Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.
Have you ever gotten a trophy? A trophy helps you to remember a competition that you were in. Likewise, buildings, structures, and parks are often used to help others remember historical events.
In 1948, the United States government established the Fort Sumter National Monument. Fort Sumter is a national historical landmark because it marks the location of an important event in the nation's history. It was the site of the first battle in the American Civil War.
Located on an island in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor, you can only visit Fort Sumter by traveling on a boat or ferry. Fort Sumter National Monument now also includes:
- the fort
- a historic Coast Guard station
- nearby Fort Moultrie, another military fort used during the Civil War
It's run by the U.S. National Park Service, which is a government agency that ensures the nation's parks, monuments, and historical locations are kept in good condition. It has been rebuilt and repaired to ensure the safety of those visiting and to give people an accurate picture of what Fort Sumter was like during the Civil War. Every year, around 750,000 people visit.
What happened at Fort Sumter? Let's found out why this location is so monumental.
Construction of the Fort
Have you ever tried to build a fort in your backyard? Imagine building one that had to withstand cannon fire!
In 1829, the construction of Fort Sumter began to protect the coast of South Carolina and Charleston Harbor from enemy ships. The fort was built to house up to 650 soldiers and hold over 100 pieces of artillery, or large, high-powered guns, like cannons. Fort Sumter was made with five foot thick brick walls to protect those inside from artillery fire by boat or land.
Have you ever fought with you sibling or friend? Everyone gets in fights...even states!
Tensions between the North (Union) and South (Confederacy) were rising during the mid-1800s, and eventually the people in South Carolina wanted to leave the U.S. On April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery, led by General Beauregard, began firing on Fort Sumter after President Lincoln (Union) announced he would be resupplying the fort.
To the Confederates, this was like your sibling grabbing a bucket of water balloons. You can be pretty sure he/she is bringing those supplies just case they have to launch them at you. After 34 hours of fighting, the Union forces surrendered Fort Sumter. Thus ended the first battle of the American Civil War, giving the Confederacy a huge victory.
The Confederates held the fort until 1863, when Union naval forces attempted to recapture it. This attack was not well-planned and poor weather interfered. The soldiers at Fort Sumter shelled the ships with artillery fire, hitting them about 500 times, while they tried to sail around underwater mines. Talk about a deadly obstacle course!
After this initial defeat, the Union continued to fire on Fort Sumter for 15 more months. In total, it's estimated that 50,000 shots fired at the fort. Over 300 of the fort's soldiers were killed, and on February 22, 1865, Union forces recaptured the fort as the Union moved towards capturing the city of Charleston.
The fort was heavily damaged after the attack. It was repaired, rebuilt, and used as a lighthouse following the war. When the Spanish-American war started in 1898, Fort Sumter was used as a fort again. It continued to be used in World War I and II before finally being turned over the National Park Service.
The Fort Sumter National Monument, a national historical landmark in South Carolina, is run by the U.S. National Park Service. It's the site of the first battle of the Civil War. The fort housed troops and artillery throughout the war and for other later conflicts.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack