intended to command, and is a mile from Fort Moultrie
, which lies to the northeast, across the entrance, on Sullivan's Island
It is thirteen hundred yards from Morris Island
, which lies to the south-southeast; fifteen hundred yards from Fort Johnson
, which stands to the southwest, on James Island
, and two miles from Castle Pinckney, on Shute
's Folly, which lies to the northwest.
is—or was, at the time of which we are writing—a pentagonal work of formidable strength, built for mounting one hundred and forty pieces.
The height of its walls, from the water's edge to the parapets, is sixty feet; the fort is divided into three tiers, two of which—the lower ones—were casemated, and the upper en barbette
. With its commodious officers' quarters, its barracks, mess-rooms, magazines, and hot-shot furnaces, it had been considered one of the best-built forts under the control of the United States government, and did honor to the ability of the engineers who designed and executed its construction.
was a low brick work, without casemates, but with terre-pleins
for batteries en barbette
, the principal of which were ‘the sea battery,’ facing southeast, and ‘the Sumter battery,’ facing southwest.
was an antiquated and dilapidated work, that had been abandoned.
Castle Pinckney, opposite the city, across Cooper River
, was an old-fashioned, half-moon fortification of brick, with one row of casemates for small ordnance and a terre-plein
In 1860, Charleston
contained about fifty thousand inhabitants.
Besides its commercial importance, it was the residence of many intelligent and educated planters, cultivating rice in the malarial tide-swamps, and sea-island cotton along the rich coast region of the ‘low country.’
It was the centre of the factorage business of the State
, of the supply market, of banking and exchange.
It was also headquarters in matters of church and school, society and politics.
The town was old and respectable-looking, evidently built for personal convenience, not for show; and its people spent, their money in substantial good-living within doors, rather than in outward display.
With many churches and public schools, no private palaces and few brown-stone fronts were visible; but its' separate dwellings of brick and of wood, with their enclosed gardens and luxuriant shrubbery, unique rows of rooms accessible to the sea breeze, with tiers of spacious piazzas, gave it an air of exclusive individuality and solid comfort.