150 years later, revisiting county's role in Civil War

Roundtable group, Coastal Discovery Museum will host a commemoration of war's sesquicentennial.

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comNovember 27, 2011 


    Special event ticket options include: Four-day ticket, $375; Thursday, $150; Friday, $150; Saturday, $100. Tickets include admission to all special events and community events.

    Dec. 1

  • 9:30 a.m. to noon: "The South Prepares for Invasion" by Dr. James Robertson Jr. and "Setting the Stage: Plantation Era and Beaufort County's Preparation for War" by Dr. Steve Wise

  • 7:30 p.m.: "The Road Home" theatrical performance by Actors' Theatre of South Carolina at Hilton Head Island High School

  • Dec. 2

  • 9 a.m. to noon: "Secession and the Fire Eaters: The War Begins" by William C. Davis and "Commodore Samuel Francis DuPont, the Union Expeditionary Force to Port Royal; His Life and Career Up to 1863" by Col. Kevin Weddle

  • Afternoon: Re-creation of the Battle of Port Royal Sound narrated boat tour of the sound

  • Evening: Reception and grand opening of "Civil War in the Lowcountry" exhibition at the Coastal Discovery Museum

  • Dec. 3

  • 9:30 a.m. to noon: "South Carolina Volunteers: Gen. David Hunter and Black Regiments in the Civil War" by Dr. Joseph Glatthaar and Roundtable Wrap-up and Book Signing with Steve Hoffius and Dr. Larry Rowland


    Community event pricing varies.

    Dec. 1-3

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Exhibitions and guided tours at the Verdier House in Beaufort, featuring "The Beaufort Volunteer Auxiliary: Guardians of the Lowcountry since 1776" and "The Life and Times of Congressman Robert Smalls" ($10 a person)

  • Dec. 1

  • 1: 30 p.m.: "Finding Historic Mitchelville" panel discussion and tour (donations accepted)

  • 1:30 p.m.: "Beaufort & South Carolina at the Core" at the Heritage Library ($8 for members, $10 nonmembers)

  • 3 p.m.: Bluffton Historic District Walking Tour ($15 fee)

  • Dec. 2 and 3

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Tours of Fort Mitchel (donations accepted)

  • 1:30 and 3 p.m.: Fort Mitchel lectures ($5 a person; student admission is free)

  • Dec. 3

  • All-day Civil War History Encampment with re-enactors at the Coastal Discovery Museum (no charge)

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Open house at Heyward House in Bluffton (no charge)

  • Dec. 4

  • Living history encampment at the Coastal Discovery Museum and closing ceremonies (no charge)

Beaufort County was entrenched in the Civil War from just about the beginning when the first major amphibious assault in U.S. military history happened at Port Royal Sound in November 1861.

That history will be revisited this week. The Lowcountry Civil War Roundtable and the Coastal Discovery Museum are presenting "The Lowcountry Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration" Thursday through Saturday.

Each day offers a variety of events that showcases how the Civil War hit home for Beaufort County residents.

"Something like this is long overdue," said Chris Clayton, president of the roundtable. "The history in this area is amazing."

The roundtable worked for more than a year to bring in noted exhibitors, historians and professors, such as retired Virginia Tech professor Bud Robertson, who could offer an educated perspective of the Battle of Port Royal and surrounding events. The Actors' Theatre of South Carolina premieres "The Road Home," first-person recollections of the early years of the Civil War. Historical re-enactors will re-create a two-day encampment. A boat tour will revisit the battle from the viewpoint of the sea. Other historical organizations are also holding events in conjunction with the sesquicentennial.

The roundtable plans to hold similar events in 2013 and 2015, Clayton said. This year's focus is on the Battle of Port Royal, where Union forces drove Confederates from their encampment and made Beaufort the first city to be captured by the North.

Plans call for 2013 to center around slavery and Mitchelville, and the final installment to focus on the end of the war and how it affected the county.

"We can only hope the popularity will grow each year and more people will realize the significant amount of history this area has to offer," Clayton said.


Lowcountry Civil War Roundtable

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