On March 5, 1861, the day after his inauguration, President Lincoln was informed that Fort Sumter had less than six weeks of food supply left. President Lincoln turned down all efforts to settle the differences with the Confederacy by the Confederate Government. The Confederate Government decided that it couldn't tolerate a foreign force in its territory any longer. President Lincoln believed that conflict was inevitable so he came up with a plan to trick the confederacy to attack first.
On April 8, 1861, Lincoln notified Gov. Francis Pickens of South Carolina that he was going to attempt to resupply the fort. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was ordered by the Confederate Government to demand evacuation of the fort. If the fort refused that they would be forced to evacuate. Meanwhile they had taken all supplies sent to the fort. On April 12th the fort refused and so the South made a ring around the fort starting the bloodiest war in American history.
For the first two hours as the Charleston citizens awoke and prayed, the fort had not returned fire. The Union had short supply of ammunition so solid shot was all they could attack with. Maj. Robert Anderson, of the union, Ordered the biggest guns they had were to be fired first, but they were limited on casemates, men who protected gunners, so the guns being fired were also limited. About 7:00 A.M. Capt. Abner Doubleday, the forts second in command, had the honor of firing the first shot of defense. The firing continued all day the Federals firing slowly. At night the fort stopped firing and the confederates threw an occasional shell at the fort. The men of the Union though unhealthy put up a good defense and held their post. For the next day and a half the fort held till finally the confederates started coming by boats and the fort fired and so the fort finally surrendered.