Siege of Fort Sumter
A close look at the wall in front of you reveals Union artillery shells embedded in the brick. They were firing during one of the longest sieges in U.S. military history.
Batteries on Morris Island, about one mile behind you, and guns on Union warships shelled this Confederate stronghold for 22 months during 1863-65. The bombardment, primarily from Morris Island, destroyed the gorge wall behind you and severely damaged the left face wall in front of you.
The bullet-shaped shells embedded here were fired from powerful rifled cannon. Rifling (cutting spiral grooves in the cannon's bore) gave a spin to the shell, increasing accuracy, range, and destructive power. Rifled shells could be larger and heavier than the old, round shot fired from smoothbore cannon.