Greater Port Royal Sound Area

Camp Baird | Fort Balfour | Beaufort Arsenal | Beaufort Battery (2) | Beaufort Fort (1)
Fort Beauregard (2) | Camp Bennett | Boyd's Neck | Braddock Point Battery | Battery Brayton
Battery Burnside | Calibogue Point Blockhouse | Cat Island Battery (1) | Charles Fort
Chisolm Island Post | Daufuskie Island Post | Camp Despair | Camp Duane | Fort Duane
Camp Evans | Evans' Fort | Fort Frederick | Fort Fremont | Fort Gillmore | Grahamville
Post of Hilton Head | Hilton Head Res. (1) | Hilton Head Res. (2) | Battery Holbrook
Fort Howell | Fort Lyttleton (1) | Camp McDougal | Fort Marion | Camp Martin | Fort Mitchel
Fort Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperança | Palachacola Fort | Camp Palmer | Passage Fort (2)
Pocotaligo Post | Pocotaligo Earthworks | Port Royal Fort | Fort Prince Frederick
Fort Prince George (1) | Purrysburg | Santa Elena Forts | Fort San Felipe
St. Helena Island Post | Fort San Marcos | St. Phillips Point Lookout | Fort San Salvador
Fort San Sebastian | Saltcatchers Fort | Sams' Point Fort | Battery Saxton | Camp Saxton
Seabrook Island Post | Fort Seward | Battery Seymour | Camp Shaw | Fort Sherman
Fort Stevens | Stoney Creek Battery | Stuart Town | Tar Bluff Battery | Battery Taylor
Fort Tillinghast | Fort Walker | Water Passage Fort (1) | Fort Welles

North Coastal South Carolina - page 1 | Greater Charleston Area I - page 2
Greater Charleston Area II - page 3 | Interior South Carolina - page 5


Last Update: 31/OCTOBER/2020
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2020 American Forts Network

Tar Bluff Battery
(1862 - 1865), Tar Bluff
A CSA three-gun earthwork battery located on the Combahee River, southwest of Wiggins. Union naval vessels attacked the position in January 1865.

Rowland Evans' Fort
(1715 - 1716), near Blake ?
A settlers' fort during the Yamassee War, located on the east side of the Combahee River somewhere east of Yemassee.

Saltcatchers Fort
(1728 - 1734), Yemassee
A SC colonial militia stockaded fort on the west bank of the Salkehatchie (Saltcatchers) / Combahee River, about 0.75 miles east of town. It protected Beaufort from Yamassee Indian raids. The fort was destroyed in 1734 after the garrison transfered to Fort Prince George (1).

Pocotaligo Trading Post
(1710's - 1715), Pocotaligo
A British trading post operated by William Bray at the principal Yamassee town of Pocotaligo. Bray had lived on Bray's Island, located on the east side of the Pocotaligo River south of town. The post was attacked by Yamassee Indians in April 1715 over long-standing trading grievances, igniting the Yamassee War. Bray and British Indian agent Thomas Naire were killed.

Fort Balfour
(1780 - 1781), Pocotaligo
A British one-gun fort. Attacked and captured by Patriots in April 1781.

Pocotaligo Earthworks
(1862 - 1865), Pocotaligo
CSA earthworks remain that once protected a rail station here. Captured by the Union in January 1865. Private property.

CSA Camp Martin (1861) was nearby.
CSA Stoney Creek Battery (State Heritage Preserve) (1862 - 1864) is located nearby on Stoney Creek. Public access by guided tour only.

Boyd's Neck Earthwork
(1864), near Coosawhatchie
CSA earthwork positions are located on Boyd's Neck between Boyd Creek and the Coosawhatchie River, southeast of town, built to protect the approach from the Broad River to the Charleston and Savannah Railroad station and bridge. Attacked by Union forces in November 1864.

Grahamville Earthwork
(1862, 1864), near Ridgeland
A CSA work (still extant) protecting the eastern approach from Euhaw Creek to the Charleston and Savannah Railroad station at the old town of Grahamville, near Honey Hill east of town. Abandoned, but reused in November 1864 (Battle of Honey Hill) when attacked by Union troops.

Chisolm Island Post
(1861), Chisolm Island
A Confederate-held island prior to the Union occupation of Beaufort.

