South Carolina Forts

American Forts: East


Fort Balfour | Barton's Post | Beaufort Arsenal | Beaufort Battery | Beaufort Fort | Fort Beauregard (2)
Charles Fort | Camp Despair | Fort Dorchester | Fort Drayton | Fort Duane | Fort Edisto | Elliott's Fort
Fort Euhanie | Fort Frederick | Fort Fremont | Georgetown Battery | Fort Gillmore | Godfrey's Fort
Fort Heyward | Hilton Head Res. (1) | Hilton Head Res. (2) | Fort Howell | Fort Lyttleton | Camp Marion (1)
Camp Marion (2) | Fort Marion | Fort Mitchell | Orista Blockhouse | Palachacolas Fort | Parker's Ferry Works
Passage Fort | Pocotaligo Works | Port Royal Fort | Fort Prince Frederick | Fort Prince George (1) | Fort Randall
Rantowles Defenses | Saltcatchers Fort | Sam's Point Fort | Fort San Felipe | St. Helena Island Post
Fort San Marcos | Fort San Salvador | Camp Saxton | Seabrook Island Post | Fort San Sebastian
Fort Seward | Camp Shaw | Fort Sherman | Fort Walker | Fort Welles | (Fort) Battery White
Willtown Fort | Winyah Bay Blockhouse | Winyah Bay Defenses | Fort Winyah | Fort Winyaw

Greater Charleston Area - page 2 | Interior South Carolina - page 3

Last Update: 15/SEPTEMBER/2006
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2006 American Forts Network

Fort Randall
(1860's), Little River
A CSA battery at Tilgham's Point on Little River Neck.

Fort Euhanie
(1716 - unknown), Yauhannah
A trading post established by the SC colonial government.

Winyah Bay Blockhouse
(1526), near Georgetown
The first Spanish colonization attempt north of Mexico landed on Cabo de San Nicolás (present-day Winyah Bay), but did not settle here. Spanish documents of the period place the landing at 33 degrees, 30 (or 40) minutes north latitude, within a present-day 30 minute margin of error. A fort or blockhouse was possibly built here as the two ships were repaired after running aground on sand bars. Meanwhile, the bulk of the 600 colonists, led by Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón, headed 40-45 Spanish leagues southwest by land towards Sapelo Sound, Georgia, in order to find a suitable settlement site. They most likely settled on St. Catherines Island. (please see GEORGIA)

Fort Winyah
(1715), near Georgetown
A SC colonial militia fort located on the south side of the Black River northwest of town.

Fort Winyaw
(1810 - 1814), Georgetown
An American brick and tabby fort located on Blythe's Point. It was in ruins by 1826. A lighthouse was built here after 1857.
A British earthwork fort was also here (1776), also an unnamed and incomplete American earthwork battery (1794).

Winyah Bay Civil War Defenses
(1862 - 1865), near Georgetown
(Fort) Battery White a ten-gun CSA earthwork located at present-day Belle Isle Gardens four miles south of Georgetown. Captured by the Union in 1865. Two guns still remain at the preserved earthworks.
CSA earthwork batteries were also located on South and Cat Islands (1861 - 1862), armed only with "Quaker Guns" (blackened logs).
A CSA redoubt was also located at the lighthouse on Mayrant's Bluff.
Camp Marion (1) a CSA camp in the area.

Georgetown Battery
(1898 - 1899), near Georgetown
In 1898 two 7-inch BL seige howitzers were temporarily emplaced in sandbag revetments near the ruins of CSA Fort White. Two 5-inch BL rifles were emplaced inside the ruins. All four guns were later replaced with four 12-pdr guns, and all were removed in 1899.

(see page 2 for Greater Charleston area fortifications)

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.

Camp Marion (2)
(1898), Summerville
A Spanish-American War training camp for northern troops moved south. Location undetermined.

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.

Rantowles Defenses
(1863 - 1865), Rantowles
Several CSA batteries were located on the western outskirts of Charleston:
Rantowles Station Battery at the old railroad station, south of Wallace Creek.
Rantowles Battery in the old village, north of Wallace Creek.
Battery Bulow (?) on Rantowles Creek at Bear Swamp.
Church Flats Bluff Batteries two works on the Stono River east of Goshen.
Caw Caw Swamp Batteries three works near Warren's Crossroads.

Fort Edisto
(1715 - 1716), near Givhans
A SC colonial militia fort at Givhans Ferry on the Edisto River, guarding the backdoor to Charleston during the Yamassee War. Located on James Rawlings' plantation, near today's Givhans Ferry State Park.

Parker's Ferry Earthworks
(1782), near Jacksonboro
Patriot earthworks protected the ferry and a supply depot here. Earthworks still exist along the western bank of the Edisto River. A marker is located about 3.5 miles north of town.

Willtown Fort
(1715 - 1716), Willtown
A SC colonial militia fort on the Edisto River at the old Willtown (New London) settlement. Attacked by Apalachee Indians in 1715. Used as a base for SC colonial patrol boats in 1716.

Barton's Post or
(1781), Colleton County
A battle occurred here in 1781. Undetermined location.

Fort Drayton
(1861 - 1865), Otter Island
A CSA earthen fort with a wet moat, originally named Fort Heyward. It was captured by the Union after the Confederates abandoned it in 1862 after the fall of Port Royal, and was renamed. Part of the wooden palisade also still exists. The island is currently owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Sam's Point Fort
(1861 - 1862), Wilkins
A CSA fort on Sam's Point. Remains still exist.

