Greater Charleston Area I

Fort Arbuthnot | Camp Bagley | Breach Inlet Batteries | Bretigny's Battery | Fort Broughton
Broughton's Battery | Fort Capron | Charleston Arsenal (1) | Charleston Arsenal (2)
Charleston Arsenal (3) | Charleston South Battery | Charles Town Fortress
Charles Towne Landing | Charleston Gun House | Old Citadel | Coles Island Fort
Coming's Point Battery | Fort Darrell | Fenwick's Fort | Folly Island Res. | Fort Getty
Gibbes' Battery | Haddrell's Point Fort (1) | Half-Moon Battery | Hobcaw Point Battery (1)
Hobcaw Point Magazine | Fort Johnson | King St. Battery | Fort at Lampriere's
LaRouche's Bridge Fort | Laurel Island Magazines | Magazine Battery | Marshall Res.
Fort Mechanic | Fort Moultrie | New Powder Magazine | Northwest Battery
Old Powder Magazine | Fort Palmetto (1) | Castle Pinckney | Fort Pinckney | Fort Pleasant
Battery Ramsay | Shutes Folly Redoubt | Sugar House Battery | Fort Sullivan | Fort Sumter
Target Range Res. | Wappo Creek Batteries | White Point Battery (1)
White Point Battery (2) | Fort Wilkins

North Coastal South Carolina - page 1 | Greater Charleston Area II - page 3
Port Royal Sound Area - page 4 | Interior South Carolina - page 5


Last Update: 25/JANUARY/2019
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2019 American Forts Network

Robert Fenwick's Fort
(1715 - 1716), near Snowden
A settlers' fortified home used by the SC colonial militia during the Yamassee War. Located about eight miles northeast of Charleston, just south-southwest of Boone Hall Plantation.

Colonial Forts of Charleston
NOTE: Charleston was occupied by the British from May 1780 until December 1782.

Charles Towne Landing (State Historic Site)
(Friends of Charles Towne Landing)
(1670 - 1680), West Charleston
Also spelled Charlestowne, this is a recreation of the state's first permanent white settlement, on the west bank of the Ashley River. Palisades and trenches were built around the settlement, and enlarged in 1672. In 1680 the settlers moved to the penninsula (Oyster Point) on which present-day Charleston emerged. Admission fee.

Charles Town Fortress
(Rediscovering Charleston's Colonial Fortifications)
(1680 - 1720, 1757 - 1760, 1780 - 1783), Charleston
Originally surrounded by palisades, the city was later protected by earthen and brick and tabby bastioned defensive walls in 1701. Granville's Bastion was located at 44 East Battery, now the site of the Shrine Temple (excavated in 1925). A low tabby seawall just to the south is all that remains. At the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon (1769), located at 122 East Bay Street, are the excavated (in 1965) remains of the Half-Moon Battery. Admission fee. See also INFO and PHOTOS from SC Dept. of Archives and History, and also Charleston County Public Library. A Watch House (1) was built on the site of the Half-Moon Battery in 1711. The British later used the Exchange and Customs Building as a prison during their occupation of the city in 1780 - 1782. Craven's Bastion was located at the east end of Market Street on the Cooper River. Remnants were uncovered during the building of the U.S. Customs House in the 1870's. Carteret's Bastion was located at Cumberland and Meeting Streets. The Old Powder Magazine (1713 - 1748) is located at 79 Cumberland Street. It is now a museum operated by the SC Chapter Colonial Dames of America. Admission fee. See also INFO and PHOTOS from SC Dept. of Archives and History. Johnson's Covered Half-Moon Battery protected the gatehouse and drawbridge located at Broad and Meeting Streets. Colleton's Bastion was located at Water Street and Price's Alley. Ashley's Bastion was located at Meeting Street and South Battery. Blake's Bastion was a detached work located between Ashley's and Granville's Bastions, protecting the break in the wall created by Vanderhorst Creek. The New Powder Magazine (1737 - 1740, rebuilt 1748 - 1808) was located on Magazine Street.

