An Artists Communion Through A Lens

Charleston Harbor – Castle Pinckney: A True Story

Castle Pinckney

Farther into Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter is Castle Pinckney.  Also named for a Revolutionary War  Hero, it sits on the tiny island of Shutes Folly.

A log and earthen Fort was begun in 1797 and destroyed by a hurricane in 1804.  In 1810, A brick replacement, “Castle Pinckney” was constructed but later abandoned.

Garrisoned again in 1832 during the Nullification Crisis, it later went unused, except for gunpowder storage.

By the late 1850’s,  it was part of the harbor defense network, along with Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.

 On 27 December 1860,  the fort was surrendered to South Carolina militia by the Federal garrison, four months before Fort Sumter.

During September of 1861, it was briefly a prison for Union Army POWs.

Updated but again unneeded during the Spanish American War, a harbor lighthouse was built on it which operated until the early 1900’s.

A 1924 Presidential Proclamation declared it a US National Monument.

A 1951 Congressional Act undeclared it a US National Monument.  It was transferred to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In 1958, the South Carolina State Ports Authority bought it as excess US property for $12,000. Unable to develop it, The SPA later tried to give it back to the US Government but was refused.

In 1964, the SPA gave Castle Pinckney to the Shriners.

In 1965  the Shriners gave it back to the SPA.

In 1969, the SPA gave it to the Fort Sumter Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269

In 1984, the SCV  returned the property to the SPA.

In June, 2011, Castle Pinckney was sold to the Fort Sumter Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 for $10.

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 Commander Philip Middleton said he was concerned about developers.

“We didn’t want to see something out there like a sports bar, with neon lights,” he said.


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