We had scheduled a vacation weekend months in advance, because we knew that if we waited something would come up as it always does. Together with some friends of ours we found a beach house in McClellanville, put down the deposit and started planning. My mom was in town until the very morning of our departure, and as she drove off towards Kentucky we headed southeast towards Charleston, to Fort Sumter National Monument.
The Fort is located on an island about three miles from Charleston, between Sullivan and James Islands in Charleston Harbor. Famous as the location where the first shot of the Civil War was fired, it is named for General Thomas Sumter of the Revolutionary War. Construction started in 1829 but was still unfinished when six days after the state of SC declared its secession from the Union U.S. Army Major Anderson abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie and relocated to Fort Sumter. Intended to house 650 men and 135 guns, at that point it only had a handful of operational cannons.
|The Fort Sumter (Union) battle flag and the Palmetto Guard flag|
|Then and now: Fort Sumter 1861 photograph source here|
After the visit we spent some additional time in the museum back in Charleston before continuing on to McClellanville. You can imagine the chaos that ensued; 5 energetic boys exploring the house while the adults tried to get dinner on the table! Eventually everything settled down, and Roberts and I were able to toast to our fourth wedding anniversary - what better way to celebrate than with a visit to Fort Sumter?