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.

Much More than Brick and Mortar

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Learn about where the American Civil War began and Fort Sumter's role as a National Park Site from Park Rangers and visitors.

Fort Sumter welcome sign

Visit Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is located on an island in Charleston Harbor and is only accessible by boat.

inside of Fort Moultrie facing harbor entrance

Visit Fort Moultrie

Visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to experience 171 years of seacoast defense from 1776 to 1947.

scouts helping unfold U.S. Flag

Educational Field Trips

Make the parks your classroom and visit Fort Sumter or Fort Moultrie for an educational field trip.

wheelchair access at fort sumter


We want you to have the most enjoyable trip possible; therefore, we ask that you refer to our accessibility section to learn more.

Volunteer and two rangers on parade ground at Fort Sumter

Volunteers in Parks

Learn how you can become a volunteer with Fort Sumter National Monument and Charleston-area National Park Sites.

World War II soldier digging

History and Culture

Several sites in the Charleston-area tell unique stories of the people and places that shaped the United States of America.

Junior Ranger activity booklet and badge

Become a Junior Ranger

Explore your National Parks and become a Junior Ranger.

Woman power washing cannon


See how you can help the effort to conserve rare artifacts at Fort Sumter National Monument.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482


(843) 883-3123

Contact Us