Last week, Fort Moultrie hosted a tribute to soldiers of American wars. Visitors were able to see reenactors portraying soldiers who were stationed at Fort Moultrie.
On Friday, there were World War II Coast Artillery programs at the fort on Sullivan’s Island. On Saturday, reenactors and rangers wore uniforms from the Revolutionary, Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American wars, and World War II.
This year marks the bicentennial of the existing Fort Moultrie. The fort was unnamed and not yet complete when Admiral Sir Peter Parker and nine British warships attacked it on June 28, 1776, near the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. The soft palmetto logs did not crack under bombardment but rather absorbed the shot. There were even reports of cannon balls actually bouncing off of the walls of the structure.
Charleston was saved from capture, and the fort was named for the commander in the battle, William Moultrie. Charleston locals celebrate ‘Carolina Day’ to commemorate the bravery of the defenders of the fort, the 2nd South Carolina Regiment. The fort was eventually captured by the British in the siege of Charleston.
Fort Moultrie was modernized in the 1870s, with huge rifled cannon and deep concrete bunkers. Further modernization in the 1880s turned all of Sullivans Island into a military complex.
The fort evolved with the times through World War II and beyond, but in recent years has been turned over to the National Park Service. The fort is now constructed as a tour backwards in time through the fort’s defenses, from World War II back to the palmetto log fort of William Moultrie.