Located in the middle of the port entry of Charleston, South Carolina is the historical Fort Sumter. It is best known as the location where the American Civil War began.
In 1860, when tensions were high between the North and South, a small northern garrison was left to maintain Ft Sumter and Ft Moultrie (both forts located near each other). In December of that year, Major Anderson felt the oncoming takeover of Fort Moultrie by the South and decided to secretly move his men and supplies to Fort Sumter. It was on April 12, 1861 when the Confederate army fired upon Ft Sumter to take it over. The Northern attempt to re-supply the fort failed, and therefore left the small garrison with only limited supplies to defend the fort. During the battle, Lt Hall risked his life to re-hang the tattered union flag back on the fort's flag pole. The battle ended on April 13th when the Ft Sumter garrison ran out of supplies and could no longer defend the fort. The Union Army garrison surrendered the fort with no fatalities. For several years afterwards the North would try to take the fort back again. It was not until February of 1865 when General Sherman's march to South Carolina would force the Confederates out of Charleston that Fort Sumter would fall back into the possession of the Union Army. However, after so much fighting over the fort, the structure now lay in ruins and practically useless to any army. An attempt was made to rebuild the fort, but not to its previous grandeur.
Originally, the fort was three stories high, but the rebuilding would only restore the first level and part of the second level. Further efforts were made to update the middle fortifications of the fort during the Spanish American war with a large concrete bunker, but the fort would not see war action again. Fort Sumter is now a national monument and is visited by thousands of tourists each year by boat.
Most tourists do not even know about the benchmarks they walk by each day. When you visit Fort Sumter, the first benchmark you come cross is in the walkway from the boat. This is benchmark ERIN. It is a US Army Corps of Engineer disk. The second benchmark is located on the roof of the concrete bunker and is designated as CJ0866. This one was covered by roofing material a few years ago, but you can still see the indention of the mark. The third benchmark you come to is the flag pole monument, CJ0864. This monument is symbolic of when Lt Hall risked his life to re-hang the fallen Union flag. There are a few tidal station benchmarks on the island, but they are not accessible to the public.
The coin is designed the same as how Fort Sumter originally looked when it was built as three stories tall. The front side is the layout of the first floor. It has a canon compass to show the direction the fort was built. Three red gemstones show the placement of all three benchmarks in the fort. ERIN benchmark is actually located about 40 feet away from the fort, but was placed next to the fort on this coin to prevent the coin from being too large. The backside of the coin shows the top level of the fort as it looked before the Civil War. A 3-D image of the flag pole stands in the middle along with an image of a canon.
To see where this fort is located, click here on this Google Map.
* Measures 1.75" long
* Three gemstones placed where the benchmarks can be found
* 3-D design on both sides
* Trackable on Geocaching.com
* Has its own icon that will show on your profile when you log a discovery