Situated on the western coast of Sullivan’s Island, Fort Moultrie’s history dates back to the mid 1770s when it was attacked by British warships on June 28, 1776. Colonel William Moultrie and his men defended the Palmetto log structure for nearly nine hours before fending off the British. The fort was then named after Colonel Moultrie for his leadership and bravery in leading the defeat against the British.
Four years later, the Fort was abandoned and lay in ruins.
It wasn’t until 1798 that the devastated, original structure was replaced by a newer structure. In fact, new forts were built along the eastern coast of the United States during this time to ensure America’s safety against foreign enemies. But then as fate would have it, the newer Moultrie structure was demolished by a hurricane just a few years later. But the Charlestonians didn’t give up on the fort. They continued to build the fort into a solid brick structure, completing the construction in 1809.
In 1860, South Carolina seceded from the United States and the Union troops headed to Fort Sumter where they set up their defenses. At this time, Charleston
had several harbor forts and defenses, including Fort Sumter, Castle Pinkney, and Fort Johnson. While the Union troops were occupying Fort Sumter, the Confederate troops took over Fort Moultrie. And on April 12, 1861, Fort Moultrie Confederates fired up Fort Sumter. America was now in a Civil War.
In the 1870s, Fort Moultrie was once again renovated to include warfare upgrades and bombproof, concrete walls, and remained in active duty throughout World War II.
Today, visitors to Fort Moultrie can witness some of the fort’s original structures, as well as its more modern structures developed in the late 1800s, providing an all-encompassing view of the fort’s history.
Visitors to Fort Moultrie can tour the grounds for free, or can pay for admission to enter the fort. Admission to the fort can be purchased at the Fort Moultrie Visitor Center.