On this day in 1861 the Civil War began as Confederates began firing shore batteries into Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The next day the fort surrendered and the American flag was lowered. As the Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter a different story was unfolding six hundred miles away in Pensacola Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. At Fort Pickens, Florida a small contingent of Union soldiers holed up in the fort were being reinforced by Federal troops from New York. The troops left New York the previous February aboard the USS Brooklyn. President Abraham Lincoln sent the troops south after the southern states began seceding. After the attack on Sumter Lincoln ordered the troops to reinforce Fort Pickens. The fort remained under Federal control for the duration of the war and is one of the few places in the south where the American flag was never lowered for the Confederates. Enjoy a gallery of photos below of Fort Pickens.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org