The thing that makes Charleston so unique is not only the endless amount of history that we are constantly surrounded by, but also the heaps of artifacts yet to be uncovered. It’s not often that a Civil War submarine is found at the bottom of the harbor nearly a century after the war. Every time historic artifacts are found around Charleston, our city becomes that much more enriching.
As many of you know, Hurricane Matthew hit Charleston this past weekend. Fortunately the storm did not leave our beautiful city in shambles as predicted. The storm did, however, uncover some pretty incredible Civil War relics on Folly Beach.
Throughout the year, thousands of tourist flock to Folly Beach to spend time soaking up the sun with family and friends. As the seaside town has grown into a vacation hot spot, visitors are often unaware that several of the most pinnacle points during the Civil War took place at this sandy spot. In 1863, Folly Beach was occupied by 13,000 Union troops, who left behind munitions.
As Matthew made landfall and Charleston felt his strong winds, he left something noteworthy behind for us. Sand erosion caused by Hurricane Matthew unearthed 16 cannonballs on Folly Beach, that date back 150 years to the Civil War era! As locals strolled along the eastern side of the island after the storm hit, they stumbled upon the cluster of rusty unexploded ordnance.
"In this case, Folly Beach was the site of an artillery battery and supply depot during the Civil War, so it isn't surprising that some of the ordnance survived," says Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Leslie.
Once the storm cleared and residents returned home, this incredible discovery was exposed. Late Sunday evening, local law enforcement and The Air Force Explosive Ordnance Team detonated the cannonballs for safe measures. Residents heard two or three loud booms, marking the safe disposal of this incredible find. It is unknown if the cannonballs could have gone off on their own, but in this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
And here you thought the history of Charleston lied in the peninsula and harbor forts. Folly Beach is not only a sandy hot spot for surfers and visitors, but an area full of culture. After the hurricane and this exciting discovery, Folly is back to the hustle and bustle of every day life, safe and sound. Experience the rich history first hand at one of our luxurious properties on Folly Beach for your next vacation while enjoying some fun in the sun!