Friday, August 13, 2021 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

The Half-Moon Battery is a historic structure in urban Charleston that formed part of the town’s earliest fortifications. Construction of its curving brick wall commenced in the mid-1690s, and the structure was completed and armed in 1702. Its cannon defended the Carolina capital and fired salutes to mark civic occasions until the upper part of the battery was demolished in 1768 to facilitate the construction of the present Old Exchange. Now partially visible within the dungeon of that historic building, the fabric of the Half-Moon Battery provides a valuable glimpse of the city’s colonial past.

Standing at the east end of Broad Street and overlooking Charleston Harbor, the Half-Moon Battery played a central role in the geography and history of South Carolina’s colonial capital. Despite its significance, generations of historians have been frustrated by the paucity of details relating to its creation. The chronology of its demolition has been known for some time, but the story of its genesis and evolution has eluded previous scholars. The summary presented in today’s program is based on a close study of the sparse references to the battery found in the extant records of the colony’s provincial government, which paid for its construction, maintenance, and destruction. We’ll discuss the social and commercial activities that took place around the Half-Moon in future programs; for the moment, we’ll focus on the rise and fall of the structure itself.


Charleston’s Half-Moon Battery is a unique structure within South Carolina, but its design reflects the traditions of European military architecture in the centuries preceding the founding the Carolina Colony in 1670. In the vocabulary of that discipline, the term “battery” describes a defensive structure that is not fully enclosed like a fort. A battery can stand alone as a detached fortification, or it can form part of a continuous line of defensive works. The term “half-moon battery,” also called a demi-lune or lunette, typically describes a semicircular structure projecting outward from a defensive line.

Numerous examples of circular and semi-circular fortifications were built across Europe during the Medieval and Renaissance Eras, but the popularity of such designs began to fade in the sixteenth century. To defend towns and cities against increasingly-powerful artillery weapons, military engineers moved away from the high walls and rounded turrets that characterized older fortifications and embraced new designs featuring lower defensive walls punctuated by angular projections. Half-moon structures continued to be built during this stylistic transition, however, as seen in the early Spanish Caribbean colonies such as Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and during the early-seventeenth century in the English colonies of Bermuda, Barbados, and others.

Rounded defensive structures became increasingly rare as the science of fortification evolved during the long European wars of the seventeenth century. By the 1690s, when Charleston’s Half-Moon Battery was built, its design would have seemed antiquated and outdated to most military engineers. Nevertheless, this Carolina structure was not an isolated anomaly. Sebastian de Vauban, the leading fortification engineer of late-seventeenth-century Europe, for example, designed a similar half-moon structure, called Fort Lupin, during the 1680s. Standing on the river banks of Saint-Nazaire-sur-Charente, just south of La Rochelle, the semicircular shape of Fort Lupin might have been familiar to some of the French Huguenot refugees who emigrated to South Carolina during that turbulent decade.[1]

As I mentioned in Episode No. 98, the map of Charleston drawn in 1686 by Huguenot immigrant Jean Boyd depicts a physical mass projecting from the east end of Broad Street that we might describe as having a semi-circular or half-moon shape. This feature, which Boyd did not specifically describe or identify, probably represents a combination of natural and man-made elements; that is, a naturally-occurring scarp of dry land projecting slightly from the shore line that the settlers outlined and augmented with wooden pilings driven into the mud to suit their defensive needs during the late 1670s or early 1680s. Although the demolition of this early half-moon is not recorded in any known documents, the brick semicircle erected in the 1690s occupies the same physical space as the feature depicted in Jean Boyd’s map of 1686. Rather than describing Charleston’s Half-Moon Battery of the 1690s as an example of an outdated fortification design, therefore, it might be more accurate to view its construction as the robust renovation of a pre-existing half-moon revetment built of less-durable materials at the same site more than a decade earlier.

