Site of the opening engagement of the Civil War. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina had seceded from the Union, and had demanded that all federal property in the state be surrendered to state authorities. Major Robert Anderson concentrated his units at Fort Sumter, and, when Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, Sumter was one of only two forts in the South still under Union control. Learning that Lincoln planned to send supplies to reinforce the fort, on April 11, 1861, Confederate General Beauregard demanded Anderson's surrender, which was refused. On April 12, 1861, the Confederate Army began bombarding the fort, which surrendered on April 14, 1861. Congress declared war on the Confederacy the next day.