Amid the fanfare surrounding today’s sesquicentennial of the bombing of Fort Sumter – the event generally credited with officially beginning the Civil War – an individual likely to be overlooked is Private Daniel Hough.
Hough was a 36-year-old immigrant serving in the 1st United States Artillery, one of just 85 officers and enlisted men serving on Fort Sumter in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, when Confederate batteries opened up from the shores surrounding Charleston Harbor.
A short time earlier, Union Major Robert Anderson had declined an offer by Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard to surrender the fort and the Southerners responded by launching the first salvo of the War Between the States.
Low on ammunition and unable to get supplies from Federal ships in the harbor, Hough and his fellow soldiers held out for 34 hours before Anderson agreed to evacuate the fort.