Fort Moultrie National Historical Park

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Fort Moultrie's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Fort Moultrie visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 36 minutes.

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OVERVIEW: Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie is part of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.

Fort Moultrie, located in South Carolina, is part .

The park is situated approximately nine miles southeast of Mount Pleasant, SC and approximately 11 miles southeast of Charleston, SC. This park was established in 1948. Each year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Fort Moultrie. We invite you to learn about the birth of the United States, the   evolution of cannon and ship technology, and the legacy of enslaved people and the Gullah Geechee Heritage. Take a walk through the fort and learn about the 170+ year history of coastal defense. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, enjoy the 20 minute long video inside the visitor center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front side is divided into three parts, top to bottom.  The top part features a color illustration of the June 28, 1776 attack on the fort.  A number of British ships are shown exchanging cannon fire with the fort, depicted on the far left with a blue Moultrie flag flying overhead.  The middle section is interpretive text titled "Guardian of the Straits"  The section offers a synopsis of the fort's evolution from the American Revolution to World War II.    The bottom section features six illustrations with supporting texts that span  the 171 years of defense at Fort Moultrie.  From left to right, the first illustration shows soldiers of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment firing a cannon in the palmetto log fort.  The second illustration shows a cannon and carriage emplaced in the third fort, typical of what was present prior to the beginning of the Civil War.  The third illustration shows a Civil War era ironclad monitor vessel of the U.S. Navy.  The fourth illustration shows a large disappearing gun and carriage, typical of what was present on the new concrete gun batteries that were built between 1896 and 1903.  The fifth illustration shows the Harbor Entrance Control Post, built on a hill at Fort Moultrie in 1943.  The sixth illustration shows a German submarine, a steel submarine net, and a circular mine that was anchored to the bottom by a cable.

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IMAGE AND TEXT: Guardian at the Straits


An historic painting depicting the 1776 attack on an unfinished palmetto log fortification on Sullivan's Island by British Royal Navy men-of-war. The colors are muted. The perspective of the scene is watching nine large warships firing cannons at a low fort and the fort firing back. The sea is calm and a soft bluish grey in color. The air is heavy with grey smoke.

The one story fort made of a light colored material is on the left side and foreground of the painting. A corner of that fort is visible and on that corner is a flagpole with a blue flag flying. The flag is waving to the left. There is a small white crescent on the flag's top right corner closest to the flag pole. The top of the fort is notched with squares and inside those squares rest cannon. There is a row of four cannon along the left side of the corner and three on the front side. 

There are two massive multi-masted brown wooden ships in the foreground of the painting. One of the ships is on the left side of the painting and the other on the right.

The brown wooden ship on the left is just outside the corner of the fort. The ship has its cream-colored sails unfurled and is facing away from the painter. At the back of the ship is a large rectangular British flag is waving to the left. This flag is mostly faded red and in the upper right quarter is rectangular blue field. On this blue field is elongated red plus sign with white boarders. At each of the interior corners of the plus sign is another angled red line boarded in white that touches the corner of the blue field.  At the top of the tallest of the three masts, there is a long, narrow piece of white fabric that is blowing to the left of the ship and is almost at a right angle to the mast. Cannon are firing cannon from the ship's left side. There are tall clouds of grey smoke that are obscuring the rest of the fort from view and also obscuring a clear view of four ships in front of it - only the higher portions of those ships' rigging and masts can be seen deeper into the picture.

The tall, three-masted ship on the right side is facing the painter at a slight left angle. It's main cream-colored sails are unfurled, are filled with wind and blowing outward. At the back of the ship, through the lines, there is a large rectangular British flag is waving to the left. This flag is mostly faded red and in the upper right quarter is rectangular blue field. On this blue field is elongated red plus sign with white boarders. At each of the interior corners of the plus sign is another angled red line boarded in white that touches the corner of the blue field. This ship is firing from the cannon on the left side of the ship towards the fort. There is a large grey cloud of smoke that begins at the water line and billows half way up the mast lines.

In the background of these two ships are other, similar-looking ships, some with their sails unfurled and other have the sails tucked away. The sails that are unfurled are pocked with holes from battle. All are flying the British flag from the rear of the ship.

CAPTION: A View of the British Attack.


Nicholas Pocock / Courtesy of the University of South Carolina.