A new line of fortifications was completed in 1757 after the 1752 hurricane, and rebuilt in 1780, running along a line from the southern tip of Drum Island across the peninsula to Wappo Creek. Located in Marion Square along King Street are the remains of the tabby Horn Work (1757 - 1784). A new Armory and Watch House (2) were built in 1767 at 81-83 Broad Street, now the site of the U.S. Post Office and Federal Court (1897). A militia barracks was built in 1757 near College and Green Streets. It became the first building of the College of Charleston in 1790. Brick wall remnants from 1757 are said to exist at 20 Church Street.

During the American Revolution (March-April 1780), the Patriots incorporated the old outer line into the new defensive line against the British seige. Additional redoubts were located along the Ashley River near the present-day city marina along Halsey Blvd.. Northwest Battery was located at present-day Gadsden and Montagu Streets. Coming's Point Battery was located at present-day Gadsden and Beaufain Streets. Magazine Battery was located on Magazine Street adjacent to the 1748 New Magazine, in the block bound by present-day Queen, Franklin, and Logan Streets. Sugar House Battery was located near present-day Tradd and Logan Streets. Bretigny's Battery was located near present-day Gibbes Street and Lenwood Blvd.. Gibbes' Battery was located at Gibbes' Wharf near present-day Lenwood Blvd. and South Battery. The British built three seige lines (parallels) north of the Patriot lines. A British battery was located on the Ashley River just above Gibbes' Landing (at the present Citadel campus). The city surrendered in May 1780 after six weeks of bombardment.

Charleston South Battery
(The Battery and White Point Garden)
(1735 - 1815, 1861 - 1865), Charleston
This section of town was established as White Point Garden in 1838. This is the site of British Broughton's Battery (or Fort Broughton) (built 1735, connected with the main works of the walled town in 1757 and renamed Lyttleton's Bastion); Patriot / British Fort Wilkins (aka Fort Darrell) (1780 - 1782); and American Fort Mechanic (1794, 1807 - 1818), an enclosed masonry battery located at present-day 19 South Battery. Fort Broughton was built on the site of an earlier lookout post or watch house from 1685. The house at 39 South Battery (built in 1827) was said to have been built on the site of an old palmetto log fort from the American Revolution (1780).

Two Confederate earthwork batteries were here 1861 - 1865, known as White Point Battery (2) or Battery Ramsay, and King Street Battery. No traces remain, but there are several markers and monuments here, including several large guns on display within the park.

Wappo Creek Batteries
(1780), St. Andrews
British seige batteries were located on the north bank of the mouth of Wappo Creek (Fenwick/Albemarle Point) on the Ashley River. Two British redoubts were built on the Stono River (along the present Elliott Cut) in the present-day Riverland Terrace area. An unnamed battery (still extant) is located on the Stono River just north of the later Confederate Fort Pemberton. It may possibly date from the February-May 1780 British occupation of James Island, or from the Civil War.

Another British battery may have been located on the Ashley River near the mouth of Linning's Creek.

Fort Johnson
(S.C. Marine Resources Center)
(Grice Marine Laboratory - College of Charleston)
(NOAA - Hollings Marine Laboratory)
(1704 - 1865), James Island FORT WIKI
Originally built as a moated and palisaded triangular work with three bastions and a detached water battery on Windmill Point. Rebuilt in 1759 with tabby walls (a small portion of the wall is still extant). Occupied by Patriot forces from 1775 until captured by the British in March 1780, although by 1779 it was reported in near ruin. A rear line of defense was built in 1780 about one-quarter mile west, protecting the land approach. A new fort was built in 1794 just to the rear of the old work, repaired in 1799. A storm in 1800 breached the walls. It was completely rebuilt again in 1809 as a 16-gun quadrilateral brick and wood work, but was almost destroyed again by a storm in 1813. Virtually abandoned after 1820. A brick Martello Tower was also located nearby, about 400 yards from the 1809 fort. It was originally built in 1815 but completely rebuilt in 1833, and the interior burned out in 1859. Only foundation ruins remain (?). Confederate troops occupied the old abandoned fort in December 1860, rebuilding and rearming the fort with 26 guns. Held by the CSA until February 1865. Only traces of CSA earthworks and the old stone Powder Magazine (1709, rebuilt 1810) and two cisterns still remain. The entire site is now the campus of the Marine Resources Center of the South Carolina Marine Resources Research Institute.

