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They Retreated to Bluffton

They Retreated To Bluffton by Kelly Logan Graham
When the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, the move for South Carolina to secede from the Union had already been simmering for many years. As early as 1844, sixteen years before the start of the war, the seeds of discord were being sown by the SC “fire-eaters” who spoke loudly of secession from the United States. That early defeat at Fort Sumter, when confederates retook the harbor fort, had stung the Union badly, and a retaliatory move was soon made.

As part of President Lincoln’s plan to blockade and strangle the southern states, Union strategists chose a location to stage the first naval battle of the war where they could make a statement, and be assured of a victory by using their heavy naval guns. This location was to be Fort Walker on the north end of Hilton Head Island, on the strategically located Port Royal Sound. In a story of brother-against-brother, Fort Walker was commanded by Genera…

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