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The Battle of Fort Sumter was the battle that started the American Civil War. It happened on April 12, 1861 and lasted until the following day. Fort Sumter, located in the proximity of Charleston, South Carolina, was bombarded by the South Carolina militia—before the existence of the Confederate Army, while the United States army returned gunfire at them.
See the fact file below for more information on the Battle of Fort Sumter or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Battle of Fort Sumter worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Battle of Fort Sumter happened from April 12 until April 13, 1861.
- The battle was fought in Charleston Harbor, in Charleston, South Carolina.
- The Confederate forces won the Battle of Fort Sumter.
FORCES AND CASUALTIES
- The Battle of Fort Sumter was fought between the forces of the United States and Confederate States of America.
- The United States Army was led by Major Robert Anderson.
- He was a Union commander at the Battle of Fort Sumter.
- He commanded the units of the 1st United States Artillery.
- After the battle, Robert Anderson was celebrated as a hero and was promoted to the position of brigadier general.
- The Confederate forces, or the South Carolina Army, was led by officer Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, commonly referred to as P.G.T Beauregard
- In the Battle of Fort Sumter, P.G.T. Beauregard commanded the units of the Provisional Forces of the Confederate States.
- The United States Army had only a strength of 85 men in the Battle of Fort Sumter.
- There were an estimate of 500 to 6,000 soldiers deployed by the Confederate forces.
- There are no existing records of the casualties from the Battle of Fort Sumter.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES
- November 6, 1860: Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election.
- December 20, 1860: Shortly after Lincoln’s victory, the State of Carolina adopted an ordinance of secession and withdrew from the United States of America.
- February, 1861: Six more southern states: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, followed South Carolina adopted an ordinance of secession.
- February 4, 1861: a peace conference was organized at the Willard Hotel but the crisis was not resolved.
- February 7, 1861: The seven seceded states adopted an initial constitution for the Confederate States of America.
- Montgomery, Alabama was established as the temporary capital of the Confederate States.
- Federal properties existing within these states were seized.
BACKGROUND OF FORT SUMTER
- Fort Sumter was one of the several forts located in Charleston Harbor.
- Originally, the U.S. Army’s headquarters in Charleston Harbor was the oldest fort, Fort Moultrie.
- However, strategically speaking, Fort Moultrie is located in a spot that does not work well with land-based attacks.
- Since Fort Sumter was nearer to the Harbor’s entrance, and was considered to be the strongest fort despite being unfinished, Major Robert Anderson abandoned Fort Moultrie and relocated his command.
- December 1860: South Carolina Governor Francis W. Pickens ordered all federal positions to be seized, except for Fort Sumter.
- By 1861, only 90 percent of the fort was finished.
- Major Anderson had only 85 men to command.
- By April, 60 guns had been positioned at Fort Sumter, but there were not enough men to operate them.
- March 1, 1860: Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was appointed by President Jefferson Davis as the first general officer in the armed forces of the Confederate States.
- Brig. Gen. P.G.T Beauregard commanded the South Carolina Army.
- The Confederate forces made the Union choose to surrender to withdraw, and made sure that the Union’s resources were scarce.
- March 4 1861: Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president.
- Only six weeks of ration was left at Fort Sumter.
- A debate whether Fort Sumter should be seized sprung up among the Confederate states, and whether force should be used in seizing it.
- Abraham Lincoln offered to peacefully evacuate Fort Sumter if Virginia maintained its loyalty to the United States.
- April 4, 1861: Fort Sumter supplies became critical.
- April 6, 1861: Lincoln notified that a peaceful attempt to supply Fort Sumter would be done.
- April 9, 1861: President Davis’s order to Fort Sumter to surrender was endorsed in the meeting of Confederate states.
- April 11, 1861: Col. James A. Chisholm and Capt. Stephen D. Lee were dispatched by Beauregard to Fort Sumter to deliver the ultimatum to Anderson’s forces. Anderson refused.
NEGOTIATION AND BOMBARDMENT
- April 12, 1861, 1:00 a.m.: Beauregard tried to negotiate with Anderson to tell them the time they would evacuate Fort Sumter, so that the Confederate forces wouldn’t open fire.
- Anderson announced that they would evacuate the fort on April 15.
- Confederate forces replied that they would open fire one hour from then.
- Anderson then escorted his soldiers back to their boat.
- 4:30 a.m.: a single 10-inch mortar was fired from Fort Johnson, exploding over Fort Sumter.
- It was followed by shots from other forts.
- Fort Sumter was surrendered on April 13, 1861, 1 p.m.
- After the first shots were fired, it was clear that the Civil War had begun.
Battle of Fort Sumter Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Battle of Fort Sumter across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Battle of Fort Sumter worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Battle of Fort Sumter which was the battle that started the American Civil War. It happened on April 12, 1861 and lasted until the following day. Fort Sumter, located in the proximity of Charleston, South Carolina, was bombarded by the South Carolina militia—before the existence of the Confederate Army, while the United States army returned gunfire at them.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Battle of Fort Sumter Facts
- Terms to Remember
- Quick Questions
- Battle Timeline
- State Naming
- Leading Officers
- Sumter Scramble
- Causes and Effects
- All About Fort Sumter
- Fort Sumter Presentation
- Civil War Collage
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Link will appear as Battle of Fort Sumter Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 15, 2020
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