From the National Archives
and Records Administration:
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.