April 12 - 1861 - The Battle of Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter was a possession of the military of the United States of America in Charleston Harbor, which made it an odd location after South Carolina seceded from the Union. Built to guard Charleston Harbor from a naval attack, the not quite finished fort was easy to attack from Charleston itself, which made its position under Major Robert Anderson rather precarious. Once Abraham Lincoln became President, efforts to hold onto the fort and resupplying it were ramped up. Yet neither side wanted to be the aggressor, and finally, after ill-fated supply missions, the Confederacy requested the surrender of Fort Sumter. After Anderson refused, his former West Point assistant, Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, opened fire on behalf of the CSA. After half a day of shelling, Anderson decided it was prudent to surrender. This very first battle of the Civil War saw no casualties, but it inaugurated actual warfare in the Civil War, sparking recruitment and enthusiasm for the war effort. Despite its small scale, Fort Sumter would clearly draw the lines in the American Civil War.