Sunday, June 15, 2014

For Moultrie: Day 19

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Fort Moultrie

Description: In the morning of the group’s second full day in Charleston, we visited Fort Moultrie National Monument on Sullivan’s Island. Fort Moultrie was first built for the Revolutionary War in 1776 using Palmetto trees and earth and was in service until 1947. The fort was in use for six different wars spanning 171 years. The fort has been built and rebuilt a total of three times. Fort Moultrie got its name because the first commander of the fort was Colonel. William Moultrie. Fort Moultrie was the site of the first naval victory in the Revolutionary War for the Patriots. Fort Moultrie is now a brick fort and is smaller than the original fort built for the American Revolution.

Reflection: I love history and getting to visit, see, and walk through a fort that had been in commission for six separate wars was amazing. I loved how the National Park Service made Fort Moultrie part of Fort Sumter National Park. When touring Fort Moultrie, you see and read information that no website or video can depict. Our park ranger told the group the story of how the fort was used during the Revolutionary War and I loved that story because Fort Moultrie is the site where the United States won its first ever naval battle. I had never heard of Fort Moultrie before we went to visit the park but I am glad we did visit that particular fort. Everyone knows about Fort Sumter but not nearly as many know about Fort Moultrie which, in my opinion, is more important because Moultrie helped America gain its independence from the British.

Analysis: Preserving historical sites like Fort Moultrie is a common occurrence in Charleston. One of the old train depots that ran through Charleston is now a Harris Teeter and looks just the same as it did before it was converted to a grocery store. Fort Moultrie was key to the city of Charleston because it protected the city from the British until the city was sieged in 1780. When the British took control of Charleston, they completely avoided Fort Moultrie because the Patriots easily defeated British Admiral Sir Peter Parker in 1776. Without Fort Moultrie, Charleston would have been taken over by the British in 1776 and they would have been able to start their southern campaign earlier than 1780 which might have won them the war. Fort Moultrie was also used extensively during the Civil War. Confederates used the fort along with Fort Sumter to protect the port of Charleston. Fort Moultrie is also the birthplace of the South Carolina state flag. William Moultrie designed the blue flag with a crest in the corner to fly at Fort Moultrie. Later down the road, the citizens of South Carolina added a Palmetto tree to Moultrie’s design to commemorate Fort Moultrie’s victory in 1776 using Palmetto logs as the outer wall of the fort. Overall, Fort Moultrie is important militarily and its legacy lives on through the South Carolina state flag.

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