¤ Colonial Forts of Port Royal Sound

¤ Charles Fort
(1562 - 1563), Parris Island
A small earth and log fort built by French Huguenots and abandoned soon after the failure of the colony. A monument was erected in 1926 on the supposed site, which is now known to be the site of Spanish Fort San Marcos (a). The Spanish Fort San Felipe (a) was built over the ruins of Charles Fort (see below). This site was excavated in 1997.

¤ Santa Elena Forts
(1566 - 1587), Parris Island
The Spanish 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). 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 a moat. 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. 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, underneath the Parris Island golf course.
Charlesfort - Santa Elena Settlement and History by U. of S.C. || Parris Island Museum website

¤ Orista Blockhouse
(1568 - 1570), Seabrook Island ?
A Spanish blockhouse was built by the Juan Pardo Expedition as they were returning to Santa Elena. Located at the Indian village of Orista that was inland, upriver from Santa Elena.

¤ Fort Frederick
(1731 - 1743 ?), Cat Island
A tabby fort partially washed away by the sea. Located across the Beaufort (Port Royal) River from Parris Island and Port Royal.

¤ Beaufort Fort
(1715 - 1731), near Beaufort
A SC colonial militia palisaded earthwork fort built during the Yamassee War. Also known as Port Royal Fort. Located either on Spanish Point or on the future site of the U.S. Naval Hospital one mile further south. Rebuilt in 1724. Replaced by Fort Prince Frederick.

¤ Fort Prince Frederick
(1734 - 1758), Port Royal
A 125-foot by 75-foot tabby fort with 4-foot high tabby walls on three sides, with barracks and a powder magazine, with some ruins remaining, located on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Hospital. Replaced by Fort Lyttleton.

¤ Fort Lyttleton
(1758 - 1779, 1809 - 1825), near Beaufort
Located two miles south of town on Spanish Point, 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 1779, the defenders blew up the fort. Renamed Beaufort Battery by the Americans after the American Revolution. Rebuilt in 1809 as a semi-circular tapia work, renamed Fort Marion, but was still unfinished by 1812. Site excavated in 1978.

Beaufort Arsenal
(1795 - 1865), Beaufort
A state arsenal located at Craven and Carteret Streets. Rebuilt in 1852 with barracks. Seized by Union troops in 1861. Enlarged and renovated in 1934. Now the Beaufort Museum. Admission fee.

¤¤ Civil War Defenses of Port Royal Sound

¤¤ Camp Saxton
(1861 - 1865), near Beaufort
A Union camp, mostly for Negro troops.

¤¤ Fort Duane
(1862 - 1865), Beaufort
A Union post on the western edge of town.

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

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

¤¤ 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
A CSA 13-gun earthwork located in Port Royal Sound, it was captured by the Union in 1861, and may have been renamed Fort Seward in 1862. No remains.
Bay Point Island was formerly part of St. Phillips Island.
(some info provided by Joe Cronley)

¤¤ Hilton Head Island Civil War Forts
(1861 - 1865), Hilton Head Island
Fort Mitchell (1862 - 1865) a Union fort located in Hilton Head Plantation, adjacent to the Old Fort Pub on Old Fort Drive. Restricted public access. Other Union forts were Fort Sherman (1864) and Fort Howell (four guns) (1864) a public park on Beach City Road.
Fort Welles (1862 - 1865) originally CSA Fort Walker (1861), a 23-gun earthwork which was renamed after it was captured in 1861 and then enlarged in 1862. Trace remains, located in Port Royal Plantation on Fort Walker Drive. Restricted public access. Also near here was Union Fort Gillmore.
A CSA four-gun earthwork battery was once located on the southern end of the island in 1861. No remains.
Of interest is the Coastal Discovery Museum which provides guided tours (fee) to the sites on Hilton Head Island.


¤¤¤ Fort Fremont
(1898 - 1918), Fort Fremont
Located at the southwestern tip of St. Helena Island. Endicott batteries here are Battery Jesup (1899 - 1914), and Battery Fornance (1899 - 1913), which had been built on. Also here was an unnamed battery from 1898. Four field guns were also emplaced by the wharf in 1905. The site is overgrown. The former Post Hospital still exists, now a private residence. This fort protected the Port Royal Naval Station, which after 1906 became the Paris Island Recruiting and Training Depot for the USMC.

¤¤¤ Hilton Head Military Reservation (1)
(1890's - 1910's), Hilton Head Island
Located about 200 yards north of the site of Fort Walker/Welles in Port Royal Plantation were Battery Dynamite (1901 - 1902 ?) in ruins, and an unnamed battery (1898) destroyed in the surf. Restricted public access.


¤ Hilton Head Military Reservation (2)
(1917 ?, 1942 ?), Hilton Head Island
There are several rumors of "gun mounts" on the beach at Braddock Point, 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 gun position, as Cockspur Island in Georgia was used as a naval base during that time.

Passage Fort
(1717 - 1764), Daufuskie Island
A SC colonial militia palisaded fort intermittently garrisoned, located on Bloody Point. Attacked by Yamassee Indians in 1728.

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

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

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

Pocotaligo Earthworks
(1862 - 1865), Pocotaligo
CSA earthworks remain that once protected a rail station here. Private property.

Saltcatchers Fort
(1728 - 1734), Yamasee
A SC colonial militia stockaded fort on the Salkehatchie (Saltcatchers) / Combahee River 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).

Towns: Fort Corner near Awendaw

Greater Charleston Area - page 2 | Interior South Carolina - page 3


Eastern Forts