Greater Charleston Area

Fort Arbuthnot | Black Island Battery | Fort Broughton | Broughton's Battery | Fort Capron
Charleston Arsenal (1) | Charleston Arsenal (2) | Charleston Arsenal (3) | Charleston Battery
Charles Town Fortress | Charles Towne Landing | Old Citadel | Coles Island Fort | Fort Darrell
Fort Dorchester | Elliott's Fort | Fenwick's Fort | Folly Island Batteries | Folly Island Res | Fort Getty
Godfrey's Fort | Half-Moon Battery | James Island Batteries | Fort Johnson | King St. Battery
Long Island Batteries | Marshall Res | Fort Mechanic | Morris Island Batteries | Fort Moultrie
Mt. Pleasant Batteries | Fort Palmetto | Fort Pickens (2) | Castle Pinckney | Fort Pinckney | Fort Pleasant
Battery Ramsay | Battery (Fort) Ripley | Fort Sullivan | Sullivan's Island Batteries | Fort Sumter
Tabby Horn Work | Target Range Res | Fort Trenholm | White Point Battery | Fort Wilkins

Coastal South Carolina - page 1 | Interior South Carolina - page 3


Last Update: 14/MARCH/2005
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2005 American Forts Network

Fort Dorchester
(Old Dorchester State Park)
(1697 - 1756, 1775 - 1782), Summerville
A tabby fort built between 1697 and 1719. The town was largely abandoned by 1756. The fort was rebuilt during the American Revolution, and changed hands several times.

Richard Godfrey's Fort
(1715), Middleton Place Gardens
A settlers' fortified home used by the SC colonial militia during the Yemassee War.

Thomas Elliott's Fort
(1715 - 1716), Rantowles
A settlers' fortified home located on Rantowles Creek, used by the SC colonial militia during the Yemassee War.

Robert Fenwick's Fort
(1715 - 1716), Johns Island (?)
A settlers' fortified home used by the SC colonial militia during the Yemassee War. Located about eight miles southwest of Charleston (undetermined location).

Charleston Colonial Forts
NOTE: Charleston was occupied by the British from 1780 - 1782.

Charles Towne Landing (State Historic Site)
(1670 - 1680), 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 on which present-day Charleston emerged. Admission fee.

Charles Town Fortress ?
(1680 - 1720, 1757 - 1760, 1780's), 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. The British used the Provost as a prison during their occupation 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 late 19th century. Carteret's Bastion was located at Cumberland and Meeting Streets. The Old Powder Magazine (1713) is located at 21 Cumberland Street. It is now a museum. Admission fee. 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 Vander Horst Creek.
A new line of fortifications was completed in 1757 after the 1752 hurricane, and rebuilt in the 1780's. Located in Marion Square along King Street are the remains of the Tabby Horn Work (1757). An armory and guardhouse were built in 1757 at 81 Broad Street, now the site of the U.S. Post Office and Federal Court (1906). 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. A brick Arsenal (1) or Gun House (1809) was supposed to have been built somewhere in the city.

Fort Johnson
(S.C. Marine Resources Research Institute)
(1704 - 1865), James Island
Originally built as a moated and palisaded triangular work with three bastions and a detached water battery. Occupied by Patriot forces 1775 - 1780. The fort was repaired and garrisoned in 1794 and 1799. It was completely rebuilt again in 1809 as a 16-gun quadrilateral brick and wood work, but was no longer in use by the 1850's. A Martello Tower (1815) was also located here, but only ruins remain (?). The Confederates occupied the site from December 1860 until they evacuated in February 1865. Traces of CSA earthworks and the old stone powderhouse (1709, rebuilt 1810) still remain. The entire site is now the home of the SC Marine Resources Research Institute.

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

Charleston Battery
(1735 - 1815, 1861 - 1865), Charleston
This section of town was established as White Point Gardens in 1838. This is the site of British Broughton's Battery (or Fort Broughton) (1735, connected with main works in 1757), British or Patriot Fort Wilkins (1770's or 1780's), and American Fort Mechanic (aka Fort Darrell) (1794, 1807 - 1815?). The house at 39 South Battery was built in 1827 on the site of an old palmetto log fort (one of the above?).
Two Confederate earthwork batteries were here 1861 - 1865, known as White Point Battery or Battery Ramsay, and King Street Battery. No traces remain, but there are several markers and monuments here.

Castle Pinckney
(1798 - 1865), Shutes Folly Island
Originally the site of a British fort (1780 - 1781), it was rebuilt by the Americans as a log and earthwork fort called Fort Pinckney (1794, 1798 - 1804) but 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 to February 1865 when they evacuated. This was later a harbor light station until 1929. The National Park Service owned the fort from 1933 - 1958. The island is settling, and the fort's walls are severely cracked and overgrown. Now owned by the SC State Ports Authority. No public access.

Charleston Arsenal (2)
(1822? - 1841), Charleston
Located at Marion Square (also known as Citadel Green) and Hutson Street. Also known as the Old Citadel, it was built after an attempted slave uprising in 1822 to house state troops and arms. It became the Citadel Military Academy in 1843. It was occupied by Federal troops from 1865 to 1882. The school reopened in 1882, but moved to its present site in 1922.

Charleston Arsenal (3)
(1841 - 1888), Charleston
A Federal arsenal near Ashley Ave. and Mill Street. Captured by CSA in 1861, it was re-occupied by Union forces in 1865. Sold in 1888 to Porter Military Academy. In 1963 became part of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Fort Palmetto
(1810's, 1861), Coles Island
Once located on Coles Island, 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 after the fall of Fort Sumter, known as Coles Island Fort, but abandoned it. The island was used by the Union during the assault on James Island in 1863.

Charleston Civil War Defenses
Charleston Civil War Forts

CSA earthwork batteries (1863 - 1865) were located along the Ashley and Cooper River banks: Battery Godberry at Cannon Street and Westcott Court (no trace), Battery Waring at Tradd Street and Murray Blvd. (no trace, present-day USCG Station), Vanderhorst Wharf Battery at Vanderhorst Wharf (no trace), Frazier's Wharf Battery at Market and Concord Streets (no trace), Laurens Street Battery at Laurens and Concord Streets (no trace), now the Charleston Maritime Center, Calhoun Street Battery at Calhoun and Concord Streets (no trace), now the SC Aquarium, Battery Augustus Smith (aka Half-Moon #1) at Amherst and Drake Streets (no trace), and Battery James (aka Half-Moon #2) at Cooper and Drake Streets (no trace).
Charleston Neck Line (1863 - 1865) CSA earthworks across King and Meeting Streets from Adverse Cemetery to Magnolia Cemetery. No traces remain.

Mount Pleasant:
Hobcaw Point Battery a CSA work off of Third Ave., which is actually on Remley Point. Traces may still remain.
Hog Island Battery a CSA work located at present-day Patriots Point Golf Course. No remains.
Haddrell's Point Battery (or Hibben Street Battery) (1861) a CSA work located near the mouth of Shem Creek, below Hibben and Beach Streets. Traces may still remain.
Battery Gary (1862 - 1865), originally Mount Pleasant Battery, a CSA two-gun work located at the end of Middle Street. No remains.

Sullivan's Island:
Battery (Fort) Marshall (1863 - 1865), a CSA 14-gun work located on the eastern end of the island at Breach Inlet. No remains.
Batteries One, Two, Three, Four (1863 - 1865) CSA two-gun works located east of Battery Beauregard. No remains.
Battery (Fort) Beauregard (1) (1862 - 1865) a CSA 12-gun work located just east of Fort Moultrie. No remains.
Battery Rutledge (1862 - 1865) a CSA work located between Fort Moultrie and Fort Beauregard. No remains.
Located west of Fort Moultrie were CSA Battery Cove, Battery Bee (11 guns), Battery Marion (all 1862 - 1865, no traces remain), and the Floating Battery (1861 - 1863). The Floating Battery was moved to Morris Island in 1863 (see below).
CSA batteries adjacent to Fort Moultrie used in the opening rounds against Fort Sumter in 1861 included Dahlgren Battery, Enfilade Battery, and Mortar Battery, as well as the Floating Battery.
CSA Palmetto Battery (1862 - 1865) undetermined location. No remains.
Sullivan's Island was occupied by the Union in February 1865.

Middle Ground Shoal:
Battery (Fort) Ripley (1862 - 1865) a CSA two-gun work built on a log cribwork, faced with palmetto logs. No remains. A lighthouse was built 500 feet southeast of the site in 1878, replaced with a buoy in 1932.

