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In the days before power equipment existed fort building took muscle, sweat, and ingenuity, and the big rock forts such as Moultrie III and Sumter required masons of unsurpassed skill. Most of the labor of the first two forts built of sand, palmetto logs, and light brickwork was accomplished with ax and shovel, mainly by slaves from nearby plantations. Master masons, both black and white, slave and free, worked to build the massive brick walls of Fort Moultrie III. It was not until the 1890's when the Endicott batteries were built that modern steel and concrete construction appeared in costal forts and the days of hand labor ended.
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