Battle of Fort Sumter

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by GrantSFHS
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
American History
Grade:
11

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Battle of Fort Sumter

CIVIL WAR BATTLE

Map of Battle

Location: Fort Sumter

Date:April 12-14 1861

Union

Confederate

Leader

Leader

Major Robert Anderson Commanded Fort Sumter during the bombardment of that fort by Confederate forces, the opening shots of the American Civil War. Forced to surrender due to lack of supplies, Anderson considered himself a failure but found he was hero upon his return to the North.

General P.G.T. BeauregardIn 1861 he became the first Confederate brigadier general and commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, for the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Three months later he was the victor at the First Battle of Bull Run.

When South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, United States Maj. Robert Anderson and his force of 85 soldiers were positioned at Fort Moultrie near the mouth of Charleston Harbor. On December 26, fearing for the safety of his men, Anderson moved his command to Fort Sumter, an imposing fortification in the middle of the harbor. Just after the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861, Anderson reported that he had only a six week supply of food left in the fort and Confederate patience for a foreign force in its territory was wearing thin. On Thursday, April 11, 1861, Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard dispatched aides to Maj. Anderson to demand the fort’s surrender. Anderson refused. The next morning, at 4:30 a.m., Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued for 34 hours. The Civil War had begun!

Aftermath

The Battle

Anderson did not return the fire for the first two hours. The fort's supply of ammunition was not suited for an equal fight. The firing continued all day, although much less rapidly since the Union fired aimed to conserve ammunition. On Saturday, April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort. Incredibly, no soldiers were killed in battle. The generous terms of surrender, however, allowed Anderson to perform a 100-gun salute before he and his men evacuated the fort the next day. It was cut short to 50 guns after an accidental explosion killed one of the gunners and mortally wounded another.

80 Soldiers

500 Soldiers

Result: Confederate Victory

A key weapon in the Confederate arsenal in the Battle of Fort Sumter were several 10-inch seacoast mortars. The mortars in the picture are Union 10-inch mortars, but they are of an identical pattern to the ones used by the Confederates against Fort Sumter.


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