Visit Fort Sumter National Monument

On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m., the Confederate forces fired the first shots of the American Civil War at Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay. From 1861 to 1865, this war was fought between the Northern and the Southern states. This man-made island was built from thousands of tons of granite rocks dumped into Charleston Harbor. The island was built to protect the city from pirates and the British.

During the first battle at Fort Sumter, no soldiers were actually killed. Ironically, two days later as Union soldiers were lowering the American flag and honoring it with a 100 gun salute, one of the cannons misfired causing an explosion that killed two soldiers.

If you are a visitor on the first ferry of the day, you will get to help the rangers raise the United States flag over the fort. Then, take a guided tour of this historic site. Visitors on the last ferry of the day can assist the rangers in lowering and folding of the flag.

Exclusive Early Access

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