Throughout March of 1861 the Confederate authorities sought to drive out the Union occupants of Fort Sumter peacefully. However, once Abraham Lincoln's administration would not surrender the fort to the Confederates, Jefferson Davis decided to take action. Davis hoped that in seizing command of Fort Sumter he could drive the northerners out of the South and help South Carolina secede to the Confederate States of America. Action could not be delayed for fear of reinforcements of the garrison at Fort Sumter. Davis and his cabinet decided to dispatch General Beauregard to siege Fort Sumter.
Buearegard was faced with a difficult situation. Anderson, the commanding officer at Fort Sumter, was his instructor at West Point, who recommend his elongated service at West Point due to his outstanding behavior. Prior to the bombardment, Buearegaurd sent a letter formally requesting surrender of the Fort. Anderson regretfully denied this offer, and the bombardment began. On April 12th at 4:30 AM he opened fire, bombarding the fort with heavy fire. General Anderson, with his ammunition on fire and supplies depleted, surrendered the following day and left the fort on April 14th. Although no casualties were caused by the enemy, one Union soldier was killed during the surrendering ceremony when a cannon backfired. The fort was neither a strategic location nor a deciding battle, but it did start what was to be the United States worst war and one of the bloodiest in history.