In late April of 1861 the commander of Fort Sumter, Major William Anderson appeared in Union Square in New York City. Fort Sumter which had been fired on and overtaken by the south in mid April of that year.
It was the catalyst that would lead to the civil war. On this late April day in 1861 in Union Square, the flag that flew over Ft. Sumter was placed over the statue of Washington in the park. That same flag would be raised over Ft. Sumter on April 14, 1865 when it was reclaimed by the north again.
But at this event in 1861, over a quarter of a million people were there in support of the Union. Even though New York City was very much a pro southern city. The crowds who came to this event were very much influenced by the attack on Ft. Sumter and like all events that rear up the feeling of patriotic fervor, it brought out the masses and many young men of the city enlisted . This early photograph tells it all.