Ceremonies at Fort Sumter to Mark 150th Anniversary of Civil War

Apr 12, 2011, 10:17 by Victor Ryan

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War.

Events commemorating the anniversary include a reenactment of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C., on April 12, 1861, which finally propelled the United States into its bloody civil war after years of posturing between the Northern and Southern states.

The observance in Charleston harbor is being described as a "somber commemoration" of the war, the Associated Press reports. The ceremony was in jeopardy last week when a shutdown of the federal government loomed, but was able to go on when a federal budget deal was struck by politicians in Washington D.C. Friday.

The canon bombardment recreation follows concerts that were held at the site on Monday commemorating the start of the Civil War. The conflict eventually left an estimated 600,000 Americans dead.

The Fort Sumter attack came after Northern and Southern states could not agree on the role of state's rights and the issue of slavery. According to the Associated Press, Confederate soldiers launched its attack on the island fort after a Union garrison refused to give up the post. The battle lasted two days before Union forces surrendered.

The Civil War raged on until 1865 when the Confederacy finally surrendered to the Union at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia.