South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust

Preserving battlegrounds and historic sites in South Carolina for more than twenty years.

Fort Palmetto

Fort Palmetto is a circular fortification of tabby construction believed constructed for the War of 1812. The fort was built on Coles Island, between Folly and Kiawah Islands, and designed to command the Stono Inlet and the entrance to the Folly and Stono Rivers.

Between late 1861 and early 1862, Confederate forces established six numbered batteries on Coles Island, identified as Numbers Four to Nine. Battery Number Seven was located in Fort Palmetto. The Coles Island batteries were armed with sixteen pieces of heavy artillery.

In a controversial decision in March 1862, Confederate brigadier general John C. Pemberton ordered the withdrawal of batteries on Coles and Battery Islands. Both private citizens and newspapers editors rebuked Pemberton’s decision in the Charleston papers. Shortly, Federal troops occupied Coles Island and remained at Fort Palmetto through 1865.

Much of Coles Island was destroyed in the hurricane of 1911, leaving Fort Palmetto standing in the marsh just south of the remnants of the island. The Fort Palmetto site is preserved by the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust through a permit issued in 1992 by the South Carolina Coastal Council. The site is accessible only by boat at high tide. The remnants of the circular tabby wall are only visible at low tide.

News & Upcoming Events

Reenactment of the Battle of Secessionville – 150th Anniversary, November 10 &11, 2012

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Battery Wagner, July 18, 2013

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