The U. S. Civil War was the bloodiest conflict to ever occur on the lands of the United States that addressed several issues regarding Federal authority versus States rights, but ultimately came down to a single issue: slavery. Today marks the day that the war began as Confederate troops fired on a Union garrison at Fort Sumter.
There is a great historical recounting of events here:
On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Garrison commander Anderson refused. On April 12, Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort, which was unable to reply effectively. At 2:30 pm, April 13, Major Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter, evacuating the garrison on the following day. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War. Although there were no casualties during the bombardment, one Union artillerist was killed and three wounded (one mortally) when a cannon exploded prematurely while firing a salute during the evacuation on April 14.
There is simply tons of information at the site regarding this day in history as well as pretty much every other point in the Civil War. Throughout the next several years there will be plenty of celebrations marking important milestones in the bloody conflict … but this is where it all began!
Source: Civil War.org