Charles J. Clark, free colored servant to Maj. Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter, later recalled it like this:
"Well, our supplies were running short, and on the 9th of January, about ten in the morning, the Star of the West appeared in the harbor, with 200 troops on board, with supplies for our fort. She was met by a secesh guard boat, which went down to meet her, as everybody knew she was coming, and when she got well within range, the guard boat threw out signals to the rebel batteries and they opened fire on her. She was struck in the bows and the stern. The fort did not offer to defend her and she had to retreat. There was no other course. She would have been sunk if she had attempted to go ahead.
"I shall never forget how boiling mad Capt. Doubleday was. He broke out emphatically to the major and begged him to let him open fire on the city at once, but the major simply forbade any action, and coolly walked off to his quarters. ... Capt. Doubleday was second in rank at the fort, and if that incident had occurred in the major's absence, the captain would surely have bombarded the city."