|Fort Sumter National Monument|
One by one, Confederate cannon ringing the harbor opened fire. Inside the brick fortress, U.S. soldiers hunkered down as shot and shell impacted with the masonry and shook the ramparts to their foundations. They would eventually return fire, even targeting a hotel where Captain Abner Doubleday claimed he had once received poor service, but remarkably no one would die on either side.
|42-Pounder at Fort Sumter|
In Charleston, citizens gathered on the rooftops and watched from the Battery as the shot and shells arced over the harbor. Each explosion brought cheers. South Carolina had waited a long time for this day.
Among the Confederate commanders, there were mixed emotions. Their duty was not so much to the new country that had been formed in Montgomery, Alabama in February of 1861 as it was to their home states and to their mutual identity as Southerners. But they had served with Major Robert Anderson and many of the other men in Fort Sumter, had shared good times and danger together, and they regret mixed with exhiliration that the long-awaited battle was finally underway.
Fort Sumter would surrender on the next day, April 13, 1861. More than 600,000 men would die and more than 1,000,000 would be wounded before Anderson would again raise his flag over the walls of Fort Sumter.
To learn more about Fort Sumter National Monument, which preserves the ruins of the historic fort, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortsumter.