Monday, October 4, 2010

History Day at Charleston


Today was a busy day.  We spent the day immersed in history visiting Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, and Submarine USS Clamagore.

Fort Sumter was our first destination.  It is famous because the first shots of the Civil war were shot at Fort Sumter.  Fort Sumter can only be reached by boat.  The island was built up from a sandbar 10 feet underwater (at low tide), because it was the best location to defend Charleston.  When the Civil War started it was only 90% completed.  After Lincoln was elected president the union forces in Charleston were ordered to protect Union property.  Their numbers were limited and they prepositioned themselves to Fort Sumter.  The fort was fired on and eventually ceded to the Southern States of America.  Later in the war union forces regained control, but in the process destroyed the 2nd and 3rd levels of the fort walls.  Over they years its was put to different uses, including as a lighthouse.  It was again used for harbor defense until 1938 when it was retired.  It was an interesting tour.

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There are at least 4 places where union shells were embedded in the walls during the battle to regain control.


There is a museum that has among its displays the flag that flew over Fort Sumter during the initial battle.


Here are some additional pictures from the Fort.

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Once we got back to Patriots Point we toured the submarine USS  Clamagore.  It is one of the last deisel submarines of World War II.  It was commissioned in June 1945 and saw active service until 1975.  It is open for walking through.


The USS Yorktown is also fun to visit.  Besides the hanger deck and the flight deck, there are other areas of the ship open for going through, including the engineering areas, brig (don’t want to go there for real), the pilots’ ready room, CIC, pilot house, etc.

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The Yorktown has a long and glorious history.  It was commissioned in 1943 and was retired two years after being the primary recovery ship for Apollo 8 in 1968. 

The last historical place we visited was Fort Moultrie on Sullivan Island.  It was built in 1776 and participated in the Revolutionary War when it defended Charleston Harbor from the British and was finally decommissioned after World War II.

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Here are some other places of interest.  The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge is really neat and well worth a look.


The City of Charleston looks inviting from the harbor.  We will spend more time there tomorrow.

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The houses near Fort Moultrie were fun to look at.

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And the Sullivan Island Lighthouse is an unusual design and reportedly is the only light house with an elevator.  We cannot vouch for that since the lighthouse is active and not open to visitors.


And finally was Sullivan’s where we had an excellent meal.


On the menu were:

Stuffed Founder


7 Layer seafood




Bacon wrapped Shrimp


As indicated, tomorrow we will spend time in Charleston itself.

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