November 1861. The South was winning the Civil War. Fort Sumter
had fallen to the Confederates
. The Federal army was routed at Manassas. The blockade of Southern ports was a farce; commerce and weapons flowed almost as freely as before the war. There were stirrings of interest from foreign powers in recognizing the Confederacy and brokering a forced peace accord. The Federals needed to turn the tide. The largest fleet ever assembled by the United States set its sights on the South Carolina
coast for this much-needed victory. On November 7, 1861, this mighty weapon of war engaged two undermanned and outgunned forts in Hilton Head in a clash called the Battle of Port Royal. Join historian Michael Coker as he tells the story of this largely forgotten battle, a pivotal turning point in the war that defined our nation.
The Confederate States of America was formed by the states that seceded from the Union in 1861 and was dissolved in 1865. Fort Sumter was an outpost of the US Army in Charleston Harbor, which the Confederate States bombarded and captured in 1861 as the first engagement of the Civil War. South Carolina was second youngest of the 13 original colonies and led the movement for secession that led to Civil War.