Category: Military History

Yamasee War, 1715 – 1717

For a group that only lived here for about 35 years, the Yamasee played a critical role in the most important colonial war that few remember.


Ribbon Creek Incident, 8 April 1956: A List of Links and Materials

The importance of the investment that the US Navy made in Beaufort County at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century is a key point in volume 3, Bridging the Sea Islands's Past and Present, by Lawrence Rowland and Stephen Wise, University of South Carolina Press, 2015. In the words of … Continue reading Ribbon Creek Incident, 8 April 1956: A List of Links and Materials

Obituary Files in the Beaufort District Collection

Beaufort County South Carolina has a lot of ghost stories, some of which we've retold for this blog. Identifying the spirit can be problematic. For example, some people think that Private Frank Quigley (U.S. Army) is the possible ghost out near Fort Fremont on Land's End. Our obituary files tell us more about him and … Continue reading Obituary Files in the Beaufort District Collection

Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid: A Selective List of Links & Materials

This list of materials about the people, places, events, and key themes of our local history was prepared by the Beaufort District Collection, the special collections and archives unit of the Beaufort County Library system. The Beaufort County Library is a division of Beaufort County Government, Beaufort, South Carolina. Please note that materials available only through the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) are not available for checkout. Come visit us. The BDC Research Room is customarily open Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM; the Research Room is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Robert Smalls, 1839 – 1915: A Selective List of Links & Materials

Beaufort's native son, Robert Smalls, was born into slavery in 1839. On the night of May 12,1862, he made a daring dash across Charleston Harbor piloting The Planter, a steamship contracted to the Confederate government. He surrendered it to Union forces thereby becoming the first African-American hero of the Civil War. When peace returned, he came home to Beaufort County, SC, embracing the rough-and-tumble daily life of the Reconstruction era. He actively participated in politics at local, state, and federal levels until the end of his life. Some called him the "King of Beaufort."

Black Soldiers and Sailors during the Civil War : Selected Materials & Links

Approximately 200,000 men of color would serve in the Union Army or Union Navy during the Civil War. Some of the men were free black men from Northern states; some were former enslaved men from the states which seceded from the United States of America. Because the area around Port Royal and St. Helena Sounds was occupied by the Federal government so early in the Civil War, three of the four regiments of USCT soldiers raised in South Carolina were organized here. Latest revision: 14 June 2017.

Battle of Port Royal Sound, 1861: An Annotated Selective Guide to Links & Materials

The Battle of Port Royal Sound was one of the earliest naval operations of the Civil War. On November 7, 1861, a massive U. S. Naval fleet and U. S. Army expeditionary force sailed into Port Royal Sound and captured Fort Walker on Hilton Head and Fort Beauregard on Bay Point/St. Helena Island, SC. Beaufort became the first southern town to fall into Union hands. The Federal occupation changed the course of Beaufort District history thenceforth.

John Barnwell, ca.1671 – 1724: A List of Selected Links & Materials

John Barnwell (circa 1671-1724) was an early Anglo-Irish settler of the Carolina colony holding several offices in the Proprietary government. Barnwell led a successful expedition against the Tuscarora Indians to North Carolina in 1711- 1712 thereby earning the nickname "Tuscarora Jack." Always active in military affairs, he led a waterborne militia called the "Carolina Scouts" to defeat the Yamasees who rose up against the English settlers in 1715. He owned 6500 acres of land on Port Royal Island and neighboring islands. In addition to being a land surveyor, he traded with the Indians. The six children he had with wife Anne Berners formed the core of South Carolina's planter class and political elite up to the Civil War period. He died May 24, 1724 and his remains are buried in the Parish Church of St. Helena's churchyard at 505 Church Street in Beaufort, SC. No contemporary portraits or drawings are known to exist of his likeness.

Stephen Elliott, 1830 – 1866: List of Links & Materials

Stephen Elliott, Jr. was senior captain of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery at the outbreak of the Civil War. His actions precipitated a series of promotions finishing the war as a Brigadier General in the Confederate States of America. He died as a result of wounds received during the hostilities. His wife, Charlotte Stuart Elliott, lived only a few more years leaving their three young sons, Stephen H. Elliott, Henry DeSaussure Elliott, and Charles Pinckney Elliott orphans.