|Fort Sumter with Morris Island in Distance (NPS Photo)|
Three major events (into an independent nation. In North Carolina, the citizens of Southport moved on and seized Fort Johnston, an older military post near the mouth of the Cape Fear River below Wilmington.
In South Carolina, Major Robert Anderson in Fort Sumter was stunned by the sound of state artillery opening fire on the steamer Star of the West, which had arrived off Charleston Harbor with supplies, provisions and 200 reinforcements for the U.S. Army garrison in the beleaguered fort.
The Star of the West was a 220 foot steamer chartered from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt by the U.S. Government. On board were 200 picked recruits from Fort Columbus in New York Harbor, as well as a 3-month supply of provisions and other supplies that were desperately needed by the soldiers manning Fort Sumter. As she approached the entrance to Charleston Harbor, the ship was warned off by picket boats placed for that purpose by order of the Governor of South Carolina. Pursuant to her orders, however, the ship continued forward and fire was opened on her by cadets from The Citadel who manned a battery of artillery on Morris Island.
From Fort Sumter, Major Anderson immediately communicated with Governor F.W. Pickens of South Carolina:
|Entrance of Charleston Harbor|