The 150th anniversary of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, coming up on April 12 and 13, has gotten a good deal of attention recently. However, a sound bite isn’t enough to explain why it is such an important historic event and what exactly happened there. The Civil War Trust, a non-profit best known for its work preserving battlefields, has solved the problem with a 7-minute, animated map on its website that incorporates fort history, explains the battle and discusses preservation of the fort today.

The map is very helpful because there are several other forts in Charleston Harbor, newly occupied by the Confederates, and it can be hard to visualize where they are in relation to Ft. Sumter.

The Trust has some experience in this field, having already produced animated maps for five other battles. This one is the best so far because it has a narration track. The older maps depended on text.

On the same website page is an interactive gallery of vintage and modern photographs of the fort and text explanations of various aspects of the battle. Recent news stories about the Trust and Civil War preservation issues are available as well.