Monday, November 28, 2011

Charleston, SC and its forts

There are actually a number of forts in the area and we visited most of them. Some are just a few ruins and some are reconstructed and a few were used until after WWII and are in pretty good shape. So here are a few highlights.

This Anglican Church was erected in 1717 in old historic Dorchester and burnt during the revolutionary war.

These are the ruins of Fort Dorchester, built in 1757, taken by the British in 1780 and taken back by the Patriots in Dec. 1781. The town of Dorchester was originally laid out in 1697 as a market town for a congregationalist community. The town declined following the revolution and was eventually abandoned.

South of town is Folly Beach, which was so fogged in, we couldn't hardly see the water from the fishing pier and the county park was closed due to damage from the recent hurricane. But the city park was open, so we stopped there to eat our picnic lunch (a Subway sandwich). We found these delightful frogs to have lunch with.

I think this one was secretly coveting my sub sandwich.

Here is the fogged in beach.

But just out of town was the location of Fort Lamar. There is nothing left now but a few signs and some trails describing the fort and the part it played in the Civil War. It was established to protect one of the riverways into Charleston. The confederates succesfully stopped a union advance into Charleston in 1862.

Fort Johnson was located nearby on the coast, at the front of Charleston harbor. It was one of several forts with the purpose of protecting Charleston's harbor. But Fort Johnson was the site where the first shot was fired in April 1861 by the confederates, against Fort Sumter, held by the union. It was the shot which started the Civil War.

Standing on the harbor shore at Fort Johnson looking across to Fort Sumter.

Ft. Moultrie is located on Sullivan Island on the north side of Charleston Harbor. Ft. Moultrie was a major sea coast defense from 1776-1947. Yes, it actually played a part in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, the Spanish American War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII. It was modified and rebuilt several times, but the major walls and much of the fort is over 200 years old.

Across the street was this church, which was built in the 1800s. Sullivan Island was important in the era of slavery. This is where thousands of african slaves were brought to America and here on the island they went through a 3 week quarantine before being taken to the slave auctions in Charleston.

I love the south, you have palm trees and live oaks. Palm trees mean warm weather, yeah....

This was part of WWII harbor observation post. Underneath was the underground headquarters of the Navy's Harbor Entrance Control Post and the Army's Harbor Defense Command Post. With technological advances it was determined the base was obsolete and was closed following WWII.

The Yorktown Aircraft Carrier is on display in Charleston Harbor.

Built in 1810, Pinkney Castle is located in the harbor. It has been a holding place for slaves coming into Charleston for auction, and it was a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. It is only accessible by boat, but is open to the public for picnicing only, the ruins are not open.

Fort Sumter is only available by boat. The tour of the fort by the National Park service includes an 1 1/2 hour narrated harbor tour. This is where the Civil War started. The union held this fort and the confederates wanted it back. The union wouldn't surrender. The confederates seiged the fort and wouldn't allow provisions to be provided. In April 1862 the confederates finally fired on the fort and the next day the union soldiers surrendered. It was held throughout the rest of the war by the confederate army, even surviving a 22 month long seige by union forces, the longest seige in all history.

This battery, Battery Huger, inside Fort Sumter, was built in the late 1898 for the Spanish American War. It never saw use.

A gun like, this 10 in morter, fired the first shot from Fort Johnson onto Fort Sumter in April 1861, starting the Civil War.

Some guns fired a much larger projectile. Max could even get his head in this one.

Some of the walls in Fort Sumter still have the projectiles which were fired into the fort by the union army during its 22 month seige.

Looking at downtown Charleston from the harbor.

The U.S. Customs House from the harbor. It is still in use today.

1 comment:

Sharon Del Rosario said...

Great report on the forts, Judy. I've seen some of them but not as many as you did. I gave my sis-in-law a link to your blog as she's interested in visiting some battlefields on the mainland. She and hubby (Don's brother) live in Hawaii.