Star of the West

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STAR OF THE WEST, an unarmed merchant vessel that President James Buchanan, influenced by Unionist cabinet members, secretly dispatched on 5 January 1861, with troops and supplies to reinforce Maj. Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Reaching Charleston harbor on 9 January, the vessel was fired on by the batteries on Morris Island and Fort Moultrie. Neither Anderson nor the vessel's commander returned the fire, and the Star of the West withdrew. It was captured by Confederate forces on 20 April 1861.


Johnson, Ludwell H. "Fort Sumter and Confederate Diplomacy." Journal of Southern History 26 (1960): 441–477.

Fletcher M.Green/a. r.

See alsoSecession ; Sumter, Fort .