17 July 2008

Boykin Country

Ok, after returning home from our trip out west, we took a long weekend up to her Mom's house near Charlotte. Since she wanted to stay a few extra days after I would have to return to go to work, we took separate cars which means (ta-da!) more Buddventures! This is Boykin's Mill, site of the last Civil War battle in South Carolina, and the last Federal Officer to be killed in the war. As Sherman went through the Carolinas, he believed supplies were being hidden for Confederate forces were being hidden throughout the nearby swamps. So he instructed the commander at Hilton Head, Brig. General Edward Potter, to find these pockets and destroy them. On April 17, 1865, his force was in Camden, just north of here, when he heard of rail cars being stored to the south in Manchester. The next day, when he began to move toward Manchester, a Confederate force of about 250 home guards and wounded veterans gathered here to slow their progress. The Confederates gathered behind the mill pond, with the only passage being a well guarded narrow road. They held off the Federals for six hours, with sharpshooters picking off soldiers who tried to navigate along the side of the pond. The Federals finally found a way around, well away from the Confederates defenses and flanked them, forcing their withdrawl. Twenty two Federals were killed, including the last Federal Officer killed, Lt. Edward L. Stevens of the famous 54th Massachusetts. When the Federals finally reached Manchester, they destroyed 21 locomotives and 268 cars, followed shortly after by a flag of truce ceasing fighting in the area.

Monument erected by the 54th Massachusetts reenactment unit, honoring both sides of the battle. It also mentions 15 year old Burwell Boykin, who fought here defending his home.

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