Professor's recent book chronicles the Civil War along South Carolina’s coast

Sep 9, 2009 | General News

Dr. Rick Simmons, the George K. Anding Endowed Professor of English and director of the Center for Academic and Professional Development at Louisiana Tech, has written the Civil War chronicle, Defending South Carolina’s Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River.

The publication will be available for sale on Sept. 15. The book is a volume in the Sesquicentennial Civil War Series being released by the History Press. Other volumes by other authors, covering the different campaigns of the Civil War, are to follow the release of Simmons’ book.

Dr. Rick Simmons' Defending South Carolina's Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little RiverIn Defending South Carolina’s Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River, Simmons, a native of Pawleys Island, S.C., chronicles the often-overlooked events that took place along the South Carolina coast during the Civil War. The publisher’s description notes that, “As a base of operations for more than 3,000 troops early in the war and the site of more than a dozen forts, almost every inch of the coast was affected by and hotly contested during the Civil War. From the skirmishes at Fort Randall in Little River and the repeated Union naval bombardments of Murrells Inlet to the unrealized potential of the massive fortifications at Battery White and the sinking of the USS Harvest Moon in Winyah Bay, the region’s colorful Civil War history is unfolded here at last.”

Simmons began the book in the early 1990s, after having published several historical articles in South Carolina-based magazines. He became interested in local history and historical research, and in the process of sifting through many bits and pieces of regional historical information, he came to the conclusion that there needed to be a book written about the history of the upper South Carolina coast during the Civil War. He began writing the book, but decided to pursue his Ph.D. in English at the University of South Carolina, effectively putting the book on hold.

Simmons and his family return to Pawleys Island every summer, and several years ago he decided it was time to finish the book. After completing the manuscript he sent the book to the History Press where it was accepted for publication last winter.

Later this year, Simmons will travel back to South Carolina for book signings arranged by the publisher. The book can be purchased through Amazon. His first book, Factory Lives: Four 19th-Century British Working-Class Autobiographies, was published by Broadview Press in 2007.

Written by Judith Roberts