Fort Moultrie in the Charleston Harbour was one of these. It was not easy to defend, and thus decisions were made to move across the harbour and into Fort Sumter, pictured here. This was a massive structure actally built in the harbour and on a shoal of land that, over a decade would be built up with the dumping of over 70,000 tonnes of granite and rock.
Not wanting to tip off the Confederates in the area, the officer in Charge at Moultrie... Major Robert Anderson moved the men out in the middle of the night on 26 Jan 1861. The confederates were most unimpressed with the midnight move and demanded that Anderson and crew surrender the Fort. But Anderson had no such intentions
Talks came to shoves. Soon both sides came to realize that without proper supplies the Sumter troops would have to soon give up and move on. A federal attempt to resupply the fort encountered numerous obstacles and political interferance but then finally the USS Star of the West with supplies and HIDDEN TROOPS was ordered to Sumter. . When it approached the shores a few shots were sent over its bow she refused to proceed further and turned back. These were her orders, as further proceeding could, in itself spark a war, that would come anyway. More diplomatic attempts to resolve the matter ultimately met with demands to vacate or the shelling would begin.
That shot came very early in the morning and Sumpter waited several hours to respond. It was too dark out and reasonable aiming could not take place till daylight. Either Anderson or a fellow officer by the name of Doubleday would fire the first shot in return. Doubleday was for years incorrectly credited with the creation of the game baseball.
After two days of bombarding the fort from over 19 batteries and thousands of shells being dropped, not a man was killed inside the massive fort. A few dozen were killed on the Condfederate side.
Finally it was decided to haul the flag down because supplies were becoming almost complely exhausted. Terms were arranged between both sides that allowed all of the Union officers and men to vacate, not become prisoners and were given transportation away from the Fort and back to DC.
More sparks dropped on a pile of cartridges causing a second explosion and blowing 5 men into the air with serious injuries, and one possibly dying a few days later.
Daniel Hough's death became the first official death, though by accident, in the Civil War.
This monument was erected at Charlston in 1932 in honour of these men.
Years later, when the Union recaptured Fort Sumter Anderson returned to conduct a ceremony and raise the original flag back up on its mast at the fort.