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.