Ft. Sumter – a boat ride out into the Charleston Harbor

Since the American Revolution, Americans have built systems of forts at harbors along the coast to strengthen maritime defenses. Following the War of 1812 several major weaknesses in the American coastal defense system were identified. To fill these voids, Congress and the US Army Corps of Engineers planned the construction of around 200 fortifications, primarily located along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast from Maine to Louisiana.  Over 40 fortifications were built before construction halted with the outbreak of the American Civil War.  These first are collectively known as the Third System of Seacoast Defense.

Charleston Harbor made the list of sites vulnerable to attack, prompting the contraction of Fort Sumter.  Construction on the man-made inland began in 1829.  Thirty-one years later, sectional tensions exploded  Fort Sumter into armed conflict.

Fort Sumter was heavily involved during the Civil War, lasting almost 4 years. Fort Sumter became the total focus of the long defense in which determined Confederate soldiers kept the US Army and Navy at bay for 587 days.  In 1863, Federal forces began their bombardment of Charleston and Fort Sumter, often referred to as the Siege of Charleston until 1865.  Total destruction of Fort Sumter by the Union Troops was the result of this bombardment.

Today what remains after reconstruction effort, is the brick and cannons used for the protection of the fort. Daily the National Park Service Rangers raise the US Flag during a ceremony. There is a museum on site that contains the detailed history of the Siege of Charleston.

Ft. Sumter is a National Historical Park (and with Fort Moultrie)  For more information visit the NPS.gov website/Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie

Our two young reporters, Benny and Hank,  joined in and rode out to Ft. Sumter on Spirit line, and then with iPads spent time taking lots of photos all around the remains of Fort Sumter

Benny and Hank at Ft. Sumter! pictured in front of the cannons.