South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Fort Pemberton, Charleston County (Address Restricted)
S1081771010501 S1081771010502 S1081771010503 S1081771010504
Ditch Interior Parapet Historic Design

Fort Pemberton is an important Civil War fortification used in the Confederate defense of Charleston. The fort was constructed in 1862 by the order of C.S.A. Brig. Gen. John C. Pemberton, commander of the Charleston defenses. Named after Pemberton, it was a “large well built work, heavily fortified” serving as the western anchor of James Island’s extensive defense lines and controlling access to the Stono River as it approached Charleston. Fort Pemberton was an enclosed work designed to function as both a land and water battery. It was strongly fortified and by October of 1862 its armament mounted twenty guns of various calibers. As a water battery, Fort Pemberton was built to deny Union gunboats access to the Stono River as it approached Charleston. As an enclosed work, many of its guns faced inland in readiness for a land attack. The fort was earthen construction throughout, except for the framing of the earth covered shot-furnace and powder magazines, whose interiors were probably of wood. The fort was pentagonal in shape with redoubts and an additional rampart. A well-preserved earthwork fortification, Fort Pemberton is a notable example of Confederate military engineering. Listed in the National Register November 21, 1978.

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