We had another history filled day! We drove down to the historic part of the city and went to the visitors center/information spot. I told the women behind the counter that we didn't have a clue what we wanted to do, but that we wanted to learn everything and see everything in two and a half days. We wanted historic homes, Civil War history, plantations, and the whole works! We ended up with a package that so far we are very pleased with. It started this morning with a 90 minute narrated bus tour, driving by many of the historic homes and churches in Charleston. The guide was excellent and we left the bus with heads swiming in names, dates, and interesting stories about the history of this beautiful city. The pictures above are of some huge homes along the river, built in the early 1800's. And yes, they are single family homes.
After this tour we were dropped off at the Fort Sumter Museum where, after a lunch shared with about 100 screaming grade school kids, we took the tour boat about 3 1/2 miles across Charleston Bay to the fort. How excited we were! We were at the spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861! The fort, on an island, was fired upon by troups on another nearby island. Sumter was under constant shelling for 36 hours but not a life was lost. General Anderson was convinced to surrender and received his flag and safe travel to the North. This took place in April 14, 1861. Exactly four years later, on April 14, 1865, General Anderson was invited to come back to Fort Sumter to a ceremony commerating this surrender. It was to be a huge affair. An invitation was sent to the White House to President Lincoln, inviting him to be present for the event. President Lincoln declined, saying he had tickets to the Ford Theatre that evening.
I wonder how the events of the last 150 years would have been different if President Lincoln had come to Fort Sumter instead of attending the theatre that evening.
Tomorrow morning we will head back to the same starting point, and we will go on a walking tour of the historic ares. We have a ticket which allows us to visit five different homes and two museums. That will be a full day with lots of walking. On Sunday we will complete the package after church and will visit two different plantations. I can't wait!