Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Emancipation Day Camp Saxton Site

Marker ID: SCHM 7-24
Location: on the banks of the Beaufort River at the U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort, Port Royal
County: Beaufort
Coordinates: N 32° 23.393    W 080° 40.863
  32.38988333    -80.68105
Style: Free Standing **


(Front) Emancipation Day
On New Year´s Day 1863 this plantation owned by John Joyner Smith was the scene of elaborate ceremonies celebrating the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation. Hundreds of freedmen and women came from Port Royal, Beaufort, and the sea islands to join Federal military and civil authorities and others in marking the event. After the proclamation was read, the 1st South Carolina Volunteers (Colored), the first black regiment formed.

(Reverse) Camp Saxton Site*
for regular service in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, received its national and regimental colors. Col. Thomas W. Higginson of the regiment wrote, "Just think of it!-the first day they had ever had a country, the first flag they had seen which promised anything to their people." This plantation was also the site of Camp Saxton, where the regiment (later the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops) organized and trained from late 1862 to early 1863.

Erected by Penn Center and the Michigan Support Group - I996


Two sided marker - Drayton Cemetery