Skip to comments.THE NATIONAL CRISIS: The Star of the West Fired into from Morris Island and Fort Moultrie; THE DISUNION MOVEMENT; Editorial-Compromises for the Crisis (1/10/1861)
Posted on 01/10/2021 6:56:04 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
CHARLESTON, Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The Star of the West, in endeavoring to enter our harbor about daylight this morning, was opened upon by the garrison on Morris Island, and also by Fort Moultrie. The steamer put about, and went to sea.
I have not been able to learn whether the steamer or any person on board was injured. The belief is that no injury was sustained by either the beat or those on board. Fort Sumter did not respond.
Lieut. HALL, of Fort Sumter, came over to the city about 11 o'clock with a flag of truce. He repaired to the quarters of the Governor, followed by a crowd of citizens. He was in secret communication with the Governor and Council for two hours. At 2 o'clock he was sent in a carriage with the Governor's Aids to the wharf, and returned to Fort Sumter. The object of his mission is not known. It is supposed that it relates to the firing on the Star of the West.
The people are intensely excited.
There were no demonstrations against Lieut. HALL. There is a great curiosity to know what Lieut. HALL came for.
Our citizens were drawn in crowds to our wharves early this morning, in consequence of the frequent reports of cannon from seaward. Some twelve or fifteen reports were heard; many of them proceeded from the works on Morris Island.
Lieut. HALL closed his interview with the Governor and Council about 2 o'clock. The facts have not transpired. We learn from high authority that they are of a most threatening character.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
First session: November 21, 2015. Last date to add: Sometime in the future.
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Link to previous New York Times thread
The Star of the West was fired on by memebers of the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel. I was there in 1961 when we re-enacted the event. These were the first shots fire in the War of Northern Aggression.
I would like to add this class. Thank you. Amazing that this is happening in our lifetime.
You are added. Welcome aboard.
The Star of the West Medal is awarded annually to the “best drilled cadet” at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. In June 1893, The Citadel Superintendent, Colonel Asbury Coward, took the corps to Aiken, South Carolina, for their annual encampment and graduation exercises. The excellent military work of the cadets suggested to Dr. Benjamin H. Teague, a Confederate Veteran and a collector of Confederate relics, to present to the Citadel a medal for the winner of the Best Drilled Cadet competition. Among his many curios, Teague had a piece of oak from the Steam Ship Star of the West. He sawed a small piece of this wood into the shape of a star and had it mounted on a gold medal. The recipient would wear the medal for one year and then pass it to the next recipient. The winner’s names are inscribed on the “Star of the West” monument on the college grounds. However, the original medal with the wood has been lost to history.
Actually there were shots fired by Union soldiers at Fort Barrancas in Pensacola, Florida, at a group of Southerners approaching what they apparently thought was an empty fort the night before the shots at the Star of the West. Here is what I posted back in 2009:
From Wikipedia (I know, it's Wikipedia):Nice little book. I bought it at the Fort Pickens bookshop many years ago.His decision to abandon Barrancas was hastened when, around midnight of January 8, 1861, his guards repelled a group of local men intending to take the fort. Some historians suggest that these were the first shots fired by United States forces in the Civil War.
But there is more than Wikipedia. From Guardians of the Gulf, subtitled Pensacola Fortifications 1698-1980, by James C and Irene S Coleman, page 39:... Slemmer began to consolidate arms at Fort Barrancas, and on January 8 had moved part of his company from barracks into Fort Barrancas. ... About midnight on the eighth a group of men approached the fort and failing to answer when challenged, were fired upon by the guard. ... These were the first shots fired by Federals in the Civil War.
Thanks. Good info. I guess NY Times didn’t have any correspondents there. Though maybe they did and it didn’t get big coverage. I note that there are many columns of correspondence on “disunion” or secession activity from all the southern states. I confess, I don’t read it all while getting ready to post it.
A lot of people are unaware that the Star of the West was actually carrying troops, and was therefore a valid military target.
A lot of people are also unaware that operational secrecy was breached, and the Confederates knew that ship was carrying arms and soldiers.
People just like to tell the parts of history that make their side look good, and completely leave out the parts of history that make their side look like evil bastards.
Anderson committed the first belligerent act of the war.
Anderson committed the first belligerent act of the war.
Strictly speaking, Anderson didn't grab the captain of the ship, it was Anderson's officer Hall and a sergeant that did that when the captain refused to take the ship to Fort Sumter. They threw the captain into the hold of the ship and went to Sumter. Anderson was already at Fort Sumter. See: Post 22.
The last sentence of my post 24 of another of Hommer_J_Simpson's threads [Link] quoted the Charleston Courier newspaper as saying:
Maj. Robert Anderson, U. S. A., has achieved the unenviable distinction of opening civil war between American citizens by an act of gross breach of faith.
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