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Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina

After having secured Hatteras Inlet, the Union looked for a port along the southern Atlantic coast where a fleet could be maintained so as to support the blockade of the Confederacy. The obvious choice was Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, not only an excellent harbor, but one the Confederacy could not easily defend.

Captain Samuel F. Du Pont was put in charge of this operation and a large expedition of 74 vessels set sail from Hampton Roads in late October. Du Pont was met by some immediate setbacks, as the Confederacy knew of this supposedly secret expedition before he set sail, and the fleet ran into a heavy gale almost as soon as it set out. Still Du Pont arrived off the entrance of Port Royal Sound in early November and prepared his plan of attack on the two forts, Beauregard and Walker, defending the sound.

Devising an effective plan making use of his superior ordnance and the maneuverability of his ships, on November 7th, Du Pont was able to reduce to two forts to submission and thus secure this important harbor, as well as the nearby towns of Beaufort and Port Royal.

Bombardment of Port Royal
"Bombardment & Capture of Forts Walker & Beauregard, Port Royal, S.C. Nov. 7, 1861." From The Great Rebellion. Connecticut: Hurlburt, Williams, & Co., 1862. 4 1/4 x 7 1/8. Engraving by Geo. E. Perine. Very good condition.

A nice image showing Du Pont's tactics in bombarding the two forts. The perspective is from the battlements of Fort Walker, showing the devastating effect of the Union's guns. $75

Bombardment Port Royal
C. Parsons. "Bombardment of Port Royal, S.C." From The Great Civil War. New York: Virtue & Yorston, ca. 1865. 4 5/8 x 7 1/4. Engraving by W. Ridgway. Very good condition.

Another good look at the circular formation used by Du Pont, but this looking out to Pamilco Sound, where the transport fleet is shown waiting in the distance. $75

Schell. "Bombardment of Port Royal." Ca. 1865. Wood engraving by Adrian-Probasco. 4 x 6 1/4. Two small spots, but else very good.

A wood engraving showing the ships bombarding the forts, seen in the distance on either side. $30

Prints from Harper's Weekly

The preparation for the expedition and then the action in Port Royal Sound created great interest, which spurred Harper's Weekly to issue a number of prints related:

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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. April 15, 2016