FORT HOWELL GIVES VISITORS A VIEW OF THE CIVIL WAR
On Nov. 7, 1861, some 20,000 Union forces charged ashore on Hilton Head Island only to find that all Confederate fighters and white civilians had fled inland. The island was soon to become the United States’ Southern military headquarters for the duration of the war.
About a year later, Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchel decided to create Mitchelville, a town run entirely by, and for, formerly enslaved island residents. And in late summer 1864, members of the 32nd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment and the 144th New York Infantry hand built Fort Howell, a hulking earthworks fort, to protect the new town.