Saving History Saturday: South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust Saves Part of Fort Johnson

Although the historic fort has long since disappeared, the site is getting new preservation and interpretation efforts. The Medical University of South Carolina will sell its holdings at Windmill Point to the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, allowing the historic Fort Johnson site to be placed under easement. With both Civil War and Revolutionary War history ties, the new preservation site will join the Liberty Trail project which connects Revolutionary War locations across the state.

Fortifications were located at the point as early as the Colonial Era. Fort Johnson location itself was captured by the Americans in 1775 and held until 1780 when the British invading army arrived in Charleston. The Patriots destroyed the fort as they retreated, then retook the position when the British abandoned the Carolinas Campaign.

For the decades immediately after the War of Independence, fortifications were built and regular destroyed by storms. Later a stronger fort — Fort Johnson — occupied the defensive site, but it turned to an offensive use with the coming of the Civil War. Federal troops retreated from the shore fortifications to Fort Sumter, and Governor Pickens ordered the shore forts seized. On April 12, 1861, Confederate General Beauregard ordered a mortar shot from Fort Johnson to signal all the harbor batteries to being the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

For more history and details about the new preservation project, check out this original article from the Post & Courier:

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