Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Charleston, SC - Part 3 - Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

Where the War Between the States began.

In 1829, Charleston Harbor was selected as a location for one of the forts in a series of coastal defenses that became known as the Third Coastal Defense System. The fort was named Fort Sumter in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Sumter, Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina.

From 1829 to 1845, a 2.5 acre artificial island was created and the fort was constructed upon it. By 1860 Fort Sumter was 90 percent complete, but due to South Carolina's secession from the United States, construction was stopped, never to be resumed.

On April 12, 1861, the Confederate forces under the command of Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, fired upon Fort Sumter. The War Between the States had begun.

After a 34 hour bombardment, Major Robert Anderson of the Union forces surrendered Fort Sumter to the Confederate forces, and on April 14, 1861, Major Anderson led his troops out of the fort. The Confederacy had achieved its objective. Fort Sumter was taken.

Now that you know a tiny bit about the history of this national monument, come along with me for a tour.

at Liberty Square, ready to board the Spirit of the Low Country to ferry over to the fort
a beautiful day to be on the water

the USS Yorktown
This US aircraft carrier began construction as the Bon Homme Richard, but was renamed Yorktown, in honor of Yorktown (CV-5) which was sunk at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942. Yorktown was commissioned on April 15, 1943 and played a significant role in the Pacific Offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945.
The Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation, and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II. The ship earned 5 battle stars for service in the Vietnam War, and in 1968 the Yorktown recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule. In 1970, the Yorktown was decommissioned and placed in reserve, and in 1975 the ship was towed from Bayonne, NJ to Charleston, SC where today it holds a place of prominence at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.
We didn't visit the Yorktown on this trip because several years ago my husband, along with a few other men, took some of the boys in our church's AWANA program on a field trip here. They spent the night on board the Yorktown. My son, to this day, still talks about how exciting that trip was! 
approaching the fort


hubby pointing out a mortar shell embedded in the wall

flag at half-mast in memory of those whose lives were lost in the Newtown, Conn. school shootings

the original Palmetto flag flown over the fort during Confederate occupation

the original United States flag flown over the fort during Union occupation


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