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“F” is for Fort Johnson

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“F” is for Fort Johnson. Located on Charleston Harbor, Fort Johnson was constructed on the northeast point of James Island in 1708. Named after proprietary governor Nathaniel Johnson, it was apparently built in response to the 1706 French and Spanish attack on Charleston. The original fortification was replaced by a new work in 1959, which was garrisoned under British authority during the colonial period. A third fort was built in 1793. The signal shot that commenced the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War was fired from a Fort Johnson mortar battery. By 1890 the site was established as a maritime quarantine station. In 1972, the majority of the Fort Johnson site was dedicated as a maritime resources center under the control of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.