Windmill Point was first used as a lookout post by the SC colonial militia as early as 1685.

To the west along the shore, near White Point (due south of White Point Garden), was a British shore battery (White Point Battery (1)) built during the seige of the city in April-May 1780.

Fort Pleasant
(1775 - 1780, 1812 - 1814), Mount Pleasant
A Patriot work located on Haddrell's Point. Captured by the British in April 1780 and used as a POW/exchange camp.

During the War of 1812 Haddrell's Point Fort (1) was located here, with barracks. A monument (relocated) is now located in the nearby Confederate Cemetery on King Street.
A CSA battery was here in 1861 (see page 3).

Nearby to the southeast was a Patriot battery (1780) at the end of Middle Street. CSA Battery Gary was built here in 1862 (see page 3).

Hobcaw Point Powder Magazine
(1770 - 1783), Mount Pleasant
A SC colonial militia powder magazine was built near the Wando River Plantation at the Hobcaw Point shipyard in 1770. A naval battery (Hobcaw Point Battery (1)) may have been built here in 1778 for its protection. Another magazine was earlier built nearby on the property of Capt. Charles Lampriere. The Patriots had built Fort at Lampriere's in 1780 on the south bank of the mouth of Hobcaw Creek, but it was captured by the British in April 1780.

Charleston Gun House
(1809 - unknown), Charleston
A Federal Gun House or Arsenal (1) was supposed to have been built somewhere in the city. Undetermined location.

Charleston Arsenal (2)
(Marion Square Park)
(1825 - 1841), Charleston
A state arsenal located adjacent to Marion Square (also known as Citadel Green). Later known as the Old Citadel, it was built in response to an earlier attempted slave uprising in 1822, to house state troops and arms. Completed in 1832, it became the Citadel Military Academy in 1843. It was occupied by Federal troops during Reconstruction until 1882. The school reopened in 1882, but moved to its present site in 1922. The building then housed state government offices until the 1990's. Renovated in 1994 as the Embassy Suites Hotel, at 337 Meeting Street. See also INFO and PHOTOS from SC Dept. of Archives and History

Charleston Arsenal (3)
(1838 - 1879), Charleston FORT WIKI
A Federal arsenal on Ashley Ave. at Bee Street. It served as a storage place for weapons, ordnance, and ammunition. The arsenal produced a considerable amount of artillery and small arms ammunition during the Mexican-American War and up to the Civil War. Captured by CSA in December 1860, it was re-occupied by Union forces in February 1865. Sold in 1880 to Porter Military Academy (named as such in 1888). The brick perimeter wall, the St. Luke's Chapel (1883) (former artillery shed enlarged with gothic roof), the Waring Historical Library (1894), and Colcock Hall (1862) (restored 2006) still remain. In 1963 the complex became part of the Medical University of South Carolina campus.

Laurel Island State Magazines
(1822 - 1872), Charleston
A 13-acre complex of nine brick powder magazines and a two-story barracks were constructed by the state on Laurel Island at the mouth of New Market Creek. Sold to the city in 1872, the complex was leased to the DuPont Chemical Company. Abandoned in 1915, two magazines were then demolished for a railroad right-of-way. The remaining magazines were demolished soon after WWII.

Camp Bagley
(1917 - 1920), North Charleston
A Naval Recruit Training camp located on the Charleston Naval Shipyard, along St. John's Ave. in the vicinity of the Naval Hospital.

(please see page 3 for Civil War Defenses of Charleston)

Harbor Defense of Charleston - FORT WIKI

Castle Pinckney
(1809 - 1878, 1917 - 1924), Shutes Folly Island
The island was originally the site of a Patriot work to protect a log and chain boom across the river to Charleston (at present-day Waterfront Park) in 1780. The British then erected Shutes Folly Redoubt (1780 - 1781) to help hold the city.

