Morris Island

Morris Island
Morris Island Lighthouse

Morris Island is an 840 acre (3.4 km²) uninhabited island in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, accessible only by boat. The island lies in the outer reaches of the harbor and was thus a strategic location in the American Civil War.



Morris Island was heavily fortified to defend Charleston harbor, with the fortifications centered on Fort Wagner. It was the scene of heavy fighting during the Union Army's campaign to capture Charleston, and is perhaps best known today as the scene of the ill-fated assault by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an African-American regiment. The regiment and this assault, where it suffered over 50% casualties, was immortalized in the film Glory.

After the Confederates abandoned Morris Island in 1863, the Union occupied it and transferred 520 Confederate officers from Fort Delaware to Morris Island. They were used as Human Shields in an attempt to silence the Confederate artillery at Fort Sumter and soon became known in the South as the Immortal Six Hundred. This was done by the Union when it was learned that the Confederacy had a similar number of human shields in Charleston to deter Union ships from firing on the city. Land Erosion has destroyed a great deal of the old fortifications on the island, including some parts of Fort Wagner.

Union Army mortar battery on Morris Island, 1865

Morris Island Light

Morris Island is also the site of the Morris Island Light, a lighthouse that stands on the southern side of the entrance to Charleston Harbor, north of the town of Folly Beach.


Plans to commercially develop the 125 acres (506,000 m²) of high ground on the northern tip of Morris Island as a luxury residential area resulted in several groups fighting to have the island declared a national historical park or added to the Fort Sumter park.

In January 2005, Charleston developer Harry Huffman, listed the 125 acres (0.51 km2) for sale on eBay for $12.5 million. Huffman was in negotiations to sell the island to a consortium of preservation groups, but claimed to have listed the island to see if there was any other interest.[1] Charleston zoning regulations permit no more than 5 homes to be built on the island.[citation needed] Huffman had waged a number of battles with the local development agencies to change the zoning, but claimed to have grown tired of fighting and just wanted to sell.[citation needed] The island was last sold in the 1980s for $3 million.[citation needed]

On February 2, 2006, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a non-profit private land conservation organization, announced the purchase of Morris Island for $4.5 million. Ginn Resorts had previously purchased the island for a reported $6.5 million. In May 2008, TPL and partners (including the South Carolina Conservation Bank, the South Carolina State Ports Authority, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and many private donors) purchased the island on behalf of the City of Charleston from Ginn Resorts for $3 million. According to TPL, the city and county are working "to complete a management plan to protect the island's nationally significant historical and natural resources."[2][3]


External links

Coordinates: 32°42′57″N 79°53′25″W / 32.71583°N 79.89028°W / 32.71583; -79.89028

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Morris Island — Vorlage:Infobox Insel/Wartung/Höhe fehlt Morris Island Morris Island Light Leuchtturm auf Morris Island Gewässer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Morris Island Light — Morris Island Lighthouse Location Morris Island, South Carolina, Charleston harbor entrance Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Morris Island (disambiguation) — Morris Island may refer to the following: Morris Island is an island in the U.S. state of Massachusetts Morris Island is a privately owned island located in Battle Creek, Michigan Morris Island is an island in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia …   Wikipedia

  • Morris Island, Nova Scotia — Morris Island in Nova Scot …   Wikipedia

  • Morris Island (Antarctica) — Morris Island is an ice covered island about 7 nautical miles (13 km) long, lying 5 nautical miles (9 km) west of Farmer Island in Sulzberger Ice Shelf. Mapped by United States Geological Survey (USGS) from surveys and U.S. Navy air photos, 1959… …   Wikipedia

  • Morris Island (Queensland) — There are two Morris Islands within 200 km of each other. Morris Island South is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the southern most island in the Cole Islands group and National Park and is about 100 km South East of Cape… …   Wikipedia

  • Bataille de Fort Wagner, Morris Island — 32° 43′ 48″ N 79° 52′ 16″ W / 32.730, 79.871 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bataille De Fort Wagner, Morris Island — Bataille de Fort Wagner sur Morris Island Braxton Bragg Informations générales Date 11 juillet 1863 puis du 16 juil …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bataille de fort wagner, morris island — Bataille de Fort Wagner sur Morris Island Braxton Bragg Informations générales Date 11 juillet 1863 puis du 16 juil …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Battle of Fort Wagner, Morris Island — The Second Battle of Fort Wagner, also known as the Battle of Fort Wagner, Morris Island, was fought on July 18, 1863, during the American Civil War. Union Army troops commanded by Brig. Gen. Quincy Gillmore, launched an assault on the… …   Wikipedia