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Ft. Sumter, where the Civil War began
In the year of Lincoln's 200th birthday, there's plenty to keep a person busy taking in sites around the United States that are connected to the 16th president in some way. For example, there's the Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. that has recently reopened and Lincoln's boyhood home in Indiana, two sites we've recently covered. There's also his home in Springfield, Illinois.
Here's another. According to this article in the Dispatch, next month marks another anniversary of the day the Civil War began. On April 12, 1861 at Ft. Sumter in South Carolina, the 34 hour battle between the Confederate and Federal troops started when the Confederate army launched an attack on the fort. The Union army that was posted at Ft. Sumter wasn't able to hold out against the Confederates. After the battle they headed to New York. Once the Confederates took over the fort, they never lost control of it.
After the Civil War, Fort Sumter was used during the Spanish American War and also during World War I. Today the fort is a historic site operated by the National Park Service. Accessible by a ferry that leaves from a dock near the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center, it's a place to take in an important part of the U.S. past that has influenced its present.
As a note, the park Web site says that Ft. Sumter has one of the best collections of seacoast artillery in the United States. If you go, also take in Fort Moultrie nearby on Sullivan Island. It's a unit of Ft. Sumter and is significant because of its role in the 171-year history of U.S. seacoast defense.