On this date of June 16, 1862 occurred the Battle of Secessionville, S.C. (also known as the First Battle of James Island).
At first glance upon the name, one would presume this town was named in honor of Civil War events of the withdrawal of southern states from the Union … particularly being located in the Charleston area. Rather, it was named in remembrance of an earlier attempt of some plantation owners to rebel.
On this date, Union forces under Brigadier General Henry Benham attempted to seize Charleston by land. Confederates forces under Nathan Evans – though outnumbered well more than 2-1 – successfully defended the city, which would never be taken by the Federals in this fashion.
Though a small conflict by Civil War standards, the salvation of Charleston was significant for the Confederate cause and for morale during this difficult season.
The Battle of Secessionville is annually re-enacted each November at the famous Boone Hall Plantation – a gorgeous place to visit, particularly for the “Avenue of Oaks.” I was there last summer and include these pictures from that occasion: