The Fort Sumter Group contains four National Park Service sites: Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center, Fort Sumter and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. Each site has park rangers and volunteers who help visitors interpret the history, exhibitions and artifacts pertinent to each site. The NPS offers two publications for teachers and each contain historical information, map materials, a glossary and bibliography. The following information provides a synopsis of each of the four sites.
The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site interprets the Colonial and revolutionary periods of history. The site contains exhibits about Charles Pinckney, his family, his political career and his contributions to the U.S. Constitution. Exhibits depicting the contributions made by the enslaved Africans are also on display. The archeological findings discovered at the site demonstrate how artifacts can help determine the time of a particular place. Visitors learn about plantation life, its social structure and economic importance.
Fort Moultrie has played an important part in protecting Charleston Harbor since the Revolutionary War. It continued this function during the Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI and WWII. The fort has armaments from each era that show how technology influenced the development of guns and cannons, and that affected strategies in battle decisions. Important people of the time are part of the presentation and/or exhibits. While inside the fort, visitors will see how its position was important in the protection of the harbor for military and economic reasons.
Fort Sumter was a part of a coastal fortification system. Its construction started in 1829. The firing on the fort in April 1861 is considered the beginning of the Civil War. Through the exhibits and/or presentations the visitor learns about the people involved in this battle. The strategic placing of the fort is better understood when physically there. The events at Fort Sumter were a challenge to the United States Constitution.
Fort Sumter Visitor Educational Center/Liberty Square opened in August 2002. In Liberty Square there are a dozen quotations from people who were on their individual roads to freedom and liberty. Inside the Visitor Educational Center you will travel through time, experiencing Colonial Days, the development and signing of the United States Constitution, and the outset of the Civil War. The experience reveals the compromise and resistance as people defended their concept of liberty.