150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Black Union Reenactors Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Reenactors of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Encampment

On June 11, 1863 the seaport of Darien was vandalized and burned by Federal forces stationed on nearby St. Simons Island. The town was largely deserted, most of its 500 residents having sought refuge inland. Lost were public buildings, churches, businesses and most private residences. Conducting the raid were units comprised of among the first African-American troops to serve the Union cause, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers under Col. Robert G. Shaw, and the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers under Col. James Montgomery. The burning of Darien, undefended and of little strategic importance, was one of the most controversial events of the Civil War. (Text of  historic marker placed by the Lower Altamaha Historical Society and the Georgia Historical Society in 2001). The movie Glory was based loosely on the story of the 54th Massachusetts.

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors at Tent by Darien River Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors 54th Massachusetts Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Young Reenactor in Uniform by River Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Large crowds were on hand to see reenactors demonstrating all aspects of Civil War camp life and techniques at the Darien Riverfront Park. The reenactors had as much fun as the visitors and it was a perfect day for such a commemoration. Even the “spirits” of the era were on display!

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Whiskeys Liquors Alcohol in Antique Style Bottles Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors Canon Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors Firing Canon Crew from Fort McAllister Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors Firing Canon Crew from Fort McAllister State Park Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

A canon crew from nearby Fort McAllister State Park was on hand, with hourly firings. This was certainly one of the more popular attractions of the day.

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Confederate Reenactors in Period Clothing in front of Adam Strain Building Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Missy Brandt and Will Wilson pose in front of the Adam Strain Building, which survived (with damage) the Burning of Darien and stands today as the oldest relic of the town’s early history.

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Ladies in Period Dress Waiting for Parade to Start Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Ladies in period dress provided a civilian aspect to the reenactment.

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Parade Union Reenactors 54th Massachusetts Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Union Reenactors Parading down Broad Street Downtown Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Crowd at Ceremonial Lighting of Torch Reenactment Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

At noon, uniformed reenactors paraded down Broad Street among enthusiastic crowds to the Adam Strain Building for a ceremonial torch lighting. It was nice to see such a huge turnout for this event.

150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien GA Civil War Sesquicentennial Southern Heritage Vendors Confederate Flags Kitsch Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

The Burning of Darien Museum Visitors Viewing Artifacts McIntosh County GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

The new Darien Civil War Museum represents wonderful work by members of the McIntosh County Historic Preservation Commission and numerous volunteers. Harriet Langford reports that over 200 people visited the museum during the commemoration. The museum is located on 1st Street, just off U. S. Highway 17 and houses artifacts, including a recreation of the Garey family’s parlor (below), as it appeared before being sacked by Union troops in 1863.

The Burning of Darien Museum Garey Family Parlor Circa 1863 McIntosh County GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

http://www.burningofdarien.com/

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2013-05-19/story/historian-hopes-clear-union-colonels-name-observance-dariens-burning

 

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12 Comments

Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA

12 responses to “150th Anniversary of the Burning of Darien

  1. Pingback: 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Burning of Darien | Vanishing South Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown

  2. Why would any self respecting citizen of Darien want to dress like a damned Yankee is beyond belief.

  3. Peter Winn Martin

    Good story about a tragic unnecessary event. You may know that this event was successfully used in defense of Confederate troops who raided a bank in New England late in the war asan example of similar union acts during the war. I’d say the burning was much worse.

  4. grover chester

    thank you very much for the pictures. i appreciate them more than you know. again, thank you. grover

    On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM, Vanishing Coastal Georgia Photographs by

  5. Gail Williams

    Thanks for the photos of Darien. I love reading about History, mostly of American history. Thanks for all the photos you take about Ga. Again when I look through your photo’s I like to imagine my family walking and living there.

  6. Tammy Johnson

    I live in Alabama and here we have they Mill that was not destroyed by the troops that made the rifles used in the war and there is also one In DC in the museum. This is also the home to Camp 1921 I believe. I really don’t know that much about it but know a lot of people in it.
    I love your pictures and the info I just found this site recently. I would love to visit when some of the venues when they have things going on. Where can I find out about the things in Ga?

  7. Great photos, Brian. We live in Michigan, and we love coastal Georgia. We really enjoyed walking around Darien a few years ago. We were staying on St. Simons Island, and took day trips to Brunswick, Darien & Jekyll–need to get back to Jekyll!

  8. P.s. I guess I’m a damned Yankee…lol–but my mom and dad are from Arkansas 🙂

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