Civil War battlefields in South Carolina are few when compared to the amount of damage the state received during the conflict. From the coastal shores of Charleston Harbor and Sherman’s march across the Carolinas you can still see the remnants of the marks left by the Civil War.
There’s never been a better time to visit Civil War battlefields in South Carolina than now. The 150th recognition of the conflict is getting under way across the U.S. In preparation, the South Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has a number of events on their website. Visitors can use this to help find the events that interest them most.
#1 Civil War battlefields in South Carolina
Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square
340 Concord Street
Charleston, South Carolina
Admission fee charged: See below
The Confederacy knew that Charleston Harbor would be a key port. When Confederate soldiers fired upon Federal Troops in Fort Sumter it marked the beginning of one of the darkest periods of U.S. history.
Charleston is one of my family’s favorite cities in South Carolina. Carriage tour operators are a great way to enjoy the city and gain insider tips. They never fail to bring the city to life.
If you are driving, the downtown shuttle is the best way to get around. You can park pick it up at the Charleston Visitor Center. The shuttle goes to the many areas of Charleston where parking is hard to find.
One of the places the shuttle takes you is the Civil War battlefield Of Fort Sumter. From there, you can board the ferry to the fort.
Fort Sumter is open for tours. There are areas of the fort where lighting is limited. On a cloudy day some visitors may want a flashlight. Food is not available nor is picnicking allowed. There are plenty of restaurants in Charleston where you can get something to eat before or after your tour. Some concessions are available on the ferry.
There is no fee to get into Fort Sumter but there is a fee to ride the ferry. As it is a private vendor, the ferry does not honor national park passes. Fees vary. Check the website above for details.
#2 Civil War battlefields in South Carolina
Rivers Bridge State Historic Site
325 State Park RD
Ehrhardt, SC 29081
Phone: (803) 267-3675
Admission fee charged: No
General Sherman marched through the south leaving fields and cities burning and the will of the people shattered. The Civil War battlefield of Rivers Bridge State Historic Site is the site of one of the last attempts to stop Sherman’s march. It too, was unsuccessful.
At Rivers Bridge State Historic Site visitors can still see the earthen trenches were the soldiers dug in and the mounds where the soldiers are buried. There is a picnic ground and a three quarters of a mile hiking trail is available.
#3 Civil War Historic site in South Carolina
S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
301 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 737-8095
Admission fee charged Yes
This may be the 3rd oldest museum in the South Carolina but is has the largest collection of military artifacts that is found anywhere. The building is shared with the S.C. State Museum. Visitors may purchase a ticket for $9 that will allow them to see both museums. Parking is free.
Artifacts on display include many relics from the Civil War era. Among these historic pieces is a gold pocket watch. This was given to former slave William Rose by his white slave master Maxcy Gregg. Many other relics and military patches are on display.
Civil War battlefields in South Carolina and historic sites began with the first shots fired. Today, these and many other sites are being visited by thousands of tourists annually.
Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau
National Park Service
Civil War Preservation Trust
South Carolina State Parks
South Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission