BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - You can get a glimpse of a critical piece of the Lowcountry’s history this Saturday. The Beaufort History Museum is hosting its 5th Annual Living History Encampment.
The roots of the secession movement occurred with Beaufort County planters, but Beaufort was also the first place in the Deep South occupied by the Union, according to Beaufort History Museum Board Member Carol Lauvray. Beaufort served as a big hospital town and administrative headquarters for Union troops during the Civil War.
On Saturday, more than 15 reenactors will be on site at the Beaufort Arsenal courtyard to show visitors what a typical day was like for those Union troops.
“They’re camping out in the courtyard. They build a fire out in the courtyard and cook their lunch and breakfast. They are sleeping under the arches., ”Lauvray said.
She estimates over 600 people came to the event last year. The encampment is a partnership between the museum, the Beaufort County Library and the Reconstruction Era National Park. The building itself was actually occupied by union troops during the civil war, which organizers say makes the event special.
“They are portraying people that were here during the Civil War, and telling about what actually happened right here. We have photographs of the Union folks here in the courtyard from the Civil War," Lauvray said. "This building and this courtyard, it’s like you’re hearing the voices of history talking to you.”
“You see these kids come up and they get to see the soldiers up close, and they get a feel for what it would’ve been like," Superintendent of the Reconstruction Era National Park, Scott Teodorski, said. "It’s exciting because it connects to people.”
The Living History Encampment is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on March 14. The event itself is free, and admission to the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Visitors Center across the street will also be free. The Beaufort History Museum in the arsenal will also feature special discounted pricing.