Near Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Across the harbor directly in front of you lies Fort Johnson. From Fort Johnson came the shot that began the Civil War.
If a Union soldier at Fort Sumter looked toward Fort Johnson at 4:30 a.m., April 12, 1861, he would have seen an ominous flash as a mortar fired. The shell arched high across the sky, and upon reaching Fort Sumter, burst almost directly overhead. That mortar shot from Fort Johnson was the signal for Confederate batteries around Charleston Harbor to open fire on Fort Sumter. The Civil War had begun.
(Caption under Illustration at Right):
South Carolina troops man batteries at Fort Johnson, April 12, 1861. After Fort Johnson's opening shot at 4:30 a.m., all the Confederate batteries opened fire and bombarded Fort Sumter for 34 hours, firing more than 3,000 shells. Fort Sumter fired back with little effect.
The Union commander, Major Robert Anderson, would not risk his men on Sumter's open parapet to man the largest guns. On April 13, Confederate shelling endangered Fort Sumter's powder magazine and Anderson surrendered.
Erected by Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 32° 45.139′ Click for map. Marker is located at Fort Sumter National Monument and only reached by boat. See links below for more information about access to the site. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston SC 29412, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Charleston Besieged (here, next to this marker); Fort Moultrie (a few steps from this marker); Morris Island (a few steps from this marker); Flags of the Fort (a few steps from this marker); Battery Huger (a few steps from this marker); Fort Sumter 1861-65 (a few steps from this marker); Fort Sumter Today (a few steps from this marker); Major Robert Anderson (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Charleston.
More about this marker. On the right side of the marker is an illustration depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861. On the left is a photo taken at the end of the war. Fort Johnson, 1865. Fort Sumter is visible in the distance, 1.3 miles away. The Confederates held Fort Johnson throughout the Civil War.
Also see . . . Directions to Fort Sumter. The only way to reach the fort is by boat. Most visitors use the Spirit Line Cruises, although private boats are allowed. (Submitted on May 17, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,019 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.