1809 Original Layout by Maj. Alexander Macomb
Two diagrams and cutaway views of the third version of Fort Moultrie, “Copied from the Plan by Major A. Macomb of the Engineers, by Lt. W. Williams.” Although undated, Macomb’s original was presumably based upon the finished fort and submitted to Washington sometime prior to February 1811, when Macomb was promoted from the rank of Major.
Note: the smaller barracks and storehouses clustered at the rear of this new fort’s compound, plus the double-ramp originally erected at its Southwest Angle. This fort was intended to be encircled by a ditch approximately 30 feet wide and six feet deep, although it would soon prove impossible to keep it free from the constantly-encroaching sand-dunes. It furthermore boasted a waterline-battery of seven guns, emplaced on the ditch’s outer rim.
Source: U. S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheets 3 and 4.
1821 Survey by Capt. William Poussin
Plan of Fort Moultrie as drawn in February 1821 by Capt. William T. Poussin, a staff officer of Brig. Gen. Simon Bernard, during their stopover at Charleston on an inspection-tour of America’s coastal defenses.
Note: how the fort’s original buildings had been expanded since its construction a dozen years previously, with a protective traverse for its Magazine and a hot-shot furnace added. Its waterline-battery has vanished, however, and the fort’s ramparts are no longer protected by a ditch.
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheet 5.
1830 Detailed Study by Lt. Joseph Mansfield
Highly-detailed plan of Fort Moultrie, as well as diagrams of several of its major buildings and defensive features, submitted on September 25, 1830 by Lt. Joseph K. F. Mansfield to the Chief of the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Brevet Brig. Gen. Charles Gratiot, as an accompaniment to an assessment of its material condition after a heavy gale and surf-damage.
Note: the small size of the fort’s Guardhouse, which would not be expanded until more than a dozen years later.
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheet 6.
1833 Reinforcement Plan by Capt. William Eliason
Plan and diagram of the reinforcement of wave-threatened Moultrie and its shoreline during 1832-1833, under the direction of Capt. William A. Eliason; submitted to the Chief Engineer, Brevet Brigadier Gratiot, on September 3, 1833.
Note: the additional eight-foot palisade erected all around the fort’s three land-fronts, due to fears of a possible assault by South Carolina militiamen during the so-called “Nullification Crisis.” A large wooden storage-shed is also featured atop the fort’s western rampart.
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheet 9.
1835 Follow-Up Plan by Lt. Thompson Brown
Plan and diagrams of Fort Moultrie’s new shore-side breakwater, designed as a result of the follow-up inspection conducted during 1834-1835 by Lt. Thompson S. Brown, on Major-General Macomb’s orders; submitted to Washington on January 22, 1835.
Note: how Brown has suggested the erection of a pair of hot-shot furnaces, directly at the foot of each of Moultrie’s two seaside ramps, plus several other defensive enhancements.
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheet 10.
1842 Reconstructed Fort by Capt. Alexander Bowman
Plan and various diagrams of Fort Moultrie, after its major reconstruction from 1839-1842 by Capt. Alexander H. Bowman. Having successfully built a more permanent and effective shoreline breakwater with a “grillage” design, Bowman was able to hand the refurbished fort over to the 3rd U.S. Artillery Regt. by June 1842, submitting this — his final report — to Washington more than three years later, in mid-October 1845.
Note: how this map only includes a single flight of stairs in front of the Officers’ Quarters, not the two additional staircases subsequently added to its enlisted men’s barracks, or any other enhancements made in 1843 in the wake of yet another damaging hurricane.
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77 (Office of the Chief of Engineers), Cartographic Branch, College Park, Maryland, Drawer 65, Sheet 14.
1849 Woodcut by Benson Lossing
Woodcut depicting the Southeast Angle of Moultrie, based upon a sketch made during Benson J. Lossing’s visit to Sullivan’s Island on January 29, 1849. The half-dozen guns of the fort’s Maffitt Channel Battery can be seen tilted downward atop Moultrie’s rampart, with a portion of the Officers’ Quarters, flagstaff, and two West Barrack chimneys protruding beyond them.