Sams' Point Fort
(1861 - 1862), Wilkins
A CSA fort at Sams' Point on Ladys Island. Abandoned in January 1862. Remnants still exist.

¤ Colonial Forts of Port Royal Sound
Parris Island Museum - USMC
Parris Island Historical and Museum Society
American Latino Heritage from NPS

¤ Charles Fort
(1562 - 1563), Parris Island
A small earth and log fort, roughly 100-by-80 feet, with a log blockhouse, built by 150 French Huguenots under Jean Ribault. When Ribault returned to France for supplies, the 26 men left behind soon mutinied and abandoned the site. A monument was erected in 1926 on the then-supposed site, which is now known to be the site of later Spanish Fort San Marcos (a). The Spanish Fort San Felipe (a) was built over the actual ruins of Charles Fort (see below). This site was excavated in 1997.

¤ Santa Elena Forts
(Santa Elena Foundation)
(1566 - 1587), Parris Island
The Spanish under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés built the settlement of Santa Elena over the ruins of the French Charlesfort settlement. The first fort built here was named Fort San Salvador (1566), located on a sandbar and destroyed by fire soon after it was built. Fort San Felipe (a) (aka Fort San Sebastian) (1566 - 1570) was a larger work, built over the actual ruins of Charles Fort. Its site was excavated in 1997. After its powder magazine exploded, it was rebuilt in 1570 on higher ground (Fort San Felipe (b)), rectangular with two earthen and timber bastion, and moated with an outer stockade. Indians destroyed the settlement and the fort in 1576. This second site was first excavated in 1979. In 1577 the Spanish rebuilt the town and built a new triangular fort, called Fort San Marcos (a) (1577 - 1583), 200 yards south of Fort San Felipe (b). It was rebuilt in 1583 (Fort San Marcos (b)), probably on the site of Fort San Felipe (b), and destroyed when the Spanish abandoned the area in 1587 and returned to Florida. The coastal region encompasing the area between the Savannah River and the Edisto River was known to the Spanish as the Orista Province. The Charles Fort Monument (1926) is located at the site of Fort San Marcos (a), which was first excavated in 1979, and again in 1998, now the Parris Island golf course.

¤ Fort Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperança
(1568 - 1570), near Coosaw ? or Seabrook ?
A Spanish blockhouse was built by the Juan Pardo Expedition as they were returning to Santa Elena in February 1568. Located at the Indian village of Orista that was located about two Spanish leagues (or one-half day's journey on canoe) upriver from Santa Elena. NOTE: The village of Orista was later relocated to Edisto Island sometime between 1587 and 1609.

¤ Stuart Town
(1684 - 1686), Port Royal Island
An early Scots settlement, led by Henry Erskine, third Lord Cardross, founded in November 1684. Of 140 or so original colonists, only 50 or so remained after six months. It was attacked and destroyed by the Spanish in August 1686. Only 20-30 survived. A hurricane struck the area one week after the Spanish left, destroying everything else that the Spanish did not destroy. Unknown if the town was fortified. There is a record of five guns ordered for defense in 1685, at least three were delivered. The Spanish returned in December 1686 to destroy any attempted rebuilding effort by the English or Scots. Undetermined exact location, although some sources say (assume) it was located at Spanish Point.

¤ Fort Frederick (State Heritage Preserve)
(1731 - 1758), Port Royal
A 125-foot by 75-foot tabby fort, completed in 1734, with five-foot high tabby walls on three sides (fourth side eroded away by river), with barracks and a powder magazine. Also known as Fort Prince Frederick. Garrisoned by British regulars from 1734 - 1736, and 1738 - 1744. The SC colonial militia garrisoned the post intermittently at other times. Replaced by Fort Lyttleton. Some ruins remain, located on the grounds of the present-day U.S. Naval Hospital at the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve, about one mile south of Spanish Point. No public access except by guided tour. See also INFO and PHOTOS from S.C. Dept. of Archives and History

