Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Morris Island in South Carolina, USA, is an 840 acre (3.4 km²) uninhabited island in Charleston Harbor , 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.
The island was heavily fortified to defend the harbor, with the fortifications centered on Fort Wagner. It was the scene of heavy fighting during the Siege of Charleston, and is perhaps best known today as the scene of the last charge of the 54th Massachussetts Regiment , an African-American regiment. The regiment and its final charge were immortalized in the film Glory.
Morris Island is also the site of an old lighthouse.
Erosion has destroyed a great deal of the old fortifications on the island, including some parts of Fort Wagner. However, a greater danger to the old fort, and the lighthouse, are plans to commercially develop the 125 acres (506,000 m²) of high ground on Morris Island as a luxury residential area. Certain groups are fighting to have the island declared a national historical park, or added to the Fort Sumter park.
Most recently, the island's owner, Charleston developer Harry Huffman, listed the island on eBay for $12.5 million. He is currently in negotiations to sell the island to a consortium of preservation groups, but listed the island for sale just to see what price might be offered. Current Charleston zoning regulations permit no more than 5 homes to be built on the island; Huffman waged a number of battles with the local development agencies to change the zoning, but claims to have grown tired of fighting and now just wants to sell. The island was last sold in the 1980s for $3 million.
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