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On High Battery, an elegant section of Charleston, this house (built in 1825 by Charles Edmondston, a Charleston merchant and wharf owner) was one of the earliest constructed in the city in the late Federal style. In 1837 Edmondston sold it to Charles Alston, a Lowcountry rice planter, who modified it in Greek Revival style. The house has remained in the Alston family, who open the first two floors to visitors (on guided tours only). Inside are heirloom furnishings, silver, and paintings. It was here in 1861 that General Beauregard joined the Alston family to watch the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Later that year Robert E. Lee found refuge here when his hotel uptown caught fire.