We're entering the final months of the 150th anniversary commemorations of the War of the Rebellion, the Civil War's official name, though of course, some of you may call it "The Second War of Independence" or "The War of Northern Aggression." Beaufort District figured prominently in these final days.
The Civil War Heritage Trails website has a timeline of Gen. William T. Sherman's activities in South Carolina for January and February 1865 at http://civilwarheritagetrails.org/ewExternalFiles/janfeb2015.pdf. Federal troops began moving inland from Beaufort and Sherman orders his army to advance across the Savannah River into South Carolina but a heavy and continuous rain delay his units for over two weeks. Sherman's headquarters moved to Beaufort on January 21. The Federal advance into South Carolina begins in earnest Feb. 1, 1865 - and the first place they reach is Beaufort District. Confederate efforts to stop the advance at Pocotaligo, Combahee, Salkehatchie, Rivers' Bridge, Buford's Bridge, and Broxton Bridge are unsuccessful. On February 17, Columbia, the state's capital city, surrenders and that night the town is ablaze (by whose hand is still under discussion).
In 1865 areas now in Hampton and Jasper Counties were in Beaufort District. The Hampton County Historical Society and the Jasper County Historical Society are co-sponsoring a driving tour of the historic sites within their boundaries relating to Gen. Sherman's March on Saturday, March 14th. Please see the images for details.
The Beaufort District Collection has loads of materials on the topic of the Civil War, including books, 19th century illustrated newspaper prints, and vertical files of clippings. Please drop by our Research Room to review these and other items we have on the history, natural history, genealogy, archaeology, and people in our incredibly rich heritage.