The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry

How a Confederate Artillery Battery and a Black Union Regiment Defined the War


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About the Book

Some of the most dramatic and consequential events of the Civil War era took place in the South Carolina Lowcountry between Charleston and Savannah. From Robert Barnwell Rhett’s inflammatory 1844 speech in Bluffton calling for secession, to the last desperate attempts by Confederate forces to halt Sherman’s juggernaut, the region was torn apart by war. This history tells the story through the experiences of two radically different military units—the Confederate Beaufort Volunteer Artillery and the U.S. 1st South Carolina Regiment, the first black Union regiment to fight in the war—both organized in Beaufort, the heart of the Lowcountry.

About the Author(s)

Retired museum director Ron Roth curated an exhibition on the history of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery for the Historic Beaufort Foundation in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was a featured speaker on the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery at the 2017 Annual Civil War Symposium of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and was a seasonal historian and licensed guide for the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Bibliographic Details

Ron Roth

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 197
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7710-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3836-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Prologue: “It was a jolly time and we were young” 3

One. “The finest product of Southern civilization” 13

Two. “What do I think ob slavery? Murdering of de people” 19

Three. “He die but he die for doin’ de right” 32

Four. “We can make one long, last, desperate struggle, for our rights and honor” 39

Five. “The dissolution of the Union is the next step in the path of our glory” 48

Six. “A grand show of war” 53

Seven. “The Mosby of the Islands” 63

Eight. “The bullets were like hail” 72

Nine. “Ours is the gentlemanly company” 87

Ten. A Glimpse of Total War: The Burning of Bluffton 97

Eleven. “Freedom is sweeter than life” 102

Twelve. “Never have I seen such terrible havoc” 123

Thirteen. “It is now a question of very few days” 133

Epilogue: “Everything was going to confusion and ruin” 147

Appendix I: Rosters 159

Appendix II: Two Addresses 171

Chapter Notes 177

Bibliography 181

Index 185

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Well illustrated, and the battle maps depicting the BVA’s position in each major action exhibit fine detail…worthy of recommendation as a useful contribution to the study of nineteenth-century Beaufort District society and Civil War history”—Civil War Books and Authors

• “Roth masterfully tells the story of the Civil War in the Lowcountry…intriguing…[His] book captures the attention of the reader, bringing the war in the Lowcountry to life in vivid detail…excellent…a worthy”—On Point: Journal of Army History

• “A detailed and documented history that tells the story through the experiences of two radically different military units…recommended”—Midwest Book Review