The news item below relates the events of January 11, 1861, as America plunged headlong into a cataclysmic Civil War. No event directly affected a greater proportion of the nation’s population: about 10% of Americans fought in the war and more than 700,000 sacrificed their lives. The country continues to struggle with the issues of race, civil rights, the politics of federalism and the heritage that are legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The Civil War, Part I: A Newspaper Perspective contains major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.
Coverage begins with the events preceding the outbreak of war at Fort Sumter, continues through the surrender at Appomattox and concludes with the assassination and funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Included are descriptive news articles, eye-witness accounts and official reports of battles and events, editorials, advertisements and biographies.
Our Situation – What Has Transpired in the Last Twenty four Hours.
Intelligence has reached us within the last twenty four hours of events transpiring in various quarters of the country pregnant with the most alarming symptoms of impending danger, which seem to be momentarily hurrying us towards inevitable civil war.
The news published in the morning papers yesterday that the steamship Star of the West, with United States troops for Fort Sumter, had been fired into by the South Carolina State militia at Morris Island, and was compelled to put out to sea, created the most intense excitement all over the city, until, at a late hour, it was announced by the bulletins at the newspaper offices that Mrs. McGowen, the wife of the commander of the steamer, had received a dispatch from her husband stating that the Star of the West had arrived at Charleston, and that the troops were landed at the fort. Then the most buoyant feeling was manifested everywhere, and people began to feel that a terrible calamity had been averted.