The Saluting Ghost of Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter, located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina has the distinction of being the site of the first act of aggression in The Civil War. As with most places with that amount of history, there are tales of ghosts surrounding Fort Sumter. But this ghost story does not come from the battle of the fort, but rather from the act of surrender...

Union Army Major Robert Anderson was in charge of the fort on Thursday, April 11, 1861 when Confederate Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard sent three aides to the fort to demand its surrender. Major Anderson, without either the supplies nor the authority to properly defend the fort, stalled for as long as he possibly could. But the tactic was futile. At 4:30am on Friday, April 12, 1861 the Confederate Army opened fire on the fort. For 34 hours shells rained down on Fort Sumter. The Union soldiers did what they could to fight back, but it was of no use.On Saturday, April 13, Fort Sumter was surrendered to the Confederates. Suprisingly, no Union soldiers were killed in the battle and only one Confederate lost his life due to a cannon misfire.

Upon surrender, Major Anderson was allowed one final command of his troops. He ordered a 100 gun salute to the Union flag before it was replaced by a Rebel flag. On the 47th shot, a gun misfired and killed Union Soldier Daniel Hough. He was buried at the fort later that just before the last of the Union troops were transferred of the island and headed for New York.

Since that day people have reported seeing the ghost of a Union soldier at the fort. Others have reported seeing smoke and smelling gun powder as if a shot had just went off. Possibly the strangest thing is what happened to The Fort Sumter Flag, the flag that Daniel Hough was saluting when he was killed. Shortly after the battle, the flag developed a faded area just to the right of the center star. It is said that the area shows a mans face with a Union cap and that the features of the man strongly resemble that of Daniel Hough.

The flag can still be seen at The Fort Sumter Museum. Whether the flag shows the visage of a long dead Union soldier is something I'll leave up to you to decide...

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