Sombre ceremony marks US Civil War

Sombre period music, flickering candlelight and booming cannons ushered in America's observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The war began on 12 April 1861, with a Confederate bombardment of Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour. The conflict ended with the surrender of Confederate forces in Virginia on 9 April 1865.

"We're don't see this as a celebration but rather as a sombre time," said Tim Stone, superintendent of the Fort Sumter National Monument.

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