Note: how in his published book, Lossing described Moultrie as “not a large, but a well-constructed fortification,” and added regarding this particular perspective view:
The small building toward the left marks the center of the old Palmetto Fort. In the distance is seen Fort Sumter, and in the extreme distance, close by the angle of the fort, is seen the village upon the site of old Fort Johnson.
Source: This engraving was originally included as a small inset on Page 551 of the second volume of Lossing’s Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, or Illustrations by Pen and Pencil of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics, and Traditions of the War for Independence, published in New York City by Harper Brothers in 1852.
1853-1855 Barrack-Room Assignments
Two undated plans of room allocations in the upper and lower floors, or “tiers” of Fort Moultrie, most likely assigned during 1853-1855, as the names “Capt. Seymour” and “Lt. Slocum” are both given. The former had served as art instructor at West Point until 1853, while 2nd Lt. Henry W. Slocum reached Moultrie from Florida in December of that same year, receiving a furlough shortly thereafter to return to his native New York and wed his fiancé Clara on February 9, 1854. Resuming garrison duty at Moultrie, Slocum resigned his commission eleven days after the death of his infant daughter Caroline at Charleston on October 20, 1856, taking his wife home to instead begin practicing law in Syracuse, N.Y. He later commanded a Union corps in Sherman’s “march to the sea.”
Note: how many of peacetime Moultrie’s rooms were deemed “not assignable” or left vacant because of their small size, lack of a fireplace, etc.
Source: U.S. National Archives.
1853-1855 Assigned Reservation Quarters
Plan of the building-layout in the U.S. Army compound behind Moultrie, commonly called the Reservation, ca. 1853-1855. It included storerooms, a smithy, and the hospital. The fort itself was to the right of this diagram, on the far side of the intervening street, while the Cove and its jetty lay off to the left.
Note: the number of cabins designated for “laundresses,” often the common-law wives of the garrison’s soldiers.
Source: U.S. National Archives.
1855 Engraved Four-Dollar Banknote
Note worth four dollars, issued by the Bank of the State of South Carolina on May 4, 1855, over the signatures of its cashier D. L. DeSaussure and president C. J. Shannon. Identical bills would be reissued by this institution, both prior and throughout the ensuing Civil War years, featuring this lithographic view of peacetime Moultrie which had been created by the Charlestonian printers Benjamin F. Evans and Harvey Cogswell, showing the fort’s southeastern face and civilians strolling along its sandy shoreline.
Note: the gun-covers placed over the fort’s cannon, as well as the buildings protruding from the U.S. Army compound in its rear, commonly called the Reservation.
Source: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, plus numerous private numismatic collections.
1858 Drawing of Sullivan’s Island by the US Coast Survey
Detail from a larger panoramic drawing of the approaches into Charleston Harbor as seen from out at sea, which included the relative positions of numerous navigational beacons and other landmarks on Sullivan’s Island — among other stretches of coastline — in 1858.
Note: that this supplementary illustration for a U.S. Coast Guard nautical chart, apparently also served as the model for the crude depiction of Fort Moultrie and its shoreline published by Leslie’s two years later.
Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Historic Coast & Geodetic Survey Collection”, National Archives and Records Administration image id-number cgs05160.
1860 Parade-Ground Photo by Osborn & Durbec
Flag-raising ceremony staged at antebellum Moultrie, so as to be taken sometime around August 1860 by the Charleston photographers James M. Osborn and Frederick E. Durbec. Two soldiers in forage caps stand at attention, the one at left grasping the tail of the extended and gently flapping flag, while an officer — believed to be Captain Abner Doubleday, later of baseball fame — and a sergeant-major in Hardee hats draw at its lines. A civilian in top-hat furthermore poses behind them, atop one of the 32-pounder barbette-carriages. The shadows would seem to suggest that this picture was snapped sometime around 2:00 p.m. on a hazy afternoon.
Note: the tidy Parade Ground and four-and-a-half-year old hot-shot furnace at center, so long unused that its aperture had been bricked up.
Source: Original negative lost; prints held by numerous public institutions and private collections.
1860 Columbiads Photo by Osborn & Durbec
Although undated, this photograph was almost certainly taken during the same August 1860 visit to Fort Moultrie by Osborn and Durbec, given the still-shiny finish and orderly arrangement of these 8-inch Columbiads, installed at its Southwest and Southeast Angles only ten months previously. The English-born correspondent Thomas Butler Gunn recorded on page 74 of Volume 14 of his personal diary, how during their stay as observers in Charleston, he and his colleague Will Waud had gone on January 18, 1861 “to King Street together, to a photographer’s or two,” and purchased this particular picture along with several others. Osborn and Durbec’s gallery was at that date located at 223 King Street.
Note: the levers resting atop each Columbiad’s carriage-runner, ready to be thrust into the wheel-holes so as to move and adjust each gun’s aim, plus the protective covers perched over the touch-holes to help keep them clear and dry.
Source: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, call number GLC04509.22. This photograph was also duplicated as an engraving entitled “The Great Cannon in Fort Moultrie—From a Sketch by Our Special Artist Now in Charleston,” and published in the February 2, 1861 edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper in New York.
1860 Moultrie and Sumter Insert by Osborn & Durbec
A second version of Osborn and Durbec’s August 1860 photograph of peacetime Moultrie, this time including an enlarged insert of distant Fort Sumter — shown larger and closer than in reality, presumably so as to illustrate its orientation from Moultrie, for customers unfamiliar with its true position, yet interested in the subject as secessionist tensions mounted.
Note: the much darker sky and shoreline in the corner of this photograph, behind the enlarged insert of Fort Sumter.
Source: Original negative lost; prints held by various public institutions and private collections.
1860 Moultrie Diagram by Samuel Crawford
“Sectional view of Fort Moultrie,” included in Dr. Samuel Crawford’s account of his service at this beleaguered Federal outpost from September 7th through December 26, 1860, prior to the evacuation of its entire garrison to Fort Sumter. Despite the simplicity of this squared-off diagram, it is nonetheless fairly accurate.
Note: the intricate detail provided on Moultrie’s hedge-lined inner Parade-grounds, and its brick-paved pathways.
Source: Published on page 63 of Samuel Wylie Crawford’s The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861 (New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1887).
1860 Peacetime Moultrie Engraving by Harper’s Weekly
Engraving of peacetime Moultrie in 1860, apparently based upon a sketch or photograph taken from atop the nearby Front-Range harbor beacon, which stood fifty feet high and thus afforded a partial glimpse down into the fort’s interior. Its southern rampart and barracks are shown darkening with shadows, as the sun had already dipped into mid-afternoon. The fashionable civilians depicted were typical of the well-to-do summertime residents and visitors to Sullivan’s Island, who were allowed to stroll Moultrie’s ramparts so as to enjoy the view and refreshing sea-breezes; some can even be seen crossing a small wooden foot-bridge which connected the outer wall to an adjacent sand-dune.
Note: how most of the undermanned fort’s guns stand enclosed in wooden pent-covers, with their tompions inserted, as long-term preservation against the elements.
Source: Published on Page 724 of the November 17, 1860 edition of Harper’s Weekly (Volume IV, Number 203); special handed-tinted off-prints were also sold separately.
1860 Peacetime Moultrie Engraving by Leslie’s
Wood engraving of Moultrie’s southern rampart, barracks, and inner parade-ground as seen from atop the nearby harbor-beacon, with the City of Charleston hazily visible in the far distance. Although originally published in New York City atop Page 104 of the January 5, 1861 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper — by which date Fort Moultrie had already been significantly altered and strengthened through erection of additional defenses by its beleaguered Federal garrison, then abandoned to South Carolinian forces — this peaceful scene depicts the fort as it had appeared prior to the Secession Crisis and threat of war.
