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Whiting, William H. (1824-1865) to David R. Jones

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02601 Author/Creator: Whiting, William H. (1824-1865) Place Written: Morris Island, South Carolina Type: Manuscript document Date: 13 April 1861 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 26 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Retained draft in secretarial hand for Whitings own files of a letter detailing the surrender of Fort Sumter. Describing attack on fort, says soon "Anderson's position will be untenable." Worries about a naval attack by Union forces, "more than probable that an attack will be made at night. States that at one p.m. "flagg staf shot away." At two p.m. reports the fort has "surrendered unconditionally to Brig. Gen. Beauregard," and again expresses worry about nearby Union ships. Though the Confederates at first believed that the surrender was unconditional, this was not the understanding of Robert Anderson in command of the fort. The confusion was resolved, and Anderson was allowed certain conditions on his surrender, including a last salute to the United States flag.

Background Information: William Whiting served as an Adjutant and Inspector General in the Confederate Army during the assault on Fort Sumter, later rose to the rank of Major General.
David Jones serves ...as Beauregard's chief of staff during the bombardment of Fort Sumter.See More

Full Transcript: Head Quarters Morris Island
April 13 - . 1861

Major D.R. Jones
Asst. Adjt Genl P.A. }
Charleston }

The commanding General directs me to report the arrival off the bar ...of another Man of War Steamer - supposed to be the [struck: Bibb] [inserted: Pocahantas], the Pawnee Harriet Lane and the [struck: Bibb] [inserted: Pocahontas] are concentrated off North Channel - The transports towards the Main bar - The time is at hand when they will either attempt to reinforce Anderson, or to land and destroy the batteries of Morris Island.
The reinforcements so greatly needed have only arrived (12.40. p.m) in part, to the number of 160, about 1/6 of the number required - Of this force one company has no belts or cartridge boxes, An additional force of 1000 men is required here soon.
It is more than probable that an attack will be made to night, as the time is approaching when Anderson's position will be no longer tenable. The fire of the batteries today has been very severe - The barbettes of Sumpter and the case-mates looking to Morris Island have been completely silenced, not a shot has been fired in our direction today -
[2] The upper story of the barracks is in flames and in ruins - The parapet on the pan-coupé is shattered four guns dismounted the severely battered Two casemate embrazures nearly knocked into one. The barracks have been in flames all the forenoon. Several depots of ammunition have been exploded One in particular a heavy one near the S.W. angle of the work causing great apparent desolation; 1, p.m. the flagg staff shot away at this moment. In view of the importance of this position and the necessity of completing the work so successfully commenced, the presence of General Beauregard is most earnestly desired -
The Brig. Genl desires to commend to the favorable notice of the General commanding the admirable and effective service of the commandant of batteries Col De Saussure and his Officers and men, especially, Major & Mrs Stevens, Capts Thomas, citadel cadets, Childs, and Jones C.S.A. Gadsden King Marion Artillery, and his Lieutenants. To the batteries served by these Gentlemen, much of the effect on Sumpter is due, a credit shared with the destructive fire of Moultrie -
2 pm Sumpter has surrendered unconditionally to Brig Gen Beauregard; It should be occupied at once, - Since the above has been written another hostile steamer has made its appearance, they may make an effort to recapture the Fort, and it is important that they should be repelled.
[3] It is respectfully suggested that the companies serving Stevens & Kings batteries which have so materially contributed to the result, should form part of the garrison - The troops are under Arms and will maintain that attitude until further orders -

By command of Brig. Gen. James Simon
(signed), Henry Whiting
Adjt Insp Genl -

Letter from
Major Whiting
Gen Beauregard
[written in a different hand: June]

Report of Action &c

April 13 - 1861 -
See More

People: Whiting, William Henry Chase, 1824-1865
Jones, David Rumph, 1825-1863

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryFort SumterBattleConfederate States of AmericaUnion ForcesNavyFortificationAmerican Flag

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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