Return to Fort Sumter

Following Sherman's advance from Savannah on January 17, 1865, the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron was once again required to form a Fleet Brigade to assist the land forces. Led by Cdr Fabius Stanly, USN, the Marine Bn was again placed under command of Lt George Stoddard. These Marines hacl an opportunity for action during the landings at Bull's Bay, SC, on February 12-17, 1865. With Sherman's columns approaching from the interior, and naval forces driving up the coast from Bull's Bay, the Confederates at Charleston, under Gen William J.Hardee, were threatened on two fronts, and hurriedly abandoned the city. By February 24, Marines of the Fleet Bde were landing at Georgetown, SC, where they acted as a provost guard.

On April 14 a battalion of Marines formed part of the main guard on the parade ground for the flag-raising ceremony at Fort Sumter. Observing the occasion from his post aboard USS Philadelphia, Pte Charles Leaman recalled: "The forts were crowded with guests and I never seen so much bunting displayed as I have this day on the vessels here. All nations is represented and all manners of flags are flying, except the rag that reigned here this day four years... The Flag was raised at one o'clock when the saluting from the Fort, the fleet and the remaining forts commenced, and in a few minutes the Fort, fleet and all was hidden in smoke."

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