Comparison of battles in CWSAC AAD, CWSAC Report, CWSAC Updates, and CWSS


List of battles included in the AAD CWSAC Reports (1990-1993), CWSAC Report Battle Summaries (1997), CWSAC Report Updates (2009-2013), and the CWSS. All these reports from the National Park Service use the same battle identifiers, but they differ slightly in their composition.

A couple notes about the set of battles in these data.

  • In an update on the status of battlefields Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report Update & Resurvey, the following changes were made.

    • AR018, Battle of Bayou Meto (Reed’s Bridge) on Aug 27, 1863 (part of the Advance on Little Rock campaign) was added. See Civil War Battlefields in the State of Arkansas - Arkansas Post to Devils Backbone.

    • SC007. Fort Wagner II. Dates changed to 7-18. Report Update.

    • SC008. Fort Sumter II. Dates changed to 8-17 to 9-8. Report Update.

    • SC009. Charleston Harbor. Dates changed to Aug 22-23, 1863 and Sept 5-8, 1863. This really appears to be to engagements. The assault on Fort Sumter is the only engagement referenced in the initial CWSAC report. Report Update.

      • Aug 22-23, 1863 Bombardment of Charleston by the Swamp Angel
      • Sept 5-8, 1863. Assault on Fort Sumter.
    • VA020A and VA020B combined into a single battle, Source.

      Although the CWSAC identified the engagements at White Oak Swamp and Glendale as part of the same offensive, it mapped the battlefields individually. Upon further study, the ABPP decided to combine the two engagements under one Study Area.

The Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2002 directed the NPS to update their 1993 battlefield surveys. The results of the resurvey are available here. These battles are largely the same as in the first CWSAC, with a few exceptions.

  • Battles Glendale (VA020A) and White Oak Swamp (VA020B) were combined into a single battle.

    Upon review of the histories of the battles, the ABPP has combined White Oak Swamp (VA020a) and Glendale (VA020b) into a single entry: the overall count is one battlefield fewer, but both engagement areas are included. Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report: Commonwealth of Virigina (p. 8).

  • The Battle of Bayou Meto (AR018) was added. However, it does not appear to have been added strictly due to historical judgment of importance. No military significance or casualties is given for this battle.

    The CWSAC did not list Bayou Meto (Reed’s Bridge) as one of the principal battles of the Civil War. In 2002, however, the battlefield was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a nationally significant historic property. Given the high level of significance conferred by the NRHP listing, the ABPP decided, as part of the fieldwork undertaken for this update, to assess conditions at Bayou Meto. ` Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report: State of Arkansas <>`_ (p. 8)

  • The Battle of Athens (AL002) is redefined from the battle on January 26, 1863 to the battle on September 23-25, 1963. Because of this I give the new battle the code AL009. I also think that the results in the document are referring to the January battle because the September battle is unambiguously a Confederate victory.

  • new variables: Acreage of the battlefield area

  • revised variables: forces, principal commanders, result, battle dates

  • Native American forces. Oklahoma battles OK001 (Round Mountain), OK002 (Chusto-Talasah), and OK003 (Chustenahlah) classify the Creek forces under Opothleyahola as [US] instead of [I]. In CWSAC II, the only battles involving purely Native American forces are against the Union and generally part of the Sioux Wars (Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho). This seems reasonable, the Creek and Seminole forces in the Oklahoma battles were Union allies, while the Sioux Indian forces fighting the Union were not allied with the Confederacy.

For the most part, each CWSAC battle page corresponds to a single Wikipedia page, making linking the two easy.

The one exception is that CWSAC considers the Battle of Chattanooga ( from Nov 23-25, 1863 a single battle. However, in Wikipedia this corresponds to two battles in on Nov 24, and the on Nov 25.

