Cannonfire heard on Dewees Island

Today marks the sesquicentennial of the first shots of the Civil War.  We woke to a barrage of cannon fire near our home in Mount Pleasant, as the community begins to commemorate (the paper is carefully worded– not “celebrate”) this complex chapter in American History.  We live four houses over from where the Massachusetts 54th was headquartered, and our windows are rattling the same reverborating rattle that they probably did in 1861, thirty years after the house was built.  We have found civil war buttons and cannonballs in the backyard.

I spoke with Lori this morning and found out that the noise is, indeed, audible on Dewees.

looking over the harbor

What an astonishing thing it must have been for the residents then, who weren’t able to tune into the tv, radio, or internet and find out what exactly was going on.  If you are on the island, you should be aware that the cannon volleys will be going on throughout the day, until evening, when there is a ceremony at Fort Sumter.  Cannons (and some encampments) are stationed around the area: on the old Pitt Street Bridge, Fort Moultrie, Fort Johnson, Fort Sumter, Patriots Point, the Charleston Battery, and possibly even more places.

Here’s a quick 10 second video of a cannon firing from the Old Pitt Street Bridge.

Here’s a WSJ article entitled

Fort Sumter: Undermanned, Outgunned, Low on Supplies


Reliving the First Shots of the Civil War


And if you haven’t been following local journalist Brian Hicks’ columns in the Post and Courier about the war, you should check it out.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jill

    The residents on Dewees Island in 1861 probably thought, as I did, that a storm was approaching. But then I remembered the day.

    Thanks for an excellent posting.


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