Today we took the ferry from Liberty Park next to the Aquarium to revisit Fort Sumter. Our last visit was in 2010. The ferry ride is 30 minutes through Charleston Harbor. Weather was not ideal for pictures due to clouds, but OK.
|Arrival Ft Sumter|
|Museum Photo of Fort Today|
It is here that the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Union occupied Fort Sumter from James Island on 12 April 1861. The fort was garrisoned by Maj Robert Anderson who moved his 85 troops from Fort Moultrie in December 1860. At that time the fort was still unfinished even though construction started in 1829 as one of a series of coastal fortifications built after the war of 1812 by slave laborers and craftsmen.
|Brochure Photo of Fort-1861|
Brig. Gen Pierre Beauregard commanded the Confederate forces in Charleston. He had been one of Anderson's students in artillery at West Point in 1837. He did not welcome the thought of firing on his old friend and instructor, but nevertheless the two day battle ensued and Anderson surrendered on 14 April 1861. Surprisingly no one on either side suffered loss and only 5 soldiers suffered injuries. Major Anderson and his garrison marched out of Fort Sumter, boarded a ship for New York having defended Sumter for 34 hours. In the battle,fire destroyed the quarters,gates and magazines. The Civil War had begun.
When the war ended in 1865, the fort was in ruins and bore little resemblance to the fort as it stood in 1861. In the years following, the Army attempted to rebuild the fort. From 1876 to 1897 the fort served mainly as a lighthouse station. Little maintenance was done and the fort fell into more ruins. In 1898 with the impending Spanish-American War, Battery Huger was constructed with the installation of two 12 inch rifles. As the war ended quickly, the guns were never fired.
|In the Magazine|
During WW I, a small garrison manned the rifles. During WW II, the fort was once again manned and 90-mm antiaircraft guns were installed. In 1948 the fort was transferred to the NPS and remains as a very popular tourist attraction.