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.

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The Planter at the Gate, Part 1
The Planter at the Gate, Part 1

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An inland planter from Edgefield fears the loss of his way of life as a plantation master. In due time, Thomas Lamar will stand directly in the Union Army’s path to Charleston.
The Planter at the Gate, Part 2
The Planter at the Gate, Part 2

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Thomas Lamar farms cotton on the family land granted by the King of England. Thomas’ brother, Charles, makes a bold move to reopen the African slave trade in defiance of a federal ban. Talk of...
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 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 6
The Planter at the Gate, Part 6

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In a daring move, Robert Smalls and his crew commandeer the steamship, The Planter, sail past Fort Sumter and deliver the ship and key intelligence to the Union.
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 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.
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 1
The Battle of Secessionville - Part 1

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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 that climaxed...

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