From the time of the earliest European settlements to the end of World War II, coastal fortifications guarded the harbors and shores of the United States. Here at Fort Moultrie the story of two centuries of seacoast defense is told through a unique plan of restoration. Five sections of the fort and two outlying areas, each mounting typical weapons, represent a  different historical period in the life of the three Fort Moultries.

The first fort on Sullivans Island was still incomplete when Admrial Sir Peter Parker and nine warships attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire.

Charleston was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, William Moultrie. In 1780 the British finally captured Charleston, abandoning it only with the advent of peace. After the Revolution Fort Moultrie was neglected, and by 1791 little of it remained. Then, in 1793, war broke out between England and France. The next year Congress, seeking to safeguard American shores, authorized the First American System of nationwide coastal fortifications. A second Fort Moultrie, one of 20 new forts along the Atlantic Coast, was completed in 1798. It too suffered from neglect and was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1804. By 1807 many of the other First System fortifications were in need of extensive repair. Congress responded by authorizing funds for a Second American System, which included a third Fort Moultrie. By 1809 a new brick fort stood on Sullivans Island.

Between 1809 and 1860 Fort Moultrie changed little. The parapet was altered and the armament modernized, but the big improvement in Charleston’s defenses during this period was the construction of Fort Sumter at the entrance of the harbor. The forts ringing Charleston Harbor—Moultrie, Sumter, Johnson, and Castle Pinckney—were meant to complement each other, but ironically they received their baptism of fire as opponents. In December 1860 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and the Federal garrison abandoned Fort Moultrie for the stronger Sumter. Three and a half months later, Confederate troops shelled Sumter into submission, plunging the nation into civil war. In April 1863 Federal ironclads and shore batteries began a 20-month bombardment of Sumter and Moultrie, yet Charleston’s defenses held. When the Confederate army evacuated the city in February 1865, Fort Sumter was little more than a pile of rubble and Fort Moultrie lay hidden under the bank of sand that protected its walls from Federal shells. The new rifled cannon used during the Civil War had demolished the brick-walled fortifications.

Fort Moultrie was modernized in the 1870s, employing concepts developed during the war. Huge new cannon were installed, and magazines and bombproofs were built of thick concrete, then buried under tons of earth to absorb the explosion of heavy shells. In 1885 President Grover Cleveland appointed Secretary of War William C. Endicott to head a board to review the coastal defenses of the United States and recommend how they might be improved in light of newly developing weapons technology. The system that emerged, named for Endicott, again modernized the nation’s fortifications. New batteries of concrete and steel were constructed in Fort Moultrie. Larger weapons were emplaced elsewhere on Sullivans Island, and the old fort became just a small part of the Fort Moultrie reservation that covered much of the island.

As technology changed, harbor defense became more complex. The world wars brought new threats of submarine and aerial attack and required new means of defense at Moultrie. Yet these armaments also became obsolete as nuclear weapons and guided missiles altered the entire concept of national defense. Today Fort Moultrie has been restored to highlight the major periods of its history. At the fort you move steadily back in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the palmetto-log fort of 1776.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Revolutionary War


The black and white sketch shows seven men in uniform around two cannon. The scene is from the inside of a walled fort, and the men are behind a wooden notched log wall. They are standing on a wooden plank floor. The men are all wearing a uniform that consists of black boots that reach halfway between their soles and knees. Their long pants are white. Their white shirts are covered by white long-sleeved jackets that have tails that stretch below their waist. There are two wide cloth straps that are criss crossed on their chest and make a large X across their chests and on their backs. They are wearing tricorn black hats.

Two men in the back of the drawing are standing near a cannon are turned away and focused on the cannon. 

Five men are gathered around the front cannon. The cannon is pointed to the right and only the back half of the cannon can be seen because the rest of the cannon is hidden by the log walls. The tube of the cannon is being cradled off the floor by a wooden carriage on four wheels, only the two wheels on the side of the carriage facing the artist are visible. At the end of the carriage, there is a pulley attached, and two strands of rope are laced through the pulley and the rope is shown suspended slightly above the floor and between two of the men who are kneeling behind the cannon. There are three men at the back of the cannon and two outside men are kneeling and center man is standing. The knelling man to the left has his left hand on the base of the carriage. The man kneeling on the right side is bent on his left knee and has his hand extended straight with his fingers pointing above the cannon. There are two men standing on the sides of the cannon and each has a pole in their hands and the bottom end of the pole is being leveraged at the base of the cannon. The last man is standing and watching the activity. His back is to the artist. To his right side and leaning against the wall of the fort is a pole much taller than him with a giant sponge on the top side.

