Firing on Fort Sumter: "The Opening Ball"

Subtitle

The Bombardment

Although we commemorate the April bombardment of Fort Sumter as "the opening ball" of the War Between the States, Charleston Harbor was already the site of the first hostile shot of the War, January 9, 1861, when The Star of the West was repulsed in its effort to resupply Sumter's garrison.  Reportedly, a member of the ship's crew wryly remarked after the event that the people of Charleston had welcomed them with "a host of balls." 

 

 

                           

 

Remarkably, no one was killed during the battle.  The Union suffered several casualties after surrendering, when a Federal artillery salute granted by the Confederates went awry.