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Fort Bull, Confederate Earthworks

Historic Charleston & Resort Islands

Historic Charleston & Resort Islands

By 1863, Fort Bull, the earthwork defense erected by slave labor around the Bee's Ferry /Ashley River Road intersection, was in place, no doubt in remembrance of the fact that the British had successfully crossed the Ashley and staged their capture of Charleston in 1780 from this same spot. Ft. Bull probably was empty when the defenses of Charleston were abandoned to the Union and the city evacuated on February 17, 1865. Six days later, on February 22nd and 23rd the troops of the 56th New York Volunteers looted and burned Middleton Place, beginning or continuing the destruction of the great homes along the Ashley River Road as the Union pushed through the state toward the culmination of the conflict in North Carolina and Virginia. Flames consumed nineteen of the great houses along the road, including Ashley Hall, and Magnolia. Only Drayton Hall survived. Today, the Fort Bull Confederate Earthworks are hidden behind the tall trees lining the Ashley River Road.