One man on the far side of the cannon is gripping a thick pole and has it placed at the base of the cannon tube.


In its 171-year history, Fort Moultrie has defended Charleston Harbor twice. The first time, on June 28, 1776, during the Revolutionary War, the 30 smooth bore cannon of the original fort drove off a British fleet mounting 200 guns. Despite its lack of use in combat, the fort was maintained until 1947 to provide a ready, and inexpensive, deterrent to any prospective enemy.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Civil War

IMAGE 1 of 2: Cannon 


This historical black and white photograph is rectangular. The image is narrow and longer than it is wide. It depicts a rifled and banded 32-pounder Columbiad cannon, mounted on a wooden gun carriage, which sits forward on a wooden chassis. The chassis moves along metal rails on wheels. 

The cannon is positioned behind a low brick wall. The gun is pointed towards the right. The cannon is in the foreground of the picture and is positioned outside in the open air. To the right of the cannon, there is an artillery sponge sitting on a raised "X."

In the background, the picture shows the water, sand dunes along a beach, and a row of abatis, or sharpened tree branches, at a perpendicular angle to the fort. 

IMAGE 2 of 2: Shelling 


This rectangular, black and white artistic rendering depicts two US Navy ironclads in choppy surf. The whitecaps on the waves are low, but there are significantly taller jets of water spray behind and to the front of the two ironclads, representing explosive artillery rounds that have exploded near the ships.

The ironclads sit low in the water. Both vessels fly the US flag. The flag on the ironclad to the left is tattered and flying from the gun turret of the ironclad. The flag on the ship to the right flies from the stern of the vessel. The majority of this vessel, including the turret and gun, cannot be seen. 


By the 1860s, seacoast weapons like this rifled and banded 32-pounder used by Confederates at Fort Moultrie stood side by side with older, heavy caliber, smoothbore cannon. For nearly two years, Federal forces bombarded the Charleston forts from land and sea, and though the masonry walls of Forts Sumter and Moultrie crumbled under the shelling, both forts were able to hold back the Union attacks.

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IMAGE and TEXT: World War I


This rectangular black and white photograph shows a 10-inch disappearing rifle. The gun sits sunken into a concrete structure, a gun emplacement called a battery. There are eight concrete steps leading down to the gun carriage from the floor of the gun level of the structure. The breech, or back, of the gun where the projectile was loaded is level with a height a few feet above the top stair. 

The 10-inch rifle is seen mounted on a disappearing carriage, which depicts many gears and mechanical devices. There is also a raised platform near the gun with ladders to the left and right to access a narrow platform that sits above the gun. 


The technology of weaponry advanced rapidly after the Civil War. Some huge smoothbore cannon were still in use in 1900, but by World War I many seacoast forts, such as Battery Thomson a mile east of Moultrie, were mounting breechloading disappearing rifles like the 10-inch model below. Upon firing, the rifle pivoted down so it could be reloaded in safety behind the protection of tons of earth and concrete.

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IMAGES and TEXT: World War II

IMAGE 1 of 2: Harbor Entrance Control Post


This narrow, tall rectangular black and white photograph shows the Harbor Entrance Control Post inside Fort Moultrie. 

In the foreground there are two utility poles with electrical cables running from them. Behind the utility poles is the earth and concrete mound, housing the Harbor Entrance Control Post. The earth slope is steep, and there is neatly cut grass on the mound. On top of the mound sits the above-ground portion of the structure. It consists of two stories. There is a searchlight mounted outside on the bottom level pointed left. To the right of the searchlight is mounted a two story portion of the structure, painted in a camouflage design. The bottom story is interior and there are narrow horizontal windows high in the wall. The top story is outdoors. Two individuals are standing outside. There is another structure, of unknown material, mounted on top of the Harbor Entrance Control Post. There is also a radio tower. Four signal flags fly from the top of the structure. 

IMAGE 2 of 2: Submarine and underwater mines


This black and white artist rendering shows four mines strapped to something outside of the bottom frame of the picture. Behind the mines there's a neat grid design. Above the mines there is a black wavy line, depicting water. Above the mines sits a floating submarine. The scale and size of the submarine are out of proportion to the mines. The mines are as big as the submarine. The submarine is pointed left. There is a conning tower and a gun on top of the submarine. There is a rudder at the stern.  


