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    Description

    ROSWELL SABINE RIPLEY: DRAMATIC CIVIL WAR-DATE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", dated April 9, 1861 from "Head Quarters, Fort Moultrie", Charleston, South Carolina, to Col. Edward Manigault (in full):"Colonel, The breech sights are right in the base ring but all wrong in the graduation for our guns. They are all of 1829 or thereabouts, are entirely different model from the gun referred to in the Ordnance Manual. They'll do. Would it be possible to make a few to run up to about 7 in. or even higher in a day or so. The large fleet is not yet in sight." Signed: "R.S. Ripley Lt. Col. Art Comdgt"

    The complex of forts in Charleston Harbor had been the site of frenetic action every since December, 1860, when South Carolina withdrew from the Union. On December 26, 1860, the Union commander, Major Anderson, abandoned Fort Moultrie and moved his headquarters over to Fort Sumter. In early January, the Rebels seized Moultrie and Fort Pinckney, and also took the Federal arsenal in Charleston. Anderson and his men were cut off from the outside, and Lincoln ordered that the fort be re-supplied. A navy supply ship, the Star of the North, came into the harbor in January, only to flee when Confederate guns opened fire.

    Lincoln did not make any attempt to re-supply the fort until the first days of April, 1861. He informed Gov. Pickens that only food and supplies were on the way, and that no guns and men would be thrown in. Beauregard, the Confederate commander, issued an ultimatum, and then commenced shelling at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861. The cannon that launched the first shots came from Fort Johnson on James Island, but Ripley's batteries on Sullivan's Island soon joined the fray, pounding the Union garrison for 24 straight hours, until the massive destruction to the walls and fires inside made further resistance futile.

    An absolutely amazing and dramatic letter from Ripley, written just days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter - the opening shots of the Civil War.

    Condition: Fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 732

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