The History Of Morris Island

Everything You Need To Know About Morris Island

 

If you are looking for an adventure, you will definitely love Morris Island. This Charleston harbor landmark is known for its rich history, natural resources, and beautiful scenery.

Morris island has been the site of many battles and skirmishes, and it is said that the ghosts of Confederate soldiers still haunt Morris island after the civil war. However, don’t let that scare you away! Morris island offers great activities, like fishing, kayaking, and bird watching. Also, Morris Island is close to Folly Island/Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and other popular destinations in the Charleston area of South Carolina.

If you are interested in learning more about Morris Island, keep reading! In this article, we will discuss the island’s history, as well as some of the myths and legends that surround the island. So you will be well equipped when planning your Morris Island expeditions.

The History Of Morris Island

Morris island lighthouse

 

The first permanent settlement in today’s Charleston was established in 1670, and the initial settlers arrived on what would become Morris Island in 1673.

However, Morris Island was three separate islands before it was one. Also, the first Morris Island Lighthouse was built in 1762 following the orders of King George III, and the lighthouse reached a height of 42 feet. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Revolutionary War but later replaced in 1838 with a taller lighthouse and stood at 102 feet.

The. Morris Lighthouse destruction saga continued in the 1860s when the Confederate army destroyed the new lighthouse and prevented the Union troops from using it as a lookout tower. During the American Revolution, Morris Island was used as a staging ground for the British Navy. The island was also the site of a significant battle during the Civil War, The Second Battle of Fort Wagner. This battle took place on July 18th, 1863, and was one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war.

During the Civil War, hundreds of African-American soldiers volunteered to fight for the Union Army. The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, an all-black regiment, led the charge on Morris Island against Confederate troops. The goal was to capture the Confederate-held Battery Wagner, located on Morris Island.

The 54th Massachusetts Regiment made it to the walls of Fort Wagner but was unable to breach them and were forced to retreat. The Union Army tried two more times to take Fort Wagner but failed. In September of 1863, the Union finally abandoned their attempts to take Morris Island and Wagner. The Union Army did, however, succeed in its efforts to blockade the Charleston harbor. The Union army eventually won the battle, but at a great cost.

After the Civil War ended, Morris Island became a popular summer destination for wealthy Charlestonians. The island soon became home to many summer homes and cottages. The Morris Island Lighthouse was rebuilt in the 1860s, and it still stands as a popular tourist destination to date. This lighthouse operated between 1866 and 1963 until it was decommissioned, and a new Morris Island lighthouse was erected on Sullivan’s Island.

The final Morris Island lighthouse is about 161 feet tall and was once accompanied by a stunning three-story home, costing around $150,000 to build. Many families of the lighthouse operator lived in the house over the years. Presently, the Morris Island lighthouse stands on its own island and is about 1600 feet offshore.

Today, Morris Island is owned by the state of South Carolina and is managed by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. The island is open to the public year-round and is a popular destination for fishing, bird watching, picnicking, and relaxing. Morris Island is also a great place to catch a glimpse of dolphins playing in the waves. So whether you are looking for a history lesson or just a day at the beach, Morris Island has something for everyone.

Facts About Morris Island

Now that we’ve learned about the history of Morris Island, here are some facts that you may not know about this Charleston harbor landmark:

Revolutionary War

Morris island has a rich history and has been the site of many important events. The island was the site of Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The island was also home to a Union prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. In 1864, Morris Island was the site of one of the largest naval battles in history, known as The Battle Of Mobile Bay.

Shipwreck Sites

It is said that there are dozens 0f shipwrecks around Morris Island. The most famous shipwreck is The Hunley, which was a Confederate submarine that sank in 1864. The Hunley was raised from the bottom of the ocean in 2000, and it is now on display at The Warren Lasch Conservation Center.

Morris Island Lighthouse

Morris Island is also home to a huge Lighthouse. This is a beautiful lighthouse located on the northern end of James Island. The lighthouse is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Charleston and offers stunning views of the harbor. The Morris Island Lighthouse is best viewed during low tide from the northeast end of Folly Island at the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve.

Accessible Through Boat Rides

The easiest way to reach Morris Island is by taking a boat ride from Charleston. The island is about a 30-minute boat ride from Charleston city, and many companies offer tours of the island.

Myth, Ghosts, And Legends Of Morris Island

Sunglasses on a beach

 

There are many myths and legends surrounding Morris Island, and these stories add to the island’s mystique. Some of the most famous legends about Morris Island include:

Yokum, the Pirate’s Ghost, and Six Treasure Chests

According to legend, a Confederate soldier known as Yokum discovered six treasure chests on Morris Island from an elderly black woman who lived on the island at the time. She claimed that no one stole the riches because a pirate’s ghost protected them.

On the night before the historic assault on Morris Island began, Yokum and a friend went treasure hunting. They dug up, but a sudden storm hit them as they began to dig. The pirate stood and watched over them from afar as they dug in a fleeting flash of lightning. They took off as swiftly as they had appeared and never returned. Until 50 years later, Yokum would not reveal his tale.

Missing Soldiers

After the assault on Morris Island, injured, sick, wounded, and dead soldiers were all transported to Folly Beach. Many of these soldiers who didn’t survive were buried in unmarked graves; however, no one knows how many there were.

Because erosion and storms uncover these unmarked graves over time, they would be discovered between the end of the Civil War and 1987. In 1987, 14 unknown troops were found; 12 of them had their skulls and other body parts missing.

The Amelia

In 1832, a ship named The Amelia was sailing from New York to New Orleans when it went aground on Folly Beach. Instead of being assisted, the 120 individuals on board were left to fend for themselves on the island as a result of rumors that some had cholera. 20 people perished and are supposed to haunt the island today as a result of this circumstance.

Activities at Morris Island

Despite the island’s dark history, Morris Island is a beautiful place to visit. The island offers stunning views of the Charleston harbor, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There are also many activities that people can do on the island, including:

Morris Island Lighthouse Visitation

The Morris Lighthouse is the major attraction on Morris Island and is open to the public. The lighthouse offers stunning views of the Charleston harbor, and it is a great place to learn about the history of Morris Island.

Hiking

There are many hiking trails on Morris Island, and these trails offer beautiful views of the ocean. The island is also home to different kinds of wildlife and is a great place to see birds and other animals.

Swimming

Do you love swimming? Morris Island has a beach where you can enjoy the sun, sand, and water. Morris Island also has a reef, and it is a great place to go snorkeling or diving.

Fishing

If you love fishing or want to try it for the first time, Morris Island is a great place to do it. The island offers many types of fishing, including fly fishing, saltwater fishing, and kayak fishing.

Charleston’s Maritime History

Morris Island is a great place to learn about Charleston’s maritime history. The island has many different monuments and markers that tell the story of the city’s maritime past. There are also many museums in Charleston that offer exhibits on the city’s naval history.

Tour Charleston

Visitors can also explore Charleston town by foot, horse-drawn carriage, or boat. Charleston is a beautiful city with many different historic sites and buildings. The city also has vibrant nightlife, with many restaurants, bars, and clubs to visit.

Planning To Visit Morris Island?

As you can see, Morris Island is a great place to visit for its history, legend, and beauty. The island offers many different activities for visitors to enjoy and is a great place to learn about Charleston’s maritime history.

If you plan to visit Morris Island, let Cozy Turtle RV Rentals handle all your RV needs. We offer RV rentals and camping sites close to all of the best attractions in Charleston. Kindly Contact us today to learn more about our services.