THE MAKING OF A NATION – A program in Special English. Just before sunrise on the morning of April twelfth, eighteen sixty-one, the first shot was fired in the American Civil War. A heavy mortar roared, sending a shell high over the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. The shell dropped and exploded above Fort Sumter, a United States military base on an island in the harbor. The explosion was a signal for all Confederate guns surrounding the fort to open fire. Shell after shell smashed into the fort. The booming of the cannons woke the people of Charleston. They rushed to the harbor and cheered as the bursting shells lighted the dark sky. Confederate leaders ordered the attack after President Abraham Lincoln refused to withdraw the small force of American soldiers at Sumter. Food supplies at the fort were very low. And southerners expected hunger would force the soldiers to leave. But Lincoln announced he was sending a ship to Fort Sumter with food.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered his commander in Charleston, General Pierre Beauregard, to destroy the fort before the food could arrive. The attack started from Fort Johnson across the harbor from Sumter. A Virginia congressman, Roger Pryor, was visiting Fort Johnson when the order to fire was given. The fort's commander asked Pryor if he would like the honor of firing the mortar that would begin the attack. "No," answered Pryor, and his voice shook. "I cannot fire the first gun of the war." But others could. And the attack began. At Fort Sumter, Major Robert Anderson and his men waited three hours before firing back at the Confederate guns. Anderson could not use his most powerful cannons. They were in the open at the top of the fort, where there was no protection for the gunners. Too many of his small force would be lost if he tried to fire these guns. So Anderson had his men fire the smaller cannon from better-protected positions. These, however, did not do much damage to the Confederate guns.
The shelling continued all day. A big cloud of smoke rose high in the air over Fort Sumter. The smoke was seen by United States navy ships a few miles outside Charleston Harbor. They had come with the ship bringing food for the men at Sumter. There were soldiers on these ships. But they could not reach the fort to help Major Anderson. Confederate boats blocked the entrance to the harbor. And confederate guns could destroy any ship that tried to enter. The commander of the naval force, Captain Gustavus Fox, had hoped to move the soldiers to Sumter in small boats. But the sea was so rough that the small boats could not be used. Fox could only watch and hope for calmer seas. Confederate shells continued to smash into Sumter throughout the night and into the morning of the second day. The fires at Fort Sumter burned higher. And smoke filled the rooms where soldiers still tried to fire their cannons. About noon, three men arrived at the fort in a small boat. One of them was Louis Wigfall, a former United States senator from Texas, now a Confederate officer. He asked to see Major Anderson.
"I come from General Beauregard," he said. "It is time to put a stop to this, sir. The flames are raging all around you. And you have defended your flag bravely. Will you leave, sir?" Wigfall asked. Major Anderson was ready to stop fighting. His men had done all that could be expected of them. They had fought well against a much stronger enemy. Anderson said he would surrender, if he and his men could leave with honor. Wigfall agreed. He told Anderson to lower his flag and the firing would stop. Down came the United States flag. And up went the white flag of surrender. The battle of Fort Sumter was over. More than four-thousand shells had been fired during the thirty-three hours of fighting. But no one on either side was killed. One United States soldier, however, was killed the next day when a cannon exploded as Anderson's men prepared to leave the fort. The news of Anderson's surrender reached Washington late Saturday, April thirteenth. President Lincoln and his cabinet met the next day and wrote a declaration that the president would announce on Monday.
In it, Lincoln said powerful forces had seized control in seven states of the South. He said these forces were too strong to be stopped by courts or policemen. Lincoln said troops were needed. He requested that the states send him seventy-five thousand soldiers. He said these men would be used to get control of forts and other federal property seized from the Union. Lincoln knew he had the support of his own party. He also wanted northern Democrats to give him full support. So, Sunday evening, a Republican congressman visited the top Democrat of the North, Senator Stephen Douglas. The congressman urged Douglas to go to the White House and tell Lincoln that he would do all he could to help put down the rebellion in the south. At first, Douglas refused. He said Lincoln had removed Democrats -- friends of his -- from government jobs and had given the jobs to Republicans. Douglas said he didn't like this. Anyway, he said, Lincoln probably did not want his advice. The congressman, George Ashmun, urged Douglas to forget party politics. He said Lincoln and the country needed the Senator's help. Douglas finally agreed to talk with Lincoln. He and Ashmun went immediately to the White House. Lincoln welcomed his old political opponent. He explained his plans and read to Douglas the declaration he would announce the next day.
