-- Aftermath --

Monday April 14, 1861

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Commentary: Sumter Casualties

Astonishingly, despite the thirty-four hours of fighting, there were no fatalities on either side and only a few injuries. Sadly, it was during the ceremony lowering the American flag after the battle had concluded, that a loss of life occurred. On the fiftieth firing of what was intended to be a hundred salutes, the gun exploded, killing one soldier instantly. Another soldier would die of his wounds a few days later in a Charleston hospital; four other victims recovered.

The battle of Fort Sumter itself failed to predict the enormous casualties that lay ahead; ironically, it was the subsequent ceremony that glimpsed the awful future.

Bibliography: Swanberg, First Blood, p. 328; OR, p. 12.

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