When the cannons begin booming at Patriots Point during its planned “Day One: April 1861” events in April commemorating the sesquicentennial of America’s bloodiest war, the sounds will elicit memories long removed from Mount Pleasant residents’ consciousness.
Come and relive Mount Pleasant’s Civil War history from April 9th until April 14th when the sounds of war will be heard during the “Day One: April 1861” program events at Patriots Points. Over 300 Civil War reenactors will be here in an artillery camp overlooking Charleston Harbor with 24 artillery pieces to fire upon Fort Sumter. Daily living history presentations include artillery, cavalry, home life, infantry, and medical demonstrations. Check out the schedule of events at www.PatriotsPoint.org/events/events.html. Tickets for “Day One” will be $10 adult, $5 youth (11-6) and FREE for age 5 and under.
Mount Pleasant was the site of three Confederate batteries constructed during the war to defend Charleston Harbor. The batteries were named Gary, Palmetto and Evans. Charleston Harbor would become the world’s most defended harbor during the Civil War and the site of the United States Navy’s worst defeat until Pearl Harbor with the defeat of Du Pont’s ironclad fleet in April 1863.
The first battery completed in Mount Pleasant was Battery Gary, near the site of the Revolutionary War battery on the shoreline near the end of Pitt Street. This battery’s construction began in the winter of 1861 and would be rushed to completion in early April 1861. Battery Gary would participate in the opening shots of the Civil War on Fort Sumter with its two 10-inch sea-coast mortars.
Battery Palmetto was constructed circa 1862 and was located on the high bluff overlooking the harbor just in front of the Hibben House on Hibben Street. Battery Evans was built around 1863-4 and is the only Mount Pleasant Civil War battery with visible remains. It was recently relocated at Patriots Point. Battery Evans is protected at Patriots Point and will be looked at by archaeologists in the near future. Look for more details and stories on these batteries in future blog posts.