Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour was fired on by Confederate forces in the early hours of April 12, 1861, the bombardment continuing well into the following day. Fortunately for Major Robert Anderson and his garrison, there were no casualties during the siege but with little hope of holding out, the major surrendered his force.

On April 14, the U.S. flag was lowered, and with permission of the local Confederate commander, a 100-gun salute was allowed. The 6-man crew -- 5 Irish, and a New Yorker -- began their preparations. The salute began in the early afternoon, but while he was ramming home the 47th round, Pvt Daniel Hough, from the Borrisokane area of County Tipperary, suffered a horrific injury when it prematurely exploded. His arm was blown off; the explosion caused other, nearby rounds to detonate injuring the remaining 5 gun-crew members. 

Pvt. Hough suffered briefly before dying from his injury April 14. (Featured above is a depiction of Pvt. Hough's funeral.) The injuries suffered by the gunners ranged from slight to serious, some were able to make their way to a waiting steamship, while one, Pvt. Edward Galloway, from Cork, was carried onto the steamer and then to the Gibbes Hospital in Charleston, where he died April 19, 1861.

In a war that would claim more than 500,000 casualties, the first two men to die in the American Civil War were Irishmen. They suffered a fate that would befall many of their fellow countrymen in the coming years, throughout their adopted homeland.

Fort Sumter Garrison April 12-14 1861

1st US Artillery

Major Robert Anderson, Commanding

Corps of Engineers

Capt. John G Forster; 1st Lt George W Snyder; 2nd Lt Richard K Meade

Medical Department

Asst Surgeon Samuel W Crawford

1st US Artillery

Capt Abner Doubleday; 1st Lts Jefferson C Davis; Truman Seymour; 2nd Lt Norman J Hall

Ord Sgt James Kearney; QM Sgt William H Hamner


Sgt James E Gallway; Corpl Andrew Smith; Pvts Patrick Murphy; Tedeschi Onoratto; Peter Rice; Henry Schmidt;

John Urquhart; Andrew Wickstrom

Company E

1st Sgt Eugene Scheibner;  Sgts Thomas Kirnan; James Chester; Corpls Owen McGuire; Francis J Oakes;

Charles Bringhurst; Henry Ellerbrook

Musician Charles Hall

Artificers Philip Andermann; John E Noack

Pvts Cornelius Baker; Thomas Carroll; Patrick Clancy; John Davis; James Digdam; George Fielding; Edward Gallway; James Gibbons; James Hays; Daniel Hough; John Irwin; James McDonald; Samuel Miller; John Newport; George Pinchard; Frank Rivers; Lewis Schroeder; Carl A Sellmann; John Thompson; Charles H Tozer; William Witzmann

Company H

1st Sgt John Renehan;  Sgts James McMahon; John Carmody; John Otto

Corpl Christopher Costolan

Musician Robert Forster

Artificer Henry Strandt

Pvts Edward Brady; Barney Cain; John Doran; Dennis Johnson; John Kehoe; John Klein; John Lanagan; John Laroche; Frederick Linter; John McGill; Frederick Meier; James Moore; William Morter; Patrick Neilan; John Nixon; Michael O’Donald; Robert Roe; William Walker; Joseph Wall; Edward Walsh; Henry  Walter; Herman Will; Thomas Wishnouski; Caspar Wutterrel

Hospital Steward                                                                                                                     Matron

Edward Wetfieldt                                                                                                     Ann Amella Weitfeildt

Employees of The Engineer Department


William O Lyman

Masons                                                                                                                                                Smiths

George Coons; John Schweirer                                                                         John Buckley; James Tweedle

Carpenter                                                                                                                                          Rigger

John Lindsay                                                                                                                               John Saxon


Michael Berne; John Burns; John Branley; Peter Caine; Patrick Conner; Michael Cummins; William Dorsey; Edward Davis; Patrick Donohoe; Peter Donley; William Eagen; Andrew Felton; Michael Goff; James Howlett; Patrick Heeney; Andrew Lindsey; Dennis Magrath; John M’Carty; James M’Mahon; Michael Meechins; Thomas Murphy; Thomas Myers; William Powers; Edward Quinn; Patrick Quinn; Martin Rafferty; John Riley; Michael Ryan; Jeremiah Ryan; James Ryan; James Shea


Samuel Abraze; Patrick Walsh

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Tags: American Civil War, Artillery, Casualties


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