The construction of the Half-Moon Battery was part of a larger campaign inaugurated in 1694 to build Charleston’s first permanent fortifications along the Cooper River waterfront. On June 20th of that year, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified a statute titled “An Act to prevent the Sea’s further encroachment upon the Wharf at Charles Town.”[2] The text of this landmark law does not survive in any form, but several of its clauses were quoted and summarized in later government documents. From these sources, we know that the “wharf act” of 1694 ordered the construction of a brick wall to extend approximately 2,700 feet along what is now the eastern side of East Bay Street, from the present Missroon House (40 East Bay Street) to the steps of the U.S. Custom House (200 East Bay Street) (see Episode No. 180 for more details). The subterranean foundations of this brick “wharf wall” still exist under the easternmost edge of East Bay Street, and the Half-Moon Battery projects eastward from the center of the long defensive line. Considering its central position in the wharf wall and its placement at the east end of Broad Street, the town’s principal thoroughfare, the Half-Moon Battery was likely included in the plan described in the lost text of this 1694 law.

The government’s plan for the construction of the “wharf wall” was augmented by a supplemental act ratified in the spring of 1696, the complete text of which survives among the records held at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. This additional act does not contain any references to a Half-Moon Battery, however, and does not help us determine whether or not its construction had already commenced.[3] Successive legislative discussions of fortifications in 1696 and 1697 focused exclusively on plans for a detached “fortress” that eventually became Granville Bastion at the southeast end of East Bay Street (see Episode No. 197), and the surviving texts of the South Carolina legislative sessions of 1698–99 contain no mention of the various fortification projects that were then progressing in urban Charleston.

When a hurricane caused significant damage to the town’s waterfront fortifications in September 1700, the provincial government gathered in Charleston to devise means to repair and continue that important defensive work. On November 16th, the assembly ratified a new law that used the same title as the “wharf act” of 1694, “An Act to prevent the Sea’s further encroachment upon the Wharf at Charles Town.” The text of this 1700 law survives only in a partial form, however, because the first compiler of South Carolina’s laws, Nicholas Trott, purposely omitted seven-and-a-half of the act’s twelve clauses that he judged to be “obsolete.” Whether the revised “wharf act” of 1700 contained instructions relative to the completion of the Half-Moon Battery is now impossible to determine.[4]

The earliest-known documentary reference to the Half-Moon Battery dates from the late summer of 1701. On August 14th of that year, at the commencement of a new legislative session, Governor James Moore outlined his priorities for the coming weeks to the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly. He instructed the elected members to consider various topics, including “to consider of a more speedy way to build the warfe wall,” which the governor predicted “will be a great defence to Charles Town,” and also “to ffinish the batteries of great gunns & to mount the same.” A new war between England and Spain seemed imminent, and the Commons House dutifully considered Governor Moore’s instructions the following day. Regarding the fortifications, the members of the House quickly reviewed the laws passed in recent years and concluded “that there is allready sufficent care taken for building the wharfe [wall], finishing the batteries & mounting the gunns.” To appease the impatient governor, however, they appointed a committee to draft an order empowering the existing commissioners responsible for the construction of the fortifications “to mount great guns in ye halfe moone and in such other places, as they shall think fitt & convenient.”[5]

From this brief statement in mid-August 1701, we can deduce that the brickwork of Charleston’s Half-Moon Battery was nearing completion. The text of a conversation held the following day supports this conclusion and documents a curious feature of the structure’s early design. On August 16th, the members of the Commons House noted that some inhabitants were using the unfinished Half-Moon as a boat landing, stepping from the Cooper River waterfront, onto the exterior brickwork, and up to the newly-embanked level of East Bay Street. For their convenience, the builders of the semicircular fortification had incorporated a door of some description into a segment of its brickwork. The Speaker of the House, Job Howes, asked his colleagues to vote on the question of “whether ye dore of the sd Halfe Moone be continued as it is or not.” After the majority voted “that it be not continued as it is,” Mr. Howes ordered “that the dore in the said halfe moone be taken down, and built up wth brick, and that landing places be reserved and secured on each side [of] ye sd Halfe moone for publick landings.”[6]

Governor Moore and his advisory Council agreed to the removal of the door in the Half-Moon, and the passageway was soon filled and forgotten. On August 28th, 1701, the final day of a brief legislative session, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified an act for the construction of a Watch House at this site, which included a clause for “securing twenty foot on each side the Halfe-moon, for publick landing places.” On the same day, Governor Moore and the Assembly ordered the commissioners overseeing the construction of Charleston’s fortifications to draw money from the public treasury during the coming months “to finish the halfe Moone, and mount what gunns they thinke convenient thereon.” To facilitate the working of several cannon behind the brick wall, workers must have also installed a triangular wooden platform for each gun, or perhaps constructed one continuous wooden platform that followed the interior curve of the wall.[7]

