The attack on Fort Sumter, that started on Friday, April 12th, 1861, is seen as the start of the American Civil War.

In 1860, a federal grant of $80,000 was given to complete the construction of Fort Sumter, as it had lain unfinished for a number of years.

The fort was constructed to hold a garrison of 650 men.

When Fort Sumter was attacked, the fort housed three 10-inch guns placed to cover all the important angles. The fort also housed 8-inch columbiads, 42lbs, 32lbs and 24lbs guns and some 8-inch sea howitzers. Fort Sumter had its own fresh water supply and a hospital.

It was not fully manned when it was attacked but still held out until April 22nd after more than 40,000 shells had been fired at her.

By the end of the war in 1865, Fort Sumter was little more than a pile of rubble after constant shelling by Union forces.