Camp Chase Gazette

Follow Us On:

South Carolina

Battle of Charleston Harbor #1  

Other Names: Fort Sumter

Location: Charleston County

Date(s): April 7, 1863

Commanders: Rear Adm. S.F. Du Pont [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: 9 warships

Estimated Casualties: 36 total (US 22; CS 14)

Description: In April, Maj. Gen. David Hunter prepared his land forces on Folly, Cole’s, and North Edisto Islands to cooperate with a naval bombardment of Fort Sumter. On April 7, the South Atlantic Squadron under Rear Admiral S.F. Du Pont bombarded Fort Sumter, having little impact on the Confederate defenses of Charleston Harbor. Although several of Hunters units had embarked on transports, the infantry were not landed, and the joint operation was abandoned. The ironclad warships Keokuk, Weehawken, Passaic, Montauk, Patapsco, New Ironsides, Catskill, Nantucket, and Nahant participated in the bombardment.  Keokuk, struck more than 90 times by the accurate Confederate fire, sunk the next day.

Result(s): Confederate victory (Warships were repulsed.)

Battle of Charleston Harbor #2  

Other Names: Battery Gregg, Fort Wagner, Morris Island, Fort Sumter

Location: Charleston County

Date(s): September 7-8, 1863

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Regiments: total unknown (US 413; CS unknown)

Estimated Casualties: (US 117; CS unknown)

Description: During the night of September 6-7, Confederate forces evacuated Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg pressured by advancing Federal siegeworks. Federal troops then occupied all of Morris Island. On September 8, a storming party of about 400 marines and sailors attempted to surprise Fort Sumter. The attack was repulsed.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Fort Sumter #1   

Other Names: None

Location: Charleston County

Date(s): April 12-14, 1861

Commanders: Maj. Robert Anderson [US]; Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Regiments:  580 total (US 80; CS est. 500)

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely while firing a salute during the evacuation on April 14.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Fort Sumter #2   

Other Names: Charleston Harbor, Morris Island

Location: City of Charleston

Date(s): August 17-December 31, 1863

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Morris Island Batteries [US]; Fort Sumter Garrison

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Federal batteries erected on Morris Island opened fire on August 17 and continued their bombardment of Fort Sumter and the Charleston defenses until August 23. Despite a severe pounding, Fort Sumters garrison held out. Siege operations continued against Fort Wagner on Morris Island.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Battle of Fort Wagner   

Other Names: First Assault, Morris Island

Location: City of Charleston

Date(s): July 10-11, 1863

Commanders: Brig. Gen. Qunicy Gillmore [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 351 total (US 339; CS 12)

Description: On July 10, Union artillery on Folly Island together with Rear Adm. John Dahlgrens fleet of ironclads opened fire on Confederate defenses of Morris Island. The bombardment provided cover for Brig. Gen. George C. Strongs brigade, which crossed Light House Inlet and landed by boats on the southern tip of the island. Strongs troops advanced, capturing several batteries, to within range of Confederate Fort Wagner. At dawn, July 11, Strong attacked the fort. Soldiers of the 7th Connecticut reached the parapet but, unsupported, were thrown back.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island  

Other Names: Second Assault, Morris Island

Location: City of Charleston

Date(s): July 18-September 7, 1863

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: 6,800 total (US 5,000; CS 1,800)

Estimated Casualties: 1,689 total (US 1,515; CS 174)

Description: After the July 11 assault on Fort Wagner failed, Gillmore reinforced his beachhead on Morris Island. At dusk July 18, Gillmore launched an attack spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a black regiment. The units colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, was killed. Members of the brigade scaled the parapet but after brutal hand-to-hand combat were driven out with heavy casualties. The Federals resorted to siege operations to reduce the fort. This was the fourth time in the war that black troops played a crucial combat role, proving to skeptics that they would fight bravely if only given the chance.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Grimball’s Landing   

Other Names: Secessionville, James Island

Location: City of Charleston and James Island

Date(s): July 16, 1863

Commanders: Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry [US]; Brig. Gen. Johnson Hagood [CS]

