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    Description

    [Fort Sumter]: Joseph Reaves, 1st South Carolina Infantry, Autograph Letter Signed Concerning Last Days of Fort Sumter before Evacuation.
    An extraordinary three-page ALS, written from Morris Island on April 5, 1861 to his cousin Sallie, in which Reeves describes the dire situation at Fort Sumter days before its bombardment and capture, as well as Confederate batteries firing on the Star of the West as it tried to resupply the fort. Written on patriotic 7 stars flag (representing the 7 southern states that had thus far seceded) Confederate stationary, Reaves writes,

    "I arrived here in due time and found things quite different from what I expected for I expected to see Fort Sumter evacuated but find it quite the reverse for everything is more gloomy now than ever. All communications and supplies are stopped from Anderson. Some of his men was in the city yesterday and bought some provisions but they was taken away from them by the police and put in the guard house and the men sent back to the fort as they came. There was a schooner started in here day before yesterday and when it passed some of our batteries it raised the U.S. flag when there was a shot fired ahead of her for her to stop but it did not stop so readily and it was fired on eight times in which time it turned around and was out of reach. You will see a full account of it in the Mercury after the firing had ceased Anderson sent over to the iron battery to show the cause but did not get much satisfaction on the subject and he said that if the boat was injured the tea party would begin that night and some of our soldiers told him that they hoped he would send them an invitation. We are expecting a fight here shortly. They are sending provisions over here as fast as they can so as to stop the boat and our Colonel has refused to give and more soldiers a furlough. The boat is expected to be stopped this evening....Give my love to all the family and accept the same yourself."

    Following the declaration of secession by South Carolina on December 20, 1860, its authorities demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, Major Robert Anderson of the U.S. Army surreptitiously moved his small command from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress built on an island controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861. South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area except for Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter was bombarded and captured on April 13, 1861.

    To reiterate, this is an extraordinary letter concerning the situation Fort Sumter days before it was captured by Confederate forces.

    Condition: The letter is in fine condition with vibrant colors.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    2nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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