08 May 2016

Military History Projects and Programs

We seldom think about the magnitude of the number of sites of military conflict in our state. As the South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust (SCBPT) website states "Since the Province of Carolina was chartered in 1663, hundreds of battles representing nearly every regional and national conflict have been fought on South Carolina soil." You have the opportunity later this month to learn a bit more about some of these battles in free programs scheduled by the Beaufort District Collection, the Beaufort Chapter, Archaeological Society and the Beaufort County Historical Society.

At present the SCBPT is undertaking an archaeological inventory and some site investigations of colonial and Revolutionary War battlefields. SCBPT Executive Director Doug Bostick will be the speaker at the Beaufort County Historical Society's 77th Annual Meeting, Wed., May 25th at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club on Meridian Road. Bostick will battle sites in the Beaufort District. Reservations for an optional light lunch catered by Debbi Covington for the fee of $10 must be made by May 20th to lindahof@earthlink.net. Lunch is served at 11:30am; the meeting presentation begins at Noon. The Meeting is free and open to the general public.

Two days later, on Friday, May 27th at 11:30 am, the Beaufort District Collection and the Beaufort Chapter, Archaeological Society of South Carolina have partnered to bring Dr. Jon Marcoux of Salve Regina University (Newport, R.I.) to enlighten and inform us about his forthcoming project which aims to identify the location of the Sadkeche Fight.  He will also address the broader historical and archaeological contexts for the battle and for the Yamasee War. This program will be held in the Children's Programming Room, 1st floor, 311 Scott Street in the Beaufort Branch Library.
Historian William Ramsey states that the Yamasee War (1715-1717) “easily ranks with King Philip’s War and Pontiac’s Rebellion” as a key colonial conflict; however, compared to these other wars, it remains woefully understudied. “The Sadkeche Fight,” as it has been called, occurred in April 1715, just days after the Yamasee War began.  It was a pivotal engagement within the war, marking the first major battle between the Yamasees and the South Carolina militia.  In this battle, the militia, numbering 240, defeated a force of Yamasee Indians roughly twice its size. A number of Yamasee leaders were also killed in the fighting, which halted their advance toward Charleston.

Dr. Jon Bernard Marcoux (B.A. 1997 Vanderbilt University; M.A. 2000 University of Alabama;  Ph.D. 2008 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an archaeologist who specializes in cultural and historic preservation and the study of late prehistoric and early historic Native American Indian societies (ca. A.D. 1000-1800). He has over 15 years of professional preservation experience, having directed archaeological survey and excavation projects across the southeastern U.S. and New England.  His recently published research explores the ways Cherokee communities negotiated the social and political turmoil caused by European colonialism. Dr. Marcoux is also currently conducting a long-term research project in the Lowcountry of South Carolina studying cultural interaction among late seventeenth-century Native American Indian communities, enslaved Africans, and European settlers.

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