Georgetown, SC to Charleston, SC
1,000 miles since leaving New York.
Paid a visit to my friend Ethan, an old colleague from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s web site. Really glad to see him. He got older. Well, it’s been 15 years.
Drove downtown to visit Fort Sumter, where the Civil War started. Fort Sumter is on a tiny artificial island. The only way to go there is to take a boat tour that allows you one hour on it.
The fort was built by slaves (assisted by some federal contractors), who among other things made seven million bricks.
Confederate forces bombarded the fort in April, 1861 because it was a federal installation that in their view now belonged to South Carolina. There were only 85 federal troops there, surrounded on all sides by Confederate troops and artillery. The Union troops surrendered after one day of heavy bombardment.
In a talk, a ranger discussed the views of some prominent Southerners in 1861. Some said the north wouldn’t fight. Others thought the war would be bloodless. At least one predicted the disaster that was coming.
At war’s end the fort had been reduced to rubble by a two-year Union siege. It was partly rebuilt and remained an active military installation until 1947, when it was turned over to NPS. It took NPS more than 12 years to restore the fort to approximately its pre-Civil War condition. It opened in 1961 for the centennial of the battle.
On returning to the mainland I visited the Old Slave Mart Museum. It’s the site of an actual slave market, and a museum of slavery. It gave a detailed view of the slave trade and its people, sellers, buyers, and slaves.
I walked through Charleston’s Historic District. The buildings are very well preserved and cared for.
I asked Lyft to pick me up. The driver showed me the Emanuel AME Church, where a gunman killed nine people in 2015. It’s right in the middle of town.
Ethan and Allison have a tiny farm in their backyard. Vegetables, chickens, and bees.
They took me to a great southern style restaurant, The Glass Onion.
After dinner they took me to Folly Beach, Charleston’s oceanfront.