Voices from the Past: The Battle of Fort Sumter, 1861

“Boom, boom go the cannon. Now the puff of white smoke comes from Fort Johnson. There goes one from Castle Pinckney. The Floating Battery, too, has taken position, while Steven’s Battery, the first to speak on that momentous morning, still continues to send forth its iron messengers. Fort Moultrie also joins the fray and thus from all sides shot and shell pour down upon that one sole representative of the detested northern oppressor. All the pent up hatred of the past months and years is voiced in the thunder of these cannon, and the people seem almost beside themselves in the exultation of a freedom they deem already won.”

–William Merrick Bristoll on the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861.

Source: American Heritage Vol. 26, April 1975.

“Bombardment of Fort Sumter by the batteries of the Confederate states,” 1861. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

“Bombardment of Fort Sumter by the batteries of the Confederate states.” Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

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