Reconstruction Era

The Year of Jubilee Has Come: The 1st South Carolina Volunteers


On the shores of the Beaufort River near the ruins of an old British fort, the nation was transformed. In what had been a cotton plantation where generations of Black Americans had toiled in bondage and enslavement, was suddenly a place where men, women, and children claimed the United States as their own.

Beginning in the Fall of 1862, the United States Army established Camp Saxton, the first recruit depot for Black soldiers in the Civil War. Over the next three years this was a place where people made their mark and became soldiers in the United States Army and celebrated freedom. Over the years of war and Reconstruction, the site was a refugee camp, school, and community. Today, the site and story of Camp Saxton is part of Reconstruction Era National Historical Park. Explore to learn more about the people, pleases, and stories of those who journeyed through the process of Reconstruction here around Camp Saxton.


  • Susie King Taylor wears a nurse's outfit of a black skirt, shirt, jacket, and habit.

    Learn about the people who served, lived, and were a part of the history of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers.

  • A small white chapel with a tower and a front porch.

    Discover the places that relate to the 1st South Carolina Volunteers and the military history of Civil War and Reconstruction era Beaufort.

  • A drawing of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Camp Saxton.

    Read the stories of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, Camp Saxton and the start of the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Emancipation Day historical marker under a grove of live oak trees.

    Watch videos produced by the park about the 1st South Carolina Volunteers.

  • A map of Beaufort from 1863.
    History & Culture

    Explore the history and culture of Reconstruction Era National Historical Park.

  • oak tree with spanish moss
    Basic Information

    Find out the basic information you need to know before you visit.



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Last updated: April 19, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

706 Craven Street
Beaufort, SC 29902


(843) 962-0039

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