Skirmish At Gamble's Hotel
|Directions||Event Schedule||Education Program|
The Skirmish At Gamble's Hotel depicts an encounter that occurred on March 5, 1865 when 500 federal soldiers, under the command of Colonel Reuben Williams of the 12th Indiana Infantry, marched into the Florence area to destroy the railroad depot. These federal troops were met by a group of Confederate soldiers who drove them away with the help of 400 reinforcements from the area home guard.
The Columns is a popular name for The Harwell House at Rankin Plantation, a beautiful antebellum home that dates back over 100 years. The name refers to the 22 Greek style, Doric columns that surround the home on three sides.
For the event, all usual amenities will be provided: water in the camp, blue rooms at strategic locations, plenty of hay in the barn, and more firewood then you'll be able to burn in a cold weekend! We have a barn dance on Saturday that has become renown. And if that's not enough, we're going to feed you Saturday night. As it has always been, there is no registration fee for reenactors. Spectators will pay an admission fee of $ 5.00. The property owner offers tours of the house for a small fee. There will be about 20 sutlers there to get any gear you need. Sutler attendance is by invitation only so the variety will have some balance. As we are located only a short distance from where interstates 95 and 20 come together, it makes for an easy drive from any direction. The city of Florence is only a few miles away and is large enough to accommodate any needs you may have. You may arrive as early as Thursday morning, but be aware that we will have 1500 school children on Friday for the education program.
Every year we try to come up with something a bit different. If you attended the battle last year, there's a good chance you'll see and do something different this year.
Do you like to campaign? Get away from the hustle and bustle that goes on near the sutlers? Give me a shout. We've got no shortage of remote areas that would give the most hard core unit what they're looking for.
Unionists, or good fellows who will wear a blue jacket - It's only a six hour ride from the Mason Dixon line. We usually galvanize amongst ourselves, but what a great opportunity for a federal unit to be spoiled at a fine event. Did you know it could be 80 degrees and sunny while a blizzard is blowing back home? Well, it could! If you attended just for a drill weekend, you would surely mark it on your calendar for the following year. Contact Tom Grazioli at tom[@]associatedcomputer.cc (without the brackets) or call 843-455-2989 for more information. You can also check our bulletin board.
Proceeds from our event go towards historical preservation such as the 23rd History Scholarship, the Florence Stockade, the Hunley Submarine recovery, the Relic Room at the SC State Museum, and other worthy projects.
The Ball - Held on Saturday night in the top of the hay barn. The Crescent Moon Rounders will likely provide the music. And we keep a close eye on the hay lest we loose one of our men like the proverbial needle. Why they keep getting lost in there is a mystery to me, but surely not to the fathers of the young ladies at the dance!
Saturday's Meal - Barbeque pig! Chicken too. Bring you eatin' stuff and appetite. Don't worry about your wallet - we've got the check.
Officers Call - This will take place at 9:00 pm on Friday at the tent of Colonel Sinclair of the Palmetto Battalion. Make sure a representative of your unit attends to get more information and assignments as they will be determined at this meeting.
School Day - Our education program for school children is by invitation only. It's not hard to get one, but you must contact Mike King at 843-667-1705 or by email at MKing70731[@]aol.com (without the brackets). And please note. To offset the cost of insurance, we're asking 5.00 per child that attends. See the School Day topic on our bulletin board for more.
Directions - The event site is conveniently located just a few miles off of Interstate 95 just below the NC state line. Interstate 20 comes into Florence from the west making travel easy from all directions. On the map it looks and is closer to get off the interstate and drive through town. On the contrary, going through town will take longer because of traffic. Follow the signs like you're going to Myrtle Beach. That's Exit #170 (a few miles north of Florence) on 95 to Highway 327 South. And don't speed on 327. Go past the Country Club Of SC (on the left) and turn left at the stop light on E. Old Marion road. About three miles down, turn left onto a dirt driveway lined with trees. The house and camp are visible from the road. The Mars Bluff Feed & Seed store is right next to the driveway. If you see a manufacturing plant (Roche pharmaceutical) on the left, then you went too far. For a street address, use 5027 East Old Marion Hwy. That's the feed store about 100 yards from the plantation entrance. You can easily see the plantation and camp from the road.
Below are maps, click on the images to get a larger view.