natlcem 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.

  • Friends of Revolutionary Rivers celebrating paddle month with fundraiser

     kayaking 2

    Whether it’s a couple or a large group of people ready for an excursion that can travel back through time, the South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail offers fun for the beginner as well as the experienced paddlers. To celebrate July as SC Paddle Month, the Friends of the Revolutionary Rivers will host a fundraiser from 1 to 6 p.m. July 30 at Venter's Landing in Johnsonville. There will be opportunities to go on a swamp exploration, casually paddle at the landing, and water games at the landing. Call the visitors office at 843-664-0330 for more information.
    The SC Revolutionary Rivers Trail follows the Lynches Scenic River from Lynches River County Park to the cypress and tupelo-laden stomping grounds of celebrated Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Francis Marion. The fact Marion and his band of militia simply could be chased for a marathon of miles by British cavalryman Banastre Tarleton and disappear into the cypress swamplands earned him the name of the Swamp Fox.

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  • Florence County participating in SC Ag + Art Tour



    FLORENCE, S.C. -- The annual South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is adding two more counties to its route making this year’s event the largest ever!

    Now in its sixth year, this free self-guided farm and art tour is a great way to educate people about where their food and fiber comes from, as well as introduce them to local artisans, says Ben Boyles, Clemson Extension Agribusiness Agent and Tour Administrator.

    “We are proud of how this tour has continued to grow,” Boyles said. “One of the goals of this tour has been to give people a better knowledge of what is produced in their own backyard. This event puts food and product with a face.”

    This year the tour will include farms, farmers markets, and artisans in Chester, Chesterfield, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Newberry, Union and York counties with different counties participating each weekend in June (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The 2017 schedule is below:

    • June 3–4: Chesterfield County, Darlington County, Florence County, Horry County
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  • Living a full life in Florence


    Full life. Full forward.
    As Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela said with optimism four years ago during his State of the City address, Florence is in a state of a renaissance.
    “Our union is not a facade of smiles that conceal real differences; but, rather, the durable product of hard negotiation and true compromise motivated by practical realism and a singular goal. We have turned the force of this efficient and urgent pragmatism toward the critical task of rebuilding our City,” Wukela said in 2013.
    Continuing downtown revitalization, decreasing crime, and investing in infrastructure advances at a steadfast pace.

    Read more ...


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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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