Drive out to Sullivan’s Island and hang a right as you near the beach, and you’ll eventually find the series of citadels that is Fort Moultrie (on Middle Street). Quite a contrast to the rest of the island’s unassuming nature, the fort has come to be a significant symbol for the state. In fact, it will be pictured on 2016’s American the Beautiful quarter for South Carolina — an endorsement of its importance if there ever was one!
The first fort on Sullivan’s Island, Moultrie protected Charleston from British occupation in 1776. As the story goes, the original fort was built entirely of Palmetto logs, which is why South Carolina is now known as the Palmetto State. The fort itself was named after the famously resourceful commander in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, General William Moultrie.
Between 1776 and 1809, the fort continuously suffered destruction from war and neglect, until it was rebuilt with brick in 1809. Today, the fort stands in its restored form, portraying different periods throughout its history.
Visit the fort and you’ll take a walk through time, from the Palmetto-log fort in 1776 to the World War II Harbor Control Entrance Post. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), the fort welcomes members of America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass with free admission. Self-guided and guided tours are available, plus the visitor center and museum features an informative 20-minute film detailing the fort’s rich history. With videos, artifacts, and dioramas, the National Park Service has excelled in preserving and bringing the history of Fort Moultrie to life.
Like to learn more about Fort Moultrie and other Historic Charleston landmarks? Contact the experts at Bulldog Walking Tours today!