Planter at the Gate

During the Civil War, the month of June of 1862 was a pivotal moment in American history. If Federal forces could capture Charleston, the gateway to the South, it would cripple the Confederacy. Impatient with their Naval blockade of its central harbor, the Union Army decides to pursue another approach for seizing the Holy City by overrunning a small fort on James Island. There, a Southern planter named Colonel Thomas Gresham Lamar, holds the keys to that back door approach as the commander of the Tower Battery in the hamlet of Secessionville.

The Swamp Angel
The Swamp Angel

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Charleston Museum curator, Grahame Long, recounts the story of the war's most renowned Parrott gun and its deadly ordnance: Greek Fire.
The Pluff Mud Advantage
The Pluff Mud Advantage

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Home field advantage is key, especially in battle. College of Charleston's Dr. Scott Harris is very familiar with the muck that changed the odds in the Battle of Secessionville.
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 1
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 1

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The Challenge The Union Army decides the time is right to move into position on James Island and capture Charleston Harbor. Citadel professor Dr. Kyle Sinisi guides us through the military maneuvers...
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 3
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 3

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The Battle Confederate and Union forces clash in a short, bloody fight. Citadel professor Dr. Kyle Sinisi guides us through the military maneuvers that climaxed on June 16, 1862.
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 2
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 2

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The Confrontation Confederate forces at the Tower Battery push back against the Union's advancement toward their position. Citadel professor Dr. Kyle Sinisi guides us through the military maneuvers...
The Planter at the Gate, Part 4
The Planter at the Gate, Part 4

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President Lincoln blockades Southern ports. The Union takes Port Royal Sound. The coastal planters flee leaving tens of thousands of enslaved people free.
The Planter at the Gate, Part 7
The Planter at the Gate, Part 7

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There are two avenues into Charleston for the Union Army. Driven by information from Smalls, the Union goes for the back door - right through James Island and Thomas Lamar.
The Planter at the Gate, Part 5
The Planter at the Gate, Part 5

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Robert E. Lee redevelops his strategy for defending the South. Sea island plantation owners feel abandoned. The stage is set for Robert Smalls.
The Planter at the Gate, Part 8
The Planter at the Gate, Part 8

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June 16, 1862. The battle begins in the pre-dawn hours. The Union miscalculates the fierce defense rendered by Confederate cannon fire and becomes mired in Mother Nature’s secret weapon.
The Planter at the Gate, Part 9
The Planter at the Gate, Part 9

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Hundreds are left dead on the field of battle as the Union is repelled. Thomas Lamar is declared a hero but suffers the consequences of the bloody encounter.

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