BRUCE THOMAS COLLECTION OF SO-CALLED DOLLARS AND OTHER MEDALS
HK-011E MS 65 RB

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Coin Details

Origin/Country: UNITED STATES CHARLESTON, SC 1861
Design Description: SO-CALLED DOLLARS - HIBLER & KAPPEN TYPE II
Item Description: COPPER SC$1 1861 SC HK-11E BOMBARDMENT OF FT SUMTER HK-11E Bruce Thomas Collection
Full Grade: NGC MS 65 RB
Owner: Bruce Thomas Collection

Set Details

Custom Sets: BRUCE THOMAS COLLECTION OF SO-CALLED DOLLARS AND OTHER MEDALS
Competitive Sets: This coin is not competing in any sets.
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER 1861, CHARLESTON, SC TYPE II EAGLE REVERSE.

THIS IS THE TOP POP OF ONLY (2) OF THIS TYPE LISTED IN THE NGC CENSUS AS OF 9/2020. I PREVIOUSLY OWNED THE MS 64 BN EXAMPLE ALSO, BUT I SOLD IT TO JEFF SHEVLIN IN 2017.

THIS EXAMPLE WAS PREVIOUSLY IN THE DONALD ENSLEY COLLECTION FROM MICHIGAN.

MY FATHER-IN-LAW'S FAMILY ARE FROM SUMTER, SC, SO THIS MEDAL IS VERY SPECIAL TO ME AND APPARENTLY EXTREMELY RARE.

JEFF SHEVLIN TOLD ME IN 2017 THAT OF THE (6) VARIETIES OF THESE "BOMBARDMENT" MEDALS, THE MS 64 BN EXAMPLE WAS THE ONLY HK-11E THAT HE HAD EVER SEEN, RAW OR GRADED. IF JEFF HAS NOT SEEN THIS TYPE, IT MUST BE VERY RARE. DIES FOR THIS MEDAL BY GEORGE H LOVETT.

Following 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as United States President, South Carolina was first state to secede from Union on Dec. 20, 1860. Bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was first clash of armed forces of North and South.

Defended by a Federal force of 75 men under Major Robert Anderson from April 12 to 14, 1861, against Brigadier Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard and 8,000 Confederates, Fort was surrendered finally with no casualties to either side.

The firing upon Fort Sumter by Confederate forces under Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard marked the beginning of the American Civil War. The spotlight was upon US Army Major Robert Anderson, who led a small force of loyal troops from Fort Moultrie to the much stronger and more strategic position at Fort Sumter. Southern leaders were outraged at their “betrayal,” but their stance was celebrated in the North. As the medal highlights, the Union troops were severely outnumbered and outgunned. The fort was low on ammunition, and they had no fuses for exploding shells, so only solid shot could be used.

At 4:30 a.m., April 12, 1861, 43 Confederate guns and mortars began firing upon the fort in a counterclockwise sequence, and continued for 34 hours straight. Major Anderson wisely kept his men out of harm's way by not manning guns on the top tier of the fort and other vulnerable areas. Exploding shells repeatedly landed inside the fort, and the Confederates heated other artillery rounds until they were glowing red hot, and targeted the fort’s wooden buildings. Before long, most of the buildings were in flames. During the bombardment, a shell struck the fort’s enormous flagpole, and the colors fell to the ground; but Norman J. Hall, a lieutenant, bravely exposed himself to enemy fire to put the flag back up. In doing so, his eyebrows were permanently singed off.

By April 13th, the fort was almost entirely depleted of ammunition, and the condition of Anderson’s men was becoming dire. Also, the Union ships outside the harbor were unable to approach to help. With no other options, Anderson agreed to evacuate the fort. They had sustained about 3,000 shells along with raging fires inside the fort without losing a single man.

After his heroic actions, Anderson was promoted to brigadier general. He retained the fort’s 33-star flag, and it became a symbol at rallies in the North for nationalism and rejection of secessionism. At the war’s end in 1865, Major Anderson returned to Fort Sumter to raise the flag he had lowered four years earlier.

The Bombardment of Fort Sumter Dollar was likely struck soon after the event, as the Union capitalized on the heroics of these men to encourage enlistment. Unfortunately, the origin of the piece has been elusive to researchers. Dewitt lists this piece as being muled with a McClellan campaign medal, the dies for which were made by George H. Lovett of New York in 1864.

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