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Karen Palumbo

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Les sources de valeurs
by Antoine Raphael

Certainement, nous avons débouché sur un nouveau siècle. Malheureusement, partout où se manifeste l’humanité sur notre planète, elle accuse un état de détresse, une certa..  
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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 1/9/1861
1/13/2011 5:56:46 PM

The "Star of the West" is fired upon


A Union merchant ship, the "Star of the West", is fired upon as it tries to bring supplies to Fort Sumter at Charleston Harbor. This incident was the first time shots were exchanged between the North and South, but it did not trigger the Civil War. When it seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, South Carolina demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Federal Garrison at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

President James Buchanan refused to do so, but was also careful not to make any provocative moves. Inside Fort Sumter, Major Robert Anderson and his eighty troops needed supplies. President Buchanan's Administration decided to dispatch a civilian ship, the "Star of the West", instead of a military transport, in order to keep tensions from flaring.

The "Star of the West" left New York on January 5, 1861. After it was en route, Secretary of War Joseph Holt received a dispatch from Major Anderson saying that the Garrison was safe and supplies were not needed immediately.

Major Anderson added that the secessionists were building gun replacements overlooking the main shipping channel into Charleston Harbor. Secretary Holt realized that the "Star of the West" was in great danger and that a war might erupt.

Secretary Holt tried in vain to recall the "Star of the West" and Major Anderson was not aware that the ship continued on its way. In the morning on January 9 1861 ship Captain John McGowan steered the ship into the channel near Fort Sumter.

Two cannon shots roared from a South Carolina battery on Morris Island. The cannon shots came from gunner George E. Haynsworth, a cadet at "The Citadel" in Charleston. They were poor shots, but they represented the opening salvo of the "Civil War".

More cannon shots were fired, and the "Star of the West" suffered a minor hit. Major Anderson watched from Fort Sumter, but did not respond in support of the ship. If he had, the "Civil War" may have started on this day.

The incident resulted in strong talk on bith sides, but they stopped short of war. The standoff at Fort Sumter continued until the Confederate troops attacked in April, which did trigger the start of the "Civil War".

At the same time, Mississippi followed South Carolina in seceding from the Union when a State Convention at Jackson ratified an article of secession by a vote of eighty-four to fifteen.



(K) (HST)


James Buchanan President - USA
Robert Anderson Union Major
Joseph Holt Secretary of War
John McGowan Union Captain
George E. Haynesworth Cadet


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