Fort Sumter National Monument
340 Concord Street, Charleston, SC, USA
www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm - 1-843-883-3123
Fort Sumter National Monument Charleston Reviews
Visiting historic Fort Sumter Apr 09, 2006
Fort Sumter, constructed as a coastal defense fort in Charleston Harbor, is famous as the location where the Civil War began.
Following the announced succession of South Carolina from the Union in December, 1860, US Army troops in the Charleston area had consolidated in Fort Sumter. Its position on an island at the entrance to the harbor made it more defensible than the land based forts with guns facing seaward. After President Lincoln announced his intention in April 1861 to resupply Fort Sumter 1861 and maintain a US presence in Charleston, the Confederate government decided to capture the fort before it could be reinfored. Confedrate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. The fort held out a day and a half until, low on ammunition and supplies and the fort walls battered, the US forces surrendered. The action served to rally support for Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion. The Civil War had begun.
Visitors to Charleston today will be interested in learning about the events surrounding the battle and its place in American history. The Visitor Center on Concord Street on Charleston Harbor has displays about the battle and the individuals involved.
If you are not able or do not have time to visit the fort, the exhibits at the visitor center are worthwhile to see. However I recommend that you take a tour out the to island to explore the fort and gain a perspective on the location of the Fort Sumter in the harbor and the damage done to it. (The fort was never rebuilt.) Tours takes about 30 minutes to reach Fort Sumter by boat from the mainland visitor center. Visitors then have an hour to see the fort before returning. Park rangers lead optional 20 minute tours of the fort during this time. (Private boats also may dock at the island to visit the fort.)
The visitor center exhibits are free, but there is a charge to take the boat tour to the fort. There are book and gift shops both at the visitor center and at the fort.
Part of the Charleston to Columbia: Across South Carolina travel blog
Part of the list Civil War Historic Sites
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