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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 15, page 49, January 9, 1861

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Identifier: DX01448334

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 15, page 49, January 9, 1861

Description: Describes the scene in Charleston the day the Star of the West was fired upon by the Morris Island battery.



A Charleston Sensation.

[F.W.] Pickens, I loitered in company with W. Waud, Woodward, [William] Carlyle and others, the first intending a sketch. F. Wood turned up; he had been absent for a several days or two on a visit to the plantation of [William] Gilmore Sims the novelist, on I suspect his own invitation. I went with him, Woodward and Carlyle to a restaurant, where the latter two lunched, then left them for dinner, at which W. Waud joined me. I got three letters at the bar afterwards, one of no moment from [Amos] Colt, addressing me as “the brave Gun” and talking spasmodic anti-secession,” the others from [George] Boweryem & Mr [George] Edwards, which I have already chronicled. Wrote another note to the Post, then off to the mail it, in company with W. Waud, who wanted to sketch the

[newspaper clipping]


CHARLESTON, S. C., January 9, 1861—10 1/2 A. M.

All day yesterday, Charleston was full of rumors relative to the Star of the West and her mission, the Mercury announcing it as positively for this city, with reinforcements of men and provisions for Major [Robert] Anderson. This appeared to be the general impression, though many were inclined to suppose her object that of securing the forts of Florida to the government.

At 6 1/2 this morning the Star of the West appeared and boldly steamed across the bar, when she was fired at by the cadets under command of Captain [P.F.] Stevens, on Morris Island. The first shots passed under her box and fell harmlessly about her. She continued her course, when more shots were fired, about fifteen in all, four of them from Fort Moultrie. It is asserted that the vessel is ‘badly hulled,” but this may prove an exaggeration. Unquestionably she is seriously damaged. She steamed out very rapidly. The whole affair must have been clearly descried from Fort Sumter, as day was breaking, yet Major Anderson did not fire a gun in assistance of the steamer.

War is unquestionably declared, and South Carolina resolute for it.

CHARLESTON, S. C., January 9—Noon.

Two United States officers, one Lieutenant Davis, are now in conference with [F.W.] Governor Pickens at his residence on Meeting street. They came from Fort Sumter, landing under a flag of truce, and are the bearers of some message from Major Anderson. It is supposed to embody some threat relative to the bombardment of Fort Moultrie, in the event of the Star of the West being further molested. That steamer is invisible.

coverage:Charleston, South Carolina, Meeting Street

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1861-01-09

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.)
Armed Forces
Civil War, 1861-1865
Charleston (S.C.)
Morris Island (S.C.)


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