¤ Fort Lyttleton (1)
(1758 - 1782, 1809 - 1825), Port Royal
Located on Spanish Point, two miles south of Beaufort, one mile north of Fort Frederick, originally built to protect against the Spanish. Completed in 1762, it was a triangular tabby-built work, 400 by 375 feet, with a bastion and two half-bastions, tabby barracks, and a magazine. Patriots seized the fort in 1775. Attacked by the British in January 1779, the defenders blew up the fort, but repulsed the British anyway. In July 1779 the fort was probably rebuilt as the town was occupied by the British until April 1781. Known as Beaufort Battery (2) by the Americans after the American Revolution, but no Federal funds were allocated for any "First System" upgrades during the 1790's. Rebuilt in 1809 as a semi-circular tapia work, renamed Fort Marion, but was still unfinished by 1812. Repaired and rebuilt before 1818 with six guns. The six guns were reportedly still in place in January 1861 when commandeered by the local Confederate militia, but were later transferred to another site further south during the summer. No further use recorded during the Civil War. Site excavated in 1978. The outline of the semi-circular tabby wall of Fort Marion remains visible on the ground surface (private property).

NOTE: Beaufort was occupied by the British from July 1779 until September 1779 when the combined Patriot-French armies lay seige to Savannah, GA. Reoccupied in the spring of 1780 until April 1781 with the surrender of Fort Balfour. British headquarters was located in a dwelling (no longer standing) at the corner of Carteret and Port Republic Streets. Two British earthen redoubts were located on the northwest side of town flanking the Shell Road approach into town (present-day Boundary Street / US 21 Business). Both still existed well into the mid 20th-century, one supposedly near the present-day Holiday Inn (2225 Boundary Street).

¤ Beaufort Fort (1)
(1715 - 1731), Beaufort
A SC colonial militia palisaded earthwork fort built during the Yamassee War (1715), for 30 men and three guns. Also known as Port Royal Fort. Used as a base for the coastal scout boats. Repaired (or rebuilt ?) in 1724, with two bastions. Probable site located just west of the intersection of Bay and Newcastle Streets. Replaced by Fort Frederick further south.

A SC colonial militia blockhouse may have been located somewhere near Craven and Carteret Streets in 1703, at what later became "Central Square" when the town grid was first surveyed in 1710.

A British Royal Naval Storehouse (1745) was located at the northwest corner of Bladen and King Streets.

¤ Cat Island Battery (1)
(1731 - 1743 ?), Cat Island
A tabby fort or water battery. Ruins possibly still exist (?). Located across the Beaufort (Port Royal) River from Parris Island and Port Royal.

¤ St. Phillips Point Lookout
(1717 ? - 1764 ?), Bay Point Island
A SC colonial militia or British lookout post or watch house, intermittently garrisoned, to defend against a possible Spanish attack on Beaufort. Also used as a base for the coastal scout boats.

Beaufort Arsenal
(1795 - 1966), Beaufort FORT WIKI
A state militia armory located at Craven and Carteret Streets ("Castle Square"). Completed in 1799. Rebuilt in 1852 with barracks for 250 men. Seized by Union troops in November 1861. Enlarged and renovated in 1934. Now the Beaufort History Museum (admission fee) and the city's Visitor Center.

¤¤ Civil War Defenses of Beaufort and Port Royal Sound
Beaufort was occupied by Union forces continuously after November 1861. Many homes were used as Officers' quarters, military offices, and hospitals, several of which are still extant. A signal station was originally established on the roof of the c.1785 Edward Barnwell House at 1405 Bay Street to communicate with forces on Hilton Head Island.

¤¤ Fort Stevens
(1861 - 1866), Beaufort
A Union earthwork (1862) located just beyond the town's northwestern boundary. This may have originally been the unfinished and unnamed Confederate fort and campground reportedly begun by the Beaufort Volunteer Infantry in January 1861. Possibly renamed Fort Tillinghast (?) in 1865.

¤¤ Fort Duane
(1862 - 1866), Beaufort
A Union earthwork fort beyond the western edge of town, on a narrow neck of land east of Battery Creek. Garrisoned by Negro troops (104th Infantry Regiment, U.S.C.T.) after April (or at least by June) 1865 (Camp Duane), possibly then renamed Fort Tillinghast (?). Site no longer exists, located in the vicinity of the present-day Hampton Inn at 2342 Boundary Street.

¤¤ Battery Saxton
(1862 - 1865), Beaufort
A Union defense. Earthwork remnants located in a small municipal park (dedicated 2004) on the south side of Boundary Street (US 21 Business) adjacent to the Wendy's Restaurant (2234 Boundary St.) in the 2200 block overlooking the Harbor River. Other portions of the defense line were demolished in the 1960's for the construction of the Econo Lodge Hotel across the street (now Oasis Inn, 2249 Boundary St.).

