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 Quick Facts

April 12–14, 1861

Facts About Battle of Fort Sumter


Date: April 12-13, 1861

Location: Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

Campaign: Operations in Charleston Harbor

Principal Union commander(s): Major Robert Anderson

Principal Confederate commander(s): Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard

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: 0

Estimated Confederate casualties: 0

Result: Confederate victory

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 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.

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.


Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Fort Sumter Quick Facts
  • Coverage April 12–14, 1861
  • Author
  • Keywords fort sumter
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date January 18, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update July 15, 2020