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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Wikipedia Description: Fort Sumter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fort Sumter, a Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, was named after General Thomas Sumter. The fort is best known as the site where the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter.
Fort Sumter was built after the War of 1812 as one of a series of fortifications on the southern U.S. coast. Construction began in 1829, and the structure was still unfinished in 1860, when the conflict began. Seventy thousand tons of granite were imported from New England to build up a sand bar in the entrance to Charleston harbor, which the site dominates; The fort was a five-sided brick structure, 170 to 190 feet long, with walls five feet thick, standing 50 feet over the low tide mark. It was designed to house 650 men and 135 guns in three tiers of gun emplacements, although it was never filled near its full capacity.
The first shots of the war (1861):
On December 26, 1860, five days after South Carolina declared its secession, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie and secretly relocated his two companies (127 men, 13 of them musicians) of the 1st U.S. Artillery to Fort Sumter. He thought that providing a stronger defense would delay a Rebel attack. The Fort was not yet complete at the time and fewer than half of the cannons that should have been there were unavailable due to military downsizing by James Buchanan. Over the next few months, repeated calls for Union surrender from Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard were ignored, and Union attempts to resupply and reinforce the garrison were rebuffed.
On April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., Confederate batteries opened fire, firing for 34 straight hours, on the fort. Edmund Ruffin, noted Virginian agronomist and secessionist, claimed that he fired the first shot on Fort Sumter. His story has been widely believed, but Lieutenant ...More...
Bigger photos? To save space on the server and because the modern camera images are so large, photos larger than 640x480 have not been loaded on this page. If you need the bigger sizes of selected photos, email me and I can email them back to you or I can re-load this page temporarily with the bigger versions restored.
1960 photos: The photos labeled "1960" are actually just photos from other sources -- mostly historical photos from Civil War times. I thought they'd be interesting to toss in here and I'll try to download and post some more of them later.