls that were eight to twelve feet thick were designed to be able to stop anything from leaving or entering the harbor (McPherson 264).On December 20, 1861, after decades of sectional conflict, the people of South Carolina responded to the election of thefirst Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, by voting unanimously in convention to secede from the Union. Within six weeks five other states- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana-followed South Carolina’s example. Early in February 1861 they met in Montgom…