• 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

    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 »

Where the American Civil War Began

Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

Did You Know?

The 33-star United States flag flown atop Fort Sumter during the opening bombardment of the Civil War in 1861, on exhibit at Fort Sumter

The first human death of the Civil War occurred on April 14, 1861, the day after the battle of Fort Sumter ended. Private Daniel Hough died when the cannon he was loading (for the Union's 100-gun salute to the U.S. flag) discharged prematurely. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC