Fort Sumter at Charlestown, South Carolina was symbolically important to the Union war effort. It was, of course, the site of the war’s beginning and was the first Federal installation under siege to capitulate to the Confederates.
If Sumter could be retaken by force of arms, the Union would score a major psychological victory which would help erase the bitterness of the war’s outbreak. As such, Lincoln desired Sumter to be retaken and was not pleased to learn that Flag Officer Samuel Du Pont’s Union fleet had be badly damaged in its assault against Sumter on April 7.
The president on Monday, April 13, 1863 ordered Du Pont to hold his position inside the Charlestown Harbor bar and expressed regrets over the failure of the admiral’s warships to effectively assault Sumter.