Everyone agreed that this was a great idea and a wonderful place to have a fort! ...Except that it appears no one wanted to actually be stationed there, or pay for maintaining it.
ONCE UPON A TIME there was a young man who wanted to be a soldier, but the Army wouldn’t take him because of his asthm—hang on, wait, wrong story.
To quote the great Lin-Manuel Miranda: Yeah. He's not the choice I woulda gone with.
Now you may be thinking, at this point, a sensible person would think, "Hey, maybe this whole Army thing isn't for me."
"Find a real job?" says, no doubt, everyone who's ever met this guy.
"Nope!" Pender says, and calls the President.
POLK: What an interesting letter from this Pender fellow. It's obvious what we have to do.
GENERAL: Nothing, because we fired his a--
POLK: PROMOTE THAT FINE YOUNG MAN TO FIRST LIEUTENANT.
He quit, because once again, this whole following-orders thing was seriously harshing his buzz.
So William Alexander is hanging out in his crumbly, outdated fort in the American South, where lots of people are making noise about how maybe they should secede and start their own country, and he takes stock of what he's got in the assets column.
Cannons: 4, none of which has been fired in years.
...Yep, you read that right. The guy in charge of weaponry for the entire fort has not actually been issued a firearm of his own.
He receives a letter denying his request, coincidentally, on the very same day Confederates fire on Fort Sumpter.
Pender approaches the gate and informs Alexander that he is seizing the Fort for the state of North Carolina.
Alexander informs him that he's not.
Pender goes, "Yes-huh."
"Okay, but I'm gonna need you to write me a receipt."
nobody is quite sure what to do about this.
But he spends
about how he really needs him to write him that receipt.
Pender actually writes him a note back, which you'd think would take MORE TIME than just writing a damn receipt already, informing him that he's not getting a receipt.
Alexander never does get his receipt, and the Civil War, obviously, begins in earnest shortly after. But a weird sort of poetic justice occurs.
Going AWOL in wartime is... not good, so Pender is court martialed for "making false statements" and is once again "dismissed from service."
Pender is done in the Army, and spends the rest of the war as a blockade runner. He dies in 1864.
No word on what they had to promise Alexander to get him to accept the job. I hope he got a gun, at least.
YES YOU MAY
One day, one of the GIs found some old cannonballs lying around, and he had a great idea.
Which, in front of the fireplace, dried out ever so nicely, and then warmed up.
Because they were Federal troops from New York who were injured by Confederate munitions, an argument could be made that this was technically the last shot of the Civil War.