Fort Sumter

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Fort Sumter
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
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Fort Sumter
USA South Carolina location map.svg
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Fort Sumter (South Carolina)
LocationCharleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina
Coordinates 32°45′8″N79°52′29″W / 32.75222°N 79.87472°W / 32.75222; -79.87472 Coordinates: 32°45′8″N79°52′29″W / 32.75222°N 79.87472°W / 32.75222; -79.87472
Area234.74 acres (95.00 ha) [1]
AuthorizedApril 28, 1948 (1948-April-28)
Website Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
Fort Sumter
NRHP reference # 66000101 [2]
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966

Fort Sumter is a sea fort in Charleston, South Carolina, notable for two battles of the American Civil War. It was one of a number of special forts planned after the War of 1812, combining high walls and heavy masonry, and classified as Third System, as a grade of structural integrity. Work started in 1829, but was incomplete by 1860, when South Carolina seceded from the Union.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 134,875 in 2017. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

South Carolina State of the United States of America

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.


The First Battle of Fort Sumter began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery fired on the Union garrison. These were the first shots of the war and continued all day, watched by many civilians in a celebratory spirit. The fort had been cut off from its supply line and surrendered the next day. The Second Battle of Fort Sumter (September 8, 1863) was a failed attempt by the Union to retake the fort, dogged by a rivalry between army and navy commanders. Although the fort was reduced to rubble, it remained in Confederate hands until it was evacuated as General Sherman marched through South Carolina in February 1865.

Battle of Fort Sumter bombardment of Fort Sumter, immediate cause and first battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederate States Army, and the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army, that started the American Civil War. Following the declaration of secession by South Carolina on December 20, 1860, its authorities demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, Major Robert Anderson of the U.S. Army surreptitiously moved his small command from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress built on an island controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by U.S. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861. South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area except for Fort Sumter.

William Tecumseh Sherman US Army general, businessman, educator, and author

William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States.

Fort Sumter is open for public tours as part of the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park operated by the National Park Service.

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park United States National Monument in Charleston, South Carolina

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in Charleston County, in coastal South Carolina. It mainly protects Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, the Charleston Light and Liberty Square, Charleston. It was known as Fort Sumter National Monument until it was renamed in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed March 12, 2019.

National Park Service United States federal agency

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.


Named after General Thomas Sumter, Revolutionary War hero, Fort Sumter was built after the War of 1812, as one of a series of fortifications on the southern U.S. coast to protect the harbors. Construction began in 1829, [3] and the structure was still unfinished in 1861, when the Civil War began. Seventy thousand tons of granite were transported from New England to build up a sand bar in the entrance to Charleston Harbor, which the site dominates. The fort was a five-sided brick structure, 170 to 190 feet (52 to 58 m) long, with walls five feet (1.5 m) thick, standing 50 feet (15.2 m) over the low tide mark. It was designed to house 650 men and 135 guns in three tiers of gun emplacements, although it was never filled near its full capacity.

Thomas Sumter American Revolutionary War hero, US Representative from South Carolina

Thomas Sumter was a soldier in the Colony of Virginia militia; a brigadier general in the South Carolina militia during the American War of Independence, a planter, and a politician. After the United States gained independence, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives and to the United States Senate, where he served from 1801 to 1810, when he retired. Sumter was nicknamed the "Carolina Gamecock" for his fierce fighting style against British soldiers after they burned down his house during the Revolution.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

War of 1812 32-month military conflict between the United States and the British Empire

The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, and their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain often see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars; in the United States and Canada, it is seen as a war in its own right.

Civil War

Letter from William H. Seward advising President Lincoln on the obstacles in resupplying Fort Sumter, March 1861 William H Seward Abraham Lincoln Fort Sumter.jpg
Letter from William H. Seward advising President Lincoln on the obstacles in resupplying Fort Sumter, March 1861

On December 26, 1860, only six days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie, spiking its large guns, burning its gun carriages, and taking its smaller cannon with him to be trained on the city. [4] He secretly relocated companies E and H (127 men, 13 of them musicians) of the 1st U.S. Artillery to Fort Sumter on his own initiative, without orders from his superiors. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] He thought that providing a stronger defense would delay an attack by South Carolina militia. The fort was not yet complete at the time and fewer than half of the cannons that should have been available were in place, due to military downsizing by President James Buchanan.

