Sesquicentennial Events Coming Up

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Port Royal is almost upon us. On Monday, Nov. 7th, the true anniversary, Michael D. Coker, author of The Battle of Port Royal, will talk about his research into the “pivotal turning point” of the Civil War that occurred in our area. The naval engagement involved two forts in Beaufort District (Fort Beauregard on Bay Point and Fort Walker on Hilton Head) and the “largest fleet ever assembled by the United States” up to 1861.

To accommodate our customers, we are holding two sessions, one South of the Broad River and another North of the Broad River on Mon., Nov. 7th. Both of these BDC@ The Branches programs are free and open to the public. Anyone over age 12 with an interest in Civil War and local history is welcomed to attend.

In the afternoon beginning at 2:00 pm, the BDC is sponsoring a book talk and signing at our Bluffton Branch Library. Coker will be available to autograph and sell copies of his book and to answer questions at the conclusion of his presentation.

The Battle of Port Royal with Mike Coker
Bluffton Branch Library
120 Palmetto Way
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

That evening the BDC@ The Branches local history series travels to Frissell Community House on the historic Penn School campus for session 2. Dr. Larry Rowland will set the scene by providing an overview of his The Civil War in South Carolina, co-edited with Stephen Hoffius. Coker will discuss The Battle of Port Royal. The program begins at 6:30pm. At the conclusion of the program, Coker, Dr. Rowland and Hoffius, and Neil Baxley, author of No Prouder Fate, will be on hand to sell and sign their books. Penn Center is co-sponsoring the evening program.

The Battle of Port Royal with Mike Coker Frissell Hall,
Penn Center Campus, St. Helena Island
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Special Guests: Dr. Larry Rowland, Stephen Hoffius and Neil Baxley

The BDC will display materials about the battles of Port Royal, Port Royal Ferry, Pocotaligo, and Honey Hill during November and December. Visit our Beaufort Branch, Hilton Head Branch, and/or St. Helena Branch libraries for a traveling display of surrogate materials [for preservation purposes] during November. [The real deals will be on display only in the BDC Research Room exhibit case!] In December, a similar display travels to Lobeco Branch and Bluffton Branch.

We also have a "Recommended Reading" guide about the Battle of Port Royal. Perhaps you'll want to learn more.

Although the BDC is not involved with the Battle of Port Royal 150th Commemoration at historic Fort Walker on Port Royal Plantation, Hilton Head Island being held on Sat., Nov. 5th, we would be remiss if we did not draw your attention to event. According to the tentative schedule Living history and Static Displays are open 10 am - 3 pm; with the official program beginning at Noon. Read more about that event and planned activities here.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.