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Fun things to do in Charleston : Fort Moultrie. Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie

Part of the National Park Service, Fort Moultrie is one of the oldest still-standing forts along the Eastern Seaboard. The fort is a low-laying coastal structure bordering beaches on the southern tip of Sullivan's Island. It is the first one on Sullivan's Island constructed of palmetto logs and sand. Fort Moultrie began as a Revolutionary War defense before being transformed into a secondary Confederate stronghold during the Civil War.

Today Fort Moultrie has been restored to portray the major periods of its history. A visitor to the fort moves steadily backwards in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776.


Fort Moultrie is a series of fortifications on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, built to protect the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The first fort, formerly named Fort Sullivan, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, as "The Palmetto State".

Fort Moultrie was rebuilt as part of the Second System of fortifications in 1808–09, under the direction of Army engineer Alexander Macomb.

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Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is located in the middle of the Charleston Harbor and is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and the American Civil War started on April 12, 1861. The fort spans over an area of 200 acres and can be accessed only by a ferry. This coastal fortification was begun in 1829, but was not completed by the time of the Civil War. After the war, Fort Sumter was renovated but never reconstructed to its original height.

You can take a ferry to the fort where you can explore on your own. You can see the original gun turrets here and visit the museum at Fort Sumter. There are park rangers and volunteers who can answer any of your questions. You will see where the first shot was fired and also see the thick stone caverns that house several Civil War cannons. Fort Sumter National Monument is perched on a small island in Charleston Harbor several miles southwest of the city.

Ferry rides depart form both Liberty Square Visitors Center and Patriot's Point. Hours vary depending on the season. While it is free to explore Sumter itself, the ferry ride costs $22 for adults, seniors/military $20 and $14 for children, children ages under 3 free. Prices as of May 10, 2018.