Confederate forces under Brigadier General Beauregard began the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor this morning at 4:30 AM. Confederate guns fired from Fort Johnson and several batteries on James Island, batteries on Morris Island, Fort Moultrie and batteries on Sullivan’s Island, a floating battery off the end of the island and a mortar battery in Mount Pleasant. No one died in the 32.5 hour bombardment, but it set in motion our nation’s deadliest war with over 620,000 deaths after four years of war. The Southern states would reap only destruction and death for their populations, and there was no Marshall Plan after the end of the war. In South Carolina almost 4 out of 10 white males between the ages of 15 and 50, who were sons, fathers and brothers, never came home.
See reenactment video from today at the Pitt Street Bridge in Mount Pleasant, a talk by Ft. Sumter ranger and historian Rick Hatcher and by multiple guns at the Patriots Point artillery encampment in Mount Pleasant.
Battery at the Old Bridge in Mount Pleasant, SC, 12 April 2011.
Historian and Fort Sumter Park Ranger Rick Hatcher.
Confederate reenactors at Patriots Point artillery camp, video courtesy of Ashley Smith.