Fort Moultrie historic district in the United States

Fort Moultrie is a series of fortifications on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, built to protect the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The first fort, formerly named Fort Sullivan, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, as "The Palmetto State". The fort was renamed for the U.S. patriot commander in the Battle of Sullivan's Island, General William Moultrie. During British occupation, in 1780–1782, the fort was known as Fort Arbuthnot.

Touch hole Small hole near the rear portion (breech) of a cannon or muzzleloading gun

A touch hole, also called a vent, is a small hole near the rear portion (breech) of a cannon or muzzleloading gun—that is, the part where the combustion of the powder charge occurs, at the end opposite from the muzzle from which the projectile is fired from the barrel. The vent is the access point through which the propellant charge is ignited. In small arms, the flash from a charge of priming held in the flash pan is enough to ignite the charge within. In artillery, priming powder, a fuse, squib, or friction igniter is inserted into the touch hole to ensure ignition of the charge.

James Buchanan 15th president of the United States

James Buchanan Jr. was the 15th president of the United States from 1857 to 1861, serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He was a member of the Democratic Party and the 17th Secretary of State, and he had served in the Senate and House of Representatives before becoming president.

In a letter delivered January 31, 1861, South Carolina Governor Pickens demanded of President Buchanan that he surrender Fort Sumter because "I regard that possession is not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina." [10] Over the next few months repeated calls for evacuation of Fort Sumter [11] [12] from the government of South Carolina and then from Confederate Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard were ignored. Union attempts to resupply and reinforce the garrison were repulsed on January 9, 1861 when the first shots of the war, fired by cadets from the Citadel, prevented the steamer Star of the West , hired to transport troops and supplies to Fort Sumter, from completing the task. After realizing that Anderson's command would run out of food by April 15, 1861, President Lincoln ordered a fleet of ships, under the command of Gustavus V. Fox, to attempt entry into Charleston Harbor and supply Fort Sumter. The ships assigned were the steam sloops-of-war USS Pawnee and USS Powhatan, transporting motorized launches and about 300 sailors (secretly removed from the Charleston fleet to join in the forced reinforcement of Fort Pickens, Pensacola, FL), armed screw steamer USS Pocahontas, Revenue Cutter USRC Harriet Lane, steamer Baltic transporting about 200 troops, composed of companies C and D of the 2nd U.S. Artillery, and three hired tugboats with added protection against small arms fire to be used to tow troop and supply barges directly to Fort Sumter. [13] [14] By April 6, 1861, the first ships began to set sail for their rendezvous off the Charleston Bar. The first to arrive was Harriet Lane , the evening of April 11, 1861. [15]

Francis Wilkinson Pickens American politician

Francis Wilkinson Pickens was a political Democrat and Governor of South Carolina when that state became the first to secede from the U.S.A.

Confederate States of America (de facto) federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.

P. G. T. Beauregard Confederate Army general

Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was an American military officer who was the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Today, he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used his first name as an adult. He signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard.

First Battle of Fort Sumter

Edmund Ruffin in the uniform of the "Palmetto Guards" 1861 Edmund Ruffin. Fired the 1st shot in the Late War. Killed himself at close of War., ca. 1861 - NARA - 530493.tif
Edmund Ruffin in the uniform of the "Palmetto Guards" 1861

