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Topics in Chronicling America - Battle of Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter, standing as the last Union post in the seceded state of South Carolina, is awakened in the early hours of the morning of April 12, 1861, to Confederate artillery fire. The Fort was surrendered on April 13th after almost two days of being bombarded and heavily outnumbered. The seige at Fort Sumter was the first major act of aggression by the Confederate States of America against the Union and would be known as the start of the Civil War. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

A map of Fort Sumter

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • April 12, 1861 Confederate forces fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter beginning hostilities in the Civil War.
  • April 13, 1861 Major Robert Anderson surrenders Fort Sumter.
  • April 14, 1861 Union troops evacuate Fort Sumter.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Fort Sumter, Anderson, Civil War, battle, Union, Confederacy.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event. Use the Advanced Search tab to search the month of April 1861.
  • Use the Advanced Search to find the words Fort and Sumter in proximity to each other.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 7, 2014
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