Sunday, February 16, 2014

Saturday 2/15 and Sunday 2/16 of 2014 Honey Hill

     Danny, pictured above took the time to take me back to the remains of the remains of the trenches at Honey Hill – site of the last victory by the South in the civil war.  Danny’s great-grandfather fought here at 15 years of age. 

       Over 150 years later, all that remains visible are long mounds of dirt and the original road-bed.  Union forces running in advance of Sherman had wanted to cut the last working leg of the South’s railroad – the line between Savannah and Charleston.  Given the nature of the tidal marshes, there were only so many points they could try to access.

      I read through a book containing accounts of the battle written by both sides – and typical of any war it was a gruesome scene.  Miss-communication and mistakes by the Union allowed extra time for reinforcements to arrive from Georgia to help with the effort to stop the Union advance.  Both sides talk about so many bodies building up that they dammed the creek that in front of the entrenchments, and that the waters ran red from all the blood.

     The North had at their disposal a regiment of black soldiers, whom numerous accounts claim were the poorest equipped soldiers.  But, in numerous battle sites the North employed the strategy of sending the black regiments – sometimes completely unarmed – up against the fortifications first.  And so was the case here – the blacks were sent to absorb the brunt of the fire and allow the other troops to get their bearings.  A local doctor’s diary is said to have included an account of treating numerous of the blacks for triangular shaped bayonet wounds in the back – the result of being pushed forward by other Union troops. 

     Another account is of trees that were cut near the site and taken to a saw-mill back in the 1950’s.  It seems that an un-exploded shell was lodged in a tree trunk, and when the lumber-mill’s blade hit it the resulting explosion tore apart the saw and killed a worker.  Since that time no one else has tried to use trees from that area for lumber.

    I drove to a small boat landing down a dirt road, and a dolphin came right up to me – not twenty feet away in the water.  If you look close at the photo, there are many scars around its face – I have no idea what would cause that type of scarring.  However, there is supposed to be an island somewhere local where research monkeys are raised – folks say that you can see them playing on the beaches.  I am going to be back down in the St. Helena Sound area for one more week – how cool it would be to find that island and get some shots.  There is supposedly another island where there are a couple of deserted mansions from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Maybe I will get lucky and meet someone with a boat and a penchant for exploring.

     One nice thing about South Carolina is that there is always something in bloom - I am not sure the specie of these bushes, but they are blooming away right after a cold snap that saw freezing rain and temperatures below 20 degrees.

     It will be a luxury to be back somewhere that I don’t have to drive fifteen miles to get internet, and where it doesn't take a half hour per photo for them to upload.  I look forward to being able to be consistent again.

  Have a great Monday, and I hope those of you up the Eastern Seaboard are getting dug out of the storm we sent your way last week.


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