Today is Confederate Memorial Day, when states across the South remember the sacrifices made by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The exact date varies by state, but in the Carolinas it is always May 10, the day that Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died in 1863 and that Confederate president Jefferson Davis was captured in 1865. State government offices will be closed today, though Horry County offices will remain open. Local members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans celebrated the day April 27 in Conway with speakers and period costumes. Many of the same members took part in statewide ceremonies in Columbia last weekend.
South Carolina has a number of famous Civil War sites, including Fort Sumter, where the conflict began. But Horry County can often be left out of discussions. With that in mind, and to mark Confederate Memorial Day, here is a short list of the Grand Strand’s ties to the Civil War:
“The principal battery looks directly on the water, well planned, and executed carefully, not only with reference to the cannonade by ships, but also to an assault from the water. ... If the work had been sufficiently manned, it would have required good troops to take the work.”
The inlet was used as a haven for blockade runners during the early part of the war. A document with instructions captured from Confederate Maj. A.B. Magruder of Wilmington, N.C., betrayed its position:
“Run into the mouth of Little River, a small stream ... near the boundary line of North and South Carolina. ... It is not down on the charts nor on the coast survey, and its existence even - certainly its harbor and anchorage ground - is hardly known to any Yankee. Communications from a little village or post-office called Little River, about 4 or 6 miles from the mouth, are readily had with the interior.”
The fort was captured in January 1863 by Union Navy Lt. William Cushing, who held it briefly before running out of ammunition. A historical marker is erected near the site at North Myrtle Pointe Boulevard and U.S. 17.
The tidewater lagoon on the 11th fairway of the Dunes Club, near Singleton Swash, may have been the site of a large saltwater storage tank for the saltworks.