Fort Sumter Facts

Fort Sumter Facts
Fort Sumter was a sea fort and military base located on an island off the shore of South Carolina. Construction of Fort Sumter began in 1829, but it was never completely finished. Fort Sumter was intended to serve as part of the United States' primary line of defense against foreign invaders, as the country had such a small standing army and virtually no navy for most of the nineteenth century. It remained a relatively unimportant and obscure post until the First Battle of Fort Sumter began on April 12, 1861 with Confederate forces besieging the small number of Union soldiers inside the fort. The fort was surrendered by the Union garrison to the Confederate forces on April 13, 1861. The battle effectively started the United States Civil War (1861-1865).
Interesting Fort Sumter Facts:
Fort Sumter is located in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina.
The fort is comprised of brick with granite used to build up a sandbar to its entrance.
The fort was constructed as an asymmetrical pentagon, with walls fifty feet tall, five feet thick, and 170 to 190 feet long.
Fort Sumter was intended to have three tiers of gun placements with the ability to have up to 135 guns.
The fort was large enough and originally intended to house up to 635 soldiers, but it never got close to that number.
Before the First Battle of Fort Sumter took place, the fort was cut off by Confederate naval forces and other forts on the shore.
Cadets fired on ships trying to supply the Union forces in the fort on January 9, 1861, and although no one was killed in the incident, it proved to be the first shots fired in the Civil War.
Major Robert Anderson of the United States Army led the defense of Fort Sumter during the First Battle of Fort Sumter, while Brigadier General Pierre Gustav Toutant-Beauregard (P.G.T. Beauregard) led the Confederate attack.
The Confederate forces were victorious in the First Battle of Fort Sumter, but it was more of a symbolic than a strategic victory.
There were no deaths during the battle, but two Union soldiers died during a 100 gun salute to the American flag in a mishap during the surrender.
The Second Battle of Fort Sumter took place on September 8, 1863 when Major General Quincey Gillmore of the United States Army led a force to retake the army.
The Union forces were repulsed by Beauregard once more.
The Second Battle of Fort Sumter was much bloodier than the first as there were 117 Union and nine Confederate casualties.
The Confederate forces finally abandoned the largely destroyed Fort Sumter on February 17, 1865 and the Union forces then took control on February 22.
Fort Sumter served as a lighthouse in the late nineteenth century.
Due to missiles, airplanes, and submarines, Fort Sumter became obsolete as a military installation in the twentieth century.
Fort Sumter was added to the United States Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
The fort is now part of the larger Fort Sumter National Monument where thousands of people visit each year.


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