In the course of several brief legislative sessions held during the spring of 1702, Governor James Moore repeatedly badgered the Commons House about the need to protect the nearly-completed waterfront fortifications from the scouring action of daily tides and occasional storm surges, and to replace the wooden pilings before the works that had been washed away by the hurricane of September 1700. After several months of delay, the Commons House ordered the commissioners of Charleston’s defensive works to install a continuous line of wooden pilings in the pluff mud, “w[i]thin five foot of the said fortification,” and to fill the intervening space with oyster shells and ballast stones.[8]

At the conclusion of the assembly’s spring sessions of 1702, James Moore and his advisory Council drafted a letter to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to inform them of the recent progress on the fortifications. “Wee have no[w] mounted all our Great Guns in Charles Town,” said the governor, “[and] wee have finished att each end of ye two great Streets [i.e., Broad and Tradd Streets] a Batterie and have now gott ye order of both houses for pileing them and ye Great Batterie [Granville Bastion] to defend them from ye force of storms.”[9]

The wooden piles, ballast stones, and oyster shells mentioned in the legislative discussion of 1702 collectively formed a sacrificial barrier to protect the brickwork from tidal scouring and from the impact of any vessels that might drift from their moorings in the harbor. As such, they functioned like a less-durable version of the stone rip-rap at the foot of the present Battery seawall around Charleston’s White Point Garden. The extant legislative journals of the early eighteenth century contain numerous references to replacing and renewing the piles and stones fronting the town’s fortifications. Like their modern counterparts, the piles driven into the mud in front of the Half-Moon and other waterfront fortifications were likely visible, to some degree, at both low and high tides, and would have added to the visual depth of the town’s defenses when viewed from ships in the harbor.

Another important feature of the Half-Moon Battery’s construction relates to the height of its parapet, the front wall facing the Cooper River. The well-known 1739 illustration of the town’s waterfront, titled An Exact Prospect of Charles-Town at High Tide, depicts the structure with a crenelated profile typical of contemporary fortifications. That is to say, the battery’s parapet is punctuated by an alternating series of embrasures—openings that allow cannon to project their barrels over the wall—and merlons that protect the defenders operating the guns. These features are also repeated on the 1739 map titled The Ichnography of Charles Town, which depicts the battery at the east end of Broad Street with ten embrasures and nine merlon. From these sources, we can conclude that the waterfront wall of the Half-Moon Battery at that time stood at least six feet high above its wooden platform.

Other documentary evidence, however, suggests that the battery’s waterfront wall might have been about half that height during the structure’s early years. A legislative discussion of Charleston’s recently-completed fortifications in August 1702 debated plans to install either “baskets” or wooden “cases” filled with mud and stones on top of the brick wharf wall to protect the “cannon eares” from enemy fire.[10] Such details imply that the brick parapet stood only three or four feet above the platform and allowed the cannon to fire “en barbette”—without merlons and embrasures. The conversation in question did not specify whether or not the plan applied to the Half-Moon Battery as well as the adjoining wharf wall, and further study of this matter is necessary. Similar legislative discussions held in the mid-1730s and mid-1750s suggest, however, that brick merlons were present on most of Charleston’s waterfront fortifications during the course of successive post-hurricane repairs.

During more than sixty years of active military service, the Half-Moon Battery hosted a number of cannons of varying shapes and sizes, mounted on wooden carriages to facilitate their movement. Thanks to surviving inventories recorded periodically among the journals of South Carolina’s colonial legislature, it is possible to trace the battery’s evolving firepower. A review of Charleston’s defensive works in late August 1702, for example, counted twenty-eight cannon mounted and ready for service within the town’s waterfront fortifications, but the precise number within the Half-Moon Battery is unclear.[11] A military review in May 1703 counted seven cannon at the Half-Moon, including four “minions” and three “sakers”—both names of English artillery in use during the late seventeenth century.[12] The battery hosted seven sakers in October 1704, at which time local officials stated their desire to have eleven cannon at this location, including seven sakers, two minions, and two “faulkennetts” [falconets].[13] Another review in December 1708 identified “nine guns mounted and in good order” at the Half-Moon.[14]

