On April 12, 1861, 150 years ago today, the first shots of the Civil War rang out at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. See the History Channel’s brief description of the events on April 12, 1861, as well as the following day, April 13, 1861, when “after a 33-hour bombardment by Confederate cannons, Union forces surrender Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor,” the first victory of the Civil War going to the South.
Fort Sumter National Monument
Learn about the Fort Sumter National Monument from the National Parks web site, which includes photo galleries, lesson plans, video, event listings, and more. Fort Sumter is also connected through social media, with a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Flickr photostream.
Our Documents is a web site of “100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives.” One of these documents is the Telegram Announcing the Surrender of Fort Sumter (1861).
Library of Congress
From the Library of Congress’s collections of Historic American Buildings Surveys and Historic American Engineering Records find 24 drawings, 171 black and white photos, 54 data pages, and 13 photo caption pages of Fort Sumter.
Check out 33 lesson plans from EDSITEment on the “causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War,” which we noted, along with a number of other Civil War resources, in a recent blog post. For example the lesson plan Lincoln Goes to War “explores the decision-making process that precipitated the Civil War, focusing on deliberations within the Lincoln administration that led to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861.”
The blog of TeachingHistory.org looks into where to find Civil War sesquicentennial sources online.
- ‘Upon the Points of Our Swords’
by Adam Goodheart at The New York Times Opinionator
- When Fort Sumter was fired on in 1861, modern America was born
by Michael E. Ruane at the Washington Post
- Teaching the Civil War, 150 years later
By Nick Anderson at the Washington Post
- The Civil War’s First Death Was An Accident
by Kee Malesky at NPR