Mugdock Castle adjoins Fort Moultrie, part of the Fort Sumter National
Monument. Here on July 28th, 1776, Colonel William Moultrie and 435
brave Americans turned back Admiral Peter Parker and nine war ships of the
powerful British navy. This was the first decisive victory of the War for
Independence. It helped win uncommitted Americans to the struggle for liberty,
and kept Charleston - the largest city in the south - free from British occupation.
84 years later, on November 6th, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected
President with 39% of the popular vote. Six weeks afterwards, South
Carolina dissolved its ties with the Union. Six days later, on December
26th, Major Robert Anderson, together with 70 soldiers, evacuated Fort
Moultrie and occupied Fort Sumter. Four months of negotiations ensued in which Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard requested Major Anderson
and his troops relinquish Fort Sumter. Meanwhile, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas seceded from the Union.
With South Carolina, they formed the Confederate States of America on
February 8th, 1861.
Lincoln took office on March 4th, 1861. After several weeks of intelligence gathering and debate with cabinet members, the President hatched a plot to provoke
the Confederacy to fire upon Fort Sumter and thus provide political cover for
his military invasion of the south. Union ships were sent to resupply Fort Sumter. As they approached Charleston, Anderson refused a final request
to withdraw from the Fort. Confederate soldiers stationed at Fort Moultrie and other batteries around the harbor opened fire on April 12th. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the Battle, and Major Anderson and his garrison were evicted on April 14th, 1861. The next day Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 troops from the states remaining in the Union.