The Abandoned Castle Pinckney in Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina

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Castle Pinckney is located on Shutes Folley Island in Charleston Harbor, Charleston South Carolina. Originally named Fort Pinkey when General George Washington saw that the island was strategically placed and ordered a fort be built on the island.

Abandoned: Castle Pinckney

The original Fort was a log and earthen fort named after the Revolutionary War hero Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Construction for Fort Pinkney started  in 1797 and was intended to protect the city from a possible naval attack when at war with France. The fort was completed in 1804 only to be destroyed by a hurricane later that year.

View on Fort Castle Pinckney

Then in 1809–1810 a brick-and-mortar structure called Castle Pinckney was built and garrisoned throughout the War of 1812 but, saw no action. After the war it was abandoned. Image Source: Wiki – View on Fort Castle Pinckney

Twenty years later, the Fort was re-garrisoned during the Nullification Crisis of 1832. Afterwards the fort was used as a storehouse for gunpowder and other military supplies. But for the most part it wasn’t an active site, just a storage facility.

During the 1850s, Castle Pinckney was part of a network of defensive forts and earthworks in the harbor, that included Forts Sumter and Moultrie, and other, fortifications.

The Charleston Zuave Cadets in Castle Pinckney {note: Francis Miller's 1911 "Photographic History of the Civil War" Vol 1 "The Opening Battles" identifies the 4 officers in front left to right are Captain C.E.Chichester; Lt. E. John White; Lt. B.M. Walpole; Lt. R.C.Gilchrist.

Charleston's Famous Zouave Cadets drilling at Castle Pinckney.

One week after South Carolina seceded from the Union (December 27, 1860), the fort surrendered to the South Carolina militia.

Shortly after the South Carolina succession and surrender of the fort the Charleston Zouave Cadets garrisoned Castle Pinckney. Image Source: Wiki – The Charleston Zuave Cadets in Castle Pinckney and Wiki – Charleston’s Famous Zouave Cadets drilling at Castle Pinckney.

Federal prisoners captured at the First Battle of Bull Run were transported to Charleston S.C. and held inside a makeshift prison at Castle Pinckney. It served as a temporary prisoner of War camp during the Civil War but was quickly realized that it was to small and wasn’t that easy to run a camp there. Image Source: Wiki – Federal prisoners captured at the First Battle of Bull Run were transported to Charleston S.C. and held inside a makeshift prison at Castle Pinckney.

Eventually the base was decommissioned and some experts say that Castle Pinkney may never have fired a hostile shot. In 1924 the fort was declared a U.S. National Monument but in 1951, Congress passed a bill to abolish Castle Pinckney National Monument and transferred it back to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Over the years the island and the old fort exchanged hands and even served as a lighthouse.

Then in June 2011 the island was sold to Fort Sumter Camp No. 1269, Sons of Confederate Veterans, for $10 Confederate.

For more information check out these great articles:

Will Castle Pinkney Ever Be Restored?

Over the years there have been multiple projects to save and restore Castle  Pinkney. But in its current state it just to expensive to restore it. Because of its location on an isolated shoal in the middle of the harbor and access to the island is limited, it makes restoration and maintenance projects almost impossible to complete.

About the Image

The modern image was shot by hand on a moving boat in the harbor with my Sony Nex-3N and  Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens. Although it was bright, it was after 4pm and the sun was casting crazy shadows and on my subject. I then edited image in Adobe Lightroom. Then I post processed the images with Topaz Labs Clarity to add more texture, remove shadows, boost brightness and contrast.

About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

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