Battle of Fort Independence
Part of the American Civil War (E Pluribus Duo)

Painting of the Battle of Fort Independence

Date February 27, 1857-March 1, 1857
Location Castle Island, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Federation victory
  • Beginning of the American Civil War
United States Massachusetts (Federated States of America)
Commanders and leaders

Robert Anderson (POW)

George H. Gordon

Robert Cowdin

Units involved
1st United States Artillery 1st and 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiments
100-150 1,000-3,000
Casualties and losses

1 killed

4 wounded

All Surrender

11 killed

29 wounded

With tensions heightened after the election of Robert M.T. Hunter and the secession of Massachusetts, Massachusetts regiment leaders George Gordon and Robert Cowdin agreed to seize Fort Independence. The fort was strategically located for a possible conquest of Boston by Southern troops, as Massachusetts had seceded. The 1st and 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiments beseiged the fortress, after surrounding it. The stationed Union troops there shot at the Massachusetts troops through the windows. This continued for about two days, when the Union troops ran out of ammunitions and surrendered.

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