Fort Sumter was a Union fort near Charleston, South Carolina, and was the location of the start of the Civil War. Following South Carolina's secession from the Union, the state demanded that the United States abandon its facilities in and around Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter's situation during the early months of 1861 quickly began to resemble a siege, and the resupply of the fort became the first crisis of president Abraham Lincoln's administration. He notified South Carolina's governor Francis W. Pickens that he was sending supply ships, and as a result, the Confederacy gave Lincoln an ultimatum: Evacuate the fort immediately. Union forces controlling the fort refused to surrender, and on April 12, 186, Confederate soldiers bombed the fort from artillery batteries surrounding the fort. Though the Union soldiers returned fire, they were significantly outnumbered and outgunned. After 34 hours, the commander of the fort agreed to surrender Fort Sumter and evacuate his forces.