Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Today
Fort Sumter April 1861
Library of Congress
Fort Sumter December 1863. Library of Congress
Thomas Sumter
Library of Congress
   The present day Fort Sumter barely resembles how it looked during the opening days of the Civil War. There are few hints here and there of what was and you’re standing on the same ground, but most of what you see was built long after the Civil War ended. For that matter, there isn’t all that much there: just some brick walls and a few cannon that weren’t the ones present between 1861 and 1865.
   The fort is free to visit but getting there isn’t. You have to take a ferry. There are two places you can get one: Patriots Point and Liberty Square Visitor Education Center, the latter having more departure times than the former.  My traveling companions and I arrived on the first ferry of the day, allowing us to witness the raising of the flag during which a park ranger spoke about the fort’s history to the gathered crowd. You have a bit over an hour before the ferry departs, though I suppose if want to see every last brick and read every sign in the small but informative museum, you could stay longer and take the next ferry back. No one would notice or care.