Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, and Fort Sumter, South Carolina - Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We woke up a little late because we always end up going to sleep late no matter how early we arrive at the hotel.  We drove into town and drove around the downtown area. We drove to Mt. Pleasant and went to see the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier and then took the ferry to Fort Sumter. The ride was beautiful. The bay was choppy, but the day was sunny and nice. There was a harborfest so they had old, ornate ships docked in the harbor. There were beautiful homes on the harbor as well.

We arrived in Fort Sumter and the ranger gave everyone a short history lesson. We learned that the first shot of the the Civil War was fired there. What happended was that Gen. Anderson (the artillery teacher of Gen. Beauregard) decided to take over the fort that the confederate soldiers had built. The South made Beauregard the leader of the mission because he knew Anderson and they thought he would be able to convince him to leave. He stayed in the fort a long time with his men. Beauregard gave him an ultimatum to leave in 24 hours. He didn't leave. So he gave him another hour and then another 30 minutes. Since he didn't leave, the Confederates opened fire on the Union group. The firing lasted 34 hours and nobody was killed. Beauregard convinced Anderson to surrender. He agreed but with several conditions with the most important one being that they give him a 100-gun salute. When the men were getting ready for the salute one of them was accidentally shot by a cannon and that was the first recorded death of the Civil War.

After we left Fort Sumter, we went to the downtown area. We walked around, took many photos, went to the marketplace, and had dinner at Jestine's Kitchen at 251 Meeting Street. This is a small restaurant with authentic southern-style home cooking. It was named after a slave that worked at the original owner's home. The restaurant has been in the family since then. We had fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, coconut cream pie and chocolate coca-cola cake. It was heavenly and highly recommended by the B-Ns (thank you)!  Make sure to be prepared to wait in line as most times there is a crowd of people outside (which is always a great sign).  Our recommendation is to go between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. for a late lunch/early dinner.

We tried to go on a carriage ride but it was too late. We walked around the harbor and looked at the magnificent antebellum houses. Then, off to the hotel.

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