Although built in response to an earlier conflict, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was the birthplace of the American Civil War. Tensions between north and south have been high for years, but the situation did not escalate into a waging war until the Confederates captured the garrison occupied by the Union in April 1861. Here are 10 things you should know about Fort Sumter's origins and legacy.
. 1 Fort Sumter was named after a hero of the War of Independence.
General Thomas Sumter (1734-1832) served as an officer in the Virginia militia in the French and Indian War. He later moved to South Carolina, where he became a national hero at the start of the American Revolution. Sumter's guerrilla attacks kept the British busy and helped him achieve a surprising victory at the Battle of Blackstock’s Farm in what is now Union County, South Carolina. After the war, Sumter represented the state on Capitol Hill both as a US Congressman and ultimately as a Senator. Here's a treat for college sports fans: Have you ever wondered why the University of South Carolina's sports teams are called "The Fighting Gamecocks"? This is a good example of Sumter, who during the revolution was nicknamed "The Carolina Gamecock" cock-like force (or possibly his ego).
. 2 The war of 1
812 spurred the development of Fort Sumter.
The 1812 war demonstrated that many American coastal cities were vulnerable to attack by foreign fleets. In 1816, Congress provided more than $ 800,000 (approximately $ 14.5 million) for new coastal fortifications. Although the construction of Fort Sumter only started in 1829, its development can be traced back to this development.
. 3 Fort Sumter is on an artificial island.
When Fort Sumter's plans were approved in 1828, planners envisioned “a pentagonal, three-tier masonry fort with sloping angles that was to be built on the shallow shoal of James Island. ”Her work was tailored to her: not only did the sandbar completely submerge at high tide, but it also tended to shift in the current. Before the fort could climb, more than 109,000 tons of rock had to be deposited at the site to create a stable artificial island.
. 4 Construction at Fort Sumter was stopped due to a lawsuit.
Progress at Fort Sumter stagnated from 1834 to 1841 due to questions about land ownership and in the broader sense of the federal agency. The problems began when William Laval, a private individual, claimed that he owned the swarm on which the fort was built. At the same time, many of the elected officials in South Carolina believed that the decision to build a military garrison in Charleston Harbor violated their state's rights. The matter was finally resolved in 41 when the Palmetto State awarded the federal government the title in this controversial area.
. 5 Fort Sumter was not yet finished at the beginning of the civil war.
South Carolina separated from the Union on December 20, 1860. Six days later, Major Robert Anderson, a union loyalist, took command of Charleston's federal forces. gathered his men and brought them to Fort Sumter, which was easier to defend than any other fortification in the port. At the time, some components of their chosen refuge remained unfinished. Parts of the armories, barracks, and quarters were missing when Anderson and the company arrived – and while the facility was to accommodate 135 cannons, only 15 had been set up there.
. 6 There were no casualties in the 1861 attack on Fort Sumter – but someone died as a result.
Anderson and his forces had been stranded on the island and suffered at Fort Sumter until early 1861. Hostilities escalated this April when President Abraham Lincoln tried to restore the garrison. In response, the Confederates, led by General P.G.T. Beauregard started shooting at Fort Sumter on the morning of April 12, 1861. The attack started shortly after 4:30 p.m. About 34 hours later, on April 14, Anderson surrendered. Not a single person was lost during the bombing, but when the Union Flag was lowered, private individual Daniel Hough was unintentionally killed by the U.S. 1st Artillery through a ceremonial cannon shot.
. 7 Another battle broke out at Fort Sumter in 1863 – and it was much bloodier.
The battle – a continuation of a failed naval attack – took place on September 7 and 8, 1863, which was considered largely unoccupied. But unfortunately that was not the case for the Union troops. Around 300 Confederates attacked them within the structure. "Two thirds of the amphibious force escaped [Union]but nearly two dozen of them were killed or wounded, and more than a hundred were captured on the face of the fort," reports the National Park Service website. "No Confederates were injured."
8. When Fort Sumter was recaptured, Anderson had to fly the Union flag.
The second Battle of Fort Sumter was perhaps a Confederate victory, but over the next 15 months, from September 1863 to February 1865, the Union shot 50,000 storeys into the building. Then, on February 18, 1865, Charleston was handed over to the Union. At the invitation of Lincoln's Department of War, Robert Anderson made his way to Fort Sumter from his hometown of New York. On April 14, 1865, the same day Lincoln was shot in the theater, Anderson hoisted the Union flag over the garrison that he had lost exactly four years earlier.
. 9 Fort Sumter was upgraded for later wars.
After the destroyed fort was repaired in the 1870s, Fort Sumter was mainly used as a lighthouse until the start of the Spanish-American War in 1898. To prepare for a possible attack by the enemy, this was the case equipped with a set of long-range rifle cannons. The fortress was once again made ready to fight for the First and Second World Wars. Four rapid firearms with a diameter of 90 millimeters were installed in the latter.
10th Fort Sumter is part of a National Historic Park.
Fort Sumter was deactivated in 1947 and declared a national monument the following year. On March 12, 2019, its status was revised: Today, the man-made island and its famous residents are part of the newly designated Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Park. (Fort Moultrie is an older facility that saw a patriot victory in the American Revolution in 1776.) Fort Sumter attracts thousands of visitors each year. On April 14, 2015, the reenactors gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Robert Anderson's flag raising in 1865.