Union troops to occupy Beaufort Arsenal on Saturday

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Beaufort History Museum will present its fourth annual Living History Encampment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, in the Arsenal courtyard. Re-enactors coming to Beaufort from several states will portray Union troops from the Department of the South who were garrisoned in the Lowcountry and occupied the Beaufort Arsenal during the Civil War. The re-enactors will set up camp in the walled Arsenal courtyard and provide a unique educational opportunity for visitors of all ages, who will be able to interact with the soldiers to learn firsthand how life was lived in Beaufort during the Civil War. A Civil War era cannon also will be on display in the Arsenal courtyard during the event.  

This year, the museum is partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) and its Reconstruction Era National Monument visitors center, located in the old Firehouse building on Craven Street across from the Arsenal. The museum’s highly-acclaimed exhibit “Reconstruction Beaufort” is on display at the visitors center, which will be open the day of the encampment. Beaufort is the place where Reconstruction first began, during the early years of the Civil War. The National Park Service plans special activities the day of the encampment event for kids who want to earn their Junior Ranger badges.  

 “Our annual Living History Encampment is one of the museum’s most popular events, attracting hundreds of visitors in a single day,” said Carol Lauvray, president of the BHM Board of Directors. “We are very grateful to the encampment organizer, Lou Evans, to the other re-enactors, and to Scott Teodorski, superintendent of the Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National Monument, for partnering with the museum to make this remarkable event available to the public.”  

Admission is free to the encampment in the Arsenal courtyard, however donations to support the museum are much appreciated. On the day of the event, admission to the museum’s newly-renovated Exhibition Hall on the second floor of the Arsenal will be specially priced at $5 per visitor ($4 for seniors). Museum members, children, and active military and their families are admitted to the museum free of charge at all times. Admission is free to the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National Monument visitors center.

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