In the early morning darkness of Friday, April 12, 1861, a shell streaked across Charleston Harbor toward Union-held Fort Sumter. Thrity-three hours and 3,000 shells later, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort to Confederate General P. G. T Beauregard.
The Civil War had begun.
Much is being done to mark the sesquicentennial anniversaryof this event. At battlefield parks and re-enactments, and in museums and classrooms across the country, special events are reminding Americans not only of what happened during the war years of 1861-1865 but also of what led to and what resulted from that cataclysmic conflict.
The Civil War can– and should– be appreciated by all Americans. Everyone can be intrigued by at least one of its many aspects.
Many students of the war are fascinated by its politics, military tactics, and weaponry. However, if you find those areas overwhelming or uncomfortable, please check in from time to time. I will try to present a selection of interesting, lesser-known information to let you into the Civil War via the backdoor.