Monday April 14, 1861
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.