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Friday, June 15, 2007

Charleston, SC V

April, 2004 The Last Confederate Funeral (the Hunley crew)

Our niece was going to college in Charleston and our dear friend, Bill, was attending The Citadel. I went for the week and Stan came for the weekend. We stayed with Jenny and we took them both out to eat.


We went out to Patriot's Point to see the re-enactors and the artillery demonstrations. While we were there the local news interviewed Jenny and Bill.



Charleston, SC IV

This looks a strange moment in time! There are cars on one side and Stan in shorts on the other side of people from a different century! Are they ghosts? Are they from a time machine? No! Just re-enactors at The Market in Charleston, SC.


Information from Wikipedia:
The H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States Navy that demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. The Hunley was the first submarine to sink a warship, though the sub was also lost following the engagement. The Confederate Armed forces lost 32 men in the H. L. Hunley's 4 sinkings. Though some know the submarine by the name CSS H. L. Hunley, she was not commissioned and therefore does not warrant the "CSS" prefix.

The Hunley made her first attack against a live target on the night of February 17, 1864. The vessel was the USS Housatonic. Housatonic, an 1800-ton, steam-powered sloop-of-war with 12 large cannon, stationed at the entrance to Charleston, South Carolina harbor, about 5 miles (8 km) out to sea. In an effort to break the naval blockade of the city, Lieutenant George E. Dixon and a crew of seven volunteers attacked Housatonic, successfully embedding the barbed spar torpedo into her hull. The torpedo was detonated as the submarine backed away, sending Housatonic and five of her crew to the bottom of Charleston harbor in five minutes, although many survived in 2 lifeboats or by climbing rigging until rescued. Hunley also sank, moments after signaling shore of the successful attack, possibly from damage caused by the torpedo blast, though this is not certain. There is convincing evidence that Hunley actually survived as long as an hour after the attack (which took place at approximately 8:45 PM).

Archaeological investigation and excavation culminated with the raising of Hunley on August 8, 2000. On 17 April 2004 the remains of the crew of the H. L. Hunley were interred in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery with full military honors. A crowd estimated at between 35,000 and 50,000, including 10,000 period military and civilian reenactors, were present for what some called the 'Last Confederate Funeral.'

Stan and I were there for the the Last Confederate Funeral in 2004. These are photos that I took. Some of the re-enactors went so far as to spend the weekend in tents on Patriot's Point and "live the life" by cooking over a fire. There were cannon demonstrations there.


Civilian re-enactors had all the details. Even whole families were dressed for the time period. These two had just gotten off the bus in the background.











Remember, you can click on a photo to enlarge it.







This little boy was dancing a jig to some musicians who had joined together to play period music. I think it was spontaneous. It was really neat and the boy was enjoying it!

A lot of the ladies were dressed in black or dark colors such as purple and lavendar to represent mourning. Others wore they finery. The dresses were so beautiful! I wish I could sew my own costumes like that! A lot carried reticules, parasols, baskets, carpet bags and wore the bonnets and hats of the day. Some had shawls. The men were dressed up too. I felt for all of them considering it was a hot, humid day in April. We were hot in shorts and t-shirts. I felt they had to be steaming with those high collars, long sleeves, long skirts, petticoats, etc. The re-enactor soldier wore wool uniforms in many instances.





















As the civilian re-enactors gathered in The Battery park, the soldier re-enactors began to line up along the road that goes around The Battery. They lined up in their groups just like soldiers in corps. There was a lot of visiting, networking, learning, getting to know each other, making of new friends going on too.




























After the ceremony at the point of The Battery, the parade starts to Magnolia Cemetery. The horse driven caissons brought the caskets and dignitaries were behind them. The soldier re-enactors followed and civilian re-enactors and groups of SCV's (Sons of Confederate Veterans) and UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) from all over the world also marched. The general public could follow at the tail. It was too hot and too long a walk for me although I know Stan would have done it. We saw our friend, Mark, in the line of SCV groups and Stan would have joined him except for me.


































It was the largest gathering of re-enactors EVER!



















They were very worried about security. There were police, SLED, FBI, Coast Guard, etc, EVERY WHERE! I guess they were afraid that Blacks or terrorists would protest or choose this huge gathering for bombing. I had not thought about that before hand but, once I saw all the security, I felt very safe. I really appreciate their work so that we could enjoy this historical event. The dignitaries were in limousines so the black SUV's were probably FBI or something. They even had police boats circling. There were some sailboats out there too with flags!




























This is the ceremony. The caissons are at the point of The Battery at the Confederate Monument. There were prayers, speeches, etc.



















These are the closest I could get to the horse drawn caissons. Under the flowers is a casket. They were on their way to the point of The Battery.

Charleston, SC III

The Round Church
Information from Wikipedia:
After Charles II of England (1660-85) was restored to the British throne following Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate, he granted the chartered Carolina territory to eight of his loyal friends, known as the Lords Proprietor, in 1663. It took seven years before the Lords could arrange for settlement, the first being that of Charles Town. The community was established by English settlers in 1670 on the west bank of the Ashley River, a few miles northwest of the present city. By 1680, the settlement had grown, joined by others from England, Barbados, and Virginia, and relocated to its current peninsular location. The capital of the Carolina colony. The settlement was often subject to attack from sea and from land. Periodic assaults from Spain and France, who still contested England's claims to the region, were combined with resistance from Native Americans, as well as pirate raids. Charleston's colonists erected a fortification wall around the small settlement to aid in its defense. The wall was made of Palmetto logs backed by sand. This is why the SC flag has a Palmetto on it. Two buildings remain from the Walled City, the Powder Magazine, where the city's supply of gunpowder was stored, and the Pink House, believed to have been an old colonial tavern. The city was moved to its present location in 1680. St. Michael's Episcopal Church is the oldest church still standing, built in 1752.

By the mid-18th century Charleston had become a bustling trade center, the hub of the Atlantic trade for the southern colonies, and the wealthiest and largest city south of Philadelphia. By 1770 it was the fourth largest port in the colonies, after only Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, with a population of 11,000, slightly more than half of that slaves. Rice and indigo had been successfully cultivated by slave-owning planters in the surrounding coastal low-country.

As the relationship between the colonists and England deteriorated, Charleston became a focal point in the ensuing Revolution. In protest of the Tea Act of 1773, which embodied the concept of taxation without representation, Charlestonians confiscated tea and stored it in the Exchange and Custom House. Representatives from all over the colony came to the Exchange in 1774 to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, the group responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence; and South Carolina declared its independence from the crown on the steps of the Exchange. Soon, the church steeples of Charleston, especially St. Michael's, became targets for British war ships causing rebel forces to paint the steeples black to blend with the night sky. In 1780, Clinton with 14,000 soldiers came to Charleston. American General Benjamin Lincoln was trapped and surrendered his entire 5400 men force after a long fight, the Siege of Charleston was the greatest American defeat of the war (see Henry Clinton "Commander in Chief" section for more). Several Americans escaped the carnage, and joined up with several militias, including those of Francis Marion, the 'Swampfox,' and Andrew Pickens. The tactics of these militias were hit and run. Eventually, Clinton returned to New York, leaving General Cornwallis with 8000 Redcoats to rally Loyalists, built forts across the state, and demand oaths of allegiance to the King. Many of these forts were taken over by the outnumbered guerilla militias. At one point, the infamous British cavalry leader, Banastre Tarleton said the devil himself couldn't catch the Swampfox (Francis Marion). The British retained control of the city until December 1782. After the British left the city's name was officially changed to Charleston in 1783. By 1788, Carolinians were meeting at the Capitol building for the Constitutional Ratification Convention, and while there was support for the Federal Government, division arose over the location of the new State Capital. A suspicious fire broke out in the Capitol building during the Convention, after which the delegates removed to the Exchange and decreed Columbia the new State Capital.

The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized this crop's production, and it quickly became South Carolina's major export. Cotton plantations relied heavily on slave labor. Slaves were also the primary labor force within the city, working as domestics, artisans, market workers or laborers. In 1807 the Charleston Market was founded. It soon became a hub for the African-American community, with many slaves and free people of color staffing stalls.

On December 20, 1860, the South Carolina General Assembly made the state the first to ever secede from the Union. They asserted that one of the causes was the election to the presidency of a man "whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery", but there are other numerous causes as well.

Sharon at the Confederate Monument on The Battery.
On January 9, 1861, Citadel cadets fired the first shots of the American Civil War when they opened fire on the Union ship Star of the West entering Charleston's harbor. On April 12, 1861, shore batteries under the command of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard opened fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor. After a 34-hour bombardment, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Officers and Cadets from The Citadel were assigned to various Confederate batteries during the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Although the Citadel continued to operate as an academy during the Civil War, cadets were made a part of the South Carolina military department .
In 1865, Union troops moved into the city, and took control of many sites, such as the United States Arsenal, which the Confederate army had seized at the outbreak of the war. The War department also confiscated the grounds and buildings of the Citadel Military Academy, which was used as a federal garrison for over 17 years, until its return to the state and reopening as a military college in 1882. After the eventual and destructive defeat of the Confederacy, Federal forces remained in Charleston during the city's reconstruction. The war had shattered the prosperity of the antebellum city. Freed slaves were faced with poverty and discrimination.
Charleston in 1865.
In 1886 Charleston was nearly destroyed by an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale that was felt as far away as Boston and Bermuda. It damaged 2,000 buildings. Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston in 1989, and though the worst damage was in nearby McClellanville, the storm damaged three-quarters of the homes in Charleston's historic district. The hurricane caused over $2.8 billion in damage.
The Grand Dames on the Battery







Charleston, SC II

Charleston is full of gracious old homes and stunning churches, flowing fountains and lacy wrought iron.






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