Fort Sumter: 150th Anniversary of US Civil War
American Civil War Began at Fort Sumter in 1861
April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. For decades before, the seven southern states were grumbling about economic differences with the more-industrialized North. History books say that the Civil War was fought over slavery, but that's only partly true. In the beginning, though, it came down to P.G.T Beauregard vs. Robert Anderson.
The election of Abraham Lincoln led the South to secede, and, as it did so, it seized federal forts and customs houses in its territory. Eventually the North would want them back. When Lincoln was inaugurated, he promised just that. Just over a month after Lincoln's inauguration, the first shot of the Civil War was fired, as federal ships sought to resupply Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, which was surrounded by southern-seized garrisons.
The Confederate government sought to secure Fort Sumter's surrender before the breakaway states were put in a position of firing at supply ships. Their gambit failed, and Fort Sumter was beset by artillery fire directed by P.G.T. Beauregard. The lone garrison, commanded by Robert Anderson, fired back, and the Civil War had begun. In a weird quirk of history, the only casualty of the Battle of Fort Sumter was a single mule.
The US Post Office is commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with two stamps: The Battle of Fort Sumter and the first Battle of Bull Run.