On Thursday, April 11, 1861, Beauregard sent three aides, Colonel James Chesnut, Jr., Captain Stephen D. Lee, and Lieutenant A. R. Chisolm to demand the surrender of the fort. Anderson declined, and the aides returned to report to Beauregard. After Beauregard had consulted the Confederate Secretary of War, Leroy Walker, he sent the aides back to the fort and authorized Chesnut to decide whether the fort should be taken by force. The aides waited for hours while Anderson considered his alternatives and played for time. At about 3:00 a.m., when Anderson finally announced his conditions, Colonel Chesnut, after conferring with the other aides, decided that they were "manifestly futile and not within the scope of the instructions verbally given to us." The aides then left the fort and proceeded to the nearby Fort Johnson. There, Chesnut ordered the fort to open fire on Fort Sumter. [16]

On Friday, April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., Confederate batteries opened fire, firing for 34 straight hours, on the fort. Edmund Ruffin, noted Virginian agronomist and secessionist, claimed that he fired the first shot on Fort Sumter. His story has been widely believed, but Lieutenant Henry S. Farley, commanding a battery of two 10 inch siege mortars on James Island fired the first shot at 4:30 a.m.( Detzer 2001 , pp. 269–71) No attempt was made to return the fire for more than two hours. The fort's supply of ammunition was not suited for the task; also, there were no fuses for their explosive shells, which means that they could not explode. Only solid iron balls could be used against the Confederate batteries. At about 7:00 a.m., Captain Abner Doubleday, the fort's second in command, was given the honor of firing the Union's first shot, in defense of the fort. He missed, in part because Major Anderson did not use the guns mounted on the highest tier, the barbette tier (where the guns could engage the Confederate batteries better), where the gunners would be more exposed to Confederate fire. The firing continued all day. The Union fired slowly to conserve ammunition. At night, the fire from the fort stopped, but the Confederates still lobbed an occasional shell into Sumter. On Saturday, April 13, the fort was surrendered and evacuated. During the attack, the Union colors fell. Lt. Norman J. Hall risked life and limb to put them back up, burning off his eyebrows permanently. A Confederate soldier bled to death having been wounded by a misfiring cannon. One Union soldier died and another was mortally wounded during the 47th shot of a 100 shot salute, allowed by the Confederacy. Afterward, the salute was shortened to 50 shots. Accounts, such as in the famous diary of Mary Chesnut, describe Charleston residents along what is now known as The Battery, sitting on balconies and drinking salutes to the start of the hostilities.

The Fort Sumter Flag became a popular patriotic symbol after Major Anderson returned North with it. The flag is still displayed in the fort's museum. A supply ship Star of the West took all the garrison members to New York City. There they were welcomed and honored with a parade on Broadway.

Union siege of Fort Sumter

Drawing of Fort Sumter FtSumterDrawing.jpg
Drawing of Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter National Monument marker of the Map of Charleston Harbor defenses Fort Sumter National Monument marker of the Map of Charleston Harbor defenses.jpg
Fort Sumter National Monument marker of the Map of Charleston Harbor defenses

Union efforts to retake Charleston Harbor began on April 7, 1863, when Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont, commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, led the ironclad frigate New Ironsides, the tower ironclad Keokuk, and the monitors Weehawken, Passaic, Montauk, Patapsco, Nantucket, Catskill, and Nahant in an attack on the harbor's defenses (The 1863 Battle of Fort Sumter was the largest deployment of monitors in action up to that time). The attack was unsuccessful, the Union's best ship, USS New Ironsides never effectively engaged, and the ironclads fired only 154 rounds, while receiving 2,209 from the Confederate defenders ( Wise 1994 , p. 30). Due to damage received in the attack, the USS Keokuk sank the next day, 1,400 yards (1,300 m) off the southern tip of Morris Island. Over the next month, working at night to avoid the attention of the Federal squadron, the Confederates salvaged Keokuk's two eleven-inch Dahlgren guns ( Ripley 1984 , pp. 93–6). One of the Dahlgren guns was promptly placed in Fort Sumter.

