Reenactments Highlight Fort Sumter Battle Anniversary Commemoration

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One hundred and fifty years ago this Tuesday, April 12, the first salvos of the Civil War were launched when Confederate forces began a 34-hour bombardment that ended with the surrender of Fort Sumter.

“The firing upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater than any the world has yet seen,” declared Robert Toombs, Confederate secretary of state, not long before the conflict began.

Despite the lack of fatalities (except for two that a surrender ceremony accident produced), the siege on the Union fort on Charleston Harbor in South Carolina commenced four years of civil strife, launching a conflict that threatened to tear apart a country, a conflict that killed more than 620,000 and severely tested the United States' backbone.

The fort, miraculously, shouldered the onslaught. Though it is in various stages of ruins, with walls that once stood 55 feet above sea level now ranging in height from 9 to 25 feet high, the fort nevertheless today stands as a national monument in commemoration of those who fought and died in the Civil War....

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