SC History Trail

Battery White

Located on private property overlooking Winyah Bay, Battery White is a large Confederate earthen fortification constructed during the Civil War to protect Georgetown and the surrounding rice plantations. It was captured by Federal forces near war's end.


Battery White
1228 Belle Isle Rd, Georgetown, SC 29440
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Site Description
Constructed in 1862 at Mayrant's Bluff overlooking Winyah Bay, Battery White was a powerful Confederate earthen fortification that protected the seaport of Georgetown. Confederate General John C. Pemberton selected the site for the fortification which mounted more than a dozen pieces of heavy artillery, including two 10-inch Columbiads cast at Richmond's famous Tredegar Iron Works. It was supported by a small companion battery across the bay at what is now Hobcaw Barony, and was manned by troops from the German Artillery of Charleston and the Waccamaw Light Artillery. Georgetown was headquarters for South Carolina's 4th Military District, which was commanded for much of the war by a locally-born officer, Brigadier General James H. Trapier. Coastal waters were patrolled by the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron to prevent blockade running from Georgetown and nearby Murrells Inlet.

In early 1865, Admiral John Dahlgren led a flotilla of Federal warships and a force of U.S. Marines against Battery White, but its garrison had been evacuated and its guns did not reply to the brief naval bombardment. Georgetown surrendered on February 24, 1865. On March 1, Admiral Dahlgren's flagship, the USS Harvest Moon, struck a locally-made sea mine and sank in Winyah Bay. Today, the Harvest Moon's smokestack may be seen at low tide across the bay, and two massive 10-inch Confederate cannons "defend" Battery White which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Access and Admission
Site Access: Private
Access Description: Not Open To Public, protected by permanent protective easement, but visitors must be with a resident of nearby Belle Isle.
Ownership: Private
Tours and Events
Guided Tours: No