The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry by Ron Roth
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 fire-eater Robert Barnwell Rhett’s inflammatory 1844 speech calling for secession under an ancient oak tree in Bluffton; to the last, desperate attempts by Confederate forces to halt Sherman’s army juggernaut as it makes its way through South Carolina, this book paints a compelling portrait of a region torn apart by war.
Readers view the war through the experiences of two radically different military units—the Confederate Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, and the United States 1st South Carolina Regiment--the first Union Black regiment to fight in the war—both, ironically, organized and outfitted in the heart of the Lowcountry in Beaufort.
They are portrayed not just in full battle array, but within a narrative that encompasses the social, political and racial factors that informed their experiences both before and during the War. For African Americans, that history was extremely painful and driven by their experiences of slavery. For the men of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, it was the harsh reality that their way of life, built on slavery, was coming to an end.
The book features new battle maps of key military engagements in the South Carolina lowcountry; previously unpublished information from a memorandum book kept by the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery between 1863-1867; rare, previously unpublished archival photographs; and complete Civil War rosters of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery and the First South Carolina Regiment, later renamed the 33rd United States Colored Troops Regiment.