THE WAR THROUGH 1863
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, in the order named, quickly followed South Carolina into secession. Upon President Lincoln's call for troops, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, in the order named, forced to choose between fighting for the Confederacy or against it, seceded. The story of the War of Secession forms a gigantic episode in American history, only the general course of which as directly involving South Carolina or her soldiers can be comprehended in this narrative.
South Carolina troops played an important part in the battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861. Colonel (later General) N. G. Evans, divining McDowell's attack at the Stone Bridge to be a feint, shifted his brigade to meet the real attack, thus affording time for the re-alignment of the Confederate forces and contributing essentially to the victory. The Hampton Legion stood beside Jackson in repulsing the enemy at the crisis of the battle.
The Fall of Port Royal--Negro Troops.-- The loss of Fort Sumter ended the operations of the Federal government against South Carolina for almost seven months. The Federal government decided on Port Royal as best fitted as a base for military operations and headquarters for the blockade and accordingly, on November 7, 1861, with an overwhelming fleet seized that point.
The next day General R. E. Lee took command of the Department of South Carolina and Georgia. Unable to hold the numerous entrances and islands, Lee abandoned all except those essential to the defense of Charleston. The sea islands, especially near Beaufort, became the scene of missionary, educational, economic, and military experiments with the Negroes, in which exalted, impractical idealism, religious devotion, and rough military impatience of the various Northerners participating were strangely mingled with the stolidity of some of the most primitive and ignorant slaves in the State. But from among those isolated Negroes there came some striking personalities of the later Reconstruction era. Plantations and town property in and around Beaufort were seized as "abandoned lands" and either distributed at low prices to Negroes, soldiers, etc., or knocked down to the government.1____________________