Sumter, Fort

views updated May 09 2018


SUMTER, FORT, situated on a sandbar, commands the sea approach to Charleston, South Carolina. On the night of 26 December 1860, Maj. Robert Anderson, Union commader at Charleston, removed his garrison from Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, to a better defensive position at Fort Sumter. At 4:30 on the morning of Friday, 12 April, the Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter. On 13 April, after a bombardment of thirty-four hours, Anderson surrendered; the Civil War had begun. In April 1863, Fort Sumter, then garrisoned by Confederates, repelled an attack by a Union fleet. In August, the siege of Fort Sumter by Union forces began and lasted for 567 days; the Confederates never surrendered. The fort was eventually abandoned in February 1865 and later made a national monument.


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McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

DuBoseHeyward/a. r.

See alsoCharleston ; Charleston Harbor, Defense of ; Confederate States of America ; Secession ; South Carolina .

Fort Sumter

views updated May 18 2018

Fort Sumter Fort in South Carolina, scene of the first hostilities of the American Civil War. In 1861 it was held by Federal forces. The Confederate authorities, having failed to negotiate a peaceful evacuation, felt compelled to take it by force. The Confederate General Beauregard opened fire on April 12, and the fort surrendered the following day.

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Fort Sumter

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