40-pound Ball Shot

On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m. canon fire shattered that Friday's morning silence as the Confederates opened the Civil War with the first shot. Their target was Fort Sumter, a Union stronghold located off the coast of South Carolina. Thirty-four hours later, the fort would surrender and the Confederate forces would claim their first victory.
This 40-pound ball shot was fired from Fort Sumter. The shot was aimed at a floating battery near Sullivan's Island.
Object Name
date made
ca 1860
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
Civil War
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Civil War
Armed Forces
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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