Junior History Press

 Fort Sumter as seen from Fort Moultrie

Fort Sumter sits in the inlet to Charleston harbor. In this location it dominates the sea approaches to the city. The construction of the fort was started in 1829. It was still not finished when Major Anderson and his 75 Federal soldiers arrived from Fort Moultrie in December of 1860. The opening shots of the Civil War began when the Confederate guns on Fort Johnson fired at Sumter early in the morning of April 12, 1861.

The Housatonic was on blockade duty approximately five miles from Fort Sumter when it was sunk by the Hunley.

Major Anderson and his little band surrendered to the Confederacy on April 13, 1861. In spite of furious attack by the Federal forces, the fort remained in Confederate hands until February of 1865 when Charleston was abandoned. It is estimated that over 46,000 shells containing at least 7 million pounds of metal were thrown at Sumter during this time.

The Fort is now under the control of the National Park Service and is opened to visitors. A visit to the fort will be a fascinating experience for anyone with an interest in the Civil War.

Back to Civil War Sites

To Books Available on the Hunley

Return to the home page of the Hunley and Charleston's Civil War History.