April 12, 1861

It was a quiet night on a warm April night in the Charleston harbor. The waters of the harbor gently brushed against the walls of the magnificent Fort Sumter, named for a Revolutionary hero. Fort Sumter was overcome with sleep, and silent snores came from every location of the fort. All but one man was entranced with sleep. Sergeant Peter Lokerson was a Yankee soldier, and he lie awake counting the endless amount of stars in the sky above him. Lokerson's blue coat was strewn across his abdomen as an attempt for a blanket, though it didn't do much to cover him.

For some reason, sleep just would not overcome him. He didn't know why, but it wasn't that it mattered. He listened to the silent snores of the surrounding men and the comforting lull of the waves crashing against the fort's strong, impenetrable walls. The time was unknown when sleep began to overcome Lokerson, but his sleep was interrupted almost immediately. Suddenly, a noise was heard in the distance, a chorus of some type. Lokerson sat up, wide awake with curiosity, as were other men who found this night as sleepless as he. Lokerson strained his ears to listen closely to the song of many men's voices… a familiar song…

I wish I was in Dixie

Hurray, Hurray!

In Dixie's land, I'll make my stand

To live and die in Dixie

Away, away, away down south in Dixie

Away, away, away down south in Dixie

The song repeated several times, and before he knew it, Lokerson's eager listening was interrupted by loud cannon blasts. The large boom of a firing cannon was heard, and in moments, a brick wall caved in as a heavy cannon bombarded it. And as the cannons fell, the Yankee soldiers jumped to their feet and prepared to fire back. Lokerson rushed to a cannon and help defend the fort, but a shell broke through the brick wall, and men let out screams of pain and fright, and before he knew it, Lokerson was one of the first victims of the Civil War. On that warm April night of 1861, the American Civil War had begun.