Park Service to study Charleston-area Civil War sites
Aug. 20, 2018
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The National Park Service plans to map and review Civil War battlefields in the Charleston area, where the first shots of the war were fired in 1861.
It's been decades since the battlefields have been studied, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported. The park service, interested in what preservation efforts are still possible, says those maps were inadequate and left out parts of the battles.
The agency is providing $95,000 in American Battlefield Protection Program research grants to South Carolina.
The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust will use $72,000 to study nine Charleston-area battlegrounds including three fights at Fort Sumter; battles in Charleston Harbor, the attacks on Fort Wagner, the Battle of Secessionville, the Battle of Simmon's Bluff and the Battle at Grimball's Landing.
The city of Cayce is getting $23,000 to map the Battle of Congaree Creek near Columbia and for other preservation activities.
The effort will "record maps, property information, and characteristics" of the battles, the park service said. "The project will serve as the foundation for preservation efforts which include nominations for the National Register of Historic Places."
Battlefield Preservation Trust Executive Director Doug Bostic said the money will allow the creation of teams of archaeologists, geologists and historians to map the battlefields.
The teams are expected to search archives around the country, including an examination of private letters.
"The end game here is historic preservation," Bostic said. "The first step to that is being able to accurately map these sites."
Fort Sumter's role in history is well known and Fort Wagner was the location where the black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry fought, am 1863 battle memorialized in the 1989 movie "Glory."
Forts Sumter, Moultrie, Johnson in Charleston Harbor and Secessionville are Historic Districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
There is undeveloped property near many of the sites.
The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust will "go in there and find out what else should be protected," Bostic said.
Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com