The historic Edmondston-Alston House commands a sweeping view of the harbor from its location on Charleston's High Battery. Built in 1825 by merchant Charles Edmondston, Greek revival details were added in 1838 by Charles Alston, a wealthy rice planter. It is an outstanding example of a planter's town house, and is richly appointed with original furniture, tableware and Alston's library. A witness to many historic events, from its piazzas,General P.T. Beauregard watched the fierce bombardment of Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861 — signaling the start of the Civil War. And on December 11 of the same year, the house gave refuge to General Robert E. Lee the nigh a fire threatened his safety at a Charleston hotel.