The set of battles around Charleston Harbor July to September 1863 is confusingly and ambiguously defined by the CWSAC.

cwsac name result cwsac I cwasc II
SC005 Fort Wagner I C 7-10 to 7-11 7-10 to 7-11
SC007 Fort Wagner II C 7-18 to 9-7 7-18
SC008 Fort Sumter II I 8-17 to 12-31 8-17 to 9-8
SC009 Charleston Harbor II C 9-7 to 9-8 8-22 to 8-23; 9-5 to 9-8

where cwsac I refers to the 1993 report , and cwsac II refers to the revised report.

The battles considered and the summaries from their pages are copied below.

Charleston Harbor I (SC004) occurred on April 7, 1863, and was a naval battle between Union ships and the Charleston Harbor forts.

CWSAC Fort Wagner I (SC005)

On July 10, Union artillery on Folly Island together with Rear Adm. John Dahlgren’s fleet of ironclads opened fire on Confederate defenses of Morris Island. The bombardment provided cover for Brig. Gen. George C. Strong’s brigade, which crossed Light House Inlet and landed by boats on the southern tip of the island. Strong’s troops advanced, capturing several batteries, to within range of Confederate Fort Wagner. At dawn, July 11, Strong attacked the fort. Soldiers of the 7th Connecticut reached the parapet but, unsupported, were thrown back.

CWSAC Fort Wagner II (SC007)

After the July 11 assault on Fort Wagner failed, Gillmore reinforced his beachhead on Morris Island. At dusk July 18, Gillmore launched an attack spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a black regiment. The unit’s colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, was killed. Members of the brigade scaled the parapet but after brutal hand-to-hand combat were driven out with heavy casualties. The Federals resorted to siege operations to reduce the fort. This was the fourth time in the war that black troops played a crucial combat role, proving to skeptics that they would fight bravely if only given the chance.

Fort Sumter II (SC008)

Federal batteries erected on Morris Island opened fire on August 17 and continued their bombardment of Fort Sumter and the Charleston defenses until August 23. Despite a severe pounding, Fort Sumter’s garrison held out. Siege operations continued against Fort Wagner on Morris Island.

CWSAC Charleston Harbor II (SC009)

During the night of September 6-7, Confederate forces evacuated Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg pressured by advancing Federal siegeworks. Federal troops then occupied all of Morris Island. On September 8, a storming party of about 400 marines and sailors attempted to surprise Fort Sumter. The attack was repulsed.

CWSAC II added the August bombardment of Charleston by the “The Swamp Angel” to Charleston Harbor II.

In Wikipedia

  1. SC005: July 10-July 11
  2. SC007: July 18
  3. SC008: Aug 17 - Sept 8
  4. SC009 Sept 9

Timeline of July-September events in the 1863 siege of Charleston

  • July 10-11. First Battle of Fort Wagner. Failed Union assault.
  • July 16. Battle of Grimball’s landing. Union defeated in attempt to take Charleston by land.
  • July 18. Second failed assault on Fort Wagner
  • July 19 Union begins siege of Fort Wagner
  • Aug 17. Batteries on Morris Island begin bombarding Fort Sumter
  • Aug 22-23. Bombardment of Charleston Island by the Swamp Angel (a battery on Morris Island)
  • Aug 23. Batteries on Morris Island switch bombardment to Fort Wagner.
  • Sept 7. Confederates abandon Fort Wagner
  • Sept 9. Union forces attempt and fail to retake Fort Sumter

It seems that the battles break down into the following periods

  • July 10-11: First Battle of Fort Wagner (SC005)
  • July 16: Battle of Grimball’s Landing (SC006)
  • July 18: Second Battle of Fort Wagner (SC007)
  • (July 19) Aug 17 - Sept 8. Second Battle of Charleston Harbor = Siege of Fort Wagner/Sumter ending with the Confederate abandonment of Fort Wagner. (SC008)
  • Sept 9 : Second Battle of Fort Sumter (Failed Assault)
  • Continued siege?? (SC009)

Thus, confusingly:



cwsac_id string cwsac_id
battle_name string battle_name
cwss boolean cwss
cwsac boolean cwsac
cws2 boolean cws2
aad boolean aad
notall boolean notall