Guardians of Charleston Harbor

Two forts stand at the entrance of Charleston Harbor. Patriots inside a palmetto log fort, later named Fort Moultrie, defeated the Royal Navy in 1776. As Charleston blazed a path towards secession to preserve slavery, construction on a new fort, Fort Sumter, proceeded. The Confederacy fired on the US garrison of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 opening the Civil War, which redefined American freedom.

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Duration:
4 minutes, 30 seconds

Learn about where the American Civil War began and Fort Sumter's role from park rangers and visitors.

Large Civil War cannon on top of Fort Sumter with sunrise in the background

Visit Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is located on an island in Charleston Harbor and is only accessible by boat.

exterior side view of Fort Moultrie with row of Civil War cannon lined up in front.

Visit Fort Moultrie

Visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to experience 171 years of seacoast defense from 1776 to 1947.

two children holding passes in front of cannon

Every Kid Outdoors

Do you have a 4th grader and love visiting National Parks? You're in luck! Check out the initiative to get every kid outdoors!

wheelchair access at fort sumter

Accessibility

We want you to have the most enjoyable trip possible; therefore, we ask that you refer to our accessibility section to learn more.

Woman power washing cannon

Adopt-A-Cannon

See how you can help the effort to conserve rare artifacts at Fort Sumter.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

Phone:

(843) 577-0242

Contact Us