The Battle of Fort Sumter

On April 12, 1861, General P. G. T. Beauregard gave the order to begin bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, signaling the outbreak of the American Civil War that had been brewing since the secession of South Carolina from the United States in December 1860 and January 1861.

The Battle of Fort Sumter didn’t start the war, but it was certainly its most notable initial engagement. Let’s take a look at this important battle and its impact on the civil war that followed…



In April 1861, Confederate forces fired on Union troops in Charleston harbor and started a battle for American history.

This event is known as the Battle of Fort Sumter. It has been called the most famous American military engagement because it marked the beginning of one of the bloodiest wars in our nation’s history.


In the years leading up to the American Civil War, tensions between northern and southern states had been growing. Slavery was a major issue in particular, as many northerners saw it as an inherent evil.

After Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states seceded from the Union. This led to South Carolina’s assembly declaring secession from the United States on December 20, 1860. On January 9, 1861 they passed a law authorizing Governor Francis W.

The Battle

On April 12, 1861 a group of South Carolina militia led by General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard opened fire on Union troops stationed in Charleston’s harbor at Fort Sumter. This attack sparked the American Civil War, leading to four years of bitter fighting and over 600,000 deaths. Beauregard was a hero in his home state for starting this war.


During the battle, Union troops fired cannons and rifles at Union forces. The battle ended with no Confederate casualties while Union troops sustained over a hundred casualties. Following its victory, South Carolina was admitted to the Confederacy with full representation in Richmond, Virginia.

In addition to this, President Lincoln was forced to change his military strategy by creating a blockade around Charleston Harbor.

This event is significant in American history because it marks the beginning of one of our country’s most tragic conflicts and ultimately changed the course of American history forever.


If you are interested in American history and what started one of the deadliest wars our country has ever seen, this is a good place to start. Also, if you want to learn about how war tactics and weapons have changed over time, this is also a great way to do it.