Colonel John Herbert’s hand-drawn map of Charleston’s fortifications, drafted in October 1721, noted the presence of nine cannon at the Half-Moon, including six cannon firing four-pound shot and three cannon firing three pound shot.[15] A review in late 1723 counted here one brass mortar and nine cannon (six firing six-pound shot and three firing four-pound shot), all mounted on “good beds” and supplied with all the necessary tools for loading and cleaning the cannon.[16] The same inventory was repeated in 1725 and 1727, after which time the documentary trail of firepower nearly evaporates.[17] During the late 1720s, South Carolina’s provincial government built a new Watch House and Council Chamber behind the Half-Moon Battery, the upper floor of which served as the executive office of the colonial governor and his advisors. This two-and-a-half story civic building is visible just behind the brick Half-Moon in the aforementioned 1739 Exact Prospect of Charles-Town , which depicts just six cannon projecting from the semicircular battery. Finally, a legislative review in February 1755 noted that “the Half Moon has a platform in pretty good order with five large and two small cannon lying on the platform (where is also a brass ten inch mortar).”[18]

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War in 1763, inaugurated a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity in South Carolina. Spain abandoned Florida and France lost the majority of its possessions on the continent of North America, rendering the mainland British colonies more secure than ever. Four years later, in April 1767, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified a plan to build a new “Exchange and Custom House” at the east end of Broad Street, on the site occupied by both the Half-Moon Battery and the Watch House and Council Chamber built there in the late 1720s. To accommodate the construction of the new building, the provincial government paid the owners of enslaved laborers to demolish the brickwork of the earlier structures down to a point below the level of the street at the time. This work was done during the late spring and early summer of 1768, and workers began to lay the foundation of the present Exchange on July 25th. The new Exchange was completed during the winter of 1771–72, and locals soon forgot the Half-Moon Battery. For the next two centuries, it existed only in stories about the early days of colonial history and on maps published in London in 1711 and 1739. The Cooper River waterfront gradually crept eastward as new wooden wharves crowded along East Bay Street and various forms of trash, debris, and silt filled the tidal mudflats that once surrounded the Half-Moon.[19]

By the 1960s, locals began to recognize the 200-year-old Exchange as a valuable relic of late-colonial South Carolina and an important part of the story of the American Revolution in Charleston. Plans to convert the old building into a tourist attraction hit paydirt—quite literally—in the autumn of 1965 when local insurance agent C. Harrington Bissell began investigating a “hump” in the wooden floor covering the basement of the Old Exchange. Mr. Bissell summoned archaeologist John D. Miller from the Charleston Museum, who probed into the soil below the floor and discovered a solid mass of bricks measuring nearly six feet across at its top and approximately seven and half-feet wide at its base. After removing the floorboards and consulting several old maps of the city, Bissell and Miller, aided by Thomas E. Thornhill and construction supervisor John Lilienthal, among others, dug through the layers of soil and re-discovered the remnants of the old Half-Moon Battery.[20] Charlestonians were surprised to learn that a significant proportion of the semicircular brickwork laid at the turn of the eighteenth century still survived, and that all of the extant fabric stood within the footprint of the Old Exchange Building.

Archaeologist John Miller died unexpectedly before producing a report of his ground work, but Dr. Elaine Herold, also of the Charleston Museum, studied Miller’s notes and revisited the site in 1980 before publishing a summary of both excavations. You can find a copy of that material in the South Carolina History Room at CCPL’s Main Library, but I’ll mention a few details of particular interest. On the eastern edge of the Half-Moon, standing several feet from the brickwork, Miller and Herold found the remnants of wooden pilings forming a line parallel to the structure’s curving face. The archaeologists conjectured that the pilings might have formed part of a temporary coffer dam built to facilitate the construction of the battery’s foundation, but it seems more likely that they represent the remnants of the rip-rap first mentioned in 1702 and renewed periodically throughout the colonial era.[21]

While excavating the space between the brick base of the Half-Moon Battery and the aforementioned wooden piles in 1965–66, John Miller found a skull and a partial skeleton approximately four feet below the contemporary surface of the pluff mud. This depth suggests that the individual might have fallen or might have been lowered into the mud during the early stages of the battery’s construction, beneath the ballast stones and oyster shells that formed part of the early rip-rap. Although the paucity of documentary records from the late seventeenth century prevents us from discovering his identity, a professor from the University of South Carolina identified the skeleton as belonging to a young adult male, aged 20–30 years, “of probable Indian ancestry.” Dr. Herold’s report does not mention a cause of death, so we can only imagine the circumstances that led to the burial of a young Native American man at the foot of Charleston’s earliest fortifications.[22]

