Beaufort, SC – March 15, 2016 –The weather was perfect and that was a good thing! It was an ideal setting for two dozen re-enactors portraying the Pennsylvania 50thInfantry regiment, Union Troops, that occupied the Beaufort Arsenal in 1862, who marched into town for an action-packed weekend encampment at the Arsenal, where they slept, ate and lived for three days.
Click here for a photo album of the event.
The event featured military drills, a parade down Bay Street, authentic meals cooked over open fires and served in the traditional manner, Sutlers plying their wares, classes taught to Freedmen, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Cemetery.
The living history encampment attracted 1,000 visitors who enjoyed interacting with the troops and learning about the time in the early 1860s, when Union troops had vanquished Confederate forces just after the Battle of Port Royal (November, 1861), the local population had left Beaufort and 10,000 slaves on the sea islands were freed and left to their own devices. Abolitionists came to the area and established the first schools for Freedmen. Hospitals were set up in the antebellum homes for injured Union forces. Commerce included traveling Sutlers who sold goods to the troops.
It was an unsettled moment but an era that set Reconstruction in motion, an important time that will be an ongoing story told at the Beaufort History Museum in coming months. The encampment provided an unique opportunity for people of all ages, but especially for the many children who attended; to learn first hand how life was lived in Beaufort during the Civil War.
“We were so encouraged, seeing hundreds of people enjoying the encampment, that we are hoping to make it an annual event,” said Carol Lauvray, Beaufort History Museum Board President. “The re-enactors, organized by Daniel Gidick of Charleston, came from as far away as Buffalo and Chicago. Their knowledge and dedication to authenticity was an inspiration. In a word, they were wonderful.”
Click here for the Island News story.
Click here for the Eat, Sleep, Play Beaufort story.
Click here for the Island Packet story with video.
Our mission is to preserve, promote and interpret the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future.
The Beaufort History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC 29902