View single post by 39th Miss. Walker
 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 04:38 pm
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39th Miss. Walker

Joined: Tue May 1st, 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 80

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The legal title to Ft. Sumter, as well as Moultrie belonged to the US Government by an act of the SC Legislature and the US Congress. That is not debatable. Until SC became a sovereign nation, that open another can of worms.
That being said, while the US held legal title to the forts when SC left the Union, negotiations were opened with the US Gov't. as to SC taking possession of the forts. The CS pledged not to open any hostilities upon the forts as long as they were not re-enforced in any way. This the US agreed to.
At this time other than some ongoing construction at Sumter, the fort was not occupied. Anderson, claiming no knowledge of these ongoing negotiations, chose to abandon Ft. Moultrie and occupy Sumter. In direct violation of the agreement between the US and SC.
The Confederacy still held off until such time as the US attempted to re-enforce Sumter with the Star of the West. The Confederacy did turn away the Star of the West but held off any overt acts against Sumter.
It wasn't until the US assembled a fleet outside of Sumter in an attempt to again resupply Sumter that the CS acted.
Anderson himself agreed to give up the fort on the 15th as they would have to vacate due to lack of supplies. The Union forced the CS hand with the resupply ships.
Not getting into a Lincoln vs Davis, which is another thread.
What option did the CS have? The US violated the agreement multiple times, the most egregious by Anderson occupying Sumter.

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