Frequently Asked Questions

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About Fort Sumter
About Fort Moultrie

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Fort Sumter

How do I visit Fort Sumter?
Tour boats to Fort Sumter are provided by Fort Sumter Tours, the authorized concessioner of Fort Sumter National Monument. There are two departure locations at Liberty Square (340 Concord St., Charleston) and Patriots Point (40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant). Each tour lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Further information can be found here, regarding ferry schedules and ticket prices.

When is the site open?
Fort Sumter is open daily, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

What is the entrance fee?
There is no federal entrance fee to visit Fort Sumter. Federal recreational land passes do not apply towards the concessioner's tickets. Ferry ticket rates can be found here.

What kinds of activities are there at Fort Sumter?
The first and final ferries of the day offer the opportunity for visitors to assist rangers in raising and lowering our national colors above Fort Sumter. Every ferry is offered an optional ranger program. Visitors to Fort Sumter also experience a harbor cruise aboard a Fort Sumter Tours ferry in which you are likely to see dolphins, pelicans, and other local wildlife.

Which force fired the first shots of the American Civil War? When was the first shot fired? By whom?
A Confederate 8-inch mortar, commanded by Captain George S. James, fired the first shot of the American Civil War from Fort Johnson on James Island at Fort Sumter's Union garrison at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861.

Fort Moultrie

How do I visit Fort Moultrie?
Fort Moultrie is located at 1214 Middle Street on Sullivan's Island and accessible by car. This is a recreational fee area that allows park visitors an opportunity to visit the park, enjoy the facilities, and discover 171 years of American seacoast defense.

When is the site open?
Fort Moultrie's grounds, historic fort, Visitor Center, and parking area are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The site is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

What is the entrance fee?
There is a federal recreational fee to visit Fort Moultrie. Please visit this page for more information on fees.

What kinds of activities are there at Fort Moultrie?
Visitors to Fort Moultrie can view exhibits in the Visitor Center, watch the park film, take a self-guided tour, and/or enjoy daily ranger programs.

Which wars did Fort Moultrie see service?
There have been three Fort Moultries. A sand and palmetto log fortification, initially called Fort Sullivan, protected Charleston against the attacking British Royal Navy in June 1776. Renamed Fort Moultrie, it was later captured by the British in 1780 and renamed Fort Arbuthnot. After the Revolution, Fort Moultrie was neglected, and by 1791 little of this fortification remained. A second Fort Moultrie, one of twenty new forts along the Atlantic coast, was completed in 1798. It too suffered from neglect and was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1804.

In 1809, a brick and mortar fortification was finished. Fort Moultrie III, still standing today, saw service in the American Civil War. It was an active US Army installation until its deactivation in 1947.

Last updated: June 19, 2021

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Mailing Address:

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island , SC 29482


(843) 577-0242

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