Saving Fort Moultrie | American Battlefield Trust
Civil War

Saving Fort Moultrie

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Preserving our Civil War Battlefields

In 1860, Fort Moultrie was the site of the Federal garrison in Charleston Harbor.  The garrison's commander, Major Robert Anderson, moved his small force to the more defensible Fort Sumter when South Carolina moved towards secession. South Carolina troops occupied Fort Moultrie and used it as a base from which to repel Federal support for Anderson. 

Sumter Bombardment
Attacked from All Sides. Cannon from locations surrounding Fort Sumter carried out the ferocious bombardment.
Frank Leslie, The Soldier in Our Civil War

Fort Moultrie played a key role in the Confederate defense of the strategically located port city of Charleston.  In April 1863 its guns helped repulse a Union naval squadron.  And Fort Moultrie was the site from which the first successful submarine attack was launched.  On February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley set out from Fort Moultrie to sink the USS Housatonic.  Though Fort Sumter was pounded to rubble, Fort Moultrie withstood all naval attacks.  Charleston did not fall until February 1865 when General Sherman's army isolated the city by land. 

In 1999 Fort Moultrie was threatened by the construction of a 38-foot tall private home immediately adjacent to the fort, blocking its line of sight to Fort Sumter.  The Civil War Preservation Trust assisted by the National Park Service, the Trust for Public Land, and a consortium of local residents bought the 0.23 acre plot from the landowner and removed the building.