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Civil War Trust

Charleston to Commemorate the Battle of Fort Sumter for Sesquicentennial - www.civilwar.org

After South Carolina issued its initial declaration of secession on December 20, 1860, six other southern states quickly followed suit. Soon thereafter, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army cede control of all facilities in the Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter occupied a central position to control the harbor, and within a week of secession, U.S. Major Robert Anderson moved his force to the security of the base. The shelling of Fort Sumter by the artillery batteries surrounding the harbor on April 12, 1861 forced Anderson to surrender a day later. The Battle of Fort Sumterofficially started the United States Civil War.

Now, as the Civil War’s 150th anniversary approaches several states are preparing sesquicentennial commemorations. Obviously many of the major battlefields will in some way participate or be represented in the commemorative efforts, which began in some places with events focusing on the election of 1860. Charleston, South Carolina and Fort Sumter, “the place where it all began,” will certainly be holding their share of events to mark the anniversary.

During the days of April 9 to 14, visitors to the fort will be able to witness a reenactment of the artillery regiments’ actions during the battle of Fort Sumter. Following these five days, reenactors representing the Confederate soldiers that assumed Fort Sumter after the Union surrender will garrison the fort and demonstrate to visitors what life was like. For a full list of events at Sumter and the surrounding monuments, visit the National Park Service’s Fort Sumter Sesquicentennial page.

Charleston’s Sesquicentennial commemoration has already held several lectures relating to the Civil War, and its calendar of coming events includes films by famous authorities, concerts, discussions, and will touch on several relevant memorials. Across the country, commemorative events will echo the theme that this event, which continues to be central to our national consciousness, should be examined closely, as we seek to honor the 620,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict.

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