Fort Sumter National Monument – Charleston, South Carolina
About a week before the trip, Kevin came home from work and asked if we had time to see Fort Sumter. Interestingly, this had not coming up during preliminary research but this seemed like a must stop in Charleston. I had nothing planned the last day of the trip and since we did not need a car, it would fit perfectly.
After a lovely breakfast at Millers All Day, it was time to head over to the Fort Sumter National Monument for our 9:30AM tour to the fort.
The visitor center has a very nice museum before boarding the boat that showcases the historic events around Fort Sumter. We did not leave ourselves enough time to get a full appreciation but it certainly had a lot of content.
It was about a half hour journey from the mainland out to Fort Sumter. The boat was comfortable though with the cold temperatures, I sat basking in the sun straining for some heat. It was a beautiful ride as Downtown Charleston fades away and other barriers islands start to pop up. We even saw a group of dolphins naive to this area.
So what makes Fort Sumter so special? This fort played pivotal roles in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. For the Revolutionary War, Charleston defeated the British Royal Navy in 1776 thanks to the Palmetto tree (on the state flag because of its important role in this battle! Fort Sumter is also known as the official start of the Civil War where shots were fired between the North and the South. While the fort sustained significant damage from the war, it was restored and eventually converted into the landmark attraction it is today.
The first time the rangers led us to was the flag pole. As the first boat to arrive to Fort Sumter this morning, it was our privilege to participate in the flag raising ceremony. Before I knew it, Kevin was already gripping the enormous flag.
The park ranger led the group in raising the flag. While half the fun was watching everyone handle the gigantic flag, it really was a treat to participate and witness this ceremony. What a fun benefit for the first and last boat tours of the day!
Then we had time to explore the fort before the boat departed back to Charleston. We learned more about the history of the fort, the wars that involved it, and the pieces remaining today.
I have to say I was a bit obsessed with the cannons here. The cannon sat on almost a lazy susan table to turn the angle of the cannon – I cannot even fathom how they actually moved this, it is so heavy!
I also loved how the cannon sat in these bays, each with a window overlooking the water. This one below had just a perfect shot of Downtown Charleston in view.
There were even parts that showcased were bullets can be found from the wars. A museum is situated in the middle that gives another level of depth to the stories of Fort Sumter. We learned so much visiting here and really enjoyed the experience of getting to know Fort Sumter. Great call, Kevin! Would definitely recommend taking the trip here while visiting Charleston.
Read about the rest of Charleston here!