The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862

Fort Sumter

How long did the siege, or bombardment, of the fort last?

By the morning of April 13, 1861, it was apparent that Fort Sumter was dying. The massive fort had been built with an eye to attack from the sea, not by land. The strongest casements and battlements were therefore on the seaward side, and those on the land side were being crushed by the Confederate guns. Even so, the manner in which Fort Sumter fell is rather comical.

Fort Sumter as it looks today. Tourists can visit the national park, and you can find out more at


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