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Good For Kids
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early to mid 19th century cannon
Fort Moultrie National Monument
Closest available address
1214 Middle St., Sullivans Island, SC 29482
Park and museum are open 9-5, closed some holidays.
Best time to visit
Fort Moultrie is in the same national park as Fort Sumter. While not as well known as Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie played an important role in the defense of Charleston for hundreds of years and saw action in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Today the fort displays changes in costal defenses and armaments over most of America's history.
Charleston was an important harbor in South Carolina from the beginning of the colony’s founding in the seventeenth century. The first Fort Moultrie was still under construction when it successfully resisted a British attack in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. An interesting historical tidbit is that the palmetto logs used to build the fort were later added to the state flag. Successive forts were then built over time as prior ones succumbed to neglect or technical obsolescence. A Civil War fort played a major role in the South's successful defense of Charleston. Later the fort was upgraded with Endicott Batteries around the Spanish American War. A harbor defense station was built during World War II. The fort was decommissioned in 1947 as fixed coastal defenses had become obsolete. It became a park in 1960.
Fort Moultrie is one of the few historical sites where you can learn about the evolution of coastal defenses from the Revolutionary War through World War II. However, most of the armaments and fortifications here are post the Civil War. The most interesting exhibits were the Endicott batteries from the Spanish American War era and the anti-submarine defenses of WWII. The WWII station in particular is an excellent example of a small coastal defense post, complete with period displays and radio music. The park museum also is worth a visit. It’s medium-sized and was packed with informative exhibits. The film though was less interesting and a bit dated. It can be skipped if time is limited. Historians and military buffs will most enjoy a visit to this fort. Others may enjoy a short walk out to the waterline for good views of the ocean and Fort Sumter. Fort Moultrie is a nice complement to a Fort Sumter visit. However, unlike Fort Sumter which requires a boat trip, Fort Moultrie is accessible by car.
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