• Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    National Monument South Carolina

Where the American Civil War Began

Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

Did You Know?

Composite photos of Maj. Anderson (left) and Gen. Beauregard (right)

Union Maj. Robert Anderson, commanding Fort Sumter, and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, commanding Charleston's forces during the first battle of the Civil War, knew each other since the 1830s. Anderson was Beauregard's artillery instructor at West Point. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC