The Ruins of Fort Sumter

“South Carolina had seceded from the Union, yet Union forces still occupied fort Sumter at the entrance of Charleston Harbor.  The South demanded that Fort Sumter be vacated.  The North refused.  Finally, on April 12, 1861, South Carolina Confederate troops from nearby Fort Johnson fired on the fort – the start of a two-day bombardment that resulted in the surrender of Fort Sumter by Union Troops.

With the North’s withdrawal, the South held the fort until it was finally evacuated on February 17, 1865.  During that time, the fort experienced one of the longest sieges in modern warfare.  For almost two years, 46,000 shells, estimated at more than 7 million pounds of metal, were fired at Fort Sumter.  Therefore, when the Civil War ended, Fort Sumter presented a very desolate appearance.  Only on the left flank, left face, and right face could any of the original scarp wall be seen.  The right flank wall and the gorge wall, which had taken the brunt of the Federal bombardments, were now irregular mounds of earth, sand, and debris forming steep slopes down to the water’s edge.

Fort Sumter today bears only a superficial resemblance to its original appearance.  The multi-tiered work of 1861 was reduced largely to rubble during the Civil War.  Battery Huger, built in 1898 across the parade ground at the time of the Spanish-American War, now dominates the interior.”  (taken from a Fort Sumter National Monument brochure)

The walls of Fort Sumter were designed for three tiers of guns, but as you will see from the following photos, only the lower tier remains.  I believe these photos are of the left-face casemate ruins, and in a couple of the photos you can actually still see artillery shells embedded in the brick.  There is an explanation on a sign in one of the photos which is very interesting.  If you see a black structure in any of the pictures, that is Battery Huger.  Tomorrow I will show you some of the big, bad guns!





















This entry was posted in Blogging, Charleston, SC, Famous Landmarks, History, Military, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Ruins of Fort Sumter

  1. TBM says:

    Oh man those are cool! Could you feel or sense any soldiers?

    • Oh, I’m so glad you are enjoying this series!! And yes, when I am at a major historical site like that, I do sort of feel myself falling back in time and imagining what it was like back then. I’m not even American, but I was really moved by my experience there. I remember touching one of the artillery shells in the wall and thinking how loud the boom of the guns must have been, and then I always feel sort of depressed thinking of all of the lives that were lost. I’m sure there are still spirits present there, roaming the ruins.

  2. maenamor says:

    brilliant post and great write up.. 🙂

  3. Great pictures and information! I have been to Vicksburg, Mississippi’s Civil War monument, but not to Fort Sumter. Thanks for the history lesson today! 🙂

    • You’re welcome! I learned a great deal while I was in Charleston. Originally, I thought of the forts as a place my sons would get a kick out of, but I found them very fascinating too. I never really knew how much I enjoyed history until I started travelling a little bit. I just wish I had the money to do more travelling! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The American Viking : David Glasgow Farragut | Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

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