The Americans later built a log and earthwork fort called Fort Pinckney (1794, 1798 - 1804) but it was destroyed by a hurricane. It was rebuilt and renamed in 1809 as a horseshoe-shaped two-tier brick fort with 30 guns. Rebuilt again in 1828. Confederates occupied this fort from December 1860 until February 1865 when they evacuated. This was later a harbor light station from 1878 until 1929. No efforts were made to re-arm the fort in 1898. In 1917 the Army Corps of Engineers used the island as a support base for harbor improvement projects. Declared a National Monument in 1924. Transferred to the National Park Service in 1933 - 1953. Sold to the state in 1958. The island is settling, and the fort's walls are severely cracked and overgrown. The site was owned by the SC State Ports Authority until 2011 when deeded to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Fort Sumter Chapter. The Castle Pinckney Historical Preservation Society was formed to manage the island for future public use. Currently no public access allowed except by prior special arrangement. See also INFO and PHOTOS from SC Dept. of Archives and History
Explore Southern

Fort Sumter (National Monument)
(1829 - 1865, 1874 - 1947), Charleston Harbor National Archives MAP
Construction began in 1829, and was still under construction until 1860. Confederates captured the fort in April 1861 and never surrendered. It became the national symbol of Southern defiance against the North. The fort's current condition is a result of massive Union bombardments from 1863 - 1865. It was partially rebuilt in 1874, with the outer walls cut down to the first gun tier. Eleven casemates on the northeast face were rebuilt and rearmed with 100-pounder Parrotts. Seven casemates on the northwest face were rebuilt and rearmed. The new sally port was built in the northwest face in 1874. Nine new gun platforms and five new magazines were built on the now lowered barbette tier, but armed with only two 15-inch Rodmans and four 200-pounder Parrotts. A storm in 1893 severely damaged the southwest face of the barbette tier, and was not rebuilt. Battery Huger (1898 - 1943) was later built across the parade, resulting in a further lowering of the barbette tier. A museum is now located inside. AMTB Battery 1 (1943 - 1946) (now covered) was also located here. Admission fee. See also INFO and PHOTOS from SC Dept. of Archives and History
Explore Southern
See also Crisis at Fort Sumter from Tulane University

Fort Moultrie (National Monument)
(1809 - 1947), Sullivan's Island 1776 MAP
A SC colonial militia lookout post or watch house was located in the vicinity as early as 1685. The first fort built here was originally called Fort Sullivan by Patriot forces in 1776. It was renamed after the failed June 1776 British attack. There were also four additional small Patriot works on the far northern end of the island at Breach Inlet in 1776. The British held this fort from May 1780 to December 1782 and renamed it Fort Arbuthnot. It was dismantled in 1784.

The second American fort (1794, 1798 - 1804) was destroyed by a hurricane. The current structure dates to 1809 (40 guns). The Confederates occupied the fort from December 1860 until February 1865. In 1873 twelve new barbette gun platforms and five new magazines were built. Positions #3 to #8 were later demolished for the Endicott batteries. Position #2 was later the WWII HECP. Positions #9 to #12 survived until demolished by the National Park Service in the 1970's to reconstruct a Civil War era battery. The old main magazine in the parade was rebuilt, and a new main magazine was built behind the southeast bastion in 1875. The new magazine was later rebuilt as a mine casemate in the 1890's, but was later demolished by the NPS. A four-gun mortar battery was built in the parade in 1875, and armed with 13-inch seacoast mortars. Endicott batteries inside the old fort include Battery Bingham (1899 - 1918), Battery McCorkle (1899 - 1943), and Battery Lord (1899 - 1946) demolished by the NPS in the 1970's (this was the last Charleston area battery that still had its original guns emplaced). Fort Moultrie was the command post for the harbor defenses. The Harbor Entrance Control Post was built in 1944. Admission fee. To the north of the old fort is the Fort Moultrie Quartermaster and Support Facilities Historic District, which includes the former NCO Club, Post Theater, Commissary Storehouse, two Quartermaster Warehouses and QM Dock, Quartermaster Office, Ordnance Storage, Barracks, Dispensary, and the Provost Marshall Office. Most are in current use as single or multiple private dwellings.
Explore Southern

