Fort Sumter, LeRoy Pope Walker, Montgomery, Alabama

April 11, 1861 – Telegraph From The Confederate Secretary Of War Was Sent From Montgomery, Alabama To Fort Sumter, South Carolina

LeRoy Pope Walker, the Confederate Secretary of War, sent a telegraph to military command of Fort Sumter from the second floor of the Winter Building.

In the telegraph, LeRoy Pope Walker demanded that federal troops abandon the base since it was under the jurisdiction of the the Confederate States of America. The original text of the telegraph reads as follows:

Montgomery, April 11, 1861

General Beauregard, Charleston:

Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us unless ours should be employed against Fort Sumter, you are thus authorized to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable.

L. P. Walker

Sec. of War. C.S.A.

In present day, there is a historical marker on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama, marking the site of where this telegraph was sent.

Author’s Note:

The Smithsonian Institute has the original telegraph with the Union response to Washington, D.C., indicating their surrender of Fort Sumter to the Confederates.

Fort Sumter, South Carolina

The Attack On Fort Sumter

On April 12, 1861, the Confederate Army launched an attack on Fort Sumter, a fort where members of the federal military refused to leave the grounds after the request of the state government to them to leave after South Carolina voted to secede.

The Battle of Fort Sumter lasted until April 13, 1861, and resulted in the federal army surrendering to members of the state military of South Carolina that was part of the newly formed Confederacy of Southern States.