Fort Moultrie was thrown up in a matter of 6 months and named Ft. Sullivan in 1776. Incomplete, and made with spongy, abundant palmetto logs, the fort proved its might as it withstood British bombardment for 9 hours on June 28. The British were unable to defeat the defenders, and Charleston was saved from occupation.
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.