Fort Sumter National Monument

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The first engagement of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter on April 12 and 13, 1861. After 34 hours of fighting, the Union surrendered the fort to the Confederates. From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates at Fort Sumter withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces. During this time, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.

General Information

Hours - The park is open daily, except Christmas, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April through Labor Day, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. September through November and March. Hours vary otherwise and can be determined by calling (803) 883-3123.

Getting to the Park - The concessionaire's tour boats leave from Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, or the City Marina on Lockwood Blvd., just south of US-17 in Charleston. For private boats, Fort Sumter is 3.33 miles from Charleston at the harbor entrance. Concession fee for the boat ride: $9.50; children under twelve: $4.75; children under 6: free. This fee is subject to change. There is no transportation within the park.

Weather - Summers are hot and humid; light clothing is recommended. Winters are mild; a light jacket is recommended.

Concessions/Exhibits/ Programs/Activities: - There is no visitor center at the fort. Snacks and drinks are available on the tour boat. The fort has an extensive museum, renovated April 1995, as well as a small museum shop. Interpretive waysides are found throughout the fort for self-guided tours. A history tape is played during the tour boat ride to Fort Sumter. Ranger orientations are given for every tour boat. Special programs are usually done for April 12 and 13, and July 18. For more information call (803) 883-3123. There are no hiking, lodging or camping facilities in the park.

Accessibility: Limited. Wheelchair accessibility is from the City Marina. At Fort Sumter, three elevators give access to the upper levels of the fort. A wheelchair is available at the fort.

Reservations/Permits: - School groups and tour groups should contact the concessionaire to make reservations, (803) 722-1691. Special Use permits must be approved before going to Fort Sumter by calling (803) 883-3123.

Towns and Attractions Nearby

Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, is also a unit of Fort Sumter National Monument. Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is located in Mount Pleasant.

1214 Middle St.
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(803) 883-3123


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 13 Sep 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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