Fort Sumter

Three weeks ago Betsy and I were in Charleston, South Carolina. I had been there several times, but Betsy had never been there.

We didn’t have time to take the boat out to Fort Sumter, one of Charleston’s most famous historical sites.

But we did catch a glimpse of Fort Sumter from the Battery (more properly known as White Point Gardens), which sits on the southernmost edge of the Charleston peninsula, where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers meet to flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

Fort Sumter was built on a man-made island in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter, a masonary fort, was part of the third system of defenses constructed along the coast and was unfinished when South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 21, 1860. U. S. Army Major Robert Anderson moved his command to Fort Sumter five days later because he felt it was the most defensible position in Charleston harbor that could be held by the Union.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries around Charleston harbor opened fire on Fort Sumter for what became a 33 hour bombardment. After that time Major Anderson surrendered the fort because red-hot shells and started fires in all the wooden structures of the fort and were threatening to explode the powder magazines.

No Union soldiers were killed in the bombardment, but one Union soldier was killed and another mortally wounded on April 27, during the firing of a salute to the American flag allowed by Confederate authorities.

Fort Sumter remained in Confederate hands until February 22, 1865, when Union troops of General Sherman occupied the fort after the evacuation of Charleston by the Confederates.

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One Response to “Fort Sumter”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Great new site… I like what you’ve done with it.

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