James Island:
Battery Simkins (1861, 1863 - 1865) a CSA shore battery located southeast of Fort Johnson. Used in the opening rounds against Fort Sumter, it was then abandoned, but rebuilt in 1863. No remains.
Battery Cheves (1863 - 1865) a CSA battery located inland, west of Battery Simkins. Remnants still exist on Robert E. Lee Blvd. in Fort Johnson Estates.
Fort Johnson (see seperate listing above)
West of Fort Johnson along the shore were CSA Battery Harleston (four guns) remnants exist, Battery Wampler on Wampler Road, no remains, Battery Tyers, and Battery Glover (three guns) (possibly aka Battery Styles) traces exist at end of Old Plantation Road (all 1863 - 1865).
CSA batteries located along Schooner Creek and Clark Sound protecting the rear flank of Fort Johnson included Battery Haskell (trace on Schooner Road at Parrot Point), Battery Tatum (still exists near Grimsley Drive), Battery Ryan Left, Battery Ryan Right (traces on Farm Road) (all 1863 - 1865), and Battery Reed (1862 - 1865) (two-guns) on Stone Post Road (no remains). Battery Reed was originally named Enfilade Battery.
CSA Battery Haig and Battery Palmer (both 1863 - 1865) were located on a secondary line running north from Clark's Point along Oceanview Road to Dills Bluff Road. This line included five other unnamed batteries, several of which still exist.
Fort Lamar (1862 - 1865), a CSA six-gun earthwork at Secessionville. Nicknamed Battery Crossfire by the Union. Remnants still exist, bisected by Fort Lamar Road. CSA Bridge Neck Battery (no remains) was located northeast of Fort Lamar.
CSA works that were part of the James Island Line (1863 - 1865) included Battery Pringle (still exists off Riverview Drive on the Stono River), Battery Tynes (still exists just north of Battery Pringle), and Battery Serov (or Battery Leroy) (traces exist east of Battery Pringle); and Batteries 1, 2, 3, 4, and Battery 5 in a line from Battery Serov/Leroy to Fort Lamar, all of which still exist to some degree. Traces of the CSA Cross Road Line still exist along Secessionville Road south of Fort Johnson Road.
Fort Pemberton (1862 - 1865) a CSA 20-gun fort on the Stono River at Elliot's Cut to Wappoo Creek. Still exists at Riverland Terrace.
Western James Island Line (1862 - 1865) a line of four unnamed CSA batteries located along Fleming Road between Maybank Highway (SC 700) and Central Park Road. Traces still exist.

Black Island:
Black Island Battery (1863 - 1865) a CSA work that was uncompleted in 1863, and then taken over by Union forces. Located southwest of the Swamp Angel Battery site.

Morris Island:
Battery (Fort) Gregg originally CSA Cumming's Point Battery (1860 - 1861) (actually composed of two mortar batteries, the three-gun Blakely Battery, Trapier Battery, and the three-gun Ironclad Battery), used in the opening rounds against Fort Sumter, then later rebuilt and renamed (1862 - 1863) (five guns). It was captured by the Union in September 1863 and renamed Fort Putnam (1863 - 1865) (two guns). Adjacent to it was built Union Fort Chatfield, comprised of Battery Kirby (2) and Battery Stevens (2) (two guns).
Battery (Fort) Wagner (1862 - 1863) a CSA 14-gun earthen fort near the north end of the island. Originally known as Neck Battery, then renamed Battery Wagner. The Union took control of this fort in September 1863 and was renamed Fort Strong in October 1863, used until 1865.
Vincent's Creek Battery (1863) the CSA's Floating Battery that was moved to the mouth of Vincent's Creek, north of the Swamp Angel Battery site, to support Battery Wagner. It was never completed.
Union seige batteries involved in the 1863 assault on Battery Wagner were, south to north: the Left Batteries comprised of Batteries Kirby (1) (two guns), Strong (one gun), Stevens (1) (two guns), O'Rorke (five guns), Reno (three guns), and Hays (eight to 13 guns in five detached positions); First Parallel (comprised of Batteries Weed (five guns), Naval Battery (four guns), and Reynolds (five guns)), Second Parallel (comprised of Batteries Kearny (six guns), Brown (two guns), Meade (two guns), Rosecrans (three guns), and Surf Battery (two guns)), Third Parallel, Fourth Parallel, and Fifth Parallel.
Southwest of Battery Wagner in the marsh was Union Swamp Angel Battery (one gun) (1863), later renamed Marsh Battery (two guns) (1863 - 1865).
Fort Morris (1860 - 1861) a CSA four-gun work located north of the lighthouse and Lazaretto. Also known as the Star of the West Battery, as this was the battery that fired upon the relief ship to Fort Sumter in January 1861. Abandoned after Fort Sumter fell.
Lighthouse Inlet Batteries (CSA) (1862 - 1863) Confederate batteries located on the southern end of the island near the old lighthouse (1767 - 1862), prior to the Union assault, which included ten unnamed positions for 11 total guns. Sometimes referred to as Battery Mitchel.
Fort Shaw (1863 - 1865) a Union work located at the southern end of the island at Lighthouse Inlet.
Battery Purviance (1863 - 1865) a Union work located on Oyster Point, just west of Fort Shaw. Previously the location of several CSA rifle pits (1863).
Morris Island was captured by the Union in stages from July to September 1863.
No remains of any kind for any work can be found on Morris Island, which has been severely eroded over the years. The current lighthouse was built in 1874, now awash in the tides since 1935, but still standing.

