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Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61

Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61 by Abner Doubleday
By: (1819-1893)

Abner Doubleday was a busy man. He rose to be a major general during the American Civil War, started the first cable car company in San Francisco, and is credited (though perhaps erroneously) with inventing the game of baseball.

In 1861, he had the distinction as a captain to be second-in-command of Ft. Moultrie, one of the harbor defenses of Charleston, SC.. When that state seceded from the Union, Doubleday and the garrison of artillerists manning the fort were cut off from supplies and reinforcements. Through a tumultuous period, during which the command transferred to Ft. Sumter and soon found the Secessionists building batteries all around it, Doubleday had an additional target painted on him, as he was known as the only "Black Republican" in the fort and the mobs wanted to tar and feather him.

Doubleday walks us through a day-by-day account of the final weeks before the new Confederacy opened fire on Ft. Sumter to begin the Civil War. Our busy man sighted the gun for the first shot fired by the Union in response. And we learn what it is like to be the target of thousands of cannonballs, until, nearly out of ammunition and food, the fort is surrendered with the honors of war and the men are evacuated to New York.

The historical events are well-known. This first-person account allows us to experience them.

First Page:

[Illustration: FORT SUMTER.]





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


Now that the prejudices and bitter partisan feeling of the past are subsiding, it seems a fitting time to record the facts and incidents connected with the first conflict of the Rebellion. Of the eleven officers who took part in the events herein narrated, but four now survive. Before the hastening years shall have partially obliterated many circumstances from my memory, and while there is still an opportunity for conference and friendly criticism, I desire to make, from letters, memoranda, and documents in my possession, a statement which will embody my own recollections of the turbulent days of 1860 and 1861.

I am aware that later and more absorbing events have caused the earlier struggles of the war to recede in the distance; but those who were in active life at that time will not soon forget the thrill of emotion and sympathy which followed the movements of Anderson's little band, when it became its duty to unfold the flag of the Union against a united South in arms... Continue reading book >>

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