Battle of Fort Sumter Online Exhibit

Entry of Major Anderson's command into Fort Sumter on Christmas Night, 1860

Illustration showing Major Anderson's arrival at the Fort at night.  Two boats are docked at Fort as soldiers and supplies are unloaded.

Caption: Entry of Major Anderson's command into Fort Sumter on Christmas Night, 1860.

Source: Harper's Weekly, January 12, 1861, page 25.

Major Anderson was the commander at Fort Moultrie, in the Charleston Harbor, when South Carolina seceded from the U.S. on December 20, 1860. He relocated his forces to nearby Fort Sumter in secret on Christmas night because seceding states were seizing federal property, and Fort Sumter, in the middle of the harbor, was easier to defend than Fort Moultrie, which had been designed to protect the harbor but was vulnerable to a land-based attack.

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Last Updated: April 2, 2012