When we travelled to South Carolina last March, we stayed with my parents on Isle of Palms, where they were vacationing for the Winter months. Isle of Palms is a barrier island north of Charleston Harbour and is connected by a bridge to Sullivan’s Island at the entrance to Charleston Harbour. One of our first outings when we arrived was to go across to Sullivan’s Island for a tour of Fort Moultrie.
According to Wikipedia, “Fort Moultrie is a series of citadels on Sullivan’s Island, built to protect the city of Charleston. The first fort, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname (Palmetto State) of South Carolina. It is named in honour of the commander in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, General William Moultrie.
South Carolina patriots began to build a fort to guard Charleston Harbour in 1776. British Admiral Sir Peter Parker with nine British warships attacked the fort—still unnamed and incomplete—on June 28, 1776, near the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. The soft palmetto logs did not crack under bombardment but rather absorbed the shot; cannon balls reportedly even bounced off the walls of the structure. William Moultrie commanded the 2nd South Carolina Regiment for the revolutionary patriots in this battle. The fort took its name Fort Moultrie in his honor.”
Fort Moultrie also played a major role in the Civil War. Federal troops abandoned the fort when South Carolina seceded from the Union. They retreated to a defensive position at Fort Sumter. The reason was obvious. Fort Moultrie had been designed to pummel ships entering the harbor, not to defend against land-based attacks. Federal troops found themselves completely encircled within hostile territory in a fort facing the wrong direction. Secessionist forces quickly claimed the abandoned fort. Three and a half months later, on April 12, 1861, the guns of Fort Moultrie and other nearby batteries trained on Fort Sumter to ignite the Civil War.
I took many, many photos that day, but here are some of my favourites: