The Historic Battery in Charleston
Almost every location in Charleston has some historic value, and the Battery is no different. Shaded by large Oak and Palmetto trees overlooking the Charleston Harbor, the Battery’s official name was coined when the harbor was blockaded by the British during the War of 1812. To defend their city, the residents of Charleston placed large caliber guns along White Point.
But before that, the town itself was long since developed around the battery. It’s where new and returning passengers were greeted as they made their way into Charleston harbor. Even before then, it was home to local Indians who used the area to dispose of white oyster shells – hence the name White Point.
This shell-covered slice of the Battery was also the site where many pirates paid the ultimate price, at the hands of the residents of Charleston. Though he wasn’t captured, the locals will surely tell you about the time the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, blockaded the harbor and demanded medical supplies. The well-known “Gentleman Pirate,” Stede Bonnet, was not so lucky. Bonnet, born to a wealthy English family, bought his way into piracy.
Once he was captured by Charleston authorities, he was held captive in the home of the Provost Marshall. He managed to escape, but was re-captured and sentenced to death. But, two days before Bonnet met the noose, his crew was hung at White Point. Their bodies were left there, waiting for their master join them.
Now, the Battery is home to several lovely and historic mansions, adorned with historic mortars and cannons that were used in the Civil War and frequently visited by tourists to the city. Their beauty helps to drown out the location’s ugly past, but history never forgets.