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Bombardment of Fort Sumter by the Batteries of the Confederate States
The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861

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Jefferson Davis Elected President of the Confederate States of America
November 6, 1861

As a U.S. senator from Mississippi, Davis had tried to keep the Union together. When Mississippi seceded from the Union, however, Davis became a Confederate man.

After his inauguration as provisional, or temporary, president in February 1861, Davis sent a peace commission to Washington. Lincoln, committed to preserving the Union, refused to see the ambassadors from the South.

With war threatening, Lincoln sent armed ships to resupply Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. Davis responded by ordering the bombing of the fort on April 12, 1861. The attack marked the beginning of the Civil War.

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