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 7 September events to do in Florence County

    September is already here, and families and friends are getting used to the school routines. In the Florence County, there’s quite a bit still to do in the area, especially with the fall festivals upon us. Several events to experience Florence are:

    Cale A NASCAR Legend
    1. Meet the Pee Dee’s racing legend!
    A featured exhibit launched in time with the Bojangle’s Southern 500 highlights the career of Timmonsville native and national sports racing legend Cale Yarborough. On loan from the NASCAR Hall of Fame as well as from Yarborough, museum visitors will see the major events and accomplishments throughout Yarborough’s career. Visitors on Sept. 10 from noon to 3 p.m. also have an opportunity to take a photo with Cale Yarborough. It’s also Family Day, where there will be activities for the entire family. No registration is required, and admission is free.
    And don’t forget -- on Thursdays, the museum hosts free public tours at 2 p.m.

    2. MFBG Beer Fest
    Go to a great rain or shine event held at Moore Farms Botanical Gardens on Sept. 10 in Lake City.
    From 1 to 5 p.m. you’ll be able to enjoy beers from over 30 local and regional craft breweries and delicious local eats. And the botanical garden sets the stage like no other! VIP tickets ($35) give consumers an extra hour to sneak peek and taste the beer. Early bird tickets are $20, and $25 at the gate. Designated driver tickets are $10. For more information, visit

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  • Darlington Car Hauler Parade to kick off at Florence Civic Center

    Darlington Car Hauler Parade

    FLORENCE, S.C. – The 12th Annual Darlington Car Hauler Parade and Festival will be held Thursday, Sept. 1. Come watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Teams make their way through cheering fans from Florence Civic Center to Darlington Square and onto the track that’s “Too Tough to Tame.”
    “Each year we hold the festival to welcome the racecars coming to the NASCAR track,” said Holly Beaumier, director of the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Morning News. “It’s the kick-off for race week, and we’re always excited to see the large transporters that carry the racecars.”
    The fun begins at 4 p.m. at the Florence Civic Center, where there will be entertainment and live music. Children will play all afternoon for free on the KidsZone inflatable rides, games, and racing simulator. The Game Truck will bring a wide selection of games and can accommodate up to 16 players at a time. Entertainment also includes the Budweiser Clydesdales as well as The Konnection Band.

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  • Southern 500 Race Week

    Are you excited as we are about the Southern 500 Race Week at Darlington Raceway? Check out the Race Week Planning Guide for info on driver appearances, the Darlington Car Hauler Parade, shuttle services, and how to win tickets to next year's race!



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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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