The 1940s brought new  challenges for seacoast defenses. Submarines and airplanes joined battleships as security threats. As a result, anti-aircraft guns were added to the fort’s armament, and mines were laid in Charleston Harbor. In 1944 a new Harbor Entrance Control Post was built, from which all the city’s harbor defenses were coordinated.

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

The back of the brochure features a wayfinding map of Fort Moultrie, which has nine identified points of interest. This self-guided walking tour of Fort Moultrie has interpretive information on each stopping point. The map and interpretive text, which corresponds to each of the 9 stops on the walking tour, take up the top two-thirds of the back of the brochure. 

The bottom third of the back of the brochure discusses Fort Moultrie's role in harbor defense with a map identifying the shipping channel attacking navies would have used as well as other US Army forts. There are also three drawings of the three fortifications that have stood on the site on Sullivan's Island. Each drawing has interpretive text, discussing the construction and history of the fort. 

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MAP: Touring Fort Moultrie


This map shows an overhead view of Fort Moultrie. The color way-finding and cognitive map corresponds to a self-guided walking tour of Fort Moultrie. Walking tour stops are numbered with accompanying cultural history interpretive text. There is a prescribed order of travel and a compass rose with an arrow pointing down to the right indicating which way is north. Visitors are encouraged to go backwards in time, starting with the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post inside Fort Moultrie and ending with the site of Fort Moultrie I outside of, and to the front of the fort, closer to the harbor. There are two additional stops off the map and to the left to visit Cannon Walk and Battery Jasper.

The walking paths outside of the fort walls are gray while the paths inside the fort are white or brick. The exterior walls are brick while the interior of the fort is primarily a series of earth mounds covered in grass. 

A gray path starts at the bottom of the map and heads vertically straight into the sally port, or entrance, of the fort. This entrance takes the visitor into a concrete tunnel on top of which is a large earth mound. Visitors can travel underground in the tunnels or head directly straight from the entrance on a brick path out onto the open grassy area of the parade ground. There is a large flagpole on your right as you enter the parade ground. The flagpole sits on the slope of the hill. A historical 15 star-15 stripe US flag flies from the pole. 

The fort is roughly symmetrical in size and can be bisected at a vertical axis from the sally port. 

Short Description for left side of fort: The left half of the fort is comprised of two concrete batteries (Battery McCorkle and Battery Bingham) each mounting one rifled gun, the Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) on the far left side, five short cylindrical structures with rectangular caps stand on a grassy hill in between the HECP and bastion, lastly a bastion in a protruding angular rectangle shape at the front left corner perpendicular to the sally port. 

Long Description follows for left side of fort: As the visitor follows the left brick pathway the first structure will be on his/her right hand side. Battery McCorkle has three gun positions in a line each with its own set of stairs taking the visitor up and down form each position. Past these gun positions a large flat concrete surface fills the space between the gun and fort walls. 

Stop number two labeled Harbor Defense, 1898-1939 is marked between Battery McCorkle and Battery Bingham which connect at the front left angle (harbor side) of the fort. Battery Bingham has two gun posts  with stairs leading up an down them much like Battery McCorkle; however, these gun posts' stairs are in a semi circle shape.  On the far left gun post of Battery Bingham sits a rifle. 

Continuing along the brick path, on the left hand side of the fort the visitor can access a path to his/her right that will lead to the HECP on the left, and an entrance to the underground level of the HECP on the right. The HECP is atop a steep earth slope covered in grass. Stairs take the visitor to the middle floor while a latter accesses the top of the structure. The underground level of the HECP has an exterior entrance/exit to the left of the bastion. 

Continuing along the path, a long set of stairs takes one down from the area of the HECP, with grassy slopes on either side, to a former gun position. This raised concrete and brick platform is an empty space and leads in two directions. One option leads the visitor to travel through a tunnel, topped by an earthen mound, to the bastion where there are metal rails embedded in the ground where cannon once stood. The bastion is a dead end surrounded by brick walls. Behind these walls and the outer perimeter wall is grass covered earth fill. The other option from the empty platform leads the visitor down another shorter staircase to a tunnel entrance. This tunnel leads one back to the sally port. 

Short Description for right side of fort:  The brick path you enter on from the sallyport leads to an earthen mound, called a traverse. Underneath this mound is a concrete powder magazine. To the right of the powder magazine is a pairing of post-Civil War artillery, protected on each side by earthen traverses. The right side of the fort has two primary features: the grassy parade ground in the right middle and a raised horizontal outdoor platform on which cannon are placed between the outer defensive wall, or parapet, and the edge. This runs along the fort's right side walls and on the bastion. 

