Tuesday, April 12, 2011

150 Years Ago Today- Civil War Begins in Earnest

Take THAT, ya Yankee devils!
A nation divded, an inexperienced president and simmering regional tensions threatening to boil over into something even bigger.

No- I'm not talking about today. April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening salvo of the Civil War as the Union commander of Ft Sumter rejected Confederate demands to surrender. Technically the first shots of what would become the Civil War were fired back in January of 1861 by cadets from the Citadel to block ships attempting to resupply the Union garrison on the island Fort.

However, the Confederate forces in Charleston, SC would fire shells for over 30 hours at Ft. Sumter. The fort's second in command- none other than Abner Doubleday (then a Captain at the time) fired the first retaliatory shot from Ft. Sumter, although that was largely symbolic. After negotiations, the Confederate forces in Charleston allowed all 85 of the Union soldiers to withdraw from the fort.

Curiously, the bombardment from either side failed to cause any casualties. However, Union Pvt. William Hough was killed when the cannon he was loading for a 100-gun salute shortly after the formal surrender ceremony accidentally went off while he was loading it. It is widely believed that Hough was the first casualty in what would become America's bloodiest conflict.

UPDATE- I thought I'd add a quiz at the very top of the page. Do your best to try and figure this one out without looking it up online. The answer may very well surprise you.

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