The world we live in is full of man made and natural wonders. One may never truly appreciate the existence of these wonders until you get a first hand experience. Natural sceneries such as rivers, lakes oceans and waterfalls as well as manmade historical sites such as the pyramids in Egypt and the Fort Sumter in USA all serve as important historical sites and recreation facilities. Last summer, I had the privilege of travelling to Charles town South Carolina to visit the infamous Fort Jesus. It was a very interesting and eye opening trip. In addition to enjoying myself, I got to appreciate the importance of this historical land mark and increase my global knowledge.
I arrived at the place early in the morning looking forward to have an educative day at this fort. I head for the fort Sumter visitor education center in down town Charles town. The fort officials had encouraged me to read about the fort and then I could be taken to fort itself at the Charlestown harbor. There were variety of documented papers about the history of the fort, its significance to the American history and what is there presently. I took one of the documented materials at the education enter and started reading.
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Fort Sumter is a third masonry defense harbor located in South Carolina. The fort is named after a revolutionary hero General Thomas Sumter. This is the place where the American civil war started. There were conflicts f interest between the Carolina government, Northern states and the federal government of the time. The area around Fort Sumter at the time was under the federal government and was led by Major Robert Anderson. Anderson urged the government to strengthen the military works in this area on several occasions but nothing was done. He feared that they might be attacked by the South Carolina militia in a quest to take possession of this fort.
In December 1860 South Carolina declared secession of fort Sumter. This made Anderson to secretly relocate to fort Sumter without any orders from his headquarters in Washington. He first moved women and children indirectly to fort Sumter. They were first moved from fort Moultrie to fort Johnson and later in the evening moved to fort Sumter. Fort Moultrie was left with only a few soldiers who were left to shoot signaling women and children to be moved to fort Sumter. Anderson was doing this in order to delay any attack by the South Carolina Militia by providing strong defense. Fort Sumter had large granite walls that would provide defense to Anderson and his men. They had enough food supply to sustain them for sometime.
From that time onwards, the South Carolina government under President James Buchanan made requests for the federal government to vacate fort Sumter but in vain. Anderson declined all these requests by the South Carolina. The federal government tried to reinforce and to re supply Anderson and his men with no success. Shots were fired at the vessel that had been sent to reinforce Anderson. Anderson was in danger as soon his supplies would be over. President Lincoln realized that Anderson would be short of supplies in no time and sent a fleet of ships with the mission of gaining entry to fort Sumter.
At the same time the South Carolina government was pressuring Anderson to vacate fort Sumter. Beauregard sent aides to Anderson demanding his vacation on April 11 in 1861. Anderson declined as usual and Beauregard consulted with the secretary of war and they decided to take the fort by force. The aides were sent once more to Anderson asking him if they should repossess the fort by forces. Anderson weighed his options and did not give a good answer to the aides. They consulted with other aides and then moved to fort Johnson which was nearby and ordered that fort Sumter be attacked. The confederate batteries fought for about 34 hours defeating Anderson men as they were ineffective in fighting the confederate. Anderson had no option but to vacate the fort with his men.
Lincoln was not happy with the attack on his men in fort Sumter. The union or the federal government tried to repossess the fort about one and half years later. They were not successful as the confederate was much stronger and they were strengthening the fort and the surrounding areas. In 1863, the union tried to assault fort Sumter with the army and the navy. Communication between the army and the navy was poor and they were unable to successfully assault fort Sumter. They had initially underestimated the number of soldiers in fort Sumter. Soldiers at fort Sumter attacked the union soldiers landing on the fort’s wall. Fort Sumter soldiers then fired a signal rocket signaling fort Johnson and the confederate gun boat to join in the attack. The union had once more been defeated with about eight deaths, nineteen wounded and more than a hundred captured.
After this unsuccessful assault, the union came back and bombarded the fort until the civil war ended. The confederate did not give up easily and they harassed the union soldiers in nearby areas for instance the Morris Island. Sumter was destroyed a lot and only ruins remained after the war. Fort Sumter was no longer used for military purposes but there were interests to utilize it for instance during the Spanish American war and the World War 1. Sumter is now used as a tourist destination site with fort Sumter National monument that has three major sites. Fort Sumter education center, the original fort Sumter and fort Moultrie National monument are the three major sites in this expansive area.
Fort Sumter is one of the unforgettable areas in the USA and one of the most important sites in USA history. Incidents of fort Sumter outline the relationship between the north and the southern states. The sour relation between these two parties is what caused the incidents of fort Sumter and the American Civil war. Fort Sumter also symbolizes the resistance of the southern states. Sumter flag is one of the most important and popular important patriotic symbols in the USA history. If it were not for these incidents, the American civil war might have never been fought”.
Having had a rough idea on the Fort, it was time to move to the fort where I would be taken around by John. He was waiting for me all that wrong. We had a boat ride to the fort as it is the only means of getting to it. Immediately after arriving, John realized that I was looking at the flags and he comments that the six flags are hanged daily. One of the flags is the United States flag with fifty blue stars on it and the others were historical flags symbolizing the governments that controlled the fort a few centuries ago. I spent the rest of the day going round the fort with my guide John whom I would ask questions and gladly answer. As I walked I could see all the cannons which were used to fight against the union army.
Fort Sumter has a lot influence on the American history. The American civil war started in this fort after the very first gunshots were fired from the fort. American Civil war was probably the deadliest war in American history. The major influence of the war however was the way the two opposing sides cooperated to end the war thereby becoming a single nation. This battle was between the union which was the northern part of the United States and the Southern slave states. The southern states had declared their secession from the union. After the war, the two major players in the war cooperated marking the end of the war. The confederate states were defeated. However, the union decided that victory was not only winning the war but cooperating and coming together as the United States of America.