WHO: Confederate Commander Pierre J. Beauregard (left) and Union Commander Robert Anderson (right)external image Major_Robert_Anderson.jpgexternal image beauregard.jpg

WHAT: The conflict where the first official shots of the Civil War were fired

WHEN: April 12th, 1861 - April 14th, 1861

WHERE: Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, US
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WHY: The Union had a fort called Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, North Car olina. When the fort only had enough food and supplies to last for two more weeks, the federal government sent the military to peacefully provide them with the necessities they needed. Lincoln saw this gesture as an opportunity for the Confederacy to either let them peacefully bring supplies or fire upon them, making it clear whether or not a Civil War would take place. As it turned out, the Confederacy wanted to make it understood that they were serious about their cause and would not let the government take control of their slave states. The firing on Fort Sumter made it Certain that a Civil War had started between the North and the South.
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SOUTHERN VIEW: The south decided to fire on Fort Sumter because they wanted to assert their decisiveness to secede from the Union. The south felt that they were being unfairly treated and would no longer have any political power after Lincoln was elected president. The attack on Fort Sumter was the south's way of proving to the north that they were serious about this secession.

NORTHERN VIEW: The north was not looking to start the Civil War. However, if the south made aggressions by bombarding their unarmed merchant ships that were carrying supplies, then the north was willing to fight the south. Lincoln was determined to keep the United States together, even if that meant fighting within their own country.

OUR RANKING: 5- This conflict was basically the start of the Civil War. The South's decisive move to attack further provoked both sides and fueled the conflict that almost tore America apart.

: After Abraham Lincoln was elected as the president of the United States in November of 1860, tensions between the north and south seemed to erupt. The growing struggles to keep the nation together finally ended with the election of Lincoln when the south decided to secede from the United States. In the eyes of the southern population, Lincoln was looking to abolish slavery immediately and completely. They feared that the south would lose all political power, along with their rights to own slaves. The south was not looking for a violent secession, but in the end America ended up having the bloodiest war fought on American soil. They were looking to peacefully secede from the nation as soon as Lincoln began his first term as president. Although the ex-Confederates and revisionists would argue otherwise, it has been confirmed by most historians that slavery was indeed the main cause of the Civil War.

"Battle Summary: Fort Sumter, SC." National Park Service. 17 May. 2009. <>.
"Fort Sumter." Ehistory Archive. 17 May. 2009. <>.
"The First Shot of the Civil War The Surrender of Fort Sumter, 1861." 17 May. 2009. <>.