On April 11, 1861, with the supply ships Lincoln had promised to send already underway, General P.G.T. Beauregard sent James Chesnut with a message to Major Anderson, demanding to know when he would surrender Fort Sumter. After dramatic exchanges of messages, Anderson's reply was found unacceptable, and at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederate forces on James Island opened fire on Fort Sumter. Thirty hours later, the garrison was allowed to withdraw and board the ships that had arrived during the bombardment. The war had begun.
Courtesy of the Fort Sumter National Monument.