Interior view of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, USA, 1866.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print by G N Barnard 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 the batteries around the port of Charleston to fire on Union forces in Fort Sumter, resulting in their surrender. For the next four years the Union blockaded Charleston and bombarded the fort.