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    Description

    Prior to the Firing on Fort Sumter a Soldier in Manigaults Battalion of Light Artillery, S.C. Roberts. describes the situation in Charleston.
    This two-and-a-half page letter (due to the scarcity of paper, Roberts concludes with only one half sheet), is written in ink and was written by Private S. C. Roberts, Co. A of Manigault's Battalion Light Artillery. He provides much interesting information to the turbulent times in April 1861:

    "About three weeks ago there was a fall of snow in our city but it did not last long. Commencing about 3 o'clock in the morning and lasting till 6 or 7 o'clock. On the night of the 27 of March between the hours of 7 & 8, a fire was discovered in the German Catholic Church Society St. near Anson. The fire destroyed a great part of the wood work consisting of platforms and the wood used to repair the church. Mr. John T. McDowall, a member of the Charleston Fire Company, was severely injured by the falling of a scaffold."

    Next Roberts discusses the Democratic National Convention. Delegates had begun to assemble in Charleston for the Convention which was to be held April 23 - May 3, 1861:

    "On Saturday the members of the Convention and several other persons were invited to go on an excursion around the harbor and visit the fortifications. Two large steamers, the Carolina & the Genl Clinch, were engaged and at 10:00 o'clock they moved from the wharf, the Band playing "Dixie's Land." They had a pleasant time and saw the "Big Guns" and were honored by a salute from them."

    Roberts goes on to state:

    "Today a dispatch from Washington says that the Tribune on high authority says Fort Sumter & Fort Pickens are to be reinforced, but these dispatches are not to be relied upon. Even if it was true, we would like no better fun than to have a shot at the vessel that attempts it."

    Less than two weeks later, the Confederate forces in Charleston would fire on Fort Sumter beginning the great Civil War. From the Calvin Packard Civil War Battlefield Letter Collection


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