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My last visit to Fort Sumter was in August 1997. The air was heavy with moisture to the point of being just shy of raining, it was 95 in the shade and I was six months pregnant. My only recollection of the visit is the air conditioned gift shop which is where I spent most of my time on the island. Fast forward 17 years and it was hat and gloves weather with a whole lot of fog on my most recent visit.

Charleston Church Flag and fountain
View from the ferry-boat looking back at Charleston

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and on April 12, 1861, the Confederate Army fired on the Federal soldiers at the yet completed Fort Sumter. It would be four bloody combat years and over 600,000 dead before the Union Forces recaptured Fort Sumter. The Civil War’s first fatality occurred at Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861, the day after the battle ended. Private Daniel Hough died while loading a canon for the Union’s 100-gun salute to the U.S. flag. The canon round discharged prematurely and killed him.

Fort Sumter is part of the National Park Service. Liberty Square (near the Aquarium) and Patriots Point (Mt Pleasant) are the two locations where you can catch the ferry to the island. Once there you can choose to wander around on your own or listen to the roughly 10 minute historic talk by the Park Ranger which I found very interesting. Click here for scheduled times.

Fort Sumter Park Ranger
Our Park Ranger ~ interesting with a touch of humor. Careful though, he’ll test your Civil War knowledge

IMG_4045
A Canon facing out to the water ~ we couldn’t see far due to the heavy fog

Fort Sumter
Gallery area

Fort Sumter II
Another view of the Gallery

Fort Sumter Canons
Heavy Artillery within the Gallery

Fort Sumter Canon swivels
Swivels for the heavy artillery

Fort Sumter Battery Isaac Huger
Battery Isaac Hunger, named after Brigadier General Isaac Huger, is a concrete fortification built on Fort Sumter in 1898-99 as part of a major coastal defense upgrade.

Charleston Bench through the porthole
A restful spot inside the fort

Fort Sumter 100 years ago this month 2014
A reminder of what happened 150 years ago in Charleston

Fort Sumter One of the shells
An artillery shell embedded in the wall

Fort Sumter outside the walls
Outside wall of Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter fishing in the fog
Fishing in the fog just off the island of Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter Heron
Heron in the fog

Fort Sumter bird and rope
Another Heron bracing against the wind

Fort Sumter Bottle on the beach
We were hoping there was a message in this bottle ~ but there wasn’t

Charleston two dolphin playing at the front of the ferry boat
Bottlenose dolphins escorting us back to Charleston. The Park Ranger on the ferry explained the dolphins like to swim in front of the boat because it creates a wave they can ride. It was obvious they were having a lot of fun!

Charleston Dolphin surfing at the front of the ferry boat
A single dolphin riding a wave

General Anderson, who was in command when Fort Sumter fell into Confederate hands, returned (from retirement) on April 14, 1865 to re-raise the Federal Flag when the Union Forces recaptured the fort. Sadly, it was the same day President Lincoln was assassinated in Washington, DC while attending a play.

raising-flag-fort-sumter
Image of the “raising the flag” ceremony on April 14 1865. (a Library of Congress image)

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