S.C. secedes: ‘The Union is Dissolved’

On Dec. 11, 1860, Major Robert Anderson, the commander at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, received oral instructions to hold possession of the forts in Charleston Harbor, and if attacked, to defend himself ‘to the last extremity.’

On Dec. 17, 1860, the secession convention met in Columbia. Preliminary sessions were held in the First Baptist Church. Because of a rumor of an outbreak of smallpox (or perhaps to ensure victory for the secessionists), the convention adjourned to Charleston, where it reconvened on Dec. 18.

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