, which he did on the night of December 26th.
was a Kentuckian, and a West Point graduate of the class of 1827, whose sympathies at the beginning of the war were rather on the side of the South
He continued to occupy with his little force this island fort, while Beauregard
, who had resigned from the United States Army and was already commissioned by the seceding States, was building hostile batteries on every side.
A crisis in this harbor was fast approaching.
The Government of the United States
decided to make an attempt to throw men and provisions into the fort, and when this became known, orders were issued from Montgomery
to open his batteries.
In the gray of the morning at half-past 4 on a certain Friday, April 12, 1861, a single shot fired from the Confederate batteries at Fort Johnson
announced that the bombardment of a fort over whose grim walls floated the Stars and Stripes was about to begin.
The report of the bursting of this shell startled the country from center to circumference.
The Angel of Peace which for months had been hovering over the republic plumed his wings for flight and the Demon of War reigned supreme.
followed this act of war by issuing a proclamation calling for seventyfive thousand troops.
A prompt response was given to him by the governors of the Northern States
; but those of Arkansas
, North Carolina
, and Missouri
declined in terms more or less emphatic.
The secession of all these States from the Union
followed, except Kentucky
, whose sympathies were divided, and their union with the Government
formed at Montgomery, Ala.
, was speedily made.
On April 17, 1861, the Ordinance of Secession was passed by the Virginia Convention, and the day following, Lee
had a long interview with his old commander, General Scott
On the 20th the die was cast; his Rubicon
was crossed, for the resignation 1
of his commission in the