Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861

Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter

Are people still commemorating the beginning of wars?

If so, April 12 is the 155th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. That’s when the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter, a federal (read – Northern) fort in Charleston Harbor. Lots of people still remember this date as the date they learned in school.

But what was this fort doing in Charleston Harbor in the first place?

That’s what fascinate me. After the War of 1812, the war that gave us our Star-Spangled Banner, Congress approved a series of forts all along the East Coast to protect our borders. In those days, national security meant big forts to keep away British gun boats. More than thirty forts, which on the surface look like medieval forts, were built. Many were used until after World War II.

Oh yes, back to the Civil War. After hours of shelling, federal troops surrendered and the fort stayed in Confederate hands until the end of the war. Now the site is a national park unit. Go visit history where it happened.

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