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Union Attempt to Storm Fort Sumter Observed

Union Attempt to Storm Fort Sumter Observed

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - Today marks the 150th anniversary of the only Union attempt to storm the South Carolina fort where the Civil War began.

But the September 9th, 1863, attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was a dismal failure.

The night-time fight was doomed by rivalries between the Union commanders, a lack of planning and the fact that the Confederates, with the help of a captured Union code book, knew exactly what was coming.

The federals suffered 120 casualties, most of them captured.  The Confederates didn't lose a man.

The historian at the Fort Sumter National Monument says the attack was national news at the time.

Now, Rick Hatcher says, it's been lost amid other events, including the major Union victory at Gettysburg earlier in the summer of 1863.

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