In this episode of Mary Long's Yesteryear, historian Mary Long walks through the barricades and halls of the two historically important South Carolina sea forts. Mary focuses on the lives of the key commanders at Fort Moultrie, during the American Revolution, and Fort Sumter, for the first battle of the American Civil War.
Fort Moultrie was the first fort on Sullivan's Island. Constructed from Palmetto logs and sand, the fort was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker of the Royal Navy and nine British men-of-war attacked it on June 28, 1776. Charlestown was saved temporarily from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie.
Fort Sumter was started during the War of 1812 on Sullivan's Island. It was named after Revolutionary War hero, General Thomas Sumter. Still not completely built, the first shots of the American Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, destroying the fort's structures.
After tumultuous histories, both forts were restored to showcase major periods of military history. More than 750,000 tourists visit Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park every year.
Mary Long's Yesteryear was an educational series featuring notable moments in South Carolina history. Produced at WNSC in Rock Hill, the program became one of SCETV’s most popular TV series in the 1990s.
If you're not able to visit in person, check out the virtual tour of Fort Moultrie below.