Between 1861 and 1863, no real attempt was made on the fort. This gave the Confederates time to repair and reinforce Fort Sumter. The North prepared to blockade the Southern coast. The Confederacy built Fort Beauregard and Fort Walker to protect Port Royal sound, a crucial trade port for the South. The North ended up taking Port Royal, and it became an important hub for Northern blockade ships. A fire swept through Charleston in December, 1861, and destroyed nearly a third of the city.