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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Fort Sumter National Monument

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published December 2008


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(PDF, 663 KB, 4 pages)

Fort Sumter National Monument is located on a man-made island at the mouth of the harbor in Charleston, South Carolina. The fort itself was designed as part of an elaborate coastal defense system put in place after the War of 1812. It was the location of the start of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired the first shot on Union soldiers stationed there. After the Civil War, Fort Sumter continued to play an active role in coastal defense during the Spanish-American War in 1898, and was ready if needed during World War II.

Nearby Fort Moultrie and the Sullivan’s Island Coast Guard Station are also part of Fort Sumter National Monument. Fort Moultrie was built to protect the Charleston harbor during the American Revolution, and Sullivan’s Island Coast Guard Station was built in 1895 as part of a series of lifesaving stations along the coast.

According to an assessment by NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks, cultural resources at Fort Sumter National Monument are in “fair” condition overall, with a score of 74 out of 100.

The park is developing a cultural resources division that will include several key staff positions, a historic structure report for Fort Sumter is under way, the park recently hosted a masonry workshop to identify preservation needs at the park and other coastal fortifications, and the park provides excellent interpretive offerings for visitors.

Challenges at Fort Sumter National Monument include the need for funds to support repair and restoration work at both Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. Without this work, the structures will continue to deteriorate. The park also needs several cultural resources reports to help guide resource protection, as well as funds to allow for additional research on the park’s forts and other historical topics.

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