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Civil War History

Civil War History

The Olde English District is rich in history for Civil War enthusiasts. The following historic locations offer profound insights into the unique narratives of the American Civil War, a pivotal era in our nation’s history. 

The Battle of Boykin’s Mill

The Battle of Boykin’s Mill holds the distinction of being one of the last conflicts during the Civil War. The site in Rembert is also where the last federal officer died in the war (as depicted by Denzel Washington in the film Glory) as part of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Today, as one of the most significant Civil War battlefields, it has been named one of the “Top 10 Carolinas’ Civil War Sites” by prize-winning author John Blair in his book Touring the Carolinas’ Civil War Sites

Civil War History
the battle of boykin’s mill

Rose Hill Historic Sites 

Rose Hill Cemetery provides another compelling thread in the tapestry of the Civil War in South Carolina. This privately owned burial site in York serves as the final resting place for multiple Confederate soldiers, as well as many prominent local and state residents. The descendants of those buried here support it.

Perhaps most fascinating is the Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, which offers insightful views across the Civil War timeline from a variety of perspectives. The site centers on the elegant Rose Hill Plantation House, once the home of William H. Gist. As the secessionist governor of South Carolina, Gist led the state to secede from the Union in 1860, setting the stage for the Civil War. 

Civil War History
rose hill plantation state historic site

The house stands as an architectural marvel defined by its Greek Revival Style, offering guided tours that delve into the Gist family and the enslaved people who lived and worked at the plantation. You’ll learn how the Civil War changed the plantation and how some enslaved people continued to stay on as tenant farmers. You can also explore the hiking trails from the site on the grounds.

As part of this important Civil War Site, both the Gist family cemetery and a cemetery of those enslaved by the Gists are located nearby.

The Civil War sites found within the Olde English District tell stories of times steeped in strife and change, serving as essential waypoints in the journey through our nation’s past. They offer a deeply rich and enlightening exploration for any history enthusiast, providing insight into a defining era of both South Carolina’s and American history.