Adjacent to the fort, and also owned by the NPS, is Battery Jasper (1898 - 1942) open to public, Battery Logan (1906 - 1944) no public access, Battery 230 (1943, never armed) no public access, and AMTB Battery 2 (1943 - 1946) which was located on the parapet of Battery Jasper. To the east of the old fort is the Sullivan's Island Historic District, which includes the Post Commander's House, nine Senior Officers' Quarters, one Bachelor Officers' Quarters, ten Junior Officers' Quarters, the Post Exchange and Gymnasium, Post Chapel, Post Headquarters, the Electrical Shop, and an Artillery Fire-Control Station (1768 Atlantic Ave.). Most are in current use as single-family dwellings or city government use.

The far eastern portion of the old military reservation included Battery Thomson (1906 - 1945) now used by the local Fire Dept., Battery Gadsden (1906 - 1917) now used by the town's Edgar Allan Poe Library (since 1977), a two-gun AA battery (1921) in front of Battery Gadsden, and the combined mortar Battery Capron and Battery Butler (1898 - 1942, split in 1906) recently buried. The mortar battery was once briefly known as Fort Capron (1898 - 1899). Adjacent to the Sullivan's Island Lighthouse (built 1962), within the U.S. Coast Guard Historic District, is the Fort Command bunker (1920's) and fire-control switchboard bunker (1928), and the Battery Capron Gun Group Command bunker (1920's). A 37mm AMTB battery was located here in WWII. All the outer batteries are now owned by the town, and are off-limits to the public. In 1903 the government proposed to rename the reservation Fort Getty, but the local citizens protested. The Town of Sullivan's Island was originally known as Moultrieville, incorporated in 1817.

Marshall Military Reservation
(1905 - 1947), Sullivan's Island
Batteries here were Battery 520 (1944 - 1947), Practice Battery (WWI), and a four-gun 155mm battery (1941 - 1945, Panama mounts in 1942). Two of the 155mm guns were transferred to Folly Island in 1942. A fire-control tower and a radar tower were also once located here. The gun casemates and plotting room of Battery 520 are now private residential homes on I'on Ave., between Station 30 and Station 31 Streets, known locally as "Fort Marshall". The two Panama mounts are now in the surf at 2917 Marshall Blvd.. Before WWI this was known as the Target Range Reservation.

Folly Island Military Reservation
(1942 - 1944), Folly Island
A two-gun 155mm battery in revetments was located on the beach. Two fire-control towers were once located on either end of the island, and a searchlight station in the center of the island. No remains. The eastern (or northern) end of the island was a Coast Guard LORAN station (1945 - 1980/1995), site now owned by the county as a future park (no vehicular access). The western (southern) end is Folly Beach County Park.

ALSO: A 37mm/40mm AMTB battery was located at Cumming's Point on Morris Island in WWII. Harbor mines were planted in WWI, but not for WWII. Additional fire-control towers for the Charleston Defenses were located on Dewees Island (still exists near the northern end of the island on Old House Lane) and on Isle of Palms (removed). Battery 125 was planned for James Island near old Fort Johnson, but was never built.

Fort Palmetto (1)
(1810's, 1861 - 1862), Coles Island
A circular stone fort once located on Coles Island proper, but due to erosion it is now in a marshy area and is accessible only by boat. High tides wash over the ruins. This fort was first built during the War of 1812. The Confederates briefly used it early in the Civil War, known as Coles Island Fort (or Battery Seven), but abandoned it and nearby Battery Island in March 1862 (see also page 3). The island was used by the Union during the assault on James Island in 1863.

LaRouche's Bridge Fort
(1715 - 1716), near Fenwick Crossroads, Johns Island
A SC colonial militia fort during the Yamassee War to protect the bridge connecting Johns Island with Wadmalaw Island (which was named after settler James LaRouche). Located about nine and one-half miles southwest of Charleston near the heads of Church and Bohicket Creeks.

NEED MORE INFO: Battery Point on James Island Creek.

North Coastal South Carolina - page 1 | Greater Charleston Area II - page 3
Port Royal Sound Area - page 4 | Interior South Carolina - page 5

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Eastern Forts