150 Years Ago Today

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Cannons boomed at dawn around Charleston Harbor, recreating the bombardment of Fort Sumter that plunged the nation into the Civil War on April 12, 1861.

Civil War reenactors gather at White Point Garden near Fort Sumter, S.C., for a candlelight sunrise concert Tuesday, April 12, 2011 to commemorate the moment the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The South Carolina ceremony begins the four-year national commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, our nation’s bloodiest war.

Around 4 a.m. Tuesday, a single beam of light was aimed skyward from Fort Sumter. Then about half-hour later — around the time of the first shots of the war — the beam split into two beams, signifying a nation torn in two

The war resulted in more than 600,000 deaths, although during the bombardment of Sumter only a Confederate officer’s horse was killed.

Union troops in the fort surrendered after absorbing 36 hours of Confederate shells.

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