Battle of Fort Sumter Online Exhibit

Colonel Wigfall Negotiates with Major Anderson

Illustration showing Major Anderson at a porthole in Fort Sumter, negotiating with Colonel Wigfall, who stands at the base of the Fort with two other men, while a rowboat with several other men waits near by.

Caption: Major Anderson's Interview with Colonel Wigfall Through the Port Hole of Fort Sumter.

Source: Illustration and text (below) from New York Illustrated News, April 27, 1861, page 388.

After the flag-staff of Anderson was shot away, Col. Wigfall, Aid to Gen. Beauregard, at his Commander's request, went to Sumter with a white flag, to offer assistance in extinguishing the flames. He approached the burning fortress from Morris Island, and while the firing was raging on all sides, effected a landing at Sumter. He approached a port-hole, and was met by Major Anderson. The commandant of Fort Sumter said he had just displayed a white flag, but the firing from the Carolina batteries was kept up nevertheless.

It is but fair to say that the flag was not at first discovered on account of the smoke from the fort and the cannon. As soon as it was observed, however, by the General of the Rebel Forces, all firing ceased, and another boat was sent off with officers to arrange with Major Anderson for the surrender of the fort.

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Last Updated: August 7, 2012