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The Skirmish at New Dam Wood

New Dam Wood is an area of Northern Beaufort County in the Seabrook Section of Whale Branch.  The area stretches from old shell road to the furthermost oint of what has been called Stuart Point Plantation.  Now filled in the dam, stretches from one end of what is now Young Circle on Stuart's Point to Chisholm Point Woods.  


Jacob Heyward would say, "My Grandma tell me dats where they fight Civil War!.  All that been fill up with water and they fill it back with dirt."


New Dam Wood lay less than a mile from the Headquarters of Thomas Wentworth Higginson during the Union Army's picket at Port Royal Ferry.  Higginson had chosen the abandoned mansionhouse of Mary Barnwell Howe Stuart wife of the late Middleton Stuart who died in 1840.  The home was originally built by Loyalist George Roupell and passed to him through his wife's family.  The home though modest was improved by the Stuarts who only spent time there three or four months out of the year.  


When the Union Army came to Port Royal Ferry they came with famous figures like:


  • Susie King Taylor

  • Colonel James Montgomery

  • Harriet Tubman

  • 1st South Carolina Volunteers (Union)

  • 2nd South Carolina Volunteers (Union)

  • 54th Massachusetts Regiment United States Colored Troop

  • 55th Massachusetts Regiment United States Colored Troop

  • Prince Rivers, 1st Color Sgt of 1st South Carolina Volunteers

  • Robert Sutton, 2nd South Carolina Volunteers

  • William C. Morrison, The Planter

  • 21st Regiment United States Colored Troop

  • ...and countless other teachers, agents and missionaries.


For more information about the Union Occupation of Port Royal Ferry read, "Army Life in a Black Regiment" by Thomas Wentworth Higginson or "Reminiscences of my life in camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late S.C. Volunteers" by Susie King Taylor.



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