Meeting Street, Charleston, S Carolina, after the great fire of 1861, (1861-1867).
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print from the album asembled by John Downes Rochfort. Rochfort visited all the major American Civil War sites in 1867 and some of the photographs he purchased en route have since become some of that war's best known images.The American Civil War was precipitated by the secesion of South Carolina from the Union when Abraham Lincoln, who supported the abolition of slavery, was elected President in 1860. The first shots of the war were fired on 12th April 1861 when Confederate general Beauregard ordered his troops to fire on Fort Sumter. Much of Charleston, South Carolina's capital was destroyed by a fire in 1861, and the damage was exacerbated by shellfire from Union forces blockading the city during the following four years.