Long Island:
Two Union works (1863 - 1865) were located on the eastern and western ends of the island.

Battery Island:
Fort Pickens (2) (1861) a small CSA work that was abandoned when Coles Island was also abandoned. The island, located on the Stono River two miles upriver from the mouth, was used by the Union during the assault on James Island in 1863. Traces still remain.

Folly Island:
Fort Green (1863 - 1865) a Union fort located on the eastern end of the island at Lighthouse Inlet. No remains. This fort replaced 10 seperate unnamed batteries (total 44 guns) that were built to assault Morris Island in July 1863 (Lighthouse Inlet Batteries (USA)).
Camp Seymour (1863) a Union encampment prior to the assault on Morris Island.
Battery (Fort) Delafield (1863 - 1865) a Union work located on the western end of the island at Stono Inlet. No remains.

Johns Island:
Fort Trenholm (1863 - 1865) a CSA 14-gun fort on the west bank of the Stono River. No remains. Site on Fort Trenholm Road at the Johns Island / Charleston Executive Airport.

(West) Charleston:
Ashley River - Wappoo Creek Line (1863 - 1865) a line of CSA earthworks from present-day Ashleyville to Byrnes Downs, across both St. Andrews Blvd. (SC 171) and Savannah Highway (US 17). Traces may still exist.
Battery (Fort) Barnes (1861 - 1863) a CSA work located in St. Andrews Parish, just north of present-day US 17 and SC 61. No remains.
Battery (Fort) Gladden (1861 - 1863) a CSA work located in St. Andrews Parish, just south of present-day US 17 and SC 61. No remains.
Battery Wilkes (1863 - 1865) a CSA work located in St. Andrews Parish, along the Savannah and Charleston Railroad. No remains.
Battery Means (1863 - 1865) a CSA work located on the south-side of the mouth of Wappoo Creek at the Ashley River. Some remains.
Fort Bull (1863 - 1865) a CSA fort on the Ashley River, south of Bee's Ferry. No remains, site now a railroad bridge at Drayton-on-the-Ashley.

View Charleston Map

Fort Sumter (National Monument)
(1829 - 1865, 1874 - 1947), Charleston Harbor National Archives MAP
This fort was still under construction until 1860. Confederates captured the fort in April 1861 and never surrendered. It became the 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 tier. Located inside Fort Sumter is Battery Huger (1898 - 1943). A museum has since been built inside. AMTB Battery 1 (1943 - 1946) (now covered) was also located here. Admission fee.
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Fort Moultrie (National Monument)
(1776 - 1947), Sullivan's Island 1776 MAP
Originally called Fort Sullivan in 1776. It was renamed after the failed 1776 British attack. There were four additional small Patriot forts on the far northern end of the island in 1776. The Battle of Sullivan's Island. The British held this fort from 1780 to 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.
Endicott batteries inside the old fort include Battery Bingham (1899 - 1918), Battery McCorkle (1899 - 1943), and Battery Lord (1899 - 1946) demolished by the National Park Service (this was the last Charleston area battery that still had its original guns emplaced). 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. The western portion of the old reservation included Battery Thomson (1906 - 1945) now used by the local Fire Dept., Battery Gadsden (1906 - 1917) now used by the local library, 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. This was once briefly known as Fort Capron (1898 - 1899). Adjacent to the Sullivan's Island Lighthouse (built 1962) 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. Fort Moultrie was the command post for the harbor defenses, and it includes a harbor entrance command post (1944). In 1903 the government proposed to rename the reservation Fort Getty, but the local citizens protested. Admission fee.

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 once located here. The gun casemates and plotting room of Battery 520 are now private residential homes. Before WWI this was 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.

ALSO: A 37mm 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) and on Isle of Palms (removed). Battery 125 was planned for James Island near old Fort Johnson, but was never built.

NEED MORE INFO: Battery Point on James Island Creek.

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