Walking along the terreplein, past the post-Civil War artillery battery and its right-side earthen traverse, the visitor finds a Civil War rifled cannon on their left. It has another earthen traverse on its right. On the far side of this traverse is a second Civil War cannon. Further along the terreplein are two pre-Civil War cannon. A powder magazine protected by a brick traverse stands on the level of the parade ground. 

Long Description for right side of fort: As the visitor follows the path leading to the right side of the fort a concrete entry way is directly on his/her left hand side. This entry way leads to the first earthen traverse. Continuing along the path a pair of cannon face outward towards the harbor atop a chassis. The number three stop labeled 1870's Modernization is marked to the right of the cannon. The cannon's barrel sit above the parapet. The path leads to another earthen traverse sitting in between the 1870's cannon and Civil War era cannon. The Civil War Era cannon, stop 4, are pointing west over the parapet each atop a chassis. Between the two Civil War era cannon is a grassy knoll shaped like a semi circle. Unlike the 1870's cannon these cannon sit on top of a brick flooring that continues till the visitor reaches the pre-Civil War era cannon located. The path continues around the pre-Civil War era cannon, stop 5 discussing the 1809 fort, making a semi circle around the powered magazine allowing the visitor to look down into the walled in area surrounding this structure. A set of stairs will take the visitor down from the terreplein onto the parade ground. The map cautions visitors to watch their step. To the visitors right, as they're facing the 1870's cannon, the powder magazine is behind and to the right nestled behind protective high walls. Directly in front of the yellow powder magazine lie the 1809 Barracks Foundations. This area is covered in brick and a path lies between the powder magazine and foundations. Another path runs perpendicular to this and leads to the base of a grass hill, above sit the 1870's and Civil War era cannon. The parade ground fills in the remaining space of the right side of the fort.

There is an arrow leading from the right of the fort to a path that goes around and to the front of the fort, harbor side, taking visitors to stops 6 and 7 (Fort Moultrie II and Fort Moultrie I). There is a postern gate from the right side wall, underneath the terreplein where the pre-Civil War artillery are mounted, to enter or exit the fort. This is the recommended route to exit the fort to visit stops 6 and 7. The postern gate, a tunnel with a step down to enter and a step up to exit at the end, is found to the right of the 1809 powder magazine. The path continues to the left of the fort, and visitors are encouraged to visit stops 8 and 9 (Cannon Walk and Battery Jasper). These points lie off the map. 

As the visitor exits the fort through the sally port directly on their left hand side are two grave sites: Patapsco Monument and Osceola Grave.

CREDIT: NPS / Kenneth Townsend


Throughout its long history, Fort Moultrie has undergone many changes as improving military and engineering technologies made harbor defense more complex. Instead of looking as it did at any one period, the fort has been restored to reflect these changes from the camouflaged Harbor Entrance Control Post of World War II to the site of the palmetto-log fort of 1776. Near the fort’s entrance are the graves of Osceola, celebrated Seminole leader who died here in 1838, and five of 62 seamen who lost their lives when the US monitor Patapsco was sunk midway between Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1865.

The following guide identifies features of today’s fort, keyed by number to the (map) painting above. The painting shows the fort as seen from the visitor center.

1. World War II – This Harbor Entrance Control Post/Harbor Defense Command Post, completed in 1944, coordinated all of the harbor defenses around Charleston. Several of the downstairs rooms are furnished.

2. Harbor Defense, 1898–1939 – These two batteries were designed to protect the mine field at the entrance to Charleston Harbor and to act in conjunction with other batteries on Sullivans Island and at Fort Sumter.

3. 1870s Modernization – After the Civil War the fort was renovated applying concepts learned during that conflict. These two weapons represent Fort Moultrie in the period from 1873 to 1898.

4. Civil War – Great technological changes in coastal defense weapons occurred during this era. Confederate defenders made many alterations in the fort and its armament to cope with these changes, including removing the barracks.

5. Fort Moultrie III – From 1809 to 1860 Fort Moultrie changed little, except for replacing old smoothbore cannon with new. This section represents the third fort from its construction to the eve of the Civil War.

6. Fort Moultrie II (site) – Built in response to disagreements with France, the second Fort Moultrie had a brief life. Though short-lived, the fort was important as a part of the First American System of seacoast defenses (1794–1801).

7. Fort Moultrie I (site) – Though not part of a defense system, the first Fort Moultrie represents the beginnings of harbor defense in the United States.