Elaine Herold’s 1981 report also documents the presence of a distinct “jog” or disruption in the surviving brickwork near the southwestern terminus of the Half-Moon Battery. This feature was also noted by a contemporary architect, Samuel Lapham, who published an illustrated overview of Charleston’s fortifications shortly after John Miller’s original excavation in 1965. Neither author proposed a hypothesis to explain the cause of the interrupted brickwork, but I have a hunch based on a documentary clue mentioned earlier in this program. I suspect that the disruption might represent the brick masons’ efforts to comply with the government instructions of August 16th, 1701, which ordered “that the dore in the said halfe moone be taken down, and built up wth brick.”[23]

More than half a century after the Old Exchange opened its doors to tourists, the central portion of the Half-Moon Battery remains visible within the building’s ground-floor dungeon. Visitors might note that its brick surface appears powdery, which is the result of salty, moist air from the Cooper River degrading the surface of the soft, hand-made bricks. Such is the price of exposing the centuries-old surface to atmospheric changes, and discussions of the battery’s future will need to address the balance between the goals of education and preservation.

The old brickwork still holds a few secrets, too, and further investigation of the surviving fabric will augment our appreciation of this historic structure. For example, the semicircular arc of the battery probably measures sixty-six feet (or one chain) in diameter, but the extant structure has never been carefully surveyed, and it’s unclear whether that measurement describes the interior or exterior line of the brickwork. Furthermore, the eastern, waterfront face of the curving Half-Moon is also battered or sloped to make the top slightly narrower than the broad foundation, and the successive rows of bricks radiate diagonally rather than horizontally from a central axis. This matrix of horizontal curve, vertical batter, and diagonal radiation reflects the structure’s complex internal geometry and testifies to the skill of the brick masons who planned and executed the work between 1694 and 1702. That labor force would have included an unknown number of enslaved African men, and further study is needed to document, understand, and interpret the engineering skills embedded within the battery’s design.

In short, Charleston’s Half-Moon Battery is the oldest and most-complete remnant of Charleston’s colonial fortifications. It formed an important civic and military landmark during the early generations of English South Carolina, but the colorful narrative of its rise and fall reflects the diversity of the colony’s population. Drop by the Old Exchange for a visit if you’ve never viewed the brick work and walked across its curving rampart, keeping in mind that just a fraction of the complete structure is currently exposed. The rest is beneath your feet and in the grey matter between your ears, fueling the time machine of your imagination.





[1] See also Vauban’s Fort Louvois (aka Fort Chapus), a horseshoe-shaped structure built 1691–94, and Fort Paté, a circular coastal structure built just south of La Rochelle in the 1690s.

[2] Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 2 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1837), 81, gives the date for this act as 16 June 1694, but subsequent revisions of this law, and later compilations of statute law published by Nicholas Trott in 1736 and John F. Grimke in 1790, as well as a report presented to the Commons House of Assembly in 1739, all cite the date as 20 June 1694.

[3] Act No. 131, “An Additional Act to prevent the Sea’s further Encroachment upon the Wharfe at Charles Towne,” ratified on 16 March 1695/6. Only the title of this act appears in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 2: 115, but the entire text is found at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter SCDAH), in “Governor Archdale’s Lawes,” 73–77; see the discussion in Episode No. 181.

[4] The extant text of Act No. 173, “An Act to Prevent the Seas further Encroachment upon the Wharf of Charles Town,” ratified on 16 November 1700, is found at SCDAH, in Nicholas Trott’s “New Collection,” Perpetual Acts, 1692–1709, pp. 165–67.

[5] A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina For the Session Beginning August 13, 1701 and Ending August 28, 1701 (Columbia: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1926), 3–5, 6, 8.

[6] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1701, 9.

[7] For the reservation of the landing places, see Act No. 190, “An Act for Settling a Watch in Charlestown, and for preventing of Fires and Nusances [sic] in the same, and for the securing twenty foot on each side the Halfe-moon, for publick landing places,” ratified on 28 August 1701, in Statutes at Large, 7: 17–22. For the assent of the governor and Upper House of Assembly, see Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1701, 9, 29.

