No visit to the Charlestown area is complete without a visit to Ft. Sumter, where the Civil War began. And Ft. Moultrie is equally important and also much older. Since Sumter is better known as the place where the great American war began, we start our visit with it.
The old fort was heavily damaged and the changed for WWII, but it is being restored to the period that it is best known for. There was a long bombardment leading to the withdrawal of the US troops. The fort had not been completely finished at the time of occupation. It was one of the last strongholds of the Confederate government.
It will take a couple of hours to see Ft. Sumter and the boat runs each hour and you may stay to the second departure is you wish. Ft. Moultrie is about an hour's drive away and it has much more on display. It was used first in the American Revolution and was used up through the time of WWII. It is also much more complete since it was used longer and it never suffered the destruction that Sumter did. They also have an excellent museum.
The gun batteries from most of the periods of use are largely intact, and there is a display that also explains the palmetto log fort used in the revolution.
When you visit the Charlestown area, do not miss this important part of our history.