Full Version: This Day in History - Civil War Begins 4-12-1861
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Quite a DAY in the history books. The Civil War Began today and I'm also posting a note in the WWII section regarding the passing of FDR. A lot of dark clouds attached themselves to April 12.



The American Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.


The fort had been the source of tension between the Union and Confederacy for several months. After South Carolina seceded, the state demanded the fort be turned over but Union officials refused. A supply ship, the "Star of the West," tried to reach Fort Sumter on January 9, but the shore batteries opened fire and drove it away. For both sides, Sumter was a symbol of sovereignty. The Union could not allow it to fall to the Confederates, although throughout the Deep South other federal installations had been seized. For South Carolinians, secession meant little if the Yankees still held the stronghold. The issue hung in the air when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4, stating in his inauguration address: "You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."


Lincoln did not try to send reinforcements but he did send in food. This way, Lincoln could characterize the operation as a humanitarian mission, bringing, in his words, "food for hungry men." He sent word to the Confederates in Charleston of his intentions on April 6. The Confederate Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, had decided on February 15 that Sumter and other forts must be acquired "either by negotiation or force." Negotiation, it seemed, had failed. The Confederates demanded surrender of the fort, but Major Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter, refused.


At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederate guns opened fire. For thirty-three hours, the shore batteries lobbed 4,000 shells in the direction of the fort. Finally, the garrison inside the battered fort raised the white flag. No one on either side had been killed, although two Union soldiers died when the departing soldiers fired a gun salute, and some cartridges exploded prematurely. It was a nearly bloodless beginning to America's bloodiest war.

Another event happened on April 12th ---but in 1864. On this day, General Nathan Bedford Forrest lead an assault on an earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men against a small outpost that comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth.

The fortification was called Fort Pillow. After the assault, the Union lost 40% killed, mostly black soldiers and the Confederates lost 15 men and another 60 wounded.

This was such a small battle in the light of other losses in the Civil War but it has always been controvesal. Because of the high percentage of black soldiers killed, it is referred to as the Massacre of Fort Pillow.

I visited the fort yesterday to enjoy the a Spring day out in the park and to watch muskets fire and the cannons belch smoke. But when the reenactment was over, I bowed my head to listen to the lone bugler play Taps for those who fought and died for their country. At that moment, the battle was no longer the subject of forum discussion and controversay. I only reflected on my Great-Great-Grandfather Richard W. Cole who died at that battle in 1864.



Gr-Gr-Grandson of Pvt Richard W. Cole,

Company A, 5th Mississippi Cavalry,

Muccolk's Brigade, Chalmer's Division

Killed in Action on 12 April 1864


Photo of inner works of Fort Pillow


A very touching post. :heartpump:


Are you going to try reposting the photo?

Are you going to try reposting the photo?


Well, I would if I knew what is wrong. Too large?

When I posted my reply, the photo was there. Then when it reverted back to the page, it disappeared. It is only a landscape photo with a cannon or two.


And maybe I will look up how to spell "controversay"??.



Let me give it a shot. I don't know why they would do that?! I noticed that another one of yours did that the other day too. Never seen anything like it.


I'm inserting it as a link to your page.


My photo hmmmm! (two minutes later I see what the problem is...)


I thought you moved your pages off the AOL server. Shouldn't your links be directed to your URL and then the subdirectory with the photos? As a computer consultant, I'd say that's where your problem exists. You shouldn't be using any link that directs to the AOL directory either here or on your site. That's my advice. :pdt34:

Okay....Don't go showing off how smart you are.

I don't understand a thing you said.


Actually, I think I do but I'm not too sure. Are you saying that my Webpage should have all the files on that page placed in a sub-folder? I've always created my webpages with the photos in the same directory as the HTML file.

Why is that a problem with displaying the photo on your forum? Are you saying it is poor web design? (If so, why? security? slow load?)


We can take this "off-line" if you wish.



We'll chat offline when I get a chance. But not tonight. Am installing new server/client setups for our new Point of Sale software for our store this evening. Don't worry, will help ya out. Once we talk you will see that it's not too hard to understand. Promise! :pdt34: