Fort Sumter December 1860–April 1861


Map Code: Ax00795

Fort Sumter, a coastal garrison in North Carolina, is where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. Abraham Lincoln’s Republican victory in 1860 alarmed many slaveholders in the South, who knew he was against the extension of slavery into new territories in the West, and South Carolina seceded from the Union in December 1860. US Major Robert Anderson, a southerner, remained loyal to the Union and moved a small garrison to Fort Moultrie on 26 December. After Confederate troops seized Forts Moultrie, Johnson and Pinkney, Anderson moved his garrison to Fort Sumter, a more easily defensible fortification. The Confederates intercepted a supply ship, sent by Lincoln to Fort Sumter, on 9 January 1861. In April 1861, Lincoln stated that it was his intention to, once again, ship supplies to the fort and on 12 April Confederates attacked Fort Sumter. After a 34-hour exchange of fire, Anderson and 86 soldiers surrendered.

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