Witnessing history

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Regimental Surgeon Fuji O'Hara, left, shows Dr. Kurt Labberton, his surgical instrument collection. O'Hara said all of his instruments are authentic and many were actually used to perform 19th century surgery.
Regimental Surgeon Fuji O’Hara, left, shows Dr. Kurt Labberton, his surgical instrument collection. O’Hara said all of his instruments are authentic and many were actually used to perform 19th century surgery. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Photo above: Pvt. Marvin Alonzo, center, of Greer, SC portrays members of the First SC Regiment of African American descent. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Re-enactors stage an encampment of Union forces that occupied Beaufort in 1862 following the Battle of Port Royal in 1861

The 50th Pennsylvania Regiment, Union forces that occupied Beaufort in 1862 following the Battle of Port Royal (November 1861), were brought to life by more than 30 re-enactors who staged an encampment in the Arsenal Courtyard this past weekend. They camped out in the walled courtyard space, dividing into a “4 corners” focus, that displayed Brigade Headquarters, a commissary and army Sutlers (traveling tradesmen who supplied the troops); infantry life and equipment; Northern missionaries and abolitionists; Freedmen; and the First South Carolina Regiment, which was comprised of soldiers of African American descent.

Activities included cooking over open fires, an infantry drill, classes in session at a Freedmen school, a book signing by celebrated authors Stephen Wise and Lawrence Rowland, a march through town to Cannon Park, a visit to the National Cemetery for a wreath laying ceremony and an oyster roast for the re-enactors. Now that’s the way to learn about history!

Photos above by Bob Sofaly.