Lead: On April 12, 1861, the first military engagement of the Civil War began in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Ft. Sumter was the target.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fort Sumter was built on a shoal at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Construction began in 1829 and was still on-going at the onset of the Civil War. The fort was named after Revolutionary War hero, Thomas Sumter. It was one of three Federal forts guarding the approaches to Charleston Harbor, one of the best anchorages on the east coast. The other two were Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney. After Lincoln won the presidential election of November 1860, on December 20, South Carolina passed an order of secession. It was soon followed by six other states in the Deep South in the first wave secessionist sentiment.