The Confederates, in the meantime, were strengthening Fort Sumter. A workforce of just under 500 enslaved Africans, under the supervision of Confederate army engineers, were filling casemates with sand, protecting the gorge wall with sandbags, and building new traverse, [17] blindages, [18] and bombproofs. [19] Some of Fort Sumter's artillery had been removed, but 40 pieces still were mounted. Fort Sumter's heaviest guns were mounted on the barbette, the fort's highest level, where they had wide angles of fire and could fire down on approaching ships. The barbette was also more exposed to enemy gunfire than the casemates in the two lower levels of the fort.

A special military decoration, known as the Gillmore Medal, was later issued to all Union service members who had performed duty at Fort Sumter under the command of Major-General Quincy Adams Gillmore.

Fort Sumter Armaments, August 17, 1863
Left flank barbetteTwo 10-inch (250 mm) columbiads
Left face barbetteTwo 10-inch (250 mm) columbiads, two 8-inch (200 mm) columbiads, four 42-pounders
Left face, first tier casematesTwo 8-inch (200 mm) shell guns
Right face barbetteTwo 10-inch (250 mm) columbiads, five rifled and banded 42-pounders
Right face, first tier casematesTwo 32-pounders
Right flank barbetteOne XI-inch Dahlgren (From USS Keokuk), four 10-inch (250 mm) columbiads, one 8-inch (200 mm) Columbiad, one rifled 42-pounder, one 8-inch (200 mm) Brooke
Gorge barbetteFive rifled and banded 42-pounders, one 24-pounder
Salient, second tier casematesThree rifled and banded 42-pounders
ParadeTwo 10-inch (250 mm) seacoast mortars

After the devastating bombardment, both Major General Quincy A. Gillmore and Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, now commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, determined to launch a boat assault on Fort Sumter for the night of September 8–9, 1863. Cooperation between the Army and Navy was poor. Dahlgren refused to place his sailors and marines under the command of an army officer, so two flotillas set out towards Fort Sumter that night. The army flotilla was detained off Morris Island by the low tide. By the time they could proceed, the navy assault had already been defeated and the army flotilla returned to shore.

The navy's assault involved 400 sailors and marines in 25 boats. The operation was a fiasco from beginning to end. Poor reconnaissance, planning, and communication all characterized the operation. Commander Thomas H. Stevens, Jr., commanding the monitor Patapsco, was placed in charge of the assault. When Commander Stevens protested that he "knew nothing of [the assault's] organization " and "made some remonstrances on this grounds and others." Dahlgren replied, "There is nothing but a corporal's guard [about 6–10 men] in the fort, and all we have to do is go and take possession." ( Stevens 1902 , p. 633). This underestimation of the Confederate forces on Dahlgren's part may explain why he was hostile to a joint operation wishing to reserve the credit for the victory to the navy. Less than half of the boats landed. Most of the boats that did land landed on the right flank or right gorge angle, rather than on the gorge where there was a passable breach. The Union sailors and marines who did land could not scale the wall. The Confederates fired upon the landing party and as well as throwing hand grenades and loose bricks. The men in the boats that had not landed' fired muskets and revolvers blindly at the fort, endangering the landing party more than the garrison. The landing party took shelter in shell holes in the wall of the fort. In response to a signal rocket fired by the garrison, Fort Johnson and the Confederate warship CSS Chicora opened fire upon the boats and landing party. A number of the boats withdrew under fire and the landing party surrendered. The Union casualties were 8 killed, 19 wounded, and 105 captured (including 15 of the wounded). The Confederates did not suffer any casualties in the assault.

Flag-raising over Fort Sumter, April 14, 1865 Flag-raising Fort Sumter Charleston Harbor 1865.jpg
Flag-raising over Fort Sumter, April 14, 1865

After the unsuccessful boat assault, the bombardment recommenced and proceeded with the varying degree of intensity, doing more damage to Fort Sumter until the end of the war. The garrison continued to suffer casualties. The Confederates continued to salvage guns and other material from the ruins and harassed the Union batteries on Morris Island with sharpshooters. The Confederates mounted four 10-inch (250 mm) columbiads, one 8-inch (200 mm) columbiad rifled, and two rifled 42-pounders, in the left face, bottom tier casemates. The last Confederate commander, Major Thomas A. Huguenin, a graduate from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, never surrendered Fort Sumter, but General William Tecumseh Sherman's advance through South Carolina finally forced the Confederates to evacuate Charleston on February 17, 1865, and abandon Fort Sumter. The Federal government formally took possession of Fort Sumter on February 22, 1865. On April 14, 1865, mere hours before President Lincoln's assassination, Anderson (now a major general) returned to Sumter with the flag he had been forced to lower after the surrender four years earlier, and raised it in triumph over the ruined fort.