Douglas said he agreed with every word of it except, he said, seventy-five thousand soldiers would not be enough. Remembering his problems with southern extremists, he urged Lincoln to ask for two-hundred thousand men. He told the president, "You do not know the dishonest purposes of those men as well as I do." Lincoln and Douglas talked for two hours. Then the Senator gave a statement for the newspapers. He said he still opposed the administration on political questions. But, he said, he completely supported Lincoln's efforts to protect the Union. Douglas was to live for only a few more months. He spent this time working for the Union. He traveled through the states of the northwest, making many speeches. Douglas urged Democrats everywhere to support the Republican government. He told them, "There can be no neutrals in this war -- only patriots or traitors." Throughout the north, thousands of men rushed to answer Lincoln's call for troops. Within two days, a military group from Boston left for Washington. Other groups formed quickly in northern cities and began training for war. Lincoln received a different answer, however, from the border states between North and South.
Virginia's governor said he would not send troops to help the North get control of the South. North Carolina's governor said the request violated the Constitution. He would have no part of it. Tennessee said it would not send one man to help force southern states back into the Union. But it said it would send fifty thousand troops to defend southern rights. Lincoln got the same answer from the governors of Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri. For several days, it seemed that all these states would secede and join the southern confederacy. Lincoln worried most about Virginia, the powerful state just across the Potomac River from Washington. A secession convention already was meeting at the state capital. On April seventeenth, the convention voted to take Virginia out of the Union. Virginia's vote to secede forced an American army officer to make a most difficult decision. The officer was Colonel Robert E. Lee, a citizen of Virginia. The army's top commander, General Winfield Scott, had called Lee to Washington. Scott believed Lee was the best officer in the army. Lincoln agreed. He asked Lee to take General Scott's job, to become the army chief. Lee was offered the job on the same day that Virginia left the Union. He felt strong ties to his state. But he also loved the Union. His decision will be our story in the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.
