Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Civil War and Forward

Marker ID:  
Location: Bay St. & Charles St., Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort, SC
County: Beaufort
Coordinates: N 32° 25.832    W 080° 40.378
  32.43053333    -80.67296666
Style: Mounted **


1860 –

On November 7, 1861, a flotilla of U.S. warships steamed into Port Royal Sound and the "Cotton Kingdom" came to a swift & thunderous end. The planters were forced to flee inland, many never to return, abandoning homes, lands, and slaves. Beaufort became headquarters for the U.S. Army Department of the Southland and the chief base for the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. The houses were used by the occupying forces and thus were saved for future generations.

After the war the tough minded accepted quickly and struggled back from defeat and reprisal. The long-fibered Sea Island cotton recovered and continued to support the economy. The coming of the Boll Weevil, some sixty years later, banished cotton forever from the Sea Islands.

In 1893 a great storm came ashore at the high tide, piling water on water until the Islands were swept clean of agriculture and shipping. Thousands drowned.

Now, where rice, indigo and cotton once flourished, cattle feed crops, vegetables, and soybeans grow. A fishing fleet "drags" the local waters for shrimp. Crabs and oysters are harvested for local consumption and export. Clean industry, military installations, tourism and retired persons contribute heavily to the present economy.

City of Beaufort, Beaufort County and the Beaufort Historical Society