By National Park Service for The Island Eye News
On Saturday, August 6, 2022, historic ordnance was discovered by a visitor within Fort Sumter’s parade ground. According to park policy and public safety, the area was closed and the City of Charleston Police Department Explosive Devices Unit was called in to investigate the discovery.
As a precaution the last scheduled tour boat was canceled. “To ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike all safety protocols are immediately initiated when discoveries of ordnance are made,” said Acting Superintendent Bill Reilly. “Historical artifacts are periodically found within National Parks and National Park Service staff are not trained to handle buried ordnance. In situations such as this, we work closely with our local partner agencies who have specialized training and equipment to safely identify and remove ordnance.” After a thorough investigation of the object, it was determined to be a Civil War era cannonball. Identification and removal of military ordnance is the responsibility of the Department of Defense. In this case, the United States Air Force has taken possession of the cannonball. There were no injuries or damage to historic structures with its removal and normal operations resumed the next day.
Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park headquarters is located at 1214 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina and is administered by the National Park Service. Fort Sumter is the site where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired and continued to serve as part of the seacoast defense in the United States until the end of World War II. The fort is open 7-days a week, tickets are required. For further information please visit nps.gov/fosu.