• Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    National Monument South Carolina

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  • Accessibility Ramp at Fort Sumter Out of Service Friday, July 11

    The ramp will be out of service for maintenance starting the morning of Friday, July 11 for maintenance until at least 12:00 PM. Visitors with wheelchairs should plan on taking a later boat. For the latest information, call (843) 883-3123.

  • No Elevator Serivce at Fort Sumter

    Only the original parade ground level of Fort Sumter is accessible. Accommodations are made for disabled visitors traveling to Fort Sumter from Liberty Square. For more information, visit the link below or please call (843) 883-3123. More »

Fort Sumter

Graphic representation of Fort Sumter in 1860, with a portion cut out to reveal the fort's interior.
Fort Sumter in December 1860.
NPS
 

Since the American Revolution, Americans have built groups or systems of forts at harbors along the coast to strengthen America’s defenses. Following the War of 1812, there were several major weaknesses in the American coastal defense system. To fill these voids, Congress planned the construction of 34 forts from Maine to Louisiana, and even two in California. Together these forts are the Third System of Seacoast Defense.

One of the forts planned was Fort Sumter and construction began in 1829. Thirty-one years later sectional tensions exploded at Fort Sumter into armed conflict. Explore this section to learn about Fort Sumter’s construction, design, and preservation. Visit our People and Stories sections to learn more about the events that happened here and the people that made history.

Did You Know?

15-inch Rodman cannons at Fort Moultrie

Fort Sumter National Monument has one of the best collections of 19th century seacoast artillery anywhere in the United States. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC