Visiting Forts in Charleston

FOSU-ranger and reenactor

I’m in Charleston, South Carolina enjoying a late birthday celebration. I’ve been to Charleston before but I’m taking this opportunity to visit several National Park units

We’ve all heard of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The state seceded in December 1860, after Abraham Lincoln got elected. About three months later, the Confederates booted the Union out of the fort and took over. They lasted until the war was over.

Work on the fort started in 1829 to protect Charleston Harbor along with Fort Moultrie. It lasted as a fort until 1947 and became a National monument the next year.

All this history is well told at the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square. Lenny and I visited the Visitor Center yesterday so we could be prepared for our visit to the actual fort today.

You can only get to Fort Sumter by a 30-minute ferry ride. Once there, Ranger Gary Alexander gives a talk on the conditions that both sides endured between 1861 and when the Confederates left in 1865. A Confederate reenactor shows how he could reload and shoot three rounds in a minute.

We only had an hour on the island before we had to get back on the boat. That was not enough time to see the museum properly.

FOMO-OverviewIn the afternoon, we drove to Sullivan’s Island to see Fort Moultrie. This visit was more relaxed. Fort Moultrie dates back from the Revolutionary War but nothing physical is left from that era.

Instead the fort is a mixture of eras up to WWII. The rooms in the forts reminded me of a medieval dungeon where they kept the violent brute or the fair damsel. It was very difficult to photograph.

I’m almost running out of Revolutionary War park units in the Southeast Region. I’m moving on to the Civil War.

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