8. Cannon Walk – The artillery pieces along this walk date from the Civil War and after, a period of rapid technological development. These pieces tell the story of the evolution of seacoast defense weaponry.

9. Battery Jasper – This battery was part of an effective coastal defense system that integrated heavy coastal artillery, mine fields, and rapid-fire guns. One of its gun positions is open and explained by numerous interpretive exhibits. Battery Logan, beyond Jasper, and batteries Bingham and McCorkle inside Fort Moultrie were also parts of this system.

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MAP and TEXT: Harbor Defense


A map of the entrance to Charleston Harbor features the old main ship channel that ran parallel to Morris Island, south of the harbor entrance.  This channel forced ships to sail straight towards Sullivan's island and Fort Moultrie, on the north side, before turning into the harbor.  Other forts such as Forts Johnson and Sumter, and Castle Pinckney are indicated. 


Naval History Division, Department of the Navy


Fort Moultrie was well situated to guard Charleston Harbor. Shoals at the harbor entrance forced ships to enter the harbor from the south and sail toward the fort on Sullivans Island. In this position ships could not fire on the fort until they turned into the harbor. In the mid-19th century Fort Sumter added its firepower to keep ships out of the harbor.

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MAP and TEXT: Moultrie I


A period drawing shows the incomplete state of the first fort at the time of the June 28, 1776 battle.  Designed to be a large square, each corner featured a bastion, or area that extended outward from the fort.  The eastern and southern walls and two bastions were completed prior to the battle.


Library of Congress


The first fort on Sullivans Island was hastily built in 1776 to protect Charleston from an attack by the British. The fort was constructed by raising two palmetto-log walls 16 feet apart and filling the space between with sand. The spongy palmetto and yielding sand readily absorbed shot and shell from the British ships and protected American defenders.

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MAP and TEXT: Moultrie II


The image shows Fort Moultrie II.  The outer wall of the fort formed a large pentagon.  The inner perimeter of the outer wall featured a level of cannons designed to fire over the wall.  At a slightly higher elevation inside the fort, another pentagonal shaped wall accommodated another level of cannon.  Emplacements for 16 cannons are shown on this image.  Cannons were closely spaced together around the inner wall and widely spaced around the outer wall.  Small squares indicated locations of powder magazines and a hot shot furnace, which heated cannon balls befoe they were fired.


National Archives


In 1794 Charleston became one of 16 ports to receive the new defenses of the First American System of fortifications. The second Fort Moultrie, part of this system, was a five-sided structure with earth and timber walls 17 feet high. The fort was completed in 1798, but soon fell into ruin from lack of up keep. A hurricane in 1804 destroyed the fort.

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MAP and TEXT: Moultrie III


The drawing of the completed brick fort features the layout of the three original barracks building, in a U-shaped formation inside the fort.  Smaller buildings such as the main powder magazine and the hot shot furnace are also shown.  There were three main ocean-front walls.  Two bastions were shown at each end of the land side of the fort wall.   


National Archives


Throughout its long history the third Fort Moultrie has undergone modification. The fort’s walls have often been covered with sand to protect them from artillery shells, and the interior of the fort has been filled with earth and concrete to mount new weapons. Its armament, too, has changed, from smooth-bore cannon to disappearing rifles to anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The Fort Moultrie Visitor Center and interior theater is accessible. There are assistive listening devices available for use when watching the film.

Caution should be used while visiting Fort Moultrie as the ground can be uneven; be careful when walking in tunnels, paved in cement, paths made of bricks, and through the grassy parade grounds.

The interior of the fort has some accessible sections. Please see the ranger at the front desk for specific directions.

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For more information about our services, please ask a ranger, call, or check on our website.

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TEXT: About your visit

Fort Moultrie is open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. Groups should make reservations for guided tours. Pets are not allowed inside the fort.

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TEXT: Safety

Watch your step and use caution in the fort. Please use the paths and do not climb on mounds or cannon.

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TEXT: Getting here

The fort is on Sullivans Island, SC. Coming from Charleston, take US 17 (business) to Mt. Pleasant; turn right on SC 703. At Sullivans Island, turn right onto Middle Street. The fort is 1.5 miles from the intersection.

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OVERVIEW: More information

Fort Moultrie is administered by the National Park Service as part of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.


Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park

1214 Middle Street

Sullivan's Island, SC 29482-9748




To learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities, visit

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