• Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    National Monument South Carolina

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  • No Elevator Service at Fort Sumter

    The museum, restrooms, bookstore, and top level of Fort Sumter are only accessible by climbing stairs. For more information, visit the link below or please call (843) 883-3123. More »

Fort Sumter Museum Exhibit

Museum exhibits at Fort Sumter

The November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln to the office of president marked the beginning of the chain of events that led to the secession of South Carolina from the United States of America. This was soon followed by secession of six more Deep South states. On March 4, 1861, Lincoln became the 16th President of a no longer United States. In his conciliatory address, Lincoln reiterated that he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it existed and added that is was the right of each state to control the “domestic institutions” within its borders. But he did not recognize the right of secession. He proclaimed that “the Union is unbroken,” and that any act of violence against the United States was “insurrectionary or revolutionary.”

On April 8, 1861, President Lincoln informed South Carolina’s Governor that provisions were being sent by water to the Federal troops at Fort Sumter. Two days later, Confederate General Beauregard was directed to demand the fort’s evacuation. If the Federals refused to leave, he was authorized to use whatever means necessary to force them out. Please take time to read the text of the exhibit that appears at the Fort Sumter Museum for more information on the events leading up to the first shots at Fort Sumter.

For more information:

Fort Sumter Museum Exhibit Text (pdf, 330 KB)

Did You Know?

William Moultrie

The incomplete palmetto-log fort used by Patriots during the June 28, 1776 battle of Sullivan's Island had no official name. Called Fort Sullivan by the British, the fort was later named Fort Moultrie in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC