Early in the morning of April 12, 1861, Confederate guns around Charleston Harbor opened fire on Fort Sumter.
The American Civil War was officially upon both the North and the South. A war that lasted four years and cost the lives of more than 620,000 Americans.
Charleston, victorious over the Royal Navy in 1776 and scene of the largest patriot defeat in 1780, played a key role in the American Revolution. Charleston's appetite for revolution continued in the 1800s as the city blazed a path to secession to safeguard slavery.