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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 10, 1862

Fort Pulaski Bombardment Began

The Civil War truly came to Georgia on this day. Union General David Hunter demanded the surrender of Fort Pulaski (defended by 389 men) from Confederate Colonel Charles Olmstead. When Olmstead refused, Union forces began a heavy bombardment of the fort. Their polite correspondence:

Headq’rs, Department of South, Tybee Island, Ga., April 10, 1862. To the Commanding Officer, Fort Pulaski: Sir –I hereby demand of you the immediate surrender and restoration of Fort Pulaski to the authority and possession of the United States. This demand is made with a view to avoiding, if possible, the effusion of blood, which must result from the bombardment and attack now in readiness to be opened. The number, calibre and completeness of the batteries surrounding you, leave no doubt as to what must result in case of refusal; and as the defence, however obstinate, must eventually succumb to the assailing force at my disposal, it is hoped you will see fit to avert the useless waste of life. This communication will be carried to you under a flag of truce by Lieut. J. H. Wilson, United States Army, who is authorized to wait any period not exceeding thirty minutes from delivery for your answer. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant, David Hunter, Major General Commanding. [reply.] Headquarters Fort Pulaski, April 10, 1862. Major-General David Hunter, commanding on Tybee River. Sir –I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, demanding the unconditional surrender of Fort Pulaski. In reply I can only say that I am here to defend the fort, not to surrender it. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Chas. H. Olmstead

Image of Fort Pulaski Bombardment Began Fort Pulaski
Harper's Weekly
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