Battle Of Fort Sumter: Top 10 Cool Facts

The Battle of Fort Sumter was the battle that essentially started the United States Civil War.

In today’s post, we are going to look at 10 cool facts about this battle that happened many years ago.

Just in case you didn’t pay attention in history class, now is the time to redeem yourself by reading this completely and learning about the Battle of Fort Sumter.

#1: When?

The Battle of Fort Sumter took place on April 12th – 13th, 1861.

#2: Where?

Fort Sumter was located near Charleston, South Carolina. It sat on a man made island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor.

#3: The Leaders In Charge

When it began, the Union had control of Fort Sumter under command of Major Robert Anderson. The attacking Confederate force was led by Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard.

#4: President

Abraham Lincoln had just recently been inaugurated as President of the United States when this happened.

#5: The Number Of Troops Involved

On the Union side, the number of troops were approximately 85 which were 2 companies of the United States 1st Artillery and the Union Regimental Band.

The Confederates had approximately 600 troops.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Top 10 Civil War Battles
  2. Top 10 Civil War Confederate Army Generals
  3. The 20 Coolest Historical Places in the USA to Visit for Veterans
  4. Top 20 Famous Civil War Units: The Best of the Best
  5. Top 10 Civil War Confederate Army Generals

#6: The Recent Move

Major Anderson and his troops had not been in Fort Sumter long. They had recently moved their equipment from Fort Moultrie because tensions were rising in the South and Governors were confiscating Federal properties.

For a better defensive position, Anderson made the move since Fort Sumter was right in the center of the Charleston Harbor entrance.

This was in Anderson’s orders from the War Department:

… you are to hold possession of the forts in this harbor, and if attacked you are to defend yourself to the last extremity. The smallness of your force will not permit you, perhaps, to occupy more than one of the three forts, but an attack on or attempt to take possession of any one of them will be regarded as an act of hostility, and you may then put your command into either of them which you may deem most proper to increase its power of resistance. You are also authorized to take similar steps whenever you have tangible evidence of a design to proceed to a hostile act.

#7: Anderson Would Have Had More Troops And Supplies

#6 all occurred while James Buchanan was still President. South Carolina had confiscated all the other Federal properties but Major Anderson would not evacuate Fort Sumter.

President Buchanan attempted to send Anderson more troops and supplies via a Merchant Ship that was unarmed. But Confederate shore cannons fired on the ship and the supplies and troops could not reach the Fort.

#8: Student Versus Teacher

At West Point, Major Anderson was P.G.T. Beauregard’s artillery instructor. Beauregard was also Anderson’s assistant after graduation. So these 2 men were well acquainted. Now they would face each other.

#9: Baseball Anyone?

He fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter… Captain Abner Doubleday carries the title of being the inventor of America’s past time, baseball.

While the idea Doubleday invented the game has been debunked, Doubleday still carries fame in that arena.

When Confederate forces began to bombard Fort Sumter, Captain Doubleday fired the first cannon shot in defense.

#10 Final Result

As mentioned earlier, the Union troops holding Fort Sumter were low on supplies and morale. When Beauregard sent to Anderson a request to evacuate, it was accepted. Notice the term surrender was not used.

Not 1 man was killed in the Battle of Fort Sumter, but 2 Union troops were killed when a 100 gun salute was to be fired before evacuating. There was an accident with an ammo explosion that killed 2 and injured more. And Confederates helped tend to those who were injured.

Final Thoughts

This is the Battle that started the Civil War.

While no one was killed in this Battle, we would soon find a lot of blood spilled on both sides in this war that was fought mainly on the aspect of slavery.

So there are 10 facts… Do you have any questions or feedback? Just post it below.

Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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