On April 12th, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., a mortar shell from Fort Johnson, Johns Island, South Carolina, arched across the sky. The shell exploded almost directly over Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Within minutes of the first mortar explosion, Confederate batteries ringing the harbor, including ones in Charleston's Battery Park opened fire and continued to pound the masonry walls for 34 hours. Union Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort to Confederate troops. Later in the Civil War, Union forces bombarded the fort from 1863 until 1865 in one of the longest sieges during the war, reducing it to little more than a heap of rubble. The Battery Park Live Oak withstood the war and the battles, and today shades cannons still in position. This tree grew from an acorn handpicked from the Battery Park Live Oaks.