Histopolis features a different cemetery, town, county or other place every day on the Place-of-The-Day.
Monday, December 20, 2010
"Beaufort National Cemetery is located in Beaufort County within the city of Beaufort, S.C. The cemetery is best distinguished by a landscape plan in which the burial sections are arranged in the shape of a half-circle with roads arranged like the spokes of a wheel.
"Although local Native Americans had inhabited the region for thousands of years, it was not until 1514 that the area to become Beaufort County was the site of the second landing of Europeans on the North American continent. After an extended period of settlement, in 1587 the Spanish withdrew from the region in the wake of attacks by the English in Florida. For approximately eight decades the land was left to its original inhabitants. Eventually, King Charles II granted the territory to a group of eight proprietors who named it “Carolina” after their benefactor. The first settlers included many Barbadians, and Carolina came to more closely resemble the plantation economy of the West Indies than other mainland colonies. In 1711, a year after the territory was divided into South and North Carolina, the town of Beaufort was founded.
"Prior to the Civil War, Beaufort was a center of culture and affluence in the American South. Immense fortunes were made through the cultivation of rice, indigo and, later, long-staple sea cotton. Wealthy plantation owners had summer homes in Beaufort where they could benefit from cool breezes coming off the river. The town was also a hotbed of secessionist sentiment. In 1860, the first meeting to draft the Ordinance of Secession (by which South Carolina led the withdrawal of southern states from the Union) was held in Beaufort. As a result, the city was an early target of Union forces.
"South Carolina formally seceded from the Union on Dec. 20, 1860. One month later, a Union fleet circled Port Royal Sound and within less than a year after secession, Union forces occupied the city and would hold it for the balance of the war. Fort Mitchell was built on Hilton Head in 1862 and it became the headquarters for the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron; Union forces here reached 50,000 personnel. Gen. William T. Sherman's march through the state at war's end left a trail of destruction that brushed Beaufort County. The war, while not physically decimating the area, claimed one-fifth of the white male population of the state and shattered its economy.
"The original interments in the national cemetery were men who died in nearby Union hospitals during the occupation and were initially buried in one of several places—among them East Florida and Hilton Head. About 2,800 remains were removed from cemeteries in Millen and Lawton, Ga., and reinterred in the national cemetery; 117 Confederate soldiers are also buried here.
"In May 1987, souvenir hunters using metal detectors on Folly’s Island near Charleston discovered the remains of 19 Union soldiers. The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology identified the remains as members of the 55th Regiment and the 1st North Carolina Infantry. Both units were composed of black troops who fought with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. The 1989 Memorial Day program at Beaufort National Cemetery featured the reinterment of the remains of these 19 Union soldiers missing in action since 1863. The honor guard for the service was composed of actors from the cast of the movie “Glory,” which was being filmed nearby.
"Beaufort National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997."
Note: The first Place-of-the-Day was in September 2010