In North Carolina, Governor Ellis orders his state militia to occupy key federal forts
Governor John Willis Ellis of North Carolina dispatched state militia to occupy federal installations in Beaufort, Wilmington, and Fayetteville. Seizure was simple. At Fort Macon in Beaufort, for example, fifty year-old Sergeant William Alexander and his wife were the only federal garrison. Though the state was months away from secession, Governor Ellis explained his actions as protecting federal property from illegal seizure by secessionist mobs and held the posts till secession did come in May 1861. (By John Osborne)
Frank Moore, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1861), I: 53.