[8] A. S. Salley, ed., Journals of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina for 1702 (Columbia: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1932), 6, 7, 11, 37, 61.

[9] A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Commissions and Instructions from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Public Officials of South Carolina, 1685–1715 (Columbia, S.C.: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1916), 152–53.

[10] Salley, Journal of the Commons House Journal, 1702, 64, 66.

[11] Salley, Journal of the Commons House Journal, 1702, 72–78.

[12] A. S. Salley, ed., Journals of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina for 1703 (Columbia: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1934), 93. The inventory at this location included one minion, 2.5 inch diameter, firing 3 pound shot; one minion, 2.75 inch diameter, firing 3 pound 6 ounce shot; two “large” minions, 3.25 inch diameter, firing 4 pound 6 ounce shot; two sakers, 3.25 inch diameter, firing 5 pound 6 ounce shot; and one “medling” [middling] saker, 3 1/12 inch diameter, firing 5 pound 6 ounce shot.

[13] SCDAH, Journal of the Commons House of Assembly (Green’s copy), 1702–6, page 256 (9 October 1704).

[14] SCDAH, Journal of the Commons House of Assembly (Green’s copy), 1706–11, page 392 (3 December 1708).

[15] “The Ichnography or Plann of the Fortifications of Charlestown, and the Streets, with the names of the Bastions, quantity of acres of Land, number of Gunns and weight of their Shott, by his Excellency[’s] Faithfull & Obedient Serv.t John Herbert,” dated 27 October 1721, National Archives of the United Kingdom, CO 700/Carolina6.

[16] SCDAH, Journal of the Commons House of Assembly (Green’s copy), 1722–24, pages 326–27 (5 December 1723).

[17] A. S. Salley, ed., Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, November 1, 1725–April 30, 1726 (Columbia: The South Carolina Historical Commission, 1945), 49 (2 December 1725); A. S. Salley, ed., Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, November 15, 1726–March 11, 1726/7 (Columbia: The South Carolina Historical Commission, 1946), 76 (20 January 1726/7).

[18] Terry W. Lipscomb, ed. The Colonial Records of South Carolina: The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, November 12, 1754–September 23, 1755 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1986), 101 (4 February 1755).

[19] Act No. 957, “An Act for granting to His Majesty the sum of sixty thousand pounds, for the building [of] an Exchange and Custom House, and New Watch House, in Charlestown, for the service of this government, and for other services therein mentioned, and for appointing and impowering commissioners to execute the same,” ratified on 18 April 1767, in Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 4 (Columbia, S.C. A. S. Johnston, 1838), 257–61; South Carolina Gazette, 1 August 1768 (Monday), No. 1713, page 3: “Charles-Town, August 1. . . . Last Monday [July 25th] the foundation of the new Exchange in this Town began to be laid.”

[20] See Charleston Evening Post, 6 October 1965, page 1-A, “Lost Since 1771, Old Fort Is Found,” by Belvin Horres; Evening Post, 6 October 1965, page 1-B, “Light Shines Again On City’s Past”; Charleston News and Courier, 7 October 1965, page 1-B: “Ancient City Wall Being Excavated.”

[21] Elaine B. Herold, Archaeological Research at the Exchange Building, Charleston, S.C.: 1979–80 (Charleston Museum, 1981), 28. The early archaeology at the Half-Moon Battery is also summarized in Nicholas Butler, Eric Poplin, Katherine Pemberton, and Martha Zierden, Archaeology at South Adger’s Wharf: A Study of the Redan at Tradd Street (Charleston Museum: Archaeological Contributions 45, October 2012), 128–31. During the archaeology at South Adger’s Wharf in January 2008 and June 2009, the Mayor’s Walled City Task Force found numerous wooden piles—rough-hewn posts measuring three to five inches in diameter—standing in rows parallel to and approximately five feet distant from the extant brickwork of the redan at the east end of Tradd Street. As described in the Commons House journal of 1702, the space between the brickwork and the piles was still filled with a loose mixture of shells and stones.

[22] Herold, Archaeological Research, 90.

[23] See the plan illustrations of the Half-Moon in Samuel Lapham, Our Walled City (Charleston, S.C.: Society of Colonial Wars in the State of South Carolina, 1970), and Herold, Archaeological Research.



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