Saturday, May 5, 2012
Fort Sumter National Monument
There's a bazillion forts in South Carolina and there's a TON of history here in this state. There are historical markers all over the surrounding area where we are staying. Even the Revolutionary War Trail is here..Fort Sumter is one of most well known forts, having been the first to be fired on on April 21, 1861, the shots signaling the start of the Civil War. Actually, the first shot was a 10" mortar shot fired OVER the fort as a signal for the Confederates to open fire on the Union held fort. For 34 hours, the fort was bombarded with artillery shells and mortar. It was pretty much reduced to rubble, but has been repaired and reconstructed to some degree. There were actually two more tiers on top of this one originally.
Fort Sumter was a manmade fort--70,000 tons of granite were brought in from New England to build up a sandbar at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. The fort is a pentagon shaped structure, walls five feet thick standing 50 feet tall over low tide. It could hold over 600 men and 135 guns, but was never filled to capacity, which caused the Confederates to successfully take it over in 1861 after bombarding it for 34 hours. It would take the Union another four years to get it back.
We'd love to come back for a historical tour of the town, but that will have to be for our next visit to the area...You just can't do everything you want to do when you are on a budget! We're saving our money for the SavannahTall Ships Challenge....see you on the wharf!