This Week in the Civil War - 652
At Charlestown, South Carolina during the night of September 6, 1863 the embattled Confederate garrisons of Fortress Wagner and Battery Gregg, under Union shelling since early July, were quietly evacuated and relocated around Charlestown’s perimeter, because Confederate commander Pierre Beauregard believed that a major Union infantry assault was pending and he doubted that an assault could be stopped by Wagner and Greggs’ Confederate defenders.
The following day Union forces occupied the abandoned Confederate defenses and demanded that Fort Sumter and the city of Charlestown be surrendered. Beauregard refused, believing that Fort Sumter was still defendable, even with substantial damage due to the Union bombardment against it. Charlestown, the site of the war’s beginnings, was more important psychologically than militarily to both sides; conflict would continue at Charlestown for several more months.