§The Confederate control of Fort Sumter meant that Charleston was gap in the Federal naval blockade of the Atlantic coast.
§To close the port to Confederate shipping, Fort Sumter would need to be retaken.
AdmiralSamuel F. Du Pont organized a
naval assault on the fort.
§On the afternoon of April
7, 1863, nine ironclads exchanged fire with Confederate batteries in the fort and around the harbor.
§The fort was barely damaged, and five of the ships were disabled with one sinking the next morning.
§Federal strategy changed after this failure, and Du
Pont was replaced by Rear Adm. John A. Dahlgren.§Dahlgren’s combined land and sea operation seized nearby Morris
Island and used the island as a base to demolish the fort.
Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, USN,
standing beside a 50-pounder Dahlgren rifle, on board USS Pawnee
in Charleston Harbor.