December 29, 1860

A rumor said that Major Anderson, my old captain has spiked the guns of Fort Moultrie, destroyed it, and taken refuge in Sumter.  This is right.  Sumter is in mid-channel, whereas Moultrie is old, weak and easily approached under cover.

That rumor is confirmed.  Moultrie was vulnerable to sharpshooters on nearby houses and the choices were to burn down the houses or evacuate Fort Moultrie.  An attack on Moultrie by secessionists would have massacred the garrison.  On the day after Christmas, December 26, the Federal forces under Anderson left Moultrie for Fort Sumter a more defensible position that could only be reached by boat.  The rear guard under Lt Jeff C Davis spiked the cannons, burned the gun-carriages on the front looking toward Sumter, and cut down the flag-staff.

The Federal troops had slipped past the secessionist guard boats and rounded up the secessionist workers within Fort Sumter.  Those workers were put ashore and Fort Sumter secured.

If Major Anderson can hold out till relieved and supported by steam frigates, South Carolina will find herself unable to control her commerce, and will feel for the first time in her existence, that she can’t do as she pleases.

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