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by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
February 7, 2005
One of Carolina's best known stories came out of that battle. The commanding officer, William Moultrie, in a moment of patriotism and extreme bravery, jumped onto the battlements, hoisting the flag that had just been shot down. Standing in full cannon fire, he waved the flag, inspiring the defenders to keep up their fight. The flag he designed (solid blue, with a white crescent moon) was used as the state flag, with the addition of the palmetto tree, whose spongy logs had withstood the might of the British cannons.
Although Ft. Moultrie is less famous than Ft. Sumter, it is much older - and probably more important. Although it does not have the glamour of its famous brother, Ft. Moultrie should not be neglected. Moultrie was updated and used until the 1940s, so it is no longer in the condition it was in the 1700s or 1800s. This is a good place to see layers of history, though, as each addition has preserved some of the older fort.
Ft. Moultrie has a good museum attached to it that shows how it has been used through the years. There is also a 20-minute movie with the price of admission, and despite the fact that I felt like I was watching an educational movie from the 1950s, it did have a lot of good information. I particularly enjoyed wandering through the subterranean tunnels that crisscross the fort. You can also see some of the rooms set up like they would have been in the ‘30s and’ 40s, such as the radio room and a small planning room. One thing I would have liked to see is a reproduction of the famous Palmetto fort, but there wasn't one on the site.
I would recommend Moultrie to anyone who has an interest in the American Revolution or post-Civil War military history. If you visit Patriots Point, this will be a good addition to your day. Admission is cheap, too. Adults are $3, those 16 and under are free, and a family pass is $5.
From journal Military History in Charleston
by Mary Dickinson
May 2, 2004
Walking toward the Sally Port (entrance to the enclosed ramparts) we saw two grave monuments. Osceola, the brave Indian chief who led his people during the Seminole Wars in Florida, was a prisoner at the fort, died and was buried there in 1838. The other monument honors the 62 men who died when their monitor Patapsco struck a Confederate torpedo in Charleston Harbor in 1865.
There are no barracks or parade grounds inside the ramparts. The tower for the Harbor Entrance Control Post/ Harbor Defense Command Post, used during WW II, is inside the fort, on a hill, to the left and is open to the public. Near it, huge cannon from 1898-1939 are mounted on black concrete batteries. Each segment of history and the guns related to them are explained on a nearby panel.
Finally we found the Civil War guns still pointing at Fort Sumter. On December 26, 1860, Major Robert Anderson and the men under his command had to leave the fort in secrecy for the more defensible Fort Sumter, out in the harbor, because of hostility in Charleston. They spiked the guns and burned the carriages before they left. The new Confederate army wasted no time putting out the fire and fixing the guns. In April 1861, General PGT Beauregard used the same guns to blast the Union army to submission and surrender and aggravated the commencement of the Civil War.
Sullivans Island is the setting for The Gold Bug, written by Edgar Allan Poe. He served as a soldier at the fort in 1827-28. At this fort William Moultrie, whom the fort was named after, demonstrated his remarkable abilities as a leader and the prowess of his officers and men during the Revolutionary War.
From journal Historic Charleston Harbor
Lemon Grove, California
October 30, 2003
From journal Isle of Palms vacation
by Mary Porcher
New Haven, Connecticut
September 28, 2000
From journal A Native's Favorites in Charleston