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The famous fort once built to protect Charleston, SC recently had a birthday.

The 200th anniversary of the official commissioning of Fort Moultrie was celebrated on Dec. 19 with a day of historical presentations as well as reenactments.

Fort Moultrie is the name of a series of citadels on Sullivan’s Island built to protect the city of Charleston, SC. The Fort, built primarily of palmetto logs, was commissioned on Dec. 19, 1809. Fort Moultrie inspired the state flag and state nickname (Palmetto State) of South Carolina.

Many refer to it as Fort Moultrie III, for the third incarnation of the fort. The original Fort Moultrie was the site of the first major Patriot victory of the American Revolution after its spongy palmetto logs withstood a British bombardment. The second fort was destroyed by a hurricane in 1804. The third one was finished and commissioned on Dec. 19, 1809.

In 1947, Fort Moultrie was shut down. A little more than 10 years later, it was turned over to the National Park Service to ensure its preservation and protection. The fort now serves as a popular tourist attraction, offering daily tours showing the fort’s evolution from the original log fort of William Moultrie to the palmetto log fort we see today.

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