The U. S. Navy and the Naval Battles of Charleston, 1863

By Syd Overall
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a presentation made by the author to the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable on February 12, 2014.

The Union Blockade

The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter was a 33-hour, one-sided ordeal which triggered the War of the Rebellion. Within a week, the basic policies of the war were determined. Two days after the surrender of the fort, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteer troops from loyal states to preserve the Union against the insurrection of seven Deep South States organized as the Confederate States of America. Four Upper South slave states then declared for secession. Two days later, Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaimed the issuance of letters of marque to private ship owners to be Confederate privateers to attack United States non-combatant ship owners following the American practice in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Lincoln then proclaimed a blockade of the Confederacy. Three weeks after the insurrection at Charleston, on May 6, the Confederate Congress formally declared war on the United States.

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