This Week in the Civil War - 642

Aug 23, 2013

On Sunday, August 23, 1863 Union General Q.A. Gillmore ended his week-long bombardment of Charlestown’s Confederate defenses and civilian population. 

Over five thousand artillery shells had been fired against the city’s defenders; Fort Sumter’s entire garrison had but one functional piece of artillery left.   Gillmore became one of the first generals to bombard a civilian center in the hope of achieving a military end.  In truth, the shelling of Charleston only fueled the defenders’ hatred for their enemies.

Those citizens who remained in the city moved to areas out of range of the Federal guns, and the city's manufacturing and industrial work continued, with all maritime activity shifted up river. The stubborn Confederate defenders would resist the Union until February 1865, when the city finally fell to Federal forces.