Fort Sumter Historic Site

Fort Sumter

Where is Fort Sumter?

Fort Sumter is located on an island in Charleston harbor and is only accessible by boat. You cannot get to Fort Sumter from Sullivan's Island and Fort Moultrie. Sullivan's Island is the mailing address of the park. There are private ferries that can take you to the Fort. The visitor center is located at 340 Concord Street Charleston, South Carolina.

Fort Sumter Map

Did you know: Fort Sumter was about to close due to lack of supplies within days of the Confederate attack.

Did you know: The only casualty of the attack was self inflicted during a final farewell salute.

The Civil War changed the face of America and the first shots between North and South were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina in April 1861. The Union stronghold in Charleston Harbor was one of four Federal forts in what would become the Confederacy after South Carolina took the first step and seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. Six other states soon followed, all in the South which strongly supported the abominable institution of slavery. With the loss of seven states, it appeared the country was coming apart at the seams, enraged citizens on both sides vowing to fight to the death to protect what they held sacred. The list of disaffected territories continued to grow, with thirteen states eventually seceding to form the Confederate States of America, a separate country which proclaimed its independence from the U.S.

Anticipating possible hostile actions, U.S. Major Robert Anderson moved his troops from nearby Fort Moultrie to the more secure Fort Sumter for safety. After a failed attempt by outgoing President Buchanan to provide supplies to the Union troops, tensions rose to the boiling point. In the second week of April, rebels quickly laid siege to the Fort, hoping to force a Union surrender and an embarrassing defeat on the North. Early in the morning of April 12th, the belligerents started their bombardment. The Civil War had begun.

Today the fort is a major tourist destination. More about Fort Sumter...