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Beaufort History Museum welcomes 79th New York Highlander Regiment

From staff reports

Beaufort History Museum will welcome the 79th New York Highlander Regiment re-enactors to the Arsenal Courtyard for an encampment featuring live presentations of Civil War era camp life, educational discussions, drills, marching, a Bagpiper and interactive activities for the whole family to enjoy.

The event, with more than 30 Regiment members in full military regalia, is planned for Saturday, Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Included are discussions and live presentations on the importance of music and bugle calls during the war, the variety and use of weapons, how medical support was deployed in the field, the role of women, camp “dining” and cooking as well as other fascinating topics.

Admission to the Courtyard is free (donations welcome). The Museum is also offering reduced entry fee to the Exhibit Halls in the Arsenal with Adult admission at $5, Seniors at $4 and free admission for active military and children younger than 12. Social distancing according to CDC guidelines will be followed.

The 79th New York Volunteer Infantry, a Regiment of the New York State Militia, was originally organized as a social club in New York City in 1858. It was comprised primarily of emigrant Scots and Scottish-Americans. The militia was modeled after the famous Scottish regiment of the British Army, the 79thCameron Highlanders of Scotland, but other than their name and tartan they had no official connection.

Their original duty was to parade, train as heavy artillery and provide a guard for the Prince of Wales when he visited the United States. But the 79th, without intention, set themselves up to take part in nearly every major engagement of the civil war and became one of the most known and traveled regiments in the Union Army.

Among their forays into battle in South Carolina, in December of 1861 the Highlanders were sent to the city of Beaufort to help occupy the town. At one point they set up camp near what is now the National Cemetery.

“There were six Highlanders who lost their lives in battles near Beaufort,” said Kathy Mixon, BHM Board Vice President and Chairmen of the Encampment event. “One of the highlights of the day will be a Memorial Ceremony with a Bagpiper honoring the fallen Highlanders. We are looking forward to presenting the encampment to showcase these dedicated volunteers and re-enactors who carry on the tradition and history of the 79th Regiment in such a meaningful and authentic manner.”

“Our thanks go out especially to 79th Highlander Regiment leader Tom Vaselopulos. He has organized the volunteers who are traveling from many points in South Carolina and out of state,” she said. “He has created a dynamic and educational living history experience for people of all ages to enjoy.”

A full schedule with times for each of the activities and discussions will be posted on the Museum website at

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