Charleston, SC – Day 4
In its 171 year history, Fort Moultrie has defended Charleston Harbor twice. The first time was on June 28, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. The 30 canon of the fort drove off a British fleet mounting 200 guns. In December 1860, just a few days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the occupying Union forces left Moultrie and joined the forces at Ft. Sumter. The Confederate forces occupied the fort and for two years during the blockade of Charleston Harbor the fort was bombarded by Federal forces and reduced to rubble but with the help of Confederate forces at Ft. Sumter, the Confederates were able to hold back the Union Attacks. During WWI and WWII the fort was updated with new modern weaponry including anti-aircraft guns. Fortunately, these new weapons were never called upon to defend our shores.
Now for the really important part of the Fort's history:
Perhaps the most spectacular tradition in all of college football occurs in Doak Campbell Stadium when a student portraying the famous Seminole Indian leader, Osceola, charges down the field riding an Appaloosa horse named Renegade and plants a flaming spear at midfield to begin every home game.
So imagine our complete surprise when we found, immediately outside the gates of Fort Moultrie, the grave of Osceola.
On October 21, 1837 Osceola was captured when he arrived for supposed truce negotiations in Fort Peyton, FL. He was imprisoned at St. Augustine, FL. Osceola's capture by deceit caused a national uproar. That December, Osceola and other Seminole prisoners were moved to Fort Moultrie.
Osceola died of malaria on January 30, 1838, less than three months after his capture. He was buried with military honors at Fort Moultrie.
Next stop – where the Civil War began - Ft. Sumter.