Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Grand Strand's Ties to the Civil War-- Part 3

Again, the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach and surrounding coastal area) in South Carolina is not all Beach Music, motels, miniature golf (oh yes, regular golf) and beaches. It did have a role of sorts in the Civil War.

I found this article in the Jan. 16, 2011, Myrtle Beach Sun News of great interest.


MURRELL'S INLET

A series of skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces broke out along the southern Grand Strand in late 1863. The USS Perry fired on a blockade-runner that was fitting out at Murrell's Inlet. When shells didn't succeed, two boats were sent ashore at what is now Litchfield Beach to attempt to set fire to it.

The 21st Georgia cavalry attacked those who landed, capturing three officers and 12 men.

Not to be denied, Union forces returned on December 30, 1863 with six ships and 100 marines. They destroyed the blockade-runner on New Years Day 1864.


ATTACKING THE SALTWORKS

All along the Confederate coast, saltworks were built during the war to supply that important commodity.

In April 1864, attacks were made at salt works in the Myrtle Beach area. The one at Singleton swash was hit first, followed by one at Withers swash a day later. A Federal officer described the saltworks at Singleton swash as being sizable, containing "about thirty buildings, three of them large warehouses built of heavy logs, containing about two thousand bushels of salt and large quantities of rice, corn and bacon."

The tidewater lagoon on the 11th fairway of the Dunes Club, near Singleton swash, may have been the site of a large saltwater holding tank for the saltworks.

The South Carolina Civil War Museum at Myrtle Beach has two large salt kettles from the works at Dunes Cove along with ladies clothing, uniforms, swords and exhibits and artifacts from the CSS Peedee and Mars Bluff Naval Yard.

Looks Like a Place I Have to Check Out the Next Time I'm on the Grand Strand. One of These Days I Hope to Get There for an SOS Party. --Old B-Runner

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