Note: the civilian gentleman strolling its rampart under a parasol, while two women gaze out to sea in the company of a waiting officer — one of the ladies seated comfortably at the end a cannon-barrel. All the fort’s artillery have their tompions inserted, and only a half-dozen or so are not further encased in wooden gun-covers, as protection against the elements. The large sand-dune so prominently featured in Harper’s Weekly contemporaneous engraving, is not shown here at all. Instead, two fishermen can be seen on the beach at left, returning from the Grillage — the rocky shore-side breakwater erected twenty years previously by the U.S. military engineer, Captain Alexander H. Bowman, a spot still well-known today as abounding in flounder, sheephead, and feeding porpoises.
1860 Sullivan’s Island Panorama by Hugo Bosse
Wood engraving showing the “Position of Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island … from a sketch by Hugo Bosse,” reputedly drawn a few days after Maj. Robert Anderson had assumed command over its beleaguered Federal garrison on November 21, 1860. This newspaper insert offers a unique perspective, looking across the summer homes on Sullivan’s Island out of the southeast, directly toward the low silhouette of the fort itself at center, with the City of Charleston visible several miles beyond it in the far distance.
Note: that this admittedly sketchy bird’s-eye view was not accurate in every detail, the Front Range harbor-beacon standing to the left of Moultrie being entirely omitted, for example, while the cluster of palmettos known as the “Five Indians” has been rather indifferently rendered and placed.
Source: Published atop Pages 120-121 of the December 29, 1860 edition of the New York Illustrated News, copies being held today by such public institutions as the Chicago Historical Society; the Huntington Library; the Helen Ganser Library at Millersville University in Pennsylvania; the Newberry Library; the New York Public Library; the South Caroliniana Library; Trinity College at Hartford, Connecticut; and the University of Chicago, as well as in numerous private collections
1860 Sullivan’s Island Shoreline by Leslie’s
Hand-tinted engraving of Fort Moultrie and Sullivan’s Island shoreline printed by Leslie’s weekly newspaper and issued in New York on December 1, 1860, based upon “sketches by our special artist.”
Note: the crudity and many inaccuracies of this depiction.
Source: Published on the cover of the December 1, 1860 edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Volume XI, Number 262), as well as issued separately as a hand-tinted off-print, copies of both being held today in numerous public and private historical collections such as the Charleston Museum Digital Collection, call number 2010.9.17.
1860 Sketches of Beleaguered Moultrie in Harper’s Weekly
“Sketches of Fort Moultrie by an officer of Major Anderson’s Command,” published in the January 12, 1861 edition of Harper’s Weekly. These five illustrations constitute the only visual representation of the defensive measures adopted by Moultrie’s beleaguered Federal garrison prior to their stealthy evacuation on the night of December 26, 1860, against a possible take-over by South Carolinian forces.
Note: the extensive size of the dig needed to produce the wet ditch and glacis around the eastern and southern faces of the fort.
Source: The January 12, 1861 edition of Harper’s Weekly, Volume V, Number 211, Page 24. Special hand-tinted off-prints were also produced.
1860 Evacuation of Fort Moultrie by Will Waud
Imagined scene of the evacuation of Fort Moultrie by Anderson’s two artillery companies on the evening of December 26, 1860, as depicted more than three weeks later in Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper from a sketch forwarded by its correspondent in Charleston, William Waud. However, Waud’s English colleague Thomas Butler Gunn noted (Diaries, Volume 14, page 28) how Waud had not actually reached Charleston until ten days after this event, so did not personally witness it.
Note: that hand-tinted off-prints of this engraving were also run off and sold separately.
Source: Published at the top of pages 136-137 of the January 19, 1861 edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Volume XI, Number 269).
