Civil War Events by State - South Carolina


Listing of all day-by-day events of the American Civil War related to the state of South Carolina.

The American Civil War crossed borders throughout many states as the nation was plunged into turmoil. Key battles were fought throughout the land with the most being recorded in the state of Virginia followed by the state of Tennessee. The war stretched into loosely established territories in the West as well and involved actions in international waters and support from foreign powers. In the end, the fractured country required decades of healing and its scars can still be seen today.

There are a total of (36) Civil War Events by State - South Carolina events in the CivilWarTimeline.net database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.


Day-by-Day Timeline of Events


December 20, 1860

South Carolina adopts an ordinance of secession, becoming the first slave state of the south to declare its intent to leave the Union.

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December 26, 1860

U.S. Major Robert Anderson evacuates Fort Moultrie and his garrison relocates to Fort Sumter.

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December 27, 1860

Confederate troops take over Fort Moultrie as well as Fort Johnson and Fort Pinkney in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

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January 9, 1861

The steamer "Star of the West", laden with supplies and en route to Fort Sumter in Charleston (South Carolina), is fired upon by land-based cannons.

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January 12, 1861

Star of the West, a steamer having delivered supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, returns to New York with her battle-damaged hull resulting from a Confederate attack.

Flag signifying Union involvement on this date
April 6, 1861

President Lincoln notifies the government of South Carolina that general supplies will be sent to Fort Sumter at Charleston Harbor - he gives his assurances that any strengthening of the position will only be made if the Fort is in danger of attack.

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April 11, 1861

Event person portrait
General P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate officer, calls for Fort Sumter to surrender. Commanding Union Major Robert Anderson refuses his demand.

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April 12, 1861

With the refusal by Union forces at Fort Sumter to surrender their post, Confederate forces begin their ranged bombardment of the island.

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April 12, 1861

At 4:30AM, a gun from Fort Johnson fires a star shell that detonates above Fort Sumter. This is the signal for the surrounding gun batteries to begin shelling the Union-held fort.

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April 12, 1861

At 7:00AM, the guns of Fort Sumter return fire against Confederate positions in Charleston Harbor.

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AprilI 13, 1861

Event person portrait
Fort Sumpter is surrendered by Union Major Anderson to Confederate forces.

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April 13, 1861

At 2:30AM, Major Robert Anderson surrenders Fort Sumter to the Confederacy.

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April 24, 1861

Event person portrait
USS Niagra, having arrived from Japan, is dispatched to the Charleston Harbor (South Carolina) area near Fort Sumter.

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April 29, 1861

Confederate President Jefferson Davis calls a special session of congress to address recent developments - including the capture of Fort Sumter by South Carolinian forces.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
November 7, 1861

Union forces take Port Royal Harbor in south Carolina.

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March 15, 1862

To better handle the ongoing war situation covering Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Union authorities establish the Department of the South.

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March 31, 1862

The Department of the South falls under the charge of Union General David Hunter.

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May 13, 1862

Event person portrait
Robert Smalls, a slave of Charleston, South Carolina, frees himself and his crew by capturing CSS Planter. The ship is delivered to the Union blockade. This action assists in persuading President Lincoln to include blacks into the ranks of the U.S. Army and Navy services.

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June 16, 1862

The Battle of Secessionville takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a Confederate victory by Nathan Evans and Thomas Lamar. Union General Henry Benham, who had violated orders in the engagement, is arrested

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October 22, 1862

Union forces are driven off by defending Confederates at Yemassee in South Carolina.

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January 29, 1863

A Confederate supply ship, Princess Royal, is intercepted by Union naval forces near Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

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June 2, 1863

Former slave Harriet Tubman guides Union forces to raid Confederate plantations in the South Carolina Lowcountry. About 750 slaves are freed in the operation and these men strengthen Union numbers by joining their ranks. The raid is recognized as the Raid at Combahee Ferry.

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July 18, 1863

Union forces fail to take Fort Wagner. near Charleston, South Carolina. The 54th Massachusetts Regiment taking part in the attack is made up of Negro soldiers, the first of its kind for the Union Army.

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August 29, 1863

CSS Hunley, a Confederate submarine, sinks in Charleston Harbor waters (South Carolina) while undergoing diving actions.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date


September 6, 1863

Under pressure from a Union bombardment, Confederate forces relocate from Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

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September 8, 1863

A night time Union naval attack fails to retake Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The attack is directed by Admiral John Dahlgren.

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October 15, 1863

CSS Hunley, the famous Confederate submarine, sinks again in Charleston waters. All aboard die in the accident.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
February 17, 1864

CSS Hunley becomes the world's first submarine to sink a surface vessel. The target becomes USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor. However, CSS Hunley is lost in the action.

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July 3, 1864

James Island, Charleston Harbor is the site of a successful Confederate defense of Fort Johnson against Union attackers.

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July 7, 1864

Another Union attack is beaten back at Charleston, South Carolina, as the defenders continue to deny the important port city to the North.

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November 30, 1864

The Battle of Honey Hill is fought in Jasper County, South Carolina, and ends as a Confederate victory despite a force of 1,400 facing 5,000 Union troops.

February 1, 1865

A new march by General Sherman sees his army proceed north into South Carolina and then North Carolina.

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February 17, 1865

Union forces, under General Sherman, take Columbia, South Carolina.

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February 18, 1865

Citizens flee Charleston, South Carolina prior to the arrival of Union troops.

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February 18, 1865

Castle Pinckney in Charleston Harbor (South Carolina) falls to the South Carolina 21st Colored Infantry of the Union army.

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April 29, 1865

President Davis and several of his cabinet meet in Yorkville (York) in South Carolina and plan to relocate the Confederate government headquarters to Texas.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date


  Civil War by Battle / Engagement  

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Battle of Petersburg (1864-1865)
Shenandoah Valley (1864)
Battle of Franklin (1864)
Battle of Nashville (1864)
Appomattox Courthouse (1865)


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