Charleston, South Carolina - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Charleston, South Carolina - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Charleston, South Carolina
The historic United States Custom House in
Charleston was damaged by shells when the city
was bombarded by U.S. troops during the Civil War.
Charleston, South Carolina
A carriage awaits on the
streets of Charleston, one of
the most beautiful and
historic cities in America.
Fort Sumter
Heavy cannon aim out from
Fort Sumter. Confederate
troops bombarded the fort in
1861 in the first battle of the
Civil War.
Charleston, South Carolina - Historic Sites & More
Charleston, SC Points of Interest
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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Cities of the Southern Coast
Charleston from the Harbor
The beautiful waterfront of
Charleston has witnessed
history including Blackbeard
the Pirate and the starting of
the War Between the States.
Street Scene in Charleston
Ranked on of the top tourist
attractions in the country,
Charleston has dubbed the
"Holy City" due to the number
and beauty of its churches.
Charleston is without doubt one of the most
beautiful and historic cities in the United

Located on the coast of South Carolina, the
city is rich in Low Country flavor and scenic
beauty. Charleston has also been a cross-
roads of American history. Blackbeard the
Pirate once threatened the city and it was
here that the War Between the States (or Civil
War) began.

Originally called Charles Town, the city was
founded by the English in 1670. The original
site, on a marshy point off the Ashley River, is
preserved today as
Charles Town Landing
State Historic Site. From this fortified early
settlement, traders and explorers penetrated
the back country as far as the Mississippi
River, forming alliances with Indian tribes
and threatening the precarious Spanish hold
on much of the Southeast.

By 1680, Charles Towne had moved down
the Ashley to its present site on the harbor
itself. A rapidly growing city, it was surging in
importance and was of the capital of the
Colony of South Carolina.

The city survived attack during the Yamassee
War of the early 1700s to become a major
port for the English Indian trade. Hundreds of
thousands of deerskins purchased from the
Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and other nations
passed through the port, which condensed
its name down to Charleston. It is estimated
that as many as 1.25 million deer were
slaughtered in the South to fill the cargo
holds of the ships leaving Charleston.

Such prosperity naturally attracted the
attention of the pirates who prowled the
coastal waters during the early 1700s. Chief
among these was Edward Teach, better
known as Blackbeard.

In late May of 1718, Blackbeard blockaded
the entrance to Charleston Harbor. As no
warships were stationed in the city, its
leaders could do little more than watch in
despair as the pirate captured nine ships
trying to make their way in or out of the port.

On one of the captured vessels was Samuel
Wragg, a member of the Provincial Council.
The pirate used him to strike a bargain with
the residents of the city. If they would provide
him with medical supplies, he would release
the captured vessels and end  the blockade.

The agreement was fulfilled and Blackbeard
sailed away, but not without ransacking the
captured ships of anything valuable or useful
to him.

Such piratical exploits aside, Charleston
continued to grow and by the eve of the
American Revolution was a prosperous and
thriving seaport city. It was also a hotbed for
rebellion as the Sons of Liberty fomented
revolution in the years leading up to 1775.

When the "shot heard round the world" was
fired in Massachusetts in 1775, South
Carolina rapidly joined her sister colonies
(with the exception of Canada and Florida,
which remained loyal to the King) in rising up
against British rule. Because of the city's
prominence, it was quickly targeted by the
British. Sir Henry Clinton was ordered to
retake Charleston and sailed with a flotilla of
warships and an army of 2,000 men.

To defend the city, the South Carolinians had
only an incomplete palmetto log fortress they
called Fort Sullivan. The commander of the
fort, Colonel William Moultrie, vowed never to
surrender and promised to fight from the
ruins if British cannon knocked the fort to
pieces around him.

In one of the first great battles of the
American Revolution, Moultrie defended Fort
Sullivan against the British fleet on June 28,
1776. To the surprise of everyone, the
palmetto log walls of the fort absorbed the
British cannonballs instead of being knocked
down by them. The Americans won, the city
was saved and William Moultrie became an
American hero. The fortress was renamed
Fort Moultrie in his honor.
Photos by Roger More & Pearl Cox
Charleston eventually was taken by the
British, but Moultrie's defense saved the city
for four years. Despite much damage and
blood, the city survived the Revolution and
quickly became one of the principal ports of
the new American nation.

By 1860, Charleston had emerged as one of
the most prosperous and beautiful cities in
the United States. It was, however, a hotbed
of the secession movement and its citizens
cheered in the streets when South Carolina
became the first of the Southern states to
leave the Union.

On April 12, 1861, the men, women and
children of Charleston watched from rooftops
as Confederate cannon opened fire on Fort
Sumter in the first battle of the War Between
the States. Four the next four years the city
suffered enormous loss and damage. It was
even shelled long distance by Union cannon,
the exploding shells wreaking havoc on
civilian lives and property.

Despite such tactics by their enemy, the
Confederates held out in Charleston until
1865. During the four years of war, the city's
defenders fought ferociously, even launching
the first submarine attack in the history of the
The famed Confederate submarine
Hunly can be seen in Charleston today.

Charleston continued to grow in importance
as a seaport and eventually as a destination
for tourism throughout the 20th century.
Today it is a beautiful city, much loved for its
historic homes and buildings, its churches,
old forts, brick and cobblestone streets,
unique bed & breakfast inns, charming
shops and outstanding restaurants.

Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, is
now a national monument in the center of
Charleston Harbor. Tour boats take visitors
out to the historic fort, passing the ruined and
all but forgotten
Castle Pinckney along the

Fort Moultrie, scene of the famed battle of the
American Revolution, is part of the park and
can be toured daily on Sullivan's Island. The
grave of the famous Seminole warrior
Osceola can be seen near the gate of the
historic fort. He died there in captivity.

To learn more about historic Charleston,
please follow the links below. Be sure to visit for
more information on the beautiful city.
Copyright 2012 and 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: July 21, 2013
Cannon at Fort Moultrie
The fort survived major
fighting in two wars and now
displays American defenses
spanning more than 100