1860 Spiking of Moultrie’s Guns by Leslie’s
This fanciful wood-engraving was originally published on the title-page of the January 5, 1861 edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Vol. XI, Number 267) and also republished decades after the war, above a caption which read “Spiking the Guns of Fort Moultrie by Major Anderson, Before its Evacuation, December 26th, 1860” — although in fact, this act of sabotage had been carried out early that next morning, by a small detachment left behind in the fort under the direction of Captain John G. Foster.
Note: that unlike the sixteen figures represented here, busily hammering nails into touch-holes while others gather wood and flammables to set the wooden gun-carriages ablaze, Foster only had four noncoms and seven gunners with him to complete this and many other tasks.
Source: Also printed in Scenes and Portraits of the Civil War: The Most Important Events of the Conflict Between the States, Graphically Pictured (New York: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1894), as well as on page 55 of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated History of the Civil War (New York: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1895).
1860 Felling Moultrie’s Flagstaff by Leslie’s
Another imagined scene, representing the “Cutting down [of] the U.S. flagstaff, under the direction of Major Anderson at Fort Moultrie, Charleston Harbor, S.C., on Christmas Night, 1860.” This flagpole was in reality cut down after the fort’s evacuation, by Captain Foster early on the morning of December 27, 1860 — and moreover was felled in the opposite direction from that shown here, being toppled outward over the parapet so as to crack or “spring” its length of wood, thus rendering it useless for reinstallation.
Note: also that while the barracks behind are accurately rendered, the flagstaff itself stood atop the rampart beyond Moultrie’s main flight of stairs, not lower down at the Parade-Ground level depicted here.
Source: Featured on page 129 of the January 19, 1861, edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Volume XI, Number 269).
1860 Moultrie’s Gun-Carriages Ablaze by Leslie’s
Another imaginary scene, showing all of Moultrie’s artillery-carriages ablaze and smoking heavily on the morning of December 27, 1860, after being set alight by the departing sapper-party under Captain Foster. However, the engravers in New York City were not to know that only eleven guns around its Southwest Angle had actually been spiked and set on fire, not the entire armament.
Note: that this wood-engraving has furthermore been based upon a peaceful antebellum illustration, so does not include the many defensive enhancements which had been erected in the previous weeks by its beleaguered Federal garrison.
Source: Featured on page 105 of the January 5, 1861, edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Volume XI, Number 267).
1861 Sketch of Fort’s Weaknesses by James Simons
Diagram of recently-occupied Fort Moultrie, as sketched by Brig. Gen. James Simons of the 4th South Carolina Militia Brigade to accompany his report of January 1, 1861 to Governor Francis Pickens, pessimistically assessing the prospects of holding Moultrie while investing Sumter.
Note: how this diagram has been hastily drawn and contains several minor errors, yet also includes the little-known detail of a flight of stairs between the Officers’ Quarters and North Barracks.
Source: Accompaniment to a six-page letter later published in the book The Record of Fort Sumter (Columbia, S. C., 1862), Pages 14-17; original document currently held by Boston Rare Maps.
1861 Firing on Star of the West by Harper’s Weekly
Although erroneously captioned as “Battery at Fort Moultrie, bearing on Fort Sumter,” this crude woodcut actually depicts the Columbiads at Moultrie’s Southeast rather than its Southwest Angle. As the guns on this particular face did not bear on Sumter, their carriages had not been burnt upon the Federal garrison’s recent withdrawal, so that they are shown here being fired against the distant relief-steamer Star of the West on January 9, 1861.
Note: the traverses of sand-filled barrels and sandbags which had been erected by Captain Foster at the top of the southeast ramp prior to the Union garrison’s evacuation, as protection against any potential sniper-fire. The small replacement flagstaff raised by the South Carolinian garrison can be seen flying a Palmetto flag from the terre-plein at left, while the beacon-tower is plainly visible beyond.
