Although Fort Moultrie is part of the Fort Sumter National Monument, the actual location of Fort Moultrie is Sullivan’s Island, across the sound from the sea fort of Fort Sumter. But the difference between the two forts isn’t in location alone. In fact, Fort Moultrie’s history in U.S. military conflicts dating back to 1776 gives it a unique position in our National Parks System.
A fortress on Sullivan’s Island was still under construction in 1776, when it was attacked by a Commodore named Sir Peter Parker—no relation to the famous comic book character. A nine-hour battle ensued, with the colonials fighting off the British incursion and keeping Charleston out of redcoat hands. The city was later taken in 1780, but was abandoned by the British at the end of the war.
By 1809, a brick fort had been raised on Sullivan’s Island—Fort Moultrie. Across the harbor, Fort Sumter also came under construction, contributing to a network of defenses designed to keep Charleston’s sea-friendly location out of enemy hands.
Fort Moultrie, like Fort Sumter, saw extensive action in the Civil War. Though the famous “first shots of the Civil War” were heard over Fort Sumter, both of the forts took heavy bombardment from the Union forces until the Confederates left the city in February of 1865. According to the National Parks Service, the rifled cannons of Union forces had done a number on both forts.
Why Fort Moultrie is a “Must-Visit” In Charleston, SC
What separates Fort Moultrie’s history from that of Fort Sumter is its relevance to a number of different time periods dating back to the Revolutionary War. Moultrie was modernized after the Civil War and even had relevance in a military capacity in World War II.
Today’s Charleston visitors can therefore “walk through history” from World War II to the Revolutionary War as they visit Fort Moultrie. Because Sullivan’s Island is accessible by road (Fort Sumter is constantly available, but requires ferry access) many visitors find it a convenient and unforgettable place to visit.
If you’re interested in a Charleston Carriage Tour, there’s a good chance that you and your family appreciate history of all types. The advantage to a visit of Fort Moultrie is that it has something of interest to everyone, so long as you have an interest in American history. Whichever is your favorite era—the founding days, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the 20th century—Fort Moultrie lived through it all, and today’s site is a testament to that fact.
Learn More History With A Charleston, SC Carriage Tour
Contact us to book a Charleston Carriage tour, where you can find out even more facts about Charleston’s history, up close and personal, as you ride within a horse-drawn carriage through the city’s famous Historic District.