Fort Johnson, James Island in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The First Shot of the War of Secession
At half past four on the morning
of April 12, 1861, from a mortar near
this spot on Fort Johnson, the first
shot of the War of Secession was fired,
by order of Captain George S. James of
the Confederate States Army.
The shell exploded above Fort Sumter,
then occupied by Federal Forces, thus
beginning the tragic conflict which
Americans endured for four years.
(Emblem: CSA 61 The Confederate States of America)
Dedicated April 12, 1961
This marker given by Mrs. J.C. Long in memory of her Grandfather
John Hartnett, a soldier in the Confederate Army
Location. 32° 45.097′ N, 79° 53.876′ W. Marker is in Fort Johnson, James Island, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Located Approx. 900 feet from Northern Terminus Fort Johnson Road at S.C. Department of Natural Resources Complex, College of Charleston, Grice Marine Laboratory Building 9 parking Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 205 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston SC 29412, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Fort Johnson (a few steps from this marker); Grice Marine Laboratory (within shouting distance of this marker); Marshlands House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battery Cheves (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sally Port (approx. 1.3 miles away); Powder Magazine (approx. 1.3 miles away); Casemates and Cannon (approx. 1.3 miles away); 42-Pounder, Banded and Rifled (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Johnson, James Island.
More about this marker. The majority of the Fort Johnson property was transferred to the S.C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Department in 1970. A small portion of land was retained by the College of Charleston for the Grice Marine Laboratory, which is currently used as a teaching and research facility. The Medical University, the successor to the Medical College, kept title to a large dwelling on the northwestern point.
Also see . . .
1. A History of Fort Johnson. Fort Johnson is probably best remembered today as the place from which one signaling mortar shell was fired --- a shell that opened the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The ultimate appeal had been made in the hitherto political conflict between North and South, for that one mortar shell symbolized the appeal to force. In 1864 the fort saw its last military encounter when a group of confederates beat back and captured a sizeable force of Union troops. In the following year the fort was evacuated. Slowly it fell into rack and ruin. (Submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources:The History of Fort Johnson (Submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
3. The Regimental Courier. Captain/Colonel George S. James “had the honor of firing the first shell at Fort Sumter, and his conduct and that of those under him was commendable during the action.” (Submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
4. The American Civil War. The Battle of Fort Sumter - April 12-14, 1861 in Fort Sumter, South Carolina (Submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Categories. • Notable Places • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,758 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on April 21, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.