The following groups/organizations can be of assistance in preservation efforts:
American Battlefield Preservation Program (ABPP)
South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust
Horry County, South Carolina, Planning and Zoning Department
Georgetown County, South Carolina, Department of Planning & Code Enforcement
The project, “A Survey of Battlefields within Horry and Georgetown Counties, S.C.” (GA-2255-10-004) which was funded by the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), documented 34 battlefields, 5 Associated Sites, 54 Naval Events and 26 Places of Interest, covering 5 wars within the defined area. The primary focus of this project was to gather information that would assist others with future preservation of these sites. Quite possibly, the greatest benefit of this project is the resulting website, “Historic Battlefields of Old Georgetown District, South Carolina”. It is hoped that by assembling all of this information in one place, and making it easily searchable, public awareness of these sites will increase, creating an interest in the preservation of these historic places before they are lost to the coastal development that is currently taking place in Horry and Georgetown counties.
In Horry County, the battlefields associated with the American Revolutionary War are amazingly still pretty much in their natural states. An example of this is Bear Bluff Plantation, which although much of it has been divided into residential lots, the site, located on private property, believed to be where most of the actual fighting took place is still relatively intact. The old plantation house was still standing until not long ago so the exact location is well known. Other Horry County Revolutionary War battlefield sites are located in rural areas that have not yet been consumed with modern-day development.
In Georgetown County, several of the American Revolutionary War battles took place in areas that have now been overtaken by the City of Georgetown, while others, like in Horry, are in rural areas and have been little affected by the development that is taking place. It should be pointed out that even when the battles took place, many of these were “developed” at that time according to their standards. The town itself was a battlefield.
During the American Civil War, most of the military activities were naval related. This should not be a surprise. Both Horry and Georgetown Counties are coastal counties whose economy depended heavily on river and ocean-going traffic. The Union blockade of the coast created a great hardship for the citizens of both counties and naturally the seacoast and rivers became the “front-line” for local residents.
In Horry County, the site of the Confederate “Fort Randall” is located on private property in a somewhat pristine site, overlooking Little River Inlet. The footprint of the fort’s moat can still clearly be seen in the ground. There are only two houses located nearby, otherwise, it is probably pretty much the way it was during the war. This site, located on private property, should rank at the top of the preservation list in Horry when it comes to Civil War sites. “Fort Vaught”, located at the site of a large Salt Works on Singleton Swash, was destroyed during the war but the site, also on private property, deserves to be marked.
Georgetown County likewise, has several American Civil War sites that are in remote locations that are either on private property or reserves. North, South and Cat Islands all have important sites relating to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Battery White, the major defense fortification for Georgetown has already been developed, although some of the embankments were set aside for preservation. There are other coastal batteries strung from Winyah Bay to Little River Inlet which should be verified and appropriate markers erected.
It is hoped that this project will be a stepping stone for the preservation of many of these historic sites in Horry and Georgetown Counties that deserve to be preserved for future generations.