Forces Engaged: 6,800 total (US 3,800; CS 3,000)

Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US unknown; CS 18)

Description: To divert Confederate reinforcements from a renewed attack on Fort Wagner, Gen. Gillmore designed two feints. An amphibious force ascended Stono River to threaten the Charleston & Savannah Railroad bridge. A second force, consisting of Terrys division, landed on James Island on July 8. Terry demonstrated against the Confederate defenses. On July 16, the Confederates attacked Terrys camp at Grimballs Landing. Because of incomplete reconnaissance of the difficult, marshy ground, the disorganized Confederate attack was soon aborted. Their mission accomplished, Federal troops withdrew from the island on July 17.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Battle of Honey Hill   

Other Names: None

Location: Jasper County

Date(s): November 30, 1864

Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Hatch [US]; Col. Charles Colcock [CS]

Forces Engaged: 6,400 total (US 5,000; CS 1,400)

Estimated Casualties: 796 total (US 746; CS 50)

Description: Leaving Hilton Head on November 28, a Union expeditionary force under Maj. Gen. John P. Hatch steamed up the Broad River in transports to cut the Charleston & Savannah Railroad near Pocotaligo. Hatch disembarked at Boyds Landing and marched inland. On November 30, Hatch encountered a Confederate force of regulars and militia under Col. Charles J. Colcock at Honey Hill. Determined attacks by U.S. Colored Troops (including the 54th Massachusetts) failed to capture the Confederate entrenchments or cut the railroad. Hatch retired after dark, withdrawing to his transports at Boyds Neck.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Rivers’ Bridge   

Other Names: Salkehatchie River, Hickory Hill, Owens Crossroads, Lawtonville, Duck Creek

Location: Bamberg County

Date(s): February 3, 1865

Commanders: Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair [US]; Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions: 6,200 total (US 5,000; CS 1,200)

Estimated Casualties: 262 total (US 92; CS 170)

Description:On February 2, a Confederate force under McLaws held the crossings of the Salkehatchie River against the advance of the right wing of Shermans Army. Federal soldiers began building bridges across the swamp to bypass the road block. In the meantime, Union columns worked to get on the Confederates flanks and rear. On February 3, two Union brigades waded the swamp downstream and assaulted McLawss right. McLaws retreated toward Branchville after stalling Shermans advance for only one day.

Result(s): Union victory

 Battle of Secessionville  

Other Names: Ft. Lamar, James Island

Location: City of Charleston

Date(s): June 16, 1862

Commanders: Brig. Gen. Henry Benham [US]; Brig. Gen. Nathan Evans [CS]

Forces Engaged: 8,600 total (US 6,600; CS 2,000)

Estimated Casualties: 889 total (US 685; CS 204)

Description: Early June 1862, Maj. Gen. David Hunter transported Horatio G. Wrights and Isaac I. Stevenss Union divisions under immediate direction of Brig. Gen. Henry Benham to James Island where they entrenched at Grimballs Landing near the southern flank of the Confederate defenses. On June 16, contrary to Hunters orders, Benham launched an unsuccessful frontal assault against Fort Lamar at Secessionville. Because Benham was said to have disobeyed orders, Hunter relieved him of command.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Simmon’s Bluff   

Other Names: None

Location: City of Charleston

Date(s): June 21, 1862

Commanders: Lt. A.C. Rhind [US]; Col. James McCullough [CS]

Forces Engaged: Regiments

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: In June, the Federals besieging Charleston mounted an amphibious expedition to cut the Charleston & Savannah Railroad. On June 21, troops of the 55th Pennsylvania landed from the gunboat Crusader and transport Planter near Simmons Bluff on Wadmelaw Sound, surprising and burning an encampment of the 16th South Carolina Infantry. The Confederates scattered, and the Federals returned to their ships. Despite this minor victory, the Federals abandoned their raid on the railroad. Although a bloodless raid, this engagement typified scores of similar encounters that occurred along the South Carolina coastline.

Result(s): Union victory