¤¤ Battery Seymour
(1862 - 1865), Beaufort
A Union defense near Battery Saxton. Some traces may still exist.

¤¤ Battery Burnside
(1862 - 1865), Beaufort
A Union defense, located just southeast of Batteries Saxton and Seymour.

¤¤ Battery Brayton
(1862 - 1865), Port Royal Island
A Union three-gun defense overlooking Battery Creek. Bisected by the Port Royal and Augusta Railroad in the early 1880's. Remnants still exist, along the Spanish Moss Trail (the former railroad right-of-way) and Battery Park Drive, south of Westvine Drive. (NOTE: a few sources erroneously name this as Battery Drayton, confusing the so-named Union battery on Otter Island to the north (see PAGE 1)).

¤¤ Battery Taylor
(1862 - 1865), near Port Royal
A Union defense protecting the western approaches to Beaufort via Battery Creek, located west or southwest of Battery Brayton.

¤¤ Camp Palmer
(1861 - 1862), Port Royal Island
A Union camp near Beaufort.

¤¤ Camp Shaw
(1864), Port Royal Island
A Union camp near Beaufort.

¤¤ Camp Saxton
(1862 - 1865), Port Royal
A Union camp, mostly for Negro troops. A six-acre greenspace located at the former "Old Fort Plantation", the site of Fort Frederick at the present-day U.S. Naval Hospital.

¤¤ St. Helena Island Post
(1863 - 1864), St. Helena Island
A Union garrisoned island during the Civil War.

(NOTE: St. Helena is an English corruption of the Spanish Santa Elena.)

¤¤ Seabrook Island Post
(1862 - 1864), Seabrook Island
A Union occupied island after the capture of Port Royal Sound.

¤¤ Fort Beauregard (2)
(1861 - 1865), Bay Point Island FORT WIKI
A CSA 13-gun earthwork located in Port Royal Sound, it was captured by the Union in November 1861, renamed Fort Seward in 1862. No remains.
NOTE: Bay Point Island was formerly part of St. Phillips Island.

Civil War Defenses of Hilton Head Island
(Historic Military Installations)
(Archaeology at Mitchelville)
(1861 - 1866), Hilton Head Island
Fort Mitchel (1862 - 1865) a Union earthwork battery on Skull Creek, located in Hilton Head Plantation adjacent to the Old Fort Pub on Old Fort Drive. Restricted public access. Originally named Fort Gillmore.
Fort Howell (four guns) (1864 - 1865), a Union earthwork at the "Fish Haul" (Pope) Plantation, now a public park on Beach City Road. See also S.C. Dept. of Archives and History
Fort Welles (1862 - 1865) originally CSA Fort Walker (1861), a 23-gun earthwork battery which was renamed after it was captured in November 1861 and then enlarged in 1862. Trace remains, located in Port Royal Plantation on Fort Walker Drive. Restricted public access. (FORT WIKI)
Battery Holbrook (1864), a Union shore battery on the peninsula near Spanish Wells (Brams Point). Originally the site of a CSA battery in 1861.
Braddock Point Battery (1861), a CSA four-gun earthwork battery was once located on the southern end of the island. No remains.
Camp Baird (1864), a Union camp for Negro troops. Undetermined location (publicly redacted - site reported excavated in the 1980's).
Camp Bennett (1864), a Union camp for Negro troops. Undetermined location.
Fort (Thomas West) Sherman (1862 - 1866), originally a 14-acre landward defense earthwork located near the old Coggins Point Plantation, now Port Royal Plantation (still extant along Sherman Place and Sherman Drive, restricted public access). In 1864 it became the inclusive name given for all the Union earthwork defenses, barracks, quarters, workshops, warehouses, and post hospital within the 800-acre military reservation of Hilton Head Island. This was the headquarters post of the Union Army's Department of the South. Renamed Post of Hilton Head in April 1866, abandoned in January 1868.

Of interest is the Coastal Discovery Museum at 100 William Hilton Parkway, which provides guided tours (fee) to the sites on Hilton Head Island, which are otherwise not accessible to the general public.

