Sullivans Island, South Carolina: Mortar Fort Prisoner Pit

According to legend, the pits housed POWs during the Revolutionary War. They didn't, but you can still visit the fort historic park.

Fort Moultrie Historic Park

Address:
1214 Middle St., Sullivans Island, SC
Directions:
In the wooded hill near the shore at Fort Moultrie Historic Park. Take Hwy 703 onto Sullivans Island, then turn right onto Middle St. to get to the Fort.
Phone:
843-883-3123
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Visitor Tips and News About Mortar Fort Prisoner Pit

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Revolutionary War Prisoner Pit

This entire area comprises "Fort Moultrie." A military emplacement active during the Revolutionary War, War between the States, WWs I and II. The "pits" (God help me) were long range artillery mounts.

[Perry Greene, 09/24/2006]
Revolutionary War Prisoner Pit

Having read the tip on the "Prisoner Pits" of Sullivan's Island, I realized that someone was pulling his leg. There are several pits on that hill and they are (now) fenced off, but everything else is incorrect. The "caves" as we call them, were built as part of the coastal defenses of Charleston and housed "disappearing guns" which would fire over the top of the hill towards the harbor and then "disappear" into the pit when they recoiled. The hill is manmade, the pits are lined with concrete (where are you going to find granite slabs 40 feet tall in Charleston?), and are connected by a series of tunnels. Safety concerns, teenage parties, and vandalism caused them to be fenced off about ten years ago.

[Brandon Hall, 03/29/2005]
Mortar Fort Prisoner Pit

The prisoner pit that wrote you about is not a revolutionary prison, but a coastal fortification built after the civil war for housing large mortars. The entance is on the side away from the park. Bring a flashlight. The town library is located in a old battery and some old gun emplacements have been converted into houses.

Throughout Sullivan Island can be found remains of old fortifications, including Fort Moutrie. Fort moutrie is a national monument that originated during the revolutionary war, but was upgraded during and after the civil war. Looking out from the battlements of Fort Moutrie you can seee Fort Sumter (wHere the civil war started) and Patriots Point (the largest naval museum in the country).

[Robert Fowler, 05/02/2001]
Revolutionary War Prisoner Pit

Near Charleston, South Carolina, on Sullivan's Island, is a park with a large hill full of bamboo trees. If you walk up on of the paths on the hill (they are steep, be careful), there is a fenced off pit where soldiers at Fort Moultrie kept redcoat prisoners during the Revolutionary War. It is surrounded by steep, granite walls that nobody could climb. If someone attempted to, a guard on the watchtower would shoot the prisoner to death. There is a tunnel somewhere that leads you to the inside of the pit. Further down the road is Fort Moultrie, where they used to have a bunch of tunnels open, but they are now closed. If you were with a group, and left them behind, it would take you 20 minutes to find them!

[Ian Beverly, 02/27/1999]

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