bomb-shell sped through the black night and exploded over Sumter. After a brief pause, another heavy gun at Cumming's point, on Morris Island, sent a large round-shot that struck against the granite wall of the fort with fearful force. That gun was fired by the white-haired Virginian (Ruffin), who had begged the privilege of firing the first shot against Sumter. He boasted of the deed so long as he lived. In the early summer of 1865, when he was over seventy years of age, he deliberately blew off the top of his head with his gun, declaring in a note which he left-"I cannot survive the liberties of my country." His shot was followed by a tempest of shells and balls from full thirty cannons and mortars which opened at once upon the fort, but which elicited no response until about seven o'clock in the morning. Then, by a judicious arrangement of the little garrison, the great guns of Sumter were enabled to play upon all the hostile batteries at the same time, under the skillful directions of Captain Doubleday, Surgeon Crawford, and Lieutenant Snyder. Doubleday and Crawford afterward became distinguished major-generals. But it was evident, after four hours of hard and skillful labor at the guns, that Fort Sumter could not seriously injure the works opposed to it. On Cumming's Point was an ironplated battery that was absolutely invulnerable to missiles hurled upon it from Fort Sumter.
A fearful contest had now begun. The walls and parapets of the fort were soon shattered; its barbetts guns were dismounted, and its barracks and officers' quarters were set on fire. News of the relief squadron had reachd the garrison, and Surgeon Crawford bravely ascended to the parapet to look for it. He distinctly saw the three ships struggling with the storm outside the bar. Their near presence nerved the hearts and muscles of the soldiers, but their hopes were vain. The little squadron was compelled to leave the band of brave men in Sumter without relief.
All that day the assault continued, and all that night, which was dark and stormy, a sluggish bombardment of the fort was kept up; and when, on the following morning (April 13
, 1861), on which the sun rose in unclouded splendor, it was renewed with increased vigor, the wearied garrison of not more than seventy men found their supplies almost exhausted. In three days they must he starved out. On that morning the last parcel of rice had been cooked, and nothing but salted pork was left to be eaten. Red-hot shot were making havoc among the wooden structures of the fort. The flames spread, and the heat was intolerable. The fire threatened the magazine, and ninety barrels of powder were rolled into the sea. The smoke and heat were so stifling that the men were often compelled to lie upon the ground with wet cloths over their faces to enable them to breathe. The old flag was kept flying until a shot cut its staff, and it fell to the ground at a little past noon. It was caught up, carried to the ramparts, and there replanted by Sergeant Peter Hart, Major Anderson's faithful servant and friend.
When the flag of Sumter fell, the insurgents shouted, for they regarded its downfall as a token of submission. A boat instantly shot out from Cumming's Point, bearing an officer who held a white