Source: Printed in the middle of page 53 of the January 26, 1861, edition of Harper’s Weekly (Volume V, Number 213).
1861 Dismounted SW Angle Guns by Harper’s Weekly
Crude woodcut depicting the guns at Moultrie’s Southwest Angle, which could be aimed at Fort Sumter, lying dismounted among the charred remnants of their burnt barbette-carriages after being torched by the departing Federal garrison; based upon a sketch “drawn by an officer” of Major Anderson’s command.
Note: the loose cannonballs strewn about, as well as the sentry-box at right.
Source: Printed atop page 53 of the January 26, 1861, edition of Harper’s Weekly (Volume V, Number 213).
1861 Watercolor Copy by Vizetelly
Crude watercolor of newly-occupied Fort Moultrie, dated “1861” and signed at lower left by “A. Vizetelly,” yet most likely copied from a version previously submitted to the Illustrated London News by another of its correspondents, Thomas Butler Gunn, and featured on page 194 of the March 2, 1861, edition of that English weekly [see below]. The red Palmetto Flag was particularly singled out in that issue’s caption, with the words: “The Secession Flag Flying.”
Note: such glaring errors as having mistaken the hot-shot furnace in the foreground for a small building, complete with its own doorway, or the ramp behind — which soars well past the rampart’s upper level.
Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., reproduction number LC-USZC4-7941.
1861 SC Militia Officers’ Group-Photo
Impromptu group-photograph of various South Carolinian officers assembled on Sullivan’s Island, presumably sometime early in 1861, as all are still wearing their blue-colored militia uniforms.
Note: that the third figure from left is identified as Wilmot G. DeSaussure, the young Lieutenant-Colonel who had first reached evacuated Fort Moultrie on the evening of December 27, 1860.
Source: Reproduced from page 103 of Volume 1 of The Photographic History of the Civil War (New York: The Review of Reviews Co., 1911), edited by Francis T. Miller and Robert S. Lanier.
1861 Diagram of Moultrie Guns by Capt. John Foster
Reproduction of a diagram sketched by Captain Foster once Moultrie’s garrison had shifted across into Fort Sumter, so as to accompany a report to his Corps of Engineers’ superiors in Washington on ongoing Confederate military preparations and dispositions, January 21, 1861. In it, Foster showed the distribution of Fort Moultrie’s artillery upon the withdrawal of its Union garrison four weeks previously, as well as the approximate placement of two new large traverses along its Main Channel battery, shown by hash-marked boxes.
Note: that because of his distant view of Moultrie, Foster had erroneously believed that these new traverses were installed a little farther west than they were in reality, the 32-pounders at Gun Positions 23 and 24 having been removed so as to accommodate the largest and foremost of these additions. He himself admitted that his “sketch shows pretty nearly the present arrangement of the fronts, that I can see.”
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880), Series I, Volume 1, Page 146.
1861 Steamer Columbia Aground Sketch by Will Waud
Sketch by William Waud of the steamer “Columbia ashore on Sullivan’s Island,” after having run aground while attempting to exit Charleston Harbor via Maffitt’s Channel on the morning of Friday, January 25, 1861. One of its passengers was John De Forest, who would write an interesting account of his subsequent visit to Fort Moultrie, after everyone aboard the steamer had been obliged to disembark and walk back toward the Moultrieville ferry-terminal. Waud sketched this scene next day, as described in Thomas Butler Gunn’s diary.
Note: the depiction of an undamaged Fort Sumter at left, as well as the low silhouette of Fort Moultrie at right. The original sketch was executed in pencil on olive-colored paper, with a few highlights added in watercolors.
Source: The original is today held in the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-21366, although erroneously attributed to Alfred R. Waud and dated January 13, 1863. An engraved version was published in the February 16, 1861 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, an edition which can be found in numerous public and private historical collections such as the Charleston Museum Digital Collection, call number AZ 2198a.