After the war

Fort Sumter, ca. 1900 Detroit Photographic Company (0780).jpg
Fort Sumter, ca. 1900

When the Civil War ended, Fort Sumter was in ruins. The U.S. Army worked to restore it as a useful military installation. The damaged walls were re-leveled to a lower height and partially rebuilt. The third tier of gun emplacements was removed. Eleven of the original first-tier gun rooms were restored with 100-pounder Parrott rifles.

From 1876 to 1897, Fort Sumter was used only as an unmanned lighthouse station. The start of the Spanish–American War prompted renewed interest in its military use and reconstruction commenced on the facilities that had further eroded over time. A new massive concrete blockhouse-style installation was built in 1898 inside the original walls, armed with two 12-inch M1888 guns, one on a disappearing carriage. Named "Battery Huger" in honor of Revolutionary War General Isaac Huger, it never saw combat. This battery was deactivated in 1947, and in 1948 the fort became Fort Sumter National Monument under the control of the National Park Service. [20]

One hundred and forty-seven years after it was sent, a rolled up telegraphic message was found and eventually given to a museum in Charleston, S.C. The telegram was dated April fourteenth, 1861 from the Governor of South Carolina to Gazaway Bugg Lamar in New York with a most interesting message, part of which is told below: (for the complete text see "External Links", Ft. Sumter telegram).

Fort Sumter surrendered yesterday after we had set all on fire... F.W. Pickens

In 1966, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [2] [21] [20] The Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) and its partners have acquired and preserved 0.23 acres (0.00093 km2) of historic land related to the battles at Fort Sumter. [22]

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park encompasses three sites in Charleston: the original Fort Sumter, the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center, and Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island. Access to Fort Sumter itself is by private boat or a 30-minute ferry ride from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center or Patriots Point.

The Visitor Education Center's museum features exhibits about the disagreements between the North and South that led to the incidents at Fort Sumter. The museum at Fort Sumter focuses on the activities at the fort, including its construction and role during the Civil War.

April 12, 2011, marked the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. There was a commemoration of the events by thousands of Civil War reenactors with encampments in the area. A United States stamp of Fort Sumter and a first-day cover was issued that day.

On June 28, 2015, in the aftermath of the events of June 17, 2015, when a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the five small flags that were arranged in a semi-circle around the large flagpole flying the 50-star United States flag at Fort Sumter were lowered so that the South Carolina flag could be flown at half mast. Those flown include (1) a 33-star United States flag, (2) a Confederate First National Flag (Stars and Bars), (3) a South Carolina State Flag, (4) a Confederate Second National Flag (Stainless Banner), and (5) a 35-star United States flag. This display was added to Fort Sumter National Monument in the 1970s. In August 2015, the flagpoles were removed to create a new exhibit. The four historic national flags now fly on the lower parade ground. [23]

