Amid the roar of cannon fire Saturday, June 18, South Carolinians at Fort Lamar in Charleston will commemorate the Battle of Secessionville, one of the Palmetto State's most important Civil War battles that helped keep the port of Charleston out of Yankee hands.
Ceremonies to commemorate the 143rd anniversary of the Battle of Secessionville will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18. Everyone is welcome.
The 10th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry and Ferguson's South Carolina Artillery will camp at Fort Lamar on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18. The camp will be open to the public from 6-10 p.m. Friday. The evening will feature stories around the campfire beginning at 8 p.m. The living history camp will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Visitors can hear artillery and infantry talks.
Historians consider Fort Lamar and the Battle of Secessionville the second-most important Civil War battleground in the state after Fort Sumter, where the war began. Heritage Trust, a part of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Habitat Protection Section, acquired the 13.5-acre Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve in 1996. The fort is south of Charleston on James Island.
The preserve includes ramparts from Fort Lamar, a battery that helped repel Union troops during the Battle of Secessionville on June 16, 1862. A Union force of 3,500 men attacked the fort but was turned back three times by 1,250 Confederate soldiers.
Formed by state law in 1976, Heritage Trust has protected 81,133 acres on 69 state heritage preserves found throughout South Carolina, among them Fort Lamar and 12 other cultural sites. The DNR owns and protects many Civil War era features including three Confederate earthworks in Georgetown County, Fort Johnson in Charleston County, Fort Drayton in St. Helena Sound and the Stoney Creek Battery in Beaufort County.
For more information on state heritage preserves, write Heritage Trust, DNR, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3893 in Columbia or visit the DNR Web page at http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/wild/heritage/hp/hpmap.html.
- Written by Greg Lucas -