Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fort Sumter

It was quiet on this little spit of land when I was there a few days ago.  The only sounds were the flags flapping in the wind, the gentle lapping of the sea reaching the rocks, and the sea gulls calling to each other.

One hundred and fifty-four years ago today, April 12, 1861, the War Between the States began at Ft. Sumter.  Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard bombarded the fort, which was occupied by U. S. Major Robert Anderson and federal troops. After a 34 hour battle, Anderson surrendered  the fort on April 13.  It was the beginning, and it was the end.

People from all parts of the United States and the world visit Fort Sumter.  Some have read books and visited grave sites and arrogantly speculate about what was right or wrong. They have never smelled the cordite and death, never written a letter for a dying soldier, never been hungry and cold, yet they feel qualified to degrade these men who were there.

It is a somber place, a sorrowful place. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the cannons and the screams, muted by the waves and the sea gulls and the ceaseless wind.