Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter a sea fort that is famous for two the battles of the American Civil War.
Fort Sumter a sea fort that is famous for two the battles of the American Civil War.

Fort Sumter National monument is found in the county of Charleston in the coastal region of the state of South Carolina in the US. The monument mainly protects the Charleston Light, Fort Sumter, Liberty Square, Charleston, and Fort Moultrie. Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center is also part of the national monument, it is located on Liberty Square, Charleston and comprises of museum exhibits detailing the disputes between the South and North which resulted to the Fort Sumter Battles.

Fort Sumter

Located in the US state of South Carolina, specifically in Charleston County is Fort Sumter a sea fort that is famous for two the battles of the American Civil War. Fort Sumter was among the different special forts established after the War of 1812; it was classified as a Third System or Seacoast Defense which featured a combination of massive masonry and high walls as a grade of structural integrity. Construction of the fort began in 1829, but by the time South Carolina was seceding from the Union in 1860, it was still incomplete. Being part of the Fort Sumter National Monument, the fort is not only operated by the National Park Service but also open for public tours.

Fort Moultrie

Found on Sullivan’s Island in the US state of South Carolina is Fort Moultrie which is among the first forts that were built for the protection of Charleston. Initially, the fort was known as Fort Sullivan and was constructed using palmetto logs; it inspired the nickname for South Carolina ‘The Palmetto State’ as well as its flag. However, Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie after William Moultrie who was a US General and patriot commander during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island. The fort was also called Fort Arbuthnot between 1780 and 1782 when the British occupied the region. As part of Fort Sumter National Park as well as the National Park System, Fort Moultrie is the only area where the whole history of the American seacoast defense can be traced, a history that features 171 years from 1776 to 1947.

Charleston Light

Charleston Light is the Charleston Harbor’s northern entrance and is located on Sullivan’s Island in the US state of South Carolina. It was constructed as a replacement for the Morris Island Light located on Morris Island which was defunct. Construction of the Charleston Light began in 1960; it was first lit on June 15th, 1962. The lighthouse which is 140 feet tall features a steel frame a triangular cross-section and an aluminum alloy skin, it was constructed to withstand winds of 125 miles per hour. The upper half of Charleston Light is painted black while the lower half is painted white. The lighthouse was donated to the National park System in 2007 by the Coast Guard and is now part of the Fort Sumter National Monument even though it is not open to the public.


Following the secession of the seven Southern states from the Union and claiming possession of all forts and arsenals within their territories in the US during early 1861, only two forts remained under the jurisdiction of the federal government including Fort Sumter. The fort’s first battle started on April 12th, 1861, when the Union Garrison was fired on by the Confederate artillery in a war that lasted until the next day since the forts’ supply line was cut off. The second battle, which took place on September 8th, 1863, was the Union’s failed attempt to retake the fort. Fort Sumter was reduced to ruins, but it remained in the hands of the Confederate until February 1865 when it was evacuated.


Many people, locals, and visitors come to Fort Sumter National Monument to visit the three sites found in Charleston and learn of the regions rich history, all of the three places are open to the public. Fort Sumter itself is accessible via a 30-minute ferry ride or a private boat from the Patriots Point.


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