Charleston & Fort Sumter NM, South Carolina (State #13)

3/22/15


“Charleston, South Carolina

 

Re-read that, but this time imagine Kevin Spacy’s character from House of Cards is saying it. If you never saw the show, you can Youtube it. There’s no rush.

 

Charleston, formerly Charles Town, is located on a south-facing peninsula in a large harbor on the Atlantic coast.

My mom and I stayed East of Charleston proper, across the bridge in the town of Mt. Pleasant. Charleston is a neat city with old architecture and aging brick and stone streets. The stately Waterfront Park fountain could have served as a romantic meeting place. The elevated walkway along the harbor near White Point Garden could have accommodated young family strolls in the afternoon.

 

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That’s my Mama!

 

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Charleston is nicknamed The Holy City because of the many church steeples.

 

It’s a fun city to walk because, similar to Savannah, there are neat little gardens and cool house paint color schemes down every street. However, unlike Savannah, Charleston has not retained the small town feel.

 

Take this with a grain of salt because I only spent three nights there, but Charleston is a tourist destination. And if there’s one thing a snoody tourist like myself can’t stand, it’s walking through a place that’s got too many damned tourists!

 

The shopping is hip and expensive. The horse carriage tours look fun, but they’re so common that taking one wouldn’t give you the ‘unique experience’ feeling. Put simply, the majority of the people walking around appear to be visiting. I’m happy we went, but my mom and I agreed that we were late to the trend of visiting Charleston..

 

Fort Sumter National Monument (map / wiki) was cool though!

 

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The South Carolina militia immediately seized the lightly manned federal forts in the area without conflict. Expecting the militia, US troops fell back to the only fort that Major Robert Anderson deemed defensible, the island of Fort Sumter.

 

Trade into Charleston Harbor is at the mercy of Fort Sumter, and South Carolina’s declaration of independence wouldn’t be taken seriously if the largest fort in her largest harbor still flew the United States flag. (*Side Note: After reading more about SC’s secession, it’s really interesting the reactions it received. It seems like everyone, from common people to government officials, reacted as follows: “Geeze, really?” – “Is that even legal?” – “That can’t be legal.” – “Those guys need to calm down.”)

 

Removing the 60 or 70 Union troops from Fort Sumter became a trial of legitimacy.

 

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Things started off civilized, South Carolina asked for the fort to surrender. US President James Buchanan said “No”. Some time passed and then Brigadier General Pierre G. T. Beauregard demanded that Fort Sumter be evacuated. Anderson said “No”. Confederates opened fire from the near by mainland and bombarded the fort with cannons and mortars for 34 hours straight with about 3,000 rounds. Anderson said “Fine” and boarded a ship bound for New York. That bombardment is credited as being the start of the civil war.

 

Interesting fact – No one died during that bombardment, however the one condition Anderson insisted on before surrendering was that the US flag would receive a 100 gun salute before being lowered. During the salute an errant spark ignited a pile of gunpowder cartridges and exploded killing Daniel Hough, mortally wounding another man, and injuring 4 other US soldiers. The salute was shortened to 50 shots, Hough was buried under the parade grounds within two hours, and Anderson sailed off with his remaining men in a ship the Confederates supplied, thus concluding the first Battle of Fort Sumter.

 

The Union made many unsuccessful attempts to recapture the fort throughout the war. And during those battles the fort was essentially reduced to rubble. However, The Union never conquered it by force. The Confederates abandoned the Fort Sumter late in the war, after its strategic influence was lost.”

 

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Fort Sumter before the Civil War

 

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Fort Sumpter after the Civil War

 

 


 

My mom and I also took an afternoon to visit Middleton Place (wiki).

 

 

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It’s a cool spot if you’re into gardens and history, which we are – so it was.
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Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston

 

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2 Comments on “Charleston & Fort Sumter NM, South Carolina (State #13)

  1. jay!! What fun adventures you’re having! I’m so glad you’re keeping us riding along with you! I finally got caught up! Take care!

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