The Battle of Fort Sumter was fought April 12-14, 1861, and was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. With the secession of South Carolina in December 1860, the garrison of the US Army’s harbor forts in Charleston, led by Major Robert Anderson, found itself isolated. Withdrawing to the island bastion of Fort Sumter, the it was soon besieged. While efforts to the relieve the fort moved forward in the North, the newly-formed Confederate government ordered Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard to fire on the fort on April 12, 1861. After a brief fight, Fort Sumter was compelled to surrender and would remain in Confederate hands until the final weeks of the war.