See also


  1. "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  2. 1 2 National Park Service (July 9, 2010). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  3. "Fort Sumter National Monument — Draft General Management Plan Environmental Assessment" (PDF). National Park Service. 1998. p. 10. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  4. See Wikipedia, Battle of Fort Sumter, and authorities there cited.
  5. Elliot, p. 117
  6. Elliot, p. 103
  7. Robert Anderson to Rev. R. B. Duane, December 30, 1860
  8. Robert Anderson to Robert N. Gourdin, December 27, 1860.
  9. Haskin, William, Major, 1st U.S. Artillery (1896). "History of the 1st U.S. Artillery". Archived from the original on July 25, 2010.
  10. James Buchanan (1911). The Works of James Buchanan: Comprising His Speeches, State Papers, and Private Correspondence. p. 178.
  11. Elliot, p. 13
  12. Harris, W.A. (1862). The record of Fort Sumter, from its occupation by Major Anderson, to its reduction by South Carolina troops during the administration of Governor Pickens. Columbia, SC: South Carolinian Steam Job Printing Ofiice. p. 7. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  13. Elliot, p. 240
  14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies Series I - Volume 4- Pages 223-225:
  15. Elliot, p. 304
  16. Elliot, pp. 59–60
  17. Traverses, Civil War Fortifications dictionary.
  18. Civil War Dictionary
  19. Civil War Dictionary
  20. 1 2 "Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston County (Charleston Harbor and Sullivan's Island)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  21. Nelson, Benjamin G. (October 10, 1973). "Fort Sumter National Monument" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  22. American Battlefield Trust "Saved Land" webpage. Accessed May 24, 2018.
  23. "Timeline Photos - Fort Sumter National Monument - Facebook".

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Charleston, South Carolina, was a hotbed of secession at the start of the American Civil War and an important Atlantic Ocean port city for the fledgling Confederate States of America. The first shots against the Federal government were those fired there by cadets of the Citadel to stop a ship from resupplying the Federally held Ft. Sumter. Three months later, the bombardment of Fort Sumter triggered a massive call for Federal troops to put down the rebellion. Although the city and its surrounding fortifications were repeatedly targeted by the Union Army and Navy, Charleston did not fall to Federal forces until the last months of the war.

Second Battle of Charleston Harbor Siege during the American Civil War

The Second Battle of Charleston Harbor, also known as the Siege of Charleston Harbor, Siege of Fort Wagner, or Battle of Morris Island, took place during the American Civil War in the late summer of 1863 between a combined U.S. Army/Navy force and the Confederate defenses of Charleston, South Carolina.

USS <i>Isaac Smith</i>

USS Isaac Smith was a screw steamer acquired by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederate States of America to prevent the Confederacy from trading with other countries. In 1863, she became the only warship in the American Civil War to be captured by enemy land forces. She then served in the Confederate States Navy as CSS Stono until she was wrecked.

Siege artillery in the American Civil War

Siege artillery is heavy artillery primarily used in military attacks on fortified positions. At the time of the American Civil War, the U.S. Army classified its artillery into three hundred varied types, depending on the gun's weight and intended use. Field artillery were light pieces that often traveled with the armies. Siege and garrison artillery were heavy pieces that could be used either in attacking or defending fortified places. Seacoast artillery were the heaviest pieces and were intended to be used in permanent fortifications along the seaboard. They were primarily designed to fire on attacking warships. The distinctions are somewhat arbitrary, as field, siege and garrison, and seacoast artillery were all used in various attacks and defenses of fortifications. This article will focus on the use of heavy artillery in the attack of fortified places during the American Civil War.

Floating Battery of Charleston Harbor

The Floating Battery of Charleston Harbor was an ironclad vessel that was constructed by the Confederacy in early 1861, a few months before the American Civil War ignited. Apart from being a marvel to contemporary Charlestonians, it was a strategic naval artillery platform that took part in the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12 and April 13, 1861, making it the first floating battery to engage in hostilities during the Civil War.

Daniel Hough was a U.S. soldier who became the first man to die in the American Civil War. His death was accidental, caused by a cannon that went off prematurely during a salute to the flag after the Battle of Fort Sumter. He was an Irish immigrant, having been born in County Tipperary, then in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Edward Galloway was the first soldier in the American Civil War to be mortally wounded, and the war's second death, after Private Daniel Hough. He was injured when a gun went off prematurely on April 14, 1861 during a 100-gun salute to the flag after the Battle of Fort Sumter. The explosion killed Hough, severely injured Galloway, and slightly injured four other men. He was taken to the Gibbes Hospital in Charleston, where he died five days later on April 19, 1861.


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