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
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
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
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
George Coons; John Schweirer John Buckley; James Tweedle
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