CONGRATULATIONS FROM JEFFERSON DAVIS
ON REDUCING FT. SUMTER
DAVIS, JEFFERSON. The actual received telegram, from Jefferson Davis to General P.G. T.
Beauregard, Charleston, South Carolina, April 13, 1861. One page, oblong 8vo. On printed
"AMERICAN TELEGRAPH COMPANY" telegraph stationery.
A telegram of the greatest historical importance. The actual received telegram sent by Jefferson
Davis as President of the Confederacy to General P. G. T. Beauregard as commander of the
Confederate forces in Charleston, congratulating Beauregard on the reduction of Ft. Sumter in
Charleston Harbor - the military beginning of the Civil War. This message, written out by the
telegraph operator, was received in Charleston on April 13, 1861, at 7:40 p.m. The telegram
was sent by Davis from Montgomery, Alabama, where Davis was after having recently been
elected President of the Confederacy.
The telegram is addressed to "Genl. G. T. Beauregard". It reads (in full):
"Thanks for your achievement & for your courtesy to the garrison of Sumter. If occasion
offers tender my friendly remembrance to Maj. Anderson. Jeffer Davis"
At the bottom of the telegram is penned the telegraph operator's code, "22/16.5pe".
An extraordinary document marking the official acknowledgement by the government of the
Confederacy of the first major conflict and Confederate victory of the Civil War. The difficulty
of the separation from the Union for President Jefferson Davis is particularly notable. As a
former U.S. Army officer and Secretary of War, Davis' concern for the Union garrison at
Sumter was great; indeed, he devotes more of his message to this than to actually congratulating
Beauregard. It illustrates, from the beginning, the conflicting loyalties which made the Civil
War so bitter.