From the National Archives and Records
On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Pierre G.T.
Beauregard, in command of the provisional
Confederate forces at Charleston, SC, demanded
the surrender of the U.S. garrison of Fort
Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander
Robert Anderson refused. On April 12,
Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort,
which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30
p.m., April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort
Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following
day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the
opening engagement of the American Civil War.
From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort
Sumter withstood a 22-month siege by Union
forces. During this time, most of the fort was
reduced to brick rubble.