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The One Where We Took the British to War

It all started with Poe. Edgar Allan, to be exact.

We stood with the Shrewsdays at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, a fort where American rebels first repelled the British Royal Navy at the start of the American Revolution. It was a crude sight. Crosshatched palmetto logs and sand.

But those logs were sponges to cannonballs. Fort Moultrie was impenetrable.

Throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Fort Moultrie endured. It stood ready during the War of 1812 and saw the first shots fired on Fort Sumter to launch the Civil War. Men bound for the European theater trained there in both World War I and World War II.

And, somewhere along the way, the place housed a writer whose dark thoughts sprayed across the page. His horror was visceral, his tales the antidote to sleep on a lonely night.

Edgar Allan Poe arrived at Fort Moultrie in 1827, listed as Edgar A Perry. He clerked at the fort and spent much of his free time wandering the beach. He said he was looking for conch shells, but I think he sought stories. Frightening tales buried in sea grass and pluff mud. His The Gold Bug was most definitely set there.

Though the fort changed with time, I still like to imagine a manic writer wandering the dunes, communing with the ghosts of the wind.

To see our pictures of Fort Moultrie, click here: Andra Watkins Tumblr

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TODAY’S MERIWETHER LEWIS BIRTHDAY MONTH TRIVIA QUESTION:

DOES HISTORICAL PRECEDENT EXIST FOR CALLING MERIWETHER LEWIS ‘MERRY?’

Yesterday’s Meriwether Lewis Birthday Month Trivia Question: MERIWETHER LEWIS IS KNOWN AS AMERICA’S FIRST ___________________?

ANSWER: SCIENTIST.

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To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is just $2.99 on Kindle during August in celebration of Meriwether Lewis’ Birthday Month.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Or click below to buy it.

amazon.kindle

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To check out the entire Meriwether Lewis Birthday Month Series, follow the links below:

Lewis and Clark: Screwing Their Way Across a Continent
Lewis and Clark and Sex Bombs
Who Was Meriwether Lewis Godfather?
If Meriwether Lewis Had Lived to be 80
Lewis and Clark and Old Blue Eyes
The Lion Will Lie Down With the Lamb
My Natchez Trace Walk Featured in We Proceeded On
Dead People Follow Me And They Talk To Me
Is Suicide the Final Arbiter of a Life. For Robin Williams. And Meriwether Lewis.
WordPress Is Killing Me
Fate’s Fickle Fingering
Happy Birthday Meriwether Lewis
I Just Can’t Come
Guardians of the Neighborhood
Did the Vikings Walk the Natchez Trace?
I’m an Idiot Who Doesn’t Do Details
Friendship Makes the World Go Around
The One Where the British Ate Frogmore Stew
Submit Your Favorite Walking Song. Or Road Trip Song.

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. what a history and it sounds like the perfect place for him to be inspired to write his tales –

    August 28, 2014
  2. I had an 8th grade English teacher who liked to read out loud to us – she read Poe all the time. He was her favorite. I still remember her reading us The Tell-Tale Heart – it was creepy.

    August 28, 2014
  3. Love the first person history reflection.

    August 28, 2014
  4. Yes. He was called Merry.

    Fabulous photos, Andra, and such a varied place of history to visit with those wonderful British visitors. 🙂 I just may need to get an audio of Poe to take with up north on my upcoming trip.

    August 28, 2014
  5. The Spaniards sometimes called him “Merry Weather.” I guess that’s a precedent.

    August 28, 2014
  6. aboccucci #

    Loving the titles of your posts right now. Friends is one of my FAVORITE shows!

    August 28, 2014
  7. tarakianwarrior #

    Hey Andra, just letting you know for some reason Amazon is having difficulty filling your book orders. Awhile back I ordered four book to give to some libraries around here, Amazon has sent me two but continues to struggle sending me the other two. Please know that I am not complaining, I’m just letting you know. Every week I get an email from Amazon asking me if I want to cancel my order since my books haven’t arrived yet. I know it’s hard enough to sale books let alone when things like this happen. No worries, as I said, I’m not complaining…I’m just letting you know that for some reason they’re having difficulty keeping your books in stock – that’s a good sign….right?

    So…………………….when is the question going to be who was the baby’s father that Clark adopted?????

    August 28, 2014
  8. Lovely photos!

    August 28, 2014
  9. I always thought my gooseflesh when there was due to the underground chill and damp, or maybe the ghosts of soldiers long gone. Now I’m not so certain it was those particular ghosts after all.

    Great photos!

    Trivia Answer: Yes

    August 28, 2014
  10. I was just talking with a friend about Poe. She used to throw a Poe party, where guests had to read their favorite poem or at least part of one of his stories. I treasure my complete collection of Poe’s works. 🙂

    August 28, 2014
  11. A wonderful place. Its size struck me: such a small and humble place with a tiny barracks: but that was its strength and its endurance. Poe was a tiny cog in that wheel, out on that flat sandy place with the wild things. I am sure he would have had plenty of time to think. Thank you for taking us there. Unlike others, we managed to hold on to our britches as we left.

    August 28, 2014
  12. This is a great photo to illustrate the dark history of the place.

    August 28, 2014
  13. ruthrawls #

    Regarding the name Merry: my ggg-grandfather was known as Merry Webb, 1778-1864. I believe he was actually Meredith Webb, but I don’t have definitive proof that my Merry Webb of East Tennessee was actually Meredith Webb of Western North Carolina. He’s referred to as Merry in every census record until about 1860 where he’s recorded as “Mary”. I loved seeing you write “Merry” in reference to your Meriwether, and it makes me think that my Merry is indeed Meredith. Gives me hope. Thanks for writing!

    August 28, 2014
  14. Yes, the precedent does, because you do so in your books.

    Fort Moultrie is a fun place to explore. Many levels of history there. Did you take them for lunch to Poe’s?

    August 28, 2014
  15. We visited Fort Moultrie maybe 15 years ago and I remember it well, but I did not know the story of Edgar Allan Poe. How fascinating, Andra! And what a great place to take our Bristish history/literature buff!

    August 29, 2014
  16. Did you ever stop to think that maybe Poe was just looking for beach glass?

    August 30, 2014
  17. Since you are such a history buff… here is some San Juan Island trivia for you… on the south end of the island, there was an American military outpost… today we call it American Camp (on the north end is British Camp). Stationed there before the Civil war were two soldiers who would have an impact in later years to come. Captain George Pickett in 1959, who would later become famous as a Southern General leading a charge at Gettysburg. And, a young officer named Henry Robert who was assigned the task to build the fortifications at American Camp. While there, he would start work on a book which would become known as ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’.

    August 30, 2014

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