Harbor Defense of Port Royal Sound - FORT WIKI

¤¤¤ Fort Fremont (Historic Preserve)
(Friends of Fort Fremont Historical Preserve)
(S.C. Dept. of Archives and History)
(1875/1898 - 1921), Fort Fremont
Located at the southwestern tip of St. Helena Island. Originally established as an adjunct naval hospital in 1875 to support the Port Royal Naval Station on Parris Island. The Army took over the post in 1898. Endicott batteries here are Battery Jesup (1899 - 1914), and Battery Fornance (1899 - 1913). Also here was an unnamed battery from 1898. Four field guns were also emplaced by the wharf in 1905. The present 14-acre site is currently overgrown and forested, purchased by Beaufort County in 2004 as a public park. The former Post Hospital (1906) still exists, now a private residence (since 1930). This fort protected the Port Royal Naval Station, which after 1906 became the Parris Island Recruiting and Training Depot for the USMC. The fort later became a subpost of Fort Screven, Georgia. Placed in caretaker status in 1911. The original 70-acre reservation was sold in 1930. See also History of Fort Fremont by Barry Gooch

¤¤¤ Hilton Head Military Reservation (1)
(1874 - 1927), Hilton Head Island
Located about 200 yards north of the site of Fort Walker/Welles in Port Royal Plantation were Dynamite Battery (1901 - 1902 ?) in ruins, and an unnamed battery (1898 - 1899) (two M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages) destroyed in the surf. Troops again garrisoned the post in WWI (1917 - 1918). Restricted public access.


¤ Hilton Head (Military/Naval) Reservation (2)
(1917 ?, 1942 ?), Hilton Head Island
There are local rumors of "gun mounts" on the beach at Braddock Point, said to be visible at times of extremely low tide. If true, possibly either a WWI emergency battery, or a WWII temporary battery. Possibly also a WWII U.S. Navy/Marine gun position, as Cockspur Island in Georgia was used as a naval section base during that time.

¤ Camp McDougal
(1937 - 1944), Hilton Head Island
A WWII U.S. Marine garrison post located in the vicinity of the old Leamington Lighthouse (1879 - 1932). The iron skeleton tower, then painted green, was used as a lookout. The lighthouse, also known as the Hilton Head Rear Range Light, still stands within the golf course of Palmetto Dunes Plantation. Restricted public access.

Water Passage Fort (1)
(1715), Pinckney Island
A SC colonial militia lookout post or watch house was located on the northern end of the island at Mackays Creek. Used as a base for the coastal scout boats.

Calibogue Point Blockhouse
(1742), Hilton Head Island
A British blockhouse and battery located at Braddock Point to defend against a possible Spanish attack. Coastal lookouts and/or scout boats may have also been based here at other times.

Passage Fort (2)
(1717 - 1764, intermittent), Daufuskie Island
A SC colonial militia palisaded log fort, intermittently garrisoned as a coastal lookout post, located on Bloody Point at the mouth of the New River. Also used as a base for the coastal scout boats. Attacked by Yamassee Indians in early 1728. A lookout post was established here as early as 1701 to detect pirate or Spanish raids.

Daufuskie Island Post
(1861 - 1862), Daufuskie Island
A Union occupied island after the capture of Port Royal Sound.

Camp Despair
(1860's), near Savannah, GA
A CSA camp. Undetermined location.

(1732 - 1770's), Purrysburg
An early colonial frontier settlement of German/Swiss and French Huguenots, led by Jean Pierre Purry, was once located here. Unknown if fortified. The settlement failed by the time of the American Revolution. Continental Army Major General Benjamin Lincoln used the town as his first headquarters in early 1779. A large stone cross memorial marks the site.

Fort Prince George (1)
(1723 - 1742), near Robertville
A SC colonial militia palisaded fort located on the east bank of the Savannah River southwest of town. Garrisoned by the GA colonial militia after 1735.

The SC colonial militia earlier built a blockhouse here in 1717, known as Palachacola Fort, and the site became a provincial Indian Factory or trading post from 1719-1721. The Hitchiti Indian village of the same name was located on the Georgia side of the river until abandoned in 1716.

North Coastal South Carolina - page 1 | Greater Charleston Area I - page 2
Greater Charleston Area II - page 3 | Interior South Carolina - page 5

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Eastern Forts