The Battery, Charleston

The Battery, Charleston (must see)

Charleston's White Point Garden, commonly known as the Battery, may not fit the traditional definition of an "attraction" like a museum or a fort, but it holds a unique place in the hearts of visitors and residents alike. While it's not an official attraction, it's almost a rite of passage for first-time visitors to stroll through this historic site. In a city where nearly every building and street holds historical significance, few places offer a more comprehensive glimpse into Charleston's 300-year history.

This picturesque spot at the eastern end of East Bay Street is now a serene park adorned with statues, monuments, ancient cannons, and majestic live oak trees—though the ambiance has not always been so tranquil. This site has been a prominent feature in Charleston since the early days of English settlement when it was known as Oyster Point due to its marshy beach covered in white oyster shells. Initially, it mainly served as a navigational aid for ships entering and leaving the harbor and only gained notoriety in the 1720s when infamous pirate Stede Bonnet and his crew were hanged here from makeshift gallows. These executions effectively put an end to pirate activities that had plagued the Carolina coast. Then, during the War of 1812, a fort was built in the area, giving rise to the popular name "the Battery".

The site was officially designated as a park in 1837 when the city reconfigured certain streets to create White Point Garden. It was from this vantage point that Charlestonians witnessed the opening shots of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, as Confederate fortifications across the river exchanged fire with Union troops stationed in Fort Sumter. Once the war started, this peaceful garden was dramatically transformed into two massive earthwork batteries as part of Charleston's inner defense line. While the end of the Civil War marked the conclusion of the Battery's military role, poignant reminders of subsequent wars remain in the form of cannons and monuments, each accompanied by informative plaques or markers.

As a tourist destination, the Battery is also famous for its collection of elegant, predominantly antebellum homes.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Charleston. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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The Battery on Map

Sight Name: The Battery
Sight Location: Charleston, USA (See walking tours in Charleston)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Charleston, South Carolina

Create Your Own Walk in Charleston

Create Your Own Walk in Charleston

Creating your own self-guided walk in Charleston is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Downtown Historical Churches Tour

Downtown Historical Churches Tour

Charleston, South Carolina, is also sometimes called the “Holy City.” This is due to the large number of churches found here. Needless to say, the most fascinating of them are concentrated in the Downtown area, each with its unique charm and significance.

Among such temples of distinction is Saint Matthew's Church, an enduring symbol of Charleston's German Lutheran community. Its...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Harleston Village Walking Tour

Harleston Village Walking Tour

Founded in the 18th century, the historic Harleston Village is a charming neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. The rich past and vibrant present of this area make it a popular destination for tourists.

At the heart of Harleston Village lies the College of Charleston, an esteemed institution of higher learning, established in 1770, adding a great deal of academic flair to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Charleston Introduction Walking Tour

Charleston Introduction Walking Tour

A popular tourist destination and a major port city in South Carolina, Charleston is fit to impress anyone with its Southern charm, friendliness, and rich history. Founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England, this was the first comprehensively planned town in America.

The city's significance in American history is tied to its role as a key slave trading port. The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
French Quarter Walking Tour

French Quarter Walking Tour

A historic district in downtown Charleston, The French Quarter is named so for the high concentration of French merchants that once lived in the area and left their mark on it. The name was coined in 1973, when preservation efforts began for warehouse buildings on the Lodge Alley block. That same year the district was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The busy neighbourhood...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Historical Houses Tour

Historical Houses Tour

Charleston is steeped in history. Walking the colorful, narrow cobblestone streets of one of America's oldest towns, with its stunningly preserved colonial homes, you can see its story play out before your eyes practically everywhere you turn. Indeed, Charleston is among the most celebrated places in the U.S. to explore fine examples of American architecture and its progression through time.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles