The place where the Civil War began

Both of my sons are very fascinated by history – military history in particular.  In fact, they both won the history award at their 8th Grade graduations.  So, when we were planning our trip to Charleston, South Carolina last March, the first thing I looked into was forts that we could visit.  When you have boys, you have to find things that will capture their attention so that they don’t get bored, and I will tell you Charleston is the place to go!!  We toured two forts while we were there, and we also went aboard the the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier and Submarine Clamagore.

The other day I happened to mention Fort Sumter in a post, and TBM, who is a self-professed Civil War nerd, asked (well, more like begged LOL) for pictures as he has never had the opportunity to visit Fort Sumter.  Well, TBM, your wish is my command.  For the next few days I will focus on Fort Sumter and then also show you some pictures from Fort Moultrie. Many people, I am sure, have heard of Fort Sumter, but I’m not sure how many people know that it is considered the place where the Civil War began.  Here is a brief summary from

Battle of Fort Sumter April 12-14, 1861

On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely while firing a salute during the evacuation on April 14.

We took a ferry out from Charleston Harbor to the fort (which was a beautiful trip), and these are photos of what it looks like from the water as well as the welcome sign.




As we started walking around the fort, I noticed right away the Civil War Union flag flying from the flag pole, and I stopped for a few minutes to experiment with my camera.  It’s difficult to get a decent picture of a flag fluttering in the wind.  Later, when we went inside to see some displays, we were able to see the original Fort Sumter battle flag still intact in a glass case.  The 10ft x 20ft tattered storm flag flew over Fort Sumter during the bombardment of April 12-13, 1861.  On the second day a Confederate projectile shattered the flagstaff causing members of the Federal garrison to rush onto the parade ground, amid exploding shells and burning timbers, to retrieve the fallen flag.  They carried it to the ramparts where it was hastily nailed to a wooden pole and re-raised.  The tiny nail holes are still visible along the flag’s left border.  Here are pictures of both flags.




Ok, TBM, that’s it for today.  Stay tuned for more tomorrow!! 🙂  Just as a little bit of a tease, I even have pictures of artillery shells still embedded in the brick walls!!

This entry was posted in Blogging, Charleston, SC, Famous Landmarks, History, Military, Photography, Vacations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The place where the Civil War began

  1. Nice post. I felt like I was there and loved the pictures.

  2. Elisa says:

    The Charleston area has it all – American history, charm, great shopping and restaurants, a wonderful Aquarium and some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Your post made me want to go there again…and soon!!

    • Oh, I know, me too!! We fit a great deal into a week, but we never got to see the Aquarium. I just fell in love with the architecture and could have walked around the old downtown neighbourhoods forever. I also never missed an early morning sunrise on the beach. They were breathtaking! I’m not sure how long you have been following my blog, but if you go back to the end of December, I did a few blogs about Charleston that you might enjoy. There were also a couple in mid November.

  3. tadams4u says:

    Someday I want to head back east and do a whole week looking at civil war stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  4. TBM says:

    Thanks so much…that is so cool. And hey, I’m not too proud to beg. I’ve loved the Civil War time period since I was in grade school and that was many, many years ago. Thanks!

  5. megtraveling says:

    I’ve been to the fort, and I really enjoyed your photos and story. Thanks!

  6. Even though it’s in South Carolina, Charleston is a wonderful place to visit if you’re interested in history. I have thoroughly enjoyed my three visits there, and want to get back as soon as possible because there is so much I didn’t get a chance to see…Fort Sumter being one of those sites.

    Great pictures, Cindy, and they just feed my desire to go back.

    • Of course, North Carolina is incredibly beautiful too!! 🙂 I really want to go back to the South again soon because even though we saw a great deal on our trip, there is so much more to explore. Watch for tomorrow’s post because another place you should definitely see is Fort Moultrie!!

      • I did make it to Fort Moultrie on one of my trips to Charleston. I didn’t get to go inside because they had water problems after extremely heavy rains the day before. But I did spend some time exploring the grounds.

        I look forward to your post.

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