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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Star of the West

 
 
Star of the West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
1. Star of the West Marker
Inscription. Morris Island, across the water directly in front of you, was the scene of the Civil War's first hostile cannon fire, preceding even the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

By January 1861, Union troops occupying For Sumter were surrounded by Southern defenses. To reinforce Sumter, President James Buchanan secretly sent the unarmed coastal steamer Star of the West to Charleston. But news of the mission arrived first, and when Star of the West appeared, a South Carolina battery opened fire from Morris Island. Their outdated guns did little damage, but when the powerful guns of Fort Moultrie fired, Star of the West retreated, abandoning the mission.

Star of the West carried two hundred men, provisions, small arms, and ammunition. Hoping to avoid arousing Southern anger, President Buchanan sent the sidewheelers instead of a warship.
 
Erected by Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 32° 45.12′ N, 79° 52.455′ W. Marker is near Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Touch for map. Marker is located at Fort Sumter National Monument and only reached by boat. See links below for more information
Star of the West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
2. Star of the West Marker
The marker is pointed at the remains of Morris Island, from which the Citadel Cadets fired upon the Star of the West.
about access to the site. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston SC 29412, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Night Attack (a few steps from this marker); Ironclads Attack (a few steps from this marker); Mountain Howitzer (a few steps from this marker); Blockade Runners (within shouting distance of this marker); Major Robert Anderson (within shouting distance of this marker); 8-inch (200 Pounder) Parrott (within shouting distance of this marker); Controlling the Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); H.L. Hunley (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
More about this marker. At the bottom of the marker is a contemporary illustration depicting the action discussed on the marker. A South Carolina battery fires on Star of the West. Among those firing were Citadel cadets. To this day Citadel cadets proudly claim to have fired the "first shots" of the Civil War.
 
Also see . . .
1. Directions to Fort Sumter. The only way to reach the fort is by boat. Most visitors use the Spirit Line Cruises, although private boats are allowed. (Submitted on May 15, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Star of the West
Star of the West approaching Fort Sumter image. Click for full size.
From Wikipedia Commons
3. Star of the West approaching Fort Sumter
. Wikipedia entry on the ship. After the aborted attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter, the Star of the West was active supplying other Federal garrisons. Captured in April 1861 at Galveston, Texas, the ship was used by the Confederates. She was scuttled in the Tallahatchie River, Mississippi, in April 1863. (Submitted on May 15, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 731 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 15, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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