Friday, April 24, 2009

April Excellent Adventure, Part 2

After visiting the Hunley in Charleston Saturday morning, we made our way out to Ft. Moultrie which is a very old fort that helped devend Charleston during the Revolutionary war. The grave shown here is that of Osceola, a very famous Seminole (Florida) Indian Chief. I grew up in Florida and we learned about the Seminoles in school, they were the only tribe that never surrendered or signed a treaty. Osceola was held in Fort Mountrie until his death and he was buried there on the front lawn.
This is the flag at the Fort. It was used in every war until after WWII so it has variously aged installations, buildings, and cannon from each era. You can see the WWII buildings from this picture as well as a cannon tripod lifter in the foreground. The fort is painted with camoflauge paint on the water side and you really can't see it from the harbor.
This cannon was interesting, it's from the war of 1812. It travels on cast iron tracks so that it's adjustable with big wheels that also travel on smaller cast iron tracks on the frame it's on. Pretty amazing.
This Palmetto is in front of Ft. Moultrie. The original fort was made with trunks from the native palmetto trees. When the Brits fired on the fort, the palmetto bark absorbed the shock and damage from the shells and the fort was able to withstand the attack without too much damage. That's why the Palmetto is on the state flag, which wasn't adopted until Civil War times. This beautiful tree was at the Charles Pinkney National Park in Charleston. His actual house is now gone so I didn't take pictures of the rebuilt home that's on the property. He was one of the Continental Congress and a very driving force in the State of South Carolina's decision to seceed from the British Kingdom, doing so even before the Founding Fathers voted to write the Declaration of Independence.
And Speaking of Secession...after South Carolina legally seceeded from the United States in 1861, armed forces were brought to the not quite finished Ft. Sumter rather than vacate the state as they were asked to do. Ft. Sumter was defended for 36 hours and then fell to the South Carolina militia. Mark is looking into one of the Cannon ports in the mostly rebuilt fort. It was turned to rubble after 4 years of being bombed and shelled by the Union forces but it was used as defence during WWI and WWII so it was partially rebuilt. It's now a National Park.
These are scenes of the rubble inside the Fort, as well as the dark black section which was built for WWII. They'd put a small National Park store and a museum into the newest part of the WWII buildings. The museum had the flag that was taken down upon the Fort's surrender, (there were actually two flags, both presented to him) and, in keeping with the Southern way, was given to the Commanding officer. His family kept it and it is now owned and preserved by the National Park Service.
This shell was lodged in the wall at the Fort. It was fired by Union Artillery during the 4 years of the war. This one and a few others that we saw were found during the excavations that were done after the Fort was given to the National Park service. The range on these artillery pieces was pretty long, as the Fort sits out on an island in the middle of Charleston harbor.
One of the sides of the fort nearest to the WWII installation was actually filled with sand to act as additional padding for defensive use, and when the fort was excavated, these 1890's cannons were found perfectly preserved and still sitting on their carriages. This entire end of the fort was the best preserved of the entire fort. It was pretty amazing.
It was a beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze blowing. The flags looked beautiful with the backdrop of a few wispy clouds behind them.
This is the Sign for the Fort. We were going to get back on the ferry to go back to the mainland and we just couldn't seem to get a picture with nobody standing in front of the sign. Kids were taking pictures, and it was really cute so I just snapped them in front of the sign.
The Park where the ferry dropped us back off has the USS Yorktown parked there as a museum. Right outside the park area is a monument to Cold War Submarines and it was really cool looking with the top of the Sub peering out from the grass.
This is me at Ft. Moultrie. It's a horrible picture but a neat cannon. I ended up getting sun and wind burned during the day, it had been cold and windy and overcast most of the spring in Maryland so I haven't been outside much.
This is the sock I was working on knitting during most of the drive. It's Koigu yarn and it's a Socks that Rock pattern called "Leafling". It looks like cables but it's not. The other one is still on the needles but I'm nearly done with it.
The next morning we went to Moore's Creek which was in North Carolina. This was the scene of a very decisive Revolutionary War battle, the first one in the South. The area around here is so very beautiful with the creek and the swamp and it was a nice day too.
This is a shot of Moore's creek from the bridge that was built in ths location of the old one that the British had to cross for the battle to take place. The signs said there were alligators in the swamp but we didn't see any.
This mounument is to the women of the Revolution that helped out with the soldiers that were wounded. The commander's wife from this engagement rode a great distance to come and help out with the injured men.
The next morning we got up early and drove out to the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The weather had turned rainy and cold again so we weren't able to go out to the island. There are no bridges or roads to the islands and it certainly wasn't ferry weather! We went to the Visitor Center and learned more about Portsmouth Village which is on the island, as well as the local animals and ecosystems.
Poor Mark was helping clean out the car after we got home and ended up having to wear my straw hat into the house. Little did he know that I was waiting with the camera. LOL
Yes, we are National Park stamp people...I actually have 2 more on the next page in my passport! It was a great vacation with lots of stamps, though we didn't get the 3 from the Cape Lookout Seashore. We left them to do another time. :)

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