Buddy Sullivan - Coastal Georgia Historian/Lecturer, Researcher, Consultant

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Remembering the Burning of Darien

June 11th of this year is the 150th anniversary of perhaps the most horrific event in the 275-year history of Darien, Georgia, for it was on that date in 1863 that Union army forces looted, vandalized, then finally burned to the ground most of the completely undefended, and mostly uninhabited, town in one of the most controversial incidents of the Civil War.
     There will be appropriate commemorative events is recognition of the event during May and June, culminating on Saturday, June 15th in Darien with re-enactments, tours and exhibits for the public.
     I am conducting two lectures in association with the observances and encourage all who are interested to try to attend one or both. On Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. I will present a slide lecture at the Darien First Presbyterian Church about antebellum Darien and McIntosh County, setting the context, or "backstory", for the burning of the town. Then on Sunday, June 9th, also at 3:00, this time at the St. Cyprian's Church in Darien, I will lecture about the burning of the town, its consequences and ramifications.
     These talks are highlights of an active spring and summer, that has included my lectures about topics as diverse as Scottish settlement in coastal Georgia, Roswell King and plantation management in Liberty County, Georgia, and the U.S. Navy of the Early Republic, focusing on the naval war of 1812. I will also be teaching coastal history classes on behalf of the Learning Center in Savannah, the education and outreach arm of Senior Citizens of Savannah, Inc. Those interested in the once-a-week classes in July and August should contact the Learning Center for information.
     I have been working with friends and colleagues in recent months doing research on the early archaeological field investigations on Sapelo Island conducted in 1871 and 1896 by William McKinley and Clarence Bloomfield Moore, respectively. Very interesting stuff! This is in relation to my forthcoming paper "Land Ownership and Settlement Patterns on Sapelo Island, 1865-1970" which will be published this summer and will be available free to the public in both print and electronic versions.

2 Comments to Remembering the Burning of Darien:

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anthea conlon on Sunday, November 17, 2013 3:14 PM
I have been interested in Darien's history for a number of years now. Movie fan that I am, my interest began after seeing the movie "Glory" which I also found fascinating. The burning of Darien was in the movie and when during further reading about the Mass. 54th and Robert Gould Shaw and I was amazed to find out that Shaw had written to his parents in Boston and told them how very disturbed he was about being ordered to burn Darien, an order he disagreed with. Shaw did not survive the war, however afterwards Shaw's parents sent money to the town of Darien to help them rebuild. On one of my many trips down 95 I noticed the exit sign for Darien and wondered if this was the Darien from "Glory". One trip I exited and found the visitor's center which was on the river, at that time, and spoke to a lady on duty there. Yes, indeed this was town that had been burned and there was a memorial to Shaw or his family, I do not remember which, in the town. I have made another visit recently, but still did not run across the memorial and looking through the web sites about Darien I do not seen any kind of mention of a marker either. I am wondering if you have written about this aspect of the rebuilding of Darien and if, in fact, there is some kind or marker or memorial regarding this post civil war contribution by the Shaw family.
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Gallipoli day tours on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 1:17 AM
very sweet blog Remembering the Burning of Darien and its content very useful information also so it is the right combination of information and printing keep doing that in future also
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