2011 44¢ Battle of Fort Sumter
Civil War Sesquicentennial
Issue Date: April 12, 2011
City: Charleston, SC
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
“Our Southern brethren have done grievously, they have rebelled and have attacked their father’s house and their loyal brothers. They must be punished and brought back, but this necessity breaks my heart.” – Major Robert Anderson
After years of heated debate over slavery and states’ rights, calls for war reached a fevered pitch in the fall of 1860 when Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election.
Seven Southern states, including South Carolina, seceded from the Union before Lincoln’s inauguration. The states seized four federal forts within their borders. The new Confederate States of America sent delegates to the nation’s capital to offer payment and negotiate a peace treaty, but they were turned away.
As war loomed, the federal government planned to stockpile provisions at Fort Sumter, which was located in South Carolina’s strategic Charleston Harbor. Attempts at diplomacy failed, and on April 12, 1861, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard ordered his men to fire on Fort Sumter.
Major Robert Anderson surrendered his command of Fort Sumter to the Confederacy after a 34-hour barrage. In response, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteer soldiers, four additional Southern states seceded, and the Civil War began.