Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge

April 9, 12, 13, and 14. Mr. Appleton and Mr. Amory decided to go to Charleston and see for themselves the true condition of affairs. They embarked on the steamer “Nashville.” On the twelfth Sumter was attacked by the rebels, and after fighting thirty hours without much damage on either side Major Anderson capitulated. One or two men were killed by the bursting of a gun on our side. Mr. Appleton saw the shelling and did not land until the fourteenth. He was received without difficulty and made his way home by Savannah, Tennessee, and Cincinnati without being stopped, although he was known to be from Massachusetts. The people had not realized that civil war had begun.

Published in The Autobiography of T. Jefferson Coolidge, 1831–1920 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923), 25.