Civil War

Drawing of Fort Sumter being bombarded with cannon fire in 1861.

This is an engraving from 1863 depicting the April 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumter. Image courtesy of the Fort Sumter National Monument, National Parks Service.

From the Battle of Fort Sumter to Sherman’s March and Robert Smalls, South Carolina played a significant role in the American Civil War.


  • SCIWAY-Civil War
    Find out about Civil War soldiers from South Carolina, battlefields such as Fort Sumter, and more.
  • Civil War Timeline
    See a detailed timeline of events in the Civil War.
  • The Price of Freedom
    Click on the Civil War to watch a movie, see artifacts, and meet famous people from the time period.


  • Robert Smalls
    Robert Smalls was a slave from Charleston who escaped to freedom and became a ship captain for the Union army.
  • Wade Hampton III
    Wade Hampton was a South Carolina governor and U.S. Senator that fought in the Civil War
  • William Henry Gist
    William Henry Gist was a South Carolina governor and leader in the secession movement.
  • Who Am I?
    Use the clues to guess the Civil War person.

Fort Sumter

War & Battlefields

Charleston Mercury Extra: Union is Dissolved.
The Charleston Mercury newspaper printed this broadside 15 minutes after the secession ordinance was passed. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.



Pieces of History