No Elevator Serivce 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 »
No Water or Restrooms at Fort Sumter
Due to a break in the Charleston water line supplying Fort Sumter, restrooms and drinking water are not available at the fort. Please bring drinking water with you if you plan to visit. Water and restrooms are available aboard the ferries.
Fort Sumter Museum Exhibit
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.
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Did You Know?
The first shot of the American Civil War didn't hit anything. It was a 10-inch mortar shell, fired from Fort Johnson, that exploded above Fort Sumter as a signal for Confederate artillery to open fire on the Union-held fort. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC