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Colonial Period


Early Republic

War Between the States

Recent Era

District of Columbia

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Glimpses of
Historical Areas East of the Mississippi River

The Early Republic 



Special Feature: Part of the early defenses of Charleston Harbor.

THIS fort was laid out in 1794 on an island in Charleston Harbor known as Shutes' Folly, but work was not begun until 1797. It was almost ruined by a storm in 1804 and extensive repairs were necessary. In 1809 this post was considered the strongest in the harbor, mounting 30 guns and having quarters for 200 officers and men. In 1832 a sea wall was completed around the fort.

The armament of Castle Pinckney in 1860 consisted of fourteen 24-pounders, four 42-pounders, four 8-inch howitzers, one 10-inch and one 8-inch mortar, and four light pieces for flank defense. On December 27, 1860, it was seized by a detachment of South Carolina militia and held by the Confederates until February 1865. Prisoners from the first battle of Bull Run were confined there for a time. Considered too small and too near the city to be of much use during the Civil War, it played a very small part in withstanding the various naval attacks on Charleston. In 1890 part of the old walls and casemates were dismantled to make way for a lighthouse. In 1924 the site was declared a national monument by Presidential proclamation.

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Last Modified: Thurs, Nov 23 2000 10:00:00 pm PDT

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