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.

  • Living a full life in Florence

    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.

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  • Florence springtime events are plentiful

    Arts International Festival

    Spring brings a new round of exhibits, festivals, and outdoor activities to enjoy in Florence.
    Arts and entertainment in Florence County in the spring features a beautiful lineup. From the notable April festivals in Florence to “The King and I” at the Florence Little Theatre to concert lineups, there’s a variety of activities to enjoy.
    Returning for its fifth year, ArtFields has plenty to do day and night. The nine-day festival in Lake City is an art competition with $100,000 in cash prizes given to artists across the Southeast. Winners are determined by attendees as well as a juried panel. Artfields runs April 21-29. For a list of the events, visit http://www.artfieldssc.org/attendees/events/.
    Arts International will be held from noon to 6 p.m. April 8 in downtown Florence. There’ll be three stages of continuous music as well as the Artisan Village and food vendors. Don’t forget the Eighth Annual Welding Rodeo returns to Arts International as well. The daylong contest starts at 7:30 a.m. and finishes with judging and auction, which benefits the Florence-Darlington Technical College Educational Foundation’s scholarship fund.
    Also April 8 is the Flo-Town 5K. The run/walk offers participants an enjoyable trek through Pee Dee history and the natural wetlands along Jeffries Creek. The 5K starts at 9 a.m. For more details, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/SC/Florence/FloTown5KRunWalk.

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  • CONTEST: Call for pecan recipes for cookbook, challenge

     

    PecanPie

    Anybody out there have any good original recipes involving pecans?
    The Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau wants you to share them as it has special plans for celebrating National Pecan Month in April. The Florence CVB is holding a recipe contest, and entrants’ recipes also will be used to create a pecan-focused cookbook.
    The cookbook will help celebrate the South Carolina Pecan Trail, a culinary trail dedicated to the pecan, where Florence is the hub. It is seeking original recipes from area residents to share, and there’s a category for youth, too.
    Home, amateur and professional chefs of any age – there’s a special category for youth, too -- from the area are encouraged to submit their original recipes for a chance to win gift certificates and to be featured in the cookbook. “Original” is defined in this case as not previously published by the entrant, or anyone else, in the same or substantially the same form.
    Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place for adults and youth. For adults, first place will be awarded $250; second place, $150; and third, $75. For youth, first place will be awarded $75; second place, $50, and third, $25.

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