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Fort Sumter: How Civil War Began With a Bloodless Battle

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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2011, 05:24:27 pm »

Fort Sumter Pictures: Destruction of 1st Civil War Battlefield




Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The April 1861 bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor (map)—pictured in 1863—had transformed the fort into a household name and a patriotic symbol for both sides in the U.S. Civil War.

(Read "Fort Sumter: How Civil War Began With a Bloodless Battle.")

For well over a year after the Confederates had taken control of the fort as well as the rest of Charleston, South Carolina, and its defenses saw little of the Northern enemy, other than the distant masts of the federal blockading fleet that lay in wait off the coast. (Read "Civil War Battlefields" in National Geographic magazine.)

But the 1861 battle would prove to be only the first chapter in Fort Sumter’s trial by fire. Along with the rest of the Confederate-held Charleston defenses, the fort became a major target of Union forces attempting to seal off the Atlantic coastline.

After a series of minor attacks in 1862, the full force of federal naval and ground forces were thrown against Fort Sumter in the spring of 1863. Over the next 20 months, the Confederates put up a stubborn defense, which inflicted heavy casualties on Union attackers, while giving up only the most exposed positions.

In the end, Charleston fell only when the last phase of Union general William Tecumseh Sherman's famous "March to the Sea" cut the city off from the rest of the dying Confederacy.

Federal forces began moving into the now defenseless city in February 1865 and took possession of Fort Sumter without a fight on February 22.

After all the blood that had been shed to take the fort by force, some came to question the whole Union strategy that had driven the preceding campaigns. In the end, however, there was mostly great relief that no more had to die.

With the fort so badly battered, there was little the occupiers could do with the great pile of rubble that was once Fort Sumter. Still, its capture had great symbolic power, and within weeks Northern photographers flocked to Charleston to capture scenes of the prize.

On April 14, 1865, Union general Robert Anderson, who had commanded the fort during the 1861 attack, returned for a ceremony in which Fort Sumter's original U.S. flag was raised once more over the stronghold. During the fireworks held that evening to close the celebration, word came that President Lincoln had been shot.

The hand-drawn depiction of Charleston Harbor above was created by an unknown soldier early in the opening phase of the federal offensive in the spring of 1863. The view looks north across the mouth of the harbor from a position down the coast on Morris Island (map). The lonely but dominant presence of Fort Sumter looms prominently in the middle distance.

MORE FORT SUMTER AND CIVIL WAR COVERAGE

    * Full Coverage: Civil War Sesquicentennial
    * Pictures: Fort Sumter—Defiance and Destruction (1862-1865)
    * Top Ten U.S. Civil War Sites
    * Kids Civil War Quiz
    * U.S. Civil War Prison Camps Claimed Thousands
    * Civil War Wreck Rises Again: Restoring the Monitor
    * Hunley Findings Put Faces on Civil War Submarine
    * Gettysburg: From Battlefield to Civil War Shrine
    * Civil War Sub May Have Been Downed by Unsealed Hatch

Updated April 12, 2011

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/pictures/110412-fort-sumter-civil-war-nation-150-anniversary-matthew-brady/
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2011, 05:25:14 pm »



1863 Barrage on Fort Sumter

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Confederate-held Fort Sumter faced its first major trial on April 7, 1863, when it was surrounded and hammered at close range by a squadron of federal ironclads. The fort took over 50 hits from heavy naval guns.

The barrage cratered the ramparts but didn’t seriously impair Fort Sumter’s fighting ability. The fort’s guns fired over 2,000 shells, driving off the enemy ships with enough of a beating that the vessels could not make another attack.

(See Civil War reenactment pictures.)

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2011, 05:25:49 pm »



Fort Sumter, 1864

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

As this Confederate officer’s drawing starkly records, Fort Sumter appeared to be little more than a ruin by 1864. Despite this devastation, there were still operational gun positions on the lowermost tier and reinforced bombproof shelters that protected men and munitions.

The Southern soldiers who garrisoned this desolate outpost suffered from the elements, depravation, and enemy fire, but the Confederates refused to give Fort Sumter up until after the fall of Charleston in February 1865.

(Related: "Civil War at 150: Expect Subdued Salutes, Rising Voices.")

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2011, 05:26:37 pm »



Battered Fort Sumter, 1863

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

English artist Frank Vizetelly covered the fighting in Charleston through most of 1863 and produced many eyewitness drawings of the war-ravaged harbor.

This colored sketch of a battered but still defiant Fort Sumter became one of the most enduring scenes of the doomed effort to hold the fort for the Confederacy.

(Interactive Map: Battlefields of the Civil War.)

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2011, 05:27:17 pm »



Three-Gun Battery, Fort Sumter

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

An 1864 engraving by an unknown Southern artist shows Fort Sumter's so-called Three-Gun Battery, which proved to be one of the strongest positions in the fort.

The print, from a December 1863 drawing, bears the endorsement of Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard, the overall commander of the Charleston defenses through much of the siege. Although somewhat stylized, the print includes a realistic portrayal of one of the artillerymen trying to keep warm with a tattered blanket.

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2011, 05:28:03 pm »



Fort Sumter's Interior, 1863

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

A rare photograph taken on September 8, 1863, by a Charleston photographer captured Fort Sumter's ruined interior just as a shell burst over one of the walls.

By this point, most of the fort's upper levels were just piles of rubble that could be used only as observation platforms or as light gun positions. The small garrison took shelter in the lowermost level, where the men could count on reasonably good protection but little else.

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2011, 05:28:57 pm »



Fort Sumter, 1863

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Originally thought to have been taken by a Northern photographer after the recapture of the Fort Sumter in 1865, this August 1863 picture is now known to be one of the few taken by a Southern photographer during the Civil War.

Fort Sumter is pictured not long after it had been pulverized by the all-out Union bombardment that forced the removal of most of the garrison and all but a few of the heavy guns.

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2011, 05:29:39 pm »



Reinforcing Fort Sumter

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Fort Sumter's devastated interior was the subject of many photographs after the North had recaptured the fort in April 1865. This one shows signs of the early attempts by the new Union garrison to strengthen and clean up the ruins.

The walls have been partially reinforced by huge, rubble-filled wicker baskets, while work is nearly complete on the platform (right) that will be used for the ceremonial flag raising on April 14, 1865.

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2011, 05:30:39 pm »



Matthew Brady at Fort Sumter?

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The new Union occupants could not even begin to restore the original heavy gun positions at Fort Sumter, shown in the background in March 1865. Instead, they built a makeshift fortification on the side of the fort using palmetto logs (visible on the fort’s exterior).

This view was taken at low tide, from an exposed sandbar that runs across a part of the Charleston Harbor entrance. The figure on the far right is probably Mathew Brady, who later in the war had taken to posing in some of his own company’s photographs.

Updated April 12, 2011
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Ashley Washington
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2011, 05:32:13 pm »



Fort Sumter Ceremony, 1864

Image Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

On the fourth anniversary of the 1861 surrender of Fort Sumter—and of the start of the Civil War—the fort's former commander, Robert Anderson, now an ailing Civil War hero, served as the guest of honor at a ceremony to formally reclaim his post.

As part of the event, Anderson raised the fort's original Union flag once again. Later that evening, during the fireworks display over the fort, word came that President Lincoln had been shot. The terrible irony of this anniversary escaped no one.

Updated April 12, 2011
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/pictures/110412-fort-sumter-civil-war-nation-150-anniversary-matthew-brady/#/flag-raising-ceremony-sumter-4-14-65-loc_34486_600x450.jpg
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