Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rebellion, Reconstruction, and Redemption, 1861-1893

Given that I'm always looking for good books about the Civil War in South Carolina, it was a pleasant surprise to find Rebellion, Reconstruction, and Redemption, 1861-1893: The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina, Volume 2 by Stephen R. Wise and Lawrence S. Rowland w/ Gerhart Spieler (USC Pr, 2015) delivered to my doorstep. The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: Volume 1, 1514-1861 was published way back in 1996 and Rowland has wisely brought Stephen Wise aboard as co-author of the planned trilogy's Civil War era coverage. Rebellion, Reconstruction, and Redemption is a massive tome, with more than 400 pages alone devoted to Civil War activities. The political borders of Beaufort District and County have shifted over time but the geographical area under consideration in the book is roughly bounded on the N-S axis by Barnwell County and the Atlantic Ocean and from east to west by the Salkehatchie-Combahee and Savannah rivers. A hotbed of Civil War action, indeed. The study details the initial Confederate evacuation of the sea islands, the Union occupation and expansion of their coastal enclaves, the Port Royal Experiment, the Confederate defensive arrangements for the Beaufort District, the 1862 Battle of Pocotaligo, emancipation and army recruitment of ex-slaves, the Combahee and Bluffton raids, the 1863 attack on Charleston, the Battle of Honey Hill, the battles around Tulifinney's Crossroads, and the passage of Sherman's triumphant army. The final 150 pages of so document the Reconstruction and Redemption periods.

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