– Revolutionary War Series –
– Civil War Series –
Fort Moultrie—built to defend South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor—has played an important role in several of America’s conflicts. First, under the leadership of Revolutionary Colonel William Moultrie, it fought off a British assault in 1776, and decades later, helped deter the British threat again during the War of 1812. In December 1860, as South Carolina seceded from the Union, the Federal garrison at Fort Moultrie abandoned the post, retreating to nearby Fort Sumter, where the Union forces—facing an artillery barrage from now Confederate-held Moultrie—would eventually be forced to surrender in April 1861. Following its capture, Fort Moultrie served as the primary defender for Confederate-held Charleston and endured heavy bombardment from the Union navy in 1863 before returning to Federal control two years later with the end of the Civil War. Since then, the fort has undergone several stages of modernization: the addition of heavy artillery and concrete and steel bunkers in the 1870s and 1880s, followed by more improvements during the two World Wars of the 20th century.
The result of all this today is a somewhat-jarring mishmash of old and new—brick, stone, concrete, and steel. Administered by Fort Sumter National Monument, Fort Moultrie is more easily accessible than its island-bound cousin, and its location near the beaches on Sullivan’s Island make it a popular weekend destination. The National Park Service offers ample wayside exhibits and guided tours for visitors, and the Visitor Center on Sullivan’s Island has an impressive array of exhibits covering Fort Moultrie’s rich history. (Note: For the actual Fort Sumter, see my post on May 13, 2017.)