- a fort in SE South Carolina, in the harbor of Charleston: its bombardment by the Confederates opened the Civil War on April 12, 1861.
- a fort in SE South Carolina, guarding Charleston Harbour. Its capture by Confederate forces (1861) was the first action of the Civil War
Word Origin and History for fort sumter
military installation in South Carolina, U.S., begun in 1827, named for U.S. Revolutionary War officer and Congressman Thomas Sumter (1734-1832), "The Carolina Gamecock." The family name is attested from 1206, from Old French sometier "driver of a pack horse."