The Battle of Port Royal/William Fitzhugh and Black Sailors in the Union Navy

The Battle of Port Royal/William Fitzhugh and Black Sailors in the Union Navy (HM1ZWJ)

Location: Hilton Head Island, SC 29926 Beaufort County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 14.199', W 80° 41.216'

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The Battle of Port Royal

On November 7, 1861, at the Battle of Port Royal Union forces attacked Confederates at Fort Walker on Hilton Head island and Fort Beauregard at Bay Point.The Union deployed the largest amphibious fleet ever assembled off American shores. The Confederates were quickly defeated. Hilton Head Island became headquarters for the U.S. Department of the South for the remainder of the Civil War.

Nov. 8, 1861
To The Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that yesterday I attacked the batteries of Forts Walker and Beauregard, and succeeded in silencing them after an engagement of four hours' duration, and driving away the squadron of rebel steamers under Commander Tatnall.
Captain S.F. Dupont, Flag-Officer Commanding

William Fitzhugh and Black Sailors in the Union Navy
Union sailor William H. Fitzhugh, recorded as a "first-class boy" in navy records, was one of the first casualties at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. He was wounded while onboard the Pawnee and died the next day. He was buried with full military honors along with other fallen sailors.

Free and formerly enslaved black men served with distinction in the Union Navy. They made up about fifteen percent of the enlisted men by the close
of the Civil War in 1865. Many joined the Union Navy on Hilton Head Island. Their knowledge of local waterways was especially useful to the military.

(top left) Captain S.F. Dupont, c.1860. Harper's Weekly, Nov. 9, 1861.

(top right)Port Royal and Beaufort. Image courtesy of the Civil War Gazette.

(bottom left) Unknown black sailor in the Union Navy, c. 1865. Image courtesy of the U.S. National Achieves and Records Administration.
Placed ByMitchelville Preservation Project
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 10:56pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 529494 N 3566710
Decimal Degrees32.23665000, -80.68693333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 14.199', W 80° 41.216'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 14' 11.94" N, 80° 41' 12.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)843
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 226 Beach City Rd, Hilton Head Island SC 29926, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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