Fort Walker (Hilton Head)

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Fort Walker
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, U.S.
Fort Walker during the Battle of Port Royal, 1861
Fort Walker is located in South Carolina
Fort Walker
Fort Walker
Coordinates32°14′07″N 80°40′40″W / 32.23528°N 80.67778°W / 32.23528; -80.67778
Site history
Built1861 (1861)
Battles/warsBattle of Port Royal
Fort Walker circa 1862

Fort Walker (Hilton Head) was an American Civil War Confederate fort located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at the mouth of Port Royal Sound.


Built with slave labor during 1861, the fort was to defend against a Union blockade of one of the south’s most important ports at Port Royal.[1] Fort Walker along with the Confederate Fort Beauregard on the opposite side of Port Royal Sound was the site of the Battle of Port Royal during November 1861. After the battle the fort was renamed Fort Welles (after Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles) by the occupying Union forces.[2] The fort was rearmed with an experimental 15-inch dynamite gun battery 1897-1902.[3][4]


Today the site of the fort ruins is marked with a historical marker and located on Fort Walker Drive,[5] Hilton Head, SC. It is not accessible to the general public except through guided tours through the Coastal Discovery Museum.


  1. ^ Holmgren, Virginia C. (1959). Hilton Head: A Sea Island Chronicle. Hilton Head: Hilton Head Island Publishing Company. p. 81.
  2. ^ "Fort Welles - FortWiki Historic U.S. and Canadian Forts". Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  3. ^ Berhow, p. 211
  4. ^ Fort Welles article at
  5. ^ "Historic Sites". Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  • Berhow, Mark A., ed. (2004). American Seacoast Defenses, A Reference Guide (Second ed.). CDSG Press. ISBN 0-9748167-0-1.