Major Anderson Enters Fort Sumter


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January 12, 1861 Harper's Weekly

Other Pages From this Edition of Harper's Weekly

Major Anderson in Harper's Weekly | 

Seizure of Southern Forts, and Beginning of Hostilities | 

News of Loyal Union States | 

Major Anderson's Command at Fort Moultrie | 

Major Anderson Enters Fort Sumter | 

Major Anderson Enters Ft. Sumter (Cont.)

In order to allow you to see the major events of the Civil War unfold just as the people living at the time, we present original Harper's Weekly articles in their entirety.  Below we present a leaf from the January 12, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly.  We have digitized an image of the original leaf, and have converted it to readable text.  This leaf presents an incredible account of Major Anderson's move from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter under the cover of Darkness, December 25, 1861. We acquired this original 1861 leaf for the purpose of digitally archiving it on this site for your research and enjoyment.  If you would like to purchase the original 140+ year old piece, it is available for a price of $165.  If you are interested, contact



JANUARY 12, 1861.]





WE are enabled, through the kindness of an officer of Major Anderson's command, and others, to present our readers with a series of pictures of Fort Moultrie, which was evacuated by the United States troops on the night of Christmas; also of the occupation of Castle Pinckney by the Charlestonians ; and of the entry of Major Anderson and his force into Fort Sumter. The relative bearing and general appearance of these various works have already been fully illustrated in the Weekly.

The pictures of Fort Moultrie explain themselves. At the time the sketches were taken it is not probable that the officers had any intention of evacuating the work; if their chief had formed the resolution, he kept it to himself. It will be seen that, notwithstanding the weakness of the place, our gallant troops had prepared for a desperate struggle.

The evacuation took place, as was said, on the night of 25-26th December. Major Anderson had dined with the Charleston authorities, and returned to Fort Moultrie about 9 A.M. One story says that the Major deceived his friends by pretending

sleep, and that accordingly the watch kept on his movements by the Nina was that night relaxed. At any rate, to use the language of a Charleston contemporary, " the evacuation commenced on Tuesday evening. The men were ordered to hold themselves in readiness, with knapsacks packed, at a moment's notice ; but up to the moment of their leaving had no idea of abandoning the post. They were reviewed on parade, and were then ordered to two schooners, lying in the vicinity, where they embarked, taking with them all the necessaries, stores, etc., requisite in their evacuation. Several trips were made during the

night, and a great part of the provisions and camp furniture were transported under cover of night. The brightness of the moon, however, afforded but slight concealment to their movements ; and in one of the trips, Lieutenant Davis in command, a schooner full of soldiers and baggage passed directly under the bow of the guardboat Nina. The officer who made the statement expressed himself to be ignorant whether the watch on board the Nina discovered the movement or not—at all events, he said they did not signify any cognizance of the fact."

Next day the Charlestonians were greatly excited (Continued on Next Page)


Major Anderson Enters Fort Sumter



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