Only a palmetto-log fortification at the time of the American Revolution, the half-completed fort was attacked by a British fleet in 1776. Col. William Moultrie’s troops repelled the invasion in one of the first decisive American victories of the Revolution. The fort was subsequently enlarged into a five-sided structure with earth-and-timber walls 17 feet high. The British couldn’t take it, but an 1804 hurricane ripped it apart. By the War of 1812, it was back and ready for action. Osceola, the fabled leader of the Seminoles in Florida, was incarcerated at the fort and eventually died here. During the 1830s, Edgar Allen Poe served as a soldier at the fort. He set his famous short story “The Gold Bug” on Sullivan’s Island. The fort also played roles in the Civil War, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, and even in the two world wars, but by 1947, it had retired from action.
- Frommer's Staff