Fort Sumter, SC I

[Courtesy of Fort Sumter National Park Service]

Date(s): April 12-14, 1861

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Fort Sumter National Monument, Sullivans Island, South Carolina, United States

Campaign(s): Operations in Charleston Harbor [April 1861]   


  • The rumblings of war were increasing with the secession of South Carolina and Lincoln's call for 75,000 enlistments.   


  • Union: Maj. Robert Anderson

  • Confederate: Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Fort Sumter Garrison (85)

  • Confederate: South Carolina Militia


  • On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

  • Garrison commander Robert Anderson refused and on April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively.

  • At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day.

  • The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War.

Photo Gallery:1

Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument

The Final Ultimatum

The Civil War Begins

Departure Dock to Ft. Sumter

Welcome to Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter - Where the Civil War Began - April 12, 1861

Model of Fort Sumter in 1861

U.S. Army Enlisted Men's Artillery Hat Worn in 1860

Diorama of Confederate Mortar Battery Shelling Ft. Sumter

South Carolina Palmetto Flag

Union Flag Flown at Fort Sumter

Various Arillery Shells

300-pound Parrott Gun Used Against Fort Sumter by Union

U.S. Colored Troops

Inscription Honoring Maj. Robert Anderson and His Troops in Defense of Fort Sumter

Memorial Plaque to the Garrison Defending Fort Sumter During the Bombardment

Gorge Wall

Memorial Plaque to Confederate Garrison Who Defended Charleston Harbor

Arming the Fort - Difference Between Rifled and Smooth-bore Cannon

10-inch Mortar

8-inch Columbiad


Slide Presentations2:

Classification3: A


  • Union: 5-10

  • Confederate: 4

Results: Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites:


Lodging and Restaurants: South Carolina Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of"

2 Slide Presentation Updated on 2/02/07. Click on link to view as web-based slide show.

3 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

4 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 03/22/2013