The first battle of the American Civil War was fought at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. It lasted from April 12-14, 1861 and resulted in a Union defeat.
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the first major engagement of the American Civil War and marked the beginning of four years of bloody conflict between North and South. The Union garrison at Fort Sumter had been taking fire from Confederate troops since January 1861. In February, President Lincoln had sent warships to resupply the fort; however, the Confederates had already blockaded Charleston Harbor by that time and successfully intercepted the ship before it could reach its destination.
By April 1861, tensions between North and South were at an all-time high. The United States government refused to recognize the sovereignty of the newly formed Confederate States of America; therefore, tensions between both sides were high. In response to this perceived aggression against their sovereignty, Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter on April 12th, 1861—the same day as Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as president—and continued firing until they forced its surrender on April 14th.