• Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    National Monument South Carolina

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  • 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 »

History & Culture

 

Fort Sumter National Monument incorporates several sites around Charleston Harbor, which tell the unique stories of the people and places that shaped the United States of America.

Confederate forces fired the first shots of the Civil War upon Federal troops at Fort Sumter at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861. The roots of that conflict are buried deep within the stories of the development of the United States. Fort Sumter would continue to serve as the focal point in Charleston throughout the Civil War.

Sullivan's Island has long served as Charleston Harbor's first line of defense against disease or foreign invasion. Quarantine stations checked every person that came into the harbor, including enslaved Africans. Later a palmetto log fort was built by Colonel Moultrie and the Second South Carolina Infantry. This fort came to be known as Fort Moultrie, and was replaced and modified as technology and warfare changed through the mid-twentieth century.

The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square sits on the site of Gadsden's Wharf, where hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans were brought into the United States. Today the site interprets the causes and catalysis of the Civil War and the results of that war on the nation.

Did You Know?

A portion of the 33-star United States flag, also known as the Fort Sumter garrison flag

On April 14, 1865, Maj. Gen. Robert Anderson came out of retirement to re-raise the same U.S. flag over Fort Sumter that he had lowered in surrender four years earlier. This flag is now on exhibit at the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC