Battle of Fort Sumter: Topics in Chronicling America
The American Civil War began with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861. This guide provides access to material related to the “Battle of Fort Sumter” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
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 siege 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 in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
April 12, 1861
Confederate forces fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter beginning hostilities in the Civil War.