Portrait of Robert Anderson

On April 14, 1861, Union Major Robert Anderson (pictured here) surrendered Fort Sumter and its garrison to Confederate troops commanded by General P. G. T. Beauregard. On April 14, 1865, Anderson returned to raise the stars and stripes over the stronghold he had surrendered earlier. [Wikimedia Commons]

Battle of Fort Sumter Facts

April 12–13, 1861

Key facts about the American Civil War Battle of Fort Sumter.

Advertisements

Date and Location

  • April 12–13, 1861
  • Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

Campaign

  • Operations in Charleston Harbor

Principal Union Commander

Principal Confederate Commander

Union Forces Engaged

  • 2 companies of the U.S. 1st Artillery, plus the regimental band

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Provisional Forces of the Confederate States

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 84

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 6,000

Estimated Union Casualties

  • None

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • None

Result

  • Confederate victory

Significance

  • The Battle of Fort Sumter was the first engagement of the American Civil War.
  • During the battle of Fort Sumter, Confederate forces fired over 3,000 artillery rounds at Fort Sumter.
  • During the battle of Fort Sumter, Union forces fired about 1,000 artillery rounds of Confederate batteries around Charleston Harbor.
  • The Battle of Fort Sumter began at 4:30 a.m., April 12, 1861, when Captain George S. James’ battery of the South Carolina Artillery fired a mortar shot over Fort Sumter from the beach near Fort Johnson.
  • At 7 a.m. on April 12, 1861, Captain Abner Doubleday, Anderson’s second in command, fired the first Union artillery shot during the Battle of Fort Sumter.
  • During the surrender ceremony following the Battle of Fort Sumter, a cannon misfired, instantly killing Private Daniel Hough and mortally wounding Private Edward Galloway, making them the first casualties of the American Civil War.
  • The Confederates held Fort Sumter throughout most of the war until Major General William T. Sherman captured Charleston in February 1865.
  • On April 14, 1865, Brevet Major-General Robert Anderson returned to Fort Sumter to ceremoniously raise the stars and stripes over the stronghold he had been forced to evacuate earlier (four years to the day).
  • On the same day that Brevet Major-General Robert Anderson returned to Fort Sumter to ceremoniously raise the stars and stripes over the stronghold he had been forced to evacuate earlier, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln in Washington, DC.
Advertisements

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Fort Sumter Facts
  • Coverage April 12–13, 1861
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 7, 2021
GET THE BEST OF AMERICAN HISTORY CENTRAL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!
SIGN UP
By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to receive news, offers, updates, and additional information from R.Squared Communications, LLC and American History Central. Easy unsubscribe links are included in every email.
CLOSE [X]