I’ve visited Charleston, South Carolina many times, but for some reason, I never made it out to Fort Sumter…probably because there’s always been some much to see and do in the city itself! Well, during my most recent visit, I finally remedied that! (Read about my visit to Fort Sumter here.)
Inspired by that visit, I decided to take in another nearby citadel, Fort Moultrie. Located on Sullivan’s Island, Fort Moultrie was built to protect Charleston, which it did quite nicely when British warships attacked on June 28, 1776. (This battle was actually America’s first decisive victory of the Revolutionary War!) Fort Moultrie was also one of the spots used by the Confederates to bombard Fort Sumter during the siege which began the Civil War.
The fort is divided into sections representing the different time periods and conflicts, from the Revolutionary War up to World War 2. I really enjoyed the WW2 section, especially the underground command bunker (located below the Control Post Tower) with its period furnishings, radios, and posters. Besides its fascinating military history, Fort Moultrie is also famous for being the site where Edgar Allan Poe was stationed. He served at the fort from 1827-1828, and even though his stay on Sullivan’s Island was brief, it evidently made quite an impression on him because he used it as the setting in some of his works. If you’re interested, here is some additional info on Poe’s military service.
Fort Moultrie is easily accessible by car, which means you won’t have to rely on a ferry’s schedule. You can take your time exploring it. Across the street from the fort is a visitor’s center with fascinating displays, artifacts, and a short film documenting the history of the fort. There is a gift shop and an information desk staffed by knowledgeable rangers. The visitor’s center is also where you buy tickets to enter the fort (only $3.00 per adult / $5.00 for a family), and where you will meet if you are taking a guided tour. You can opt to explore the fort on your own, but make sure you catch the film first.
I spent most of the day here and I’m so glad I did because, from the ramparts, I caught one of the most magnificent sunsets I’ve ever seen! A wonderful ending to an enjoyable and informative day exploring a piece of Charleston’s rich history!
Learn more about visiting South Carolina at www.EscapeToTheSoutheast.com