1.rush to 冲向；奔赴
My bus leaves in two minutes. I have to rush to catch it.
2.at first 起先；最初
At first I felt very resentful and angry about losing my job.
3.as well as 和......一样；也
It is in his best interests as well as yours.
4.worry about 担心；烦恼
You don't have to worry about me. I'm a good swimmer.
联盟国总统杰斐逊·戴维斯命令查尔斯顿的指挥官皮埃尔·博瑞德将军，在食物供给到达前摧毁堡垒 。这次袭击始于萨姆特堡对面的约翰逊堡 。弗吉尼亚州的一名国会议员罗杰·普赖尔在接到开火的命令后，前往约翰逊堡 。堡垒指挥官问普赖尔，他是否愿意由他来发射开始攻击的炮火 。”“不，”普赖尔颤抖地回答 。“我不能打响开战的第一枪 。”但其他人可以，于是袭击就此开始 。在萨姆特堡，罗伯特·安德森少校和他的部下等了三个小时，才向联盟国的炮火还击 。安德森不能使用最强大的火炮 。他们在堡垒顶部的空地上，那里没有炮手保护 。如果他试图开火，他的小部队会损失太多的士兵 。所以，安德森派部下从更隐蔽的位置发射较小的火炮 。然而，这并未对联盟国的枪炮造成多大的破坏 。
炮击持续了一整天，萨姆特堡上空升起一大团烟雾 。在查尔斯顿港外几英里处，美国海军舰艇看到了烟雾 。他们随船而来，为萨姆特堡的战士们送来食物 。这些船载有士兵，但他们无法到达堡垒援助安德森少校 。联盟国的船只堵住了港口的入口 。联盟国的炮火可以摧毁任何试图进入港口的船只 。海军指挥官古斯塔夫·福克斯上尉曾希望把士兵们用小船送到萨姆特堡 。但是，海上波涛汹涌，无法用小船，福克斯只能静待，希望大海能够平息 。联盟国的炮弹从晚上到第二天清晨，都继续向萨姆特堡猛烈进行攻击 。萨姆特堡的大火燃得更旺了，房间里烟雾弥漫，而士兵们仍在试图发射火炮 。约在正午时分，三个人乘小船抵达堡垒 。其中一人是来自德克萨斯州的前美国参议员路易斯·维格福尔 。现在，他是一名联盟国官员，他要求见安德森少校 。
“我从博瑞德将军那边来，”他说 。“该停火了，先生 。你都被火焰包围了 。你勇敢地捍卫着国旗 。你愿意撤军吗，先生？”维格福尔问道 。安德森少校准备停战，他的部下已竭尽所能 。他们在与一只比自己强大得多的敌人英勇奋战 。安德森说，如果他和将士们能光荣离开，他就会投降 。维格福尔同意了，他告诉安德森降下旗帜，然后就停止射击 。美国国旗降了下来，继而升起了投降的白旗 。萨姆特堡战役就此结束 。在33个小时的战斗中，发射了4000多枚炮弹 。但双方都无人被杀 。然而，第二天，当安德森的士兵准备离开堡垒时，一门火炮爆裂，炸死了一名美国士兵 。安德森投降的消息于4月13日星期六晚上送达华盛顿，总统林肯和内阁成员于第二天会面，书写了一份总统将在星期一宣读的声明 。
林肯在信中说，强大的军队已经控制了南部7个州 。他说，这些部队太强大了，法院或警察根本阻止不了，需要军队来支援 。他要求各州派遣7万5千名士兵，这些人将派去控制从联邦手中夺取的堡垒和其他联邦财产 。林肯知道他自己政党的支持 。他还希望北方民主党给予他全力支持 。因此，星期天晚上，一位共和党国会议员拜访了北方最高民主党参议员史蒂芬·道格拉斯 。国会议员敦促道格拉斯去白宫，告诉林肯他将尽一切努力帮助平息南方的叛乱 。起初，道格拉斯拒绝接受 。他说，林肯已经把他的朋友民主党人从政府公职中除名，还把这些工作交给了共和党人 。道格拉斯说，他不喜欢这种做法 。他说，不管怎么样，林肯可能不想听他的建议 。国会议员乔治·阿什蒙敦促道格拉斯忘记政党团体 。他说，林肯和这个国家需要参议员的帮助 。道格拉斯最后同意与林肯会谈 。他和阿什蒙立即前往白宫 。林肯对他长久以来的政治对手表示欢迎，他解释了自己的计划，并向道格拉斯宣读了第二天将要宣布的声明 。
道格拉斯说，他同意声明的内容 。但有一点除外，就是7万5千名士兵是不够的 。他想到自己与南方极端分子之间的问题，便力劝林肯出兵20万人 。他对总统说：“你和我一样，并不了解那些人的真正意图 。”林肯和道格拉斯谈了两个小时 。随后，参议员向报纸发表了一份声明 。他说，他在政治问题上仍然反对政府 。但是，他完全支持林肯为保护联邦而做出的努力 。道格拉斯的寿命只剩几个月的时间，在这段日里他一直为联邦工作 。他走遍了西北部各州，发表了许多演讲 。道格拉斯敦促各地的民主党人支持共和党政府 。他告诉他们，“在这场战争中没有中立者，只有爱国者或叛徒 。”在整个北方，成千上万的人急切地响应林肯召集军队的号召 。在两天的时间内，一个来自波士顿的军事组织动身前往华盛顿 。其他组织迅速在北部城市成立，并开始投入到战争训练之中 。然而，林肯从南北边境各州得到了不同的答案 。
弗吉尼亚州州长说，他不会派遣军队帮助北方控制南方 。北卡罗来纳州州长表示，这项要求违反了宪法，他不会参与 。田纳西州表示，不会派人去强迫南部各州重返联邦，但它将派遣5万军队保卫南方的权利 。林肯从肯塔基州、阿肯色州和密苏里州的州长那里得到了同样的回答 。几天来，所有这些州似乎都会脱离联邦，加入南方联盟国 。林肯最担心的是维吉尼亚州，该州紧邻华盛顿，横跨波托马克河 。一个企图分裂国家的大会已经在首都举行 。4月17日，大会投票决定让弗吉尼亚州退出联邦 。弗吉尼亚州投票脱离联邦，这迫使一名美国军官做出一个最为艰难的决定，这名军官就是弗吉尼亚州的公民罗伯特·E·李上校 。陆军最高指挥官温菲尔德·斯科特将军把李召到华盛顿 。斯科特认为，李是军队里最好的军官 。林肯表示同意，他请求李接受斯科特将军的工作 。李是在维吉尼亚州脱离联邦的同一天接受的这一职位，他对自己的州拥有强烈的感情 。但是，他也热爱联邦 。他的决定将是下一集建国史话节目的内容 。