The Florence National Cemetery is located at 803 East National Cemetery Road, a quarter of a mile from the site of the former Florence Stockade. It became a National Cemetery in 1865, and remains from nearby Civil War battlefield cemeteries were transferred and reinterred there.

The first woman to be interred in a National Cemetery was Florena Budwin, a Pennsylvania woman who dressed as a man to follow her husband to battle in the Civil War. Her grave marker stands amidst the mass of unmarked graves at the Florence National Cemetery. The cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

 

Florence Stockade

The Stockade was built was built in September 1864 to hold Union soldiers and was in operation during the final fall and winter of the Civil War. During its time of operation, anywhere from 15,000 to 18,000 captives were held there. After General Sherman captured Atlanta on September 1, 1864, Andersonville prison in south Georgia was thought to be in the path of Sherman, and the Confederate prison authorities determined to relocate the approximately 30,000 Union prisoners being held at Andersonville. 

Because Florence was located at the intersection of three railroads it was chosen as a site for a newly constructed prison. Most of the prisoners who initially came to Florence were first transported to Charleston before making their way 90 miles inland to Florence. The Florence Stockade was still under construction when the first several thousand prisoners arrived.

The Florence Stockade covered 23.5 acres with a trench dug out around the outside to prevent prisoners from tunneling out. After about a month of operation, there were about 12,000 prisoners and a death rate of 20 to 30 per day. Supplies were scarce for both the prisoners and the guards. Of the total number of prisoners that passed through the Florence Stockade, 2,802 Union soldiers died there, and most were buried in unmarked trenches in what would become the Florence National Cemetery.

The site is open to the public and is a component of the City of Florence Trail System. The City of Florence and the Friends of the Florence Stockade have developed a walking tour of the site. There is also an informational gazebo on-site containing a permanent display detailing the history of the site. The Stockade was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

  • Top 11 August events to attend in Florence

    With August’s arrival, one of Florence County’s hottest summer months, there comes the wrapping up of the summer break. Families and friends are making the most of the dog days of summer before school routines come back in session. A few events to experience Florence are:

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    1. Baseball. RedWolves – Catch the boys of summer playing before the season ends. The RedWolves schedule can be found here. Or watch a game of the WFC End of Summer Bash held Aug. 13 and Aug. 14 at Freedom Florence.

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    2. Too hot or rainy for you? Try a tour of the Florence County Museum every Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m. No registration is required, and it’s free and open to all. Step back in time visually and learn the history of the Pee Dee and view current exhibits as well. The museum “reflects the region’s rich artistic, cultural and historic heritage.”

    3. Pee Dee Gardening 101. Enjoy a gardening lesson at Moore Farms Botanical Gardens, 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 6
    Grow This Not That -- Learn which plants work best in our area and those that don’t. Join David Poston as he’s full of experience and information. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit moorefarmsbg.org

    Read more ...
     
  • Seven ways to have a great summer in Florence County

    Florence is a beautiful city that melds together its creeks and rivers with an urban experience. Nestled near the Great Pee Dee River and surrounded by scenic farmland vistas, Florence offers a wonderful array of outdoor recreational activities, including great golf, river expeditions, and beautiful parks.

    Florence

    No. 1 Explore the city undergoing a renaissance
    You’ll love seeing Florence’s sights by foot, bike, or even kayak. Developed as a railroad terminal, the city’s now situated at the intersection of interstate highways I-95 and I-20. Enjoy

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    No. 2 Savor the cuisine
    In Florence County, residents embrace new and old restaurants, especially locally owned. Around here, a meal isn’t just to nourish the body; it’s to enjoy the company we have as well as our roots. Stop by our office for the visitor’s guide so you can take a culinary tour of our city. From the hospitality district to downtown to the outskirts, there’s plenty to taste test to find your favorite.

    Kayaking
    No. 3 Navigate the rivers or fairways
    Lynches River County Park is a great place to relax into nature. The South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail leads paddlers from the park into the hiding spots of the Swamp Fox, Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion. You also can enjoy the trip with area outfitters, including RiverRats, Swamp Fox Kayaking.
    Prefer to stick to land, try out our links. There are multiple golf courses in the Pee Dee. Challenge yourself on the PGA-sanctioned Country Club of South Carolina or check out others in the area.

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  • RedWolves’ Spirit of Florence celebration to be held

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    FLORENCE, S.C. – Swing on by to the RedWolves’ Spirit of Florence on Saturday to celebrate our great nation with live music, baseball, and fireworks.
    “We would love for Florence and the surrounding communities to come and enjoy some music, a kids’ zone, the great game of baseball, and spectacular fireworks,” said Barbara Osborne, general manager of the Florence RedWolves, an affiliate of the Coastal Plain League.
    It’s a “great way to share in the pride we have in America. I am especially excited for our patriotic jersey auction. Our players will wear beautifully designed red, white, and blue jerseys. All of the proceeds from the jersey auction will go directly to local veterans’ projects and funds. We’re proud to give back to our community that supports our organization in so many ways,” Osborne said.
    Gates open at 5 p.m. Francis Marion University’s Sparrow Stadium. The pre-game concert will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The kids’ zone will be open from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The baseball game starts at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow the game.

     

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Visitor Information

Toll Free: (800) 325-9005
Phone: (843) 664-0330

Visitor Information Center

3290 W. Radio Drive
Florence Civic Center Upper Level
Florence, SC 29501

Daily 9am - 5pm

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