Louis Coste, Hal's third great-grandfather, arrived as a Huguenot immigrant from Montpelier, France, in the late 18th century and became a naturalized citizen in 1808. He and his wife, Lucinda Mackey, had three sons, among them Napoleon L. Coste, who went on to have a long and adventurous career in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. That included expeditions with naturalist James Audubon, and the placement of many of the lighthouses and other aids to navigation along the east coast. His most famous deed was at the outbreak of the Civil War when Coste commandeered the revenue cutter, William Aiken, and turned it over to the state of South Carolina. Hal recounts other significant events in the life of N.L. Coste, as well as his son, Napoleon Edward, who also served the Confederacy and later the Revenue Cutter Service. Hal next recounts his memories of his grandfather, Vincent O. Coste, who served in the U.S. Lifesaving Service, which joined with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the U.S. Coast Guard. Vincent later commanded the Coast Guard station on Sullivan's Island. Hal next speaks of the lives of his mother and father, before detailing his own time on the island. These include his mayonnaise meal in kindergarten, his learning to swim in the creek behind the island, and especially his passion for surfing. Before ending with his general feelings regarding changes that have occurred on Sullivan's Island, Hal explains and displays the two silver life-saving medals from the Coast Guard that hang on his walls, one for Hal's own actions and one for the incredible story of his great-uncle, James Coste, who in 1898 saved a young man who would turn out to be the grandfather of Charleston's long time mayor, Joe Riley.
Interview with Marcellus Forrest by Lee Drago, Eugene Hunt, and Margareta Childs, February 21, 1981, AMN 500.001.002, in Avery Normal Institute Oral History Project, of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston.
Interview with Peter Poinsette by Edmund L. Drago and Eugene C. Hunt, March 31, 1981, AMN 500.001.007, in the Avery Normal Institute Oral History Project, of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
“Stories Collected from Slaves” by Leonarda J. Aimar is a bound volume of formerly enslaved people's stories. In her transcription, she attempted to capture the storytellers’ colloquial speech, now recognized as the Gullah language. The volume includes a list of addresses, occupations, and diseases of African Americans during their enslavement; an eye-witness account of the Battle of Secessionville on James Island during the Civil War in 1862; how enslaved people were returned to their slaveholders following the Revolutionary War; and an account of Sherman's march from Savannah, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina during the Civil War. A formerly enslaved man, Sam, provides a detailed account of being a butler, coachman, and horse jockey. He also recounts how Union Army Major Robert Anderson took control of Fort Sumter and the events that transpired there on April 12, 1861. Other accounts include an enslaved man’s recollections of his time as a servant to a plantation overseer who sympathized with the Union during the Civil War and formerly enslaved man Jim Alston’s detailed eye-witness account of the 1876 Cainhoy Riot.
Letter from Sue M. Monroe to Nellie [B. Clarksall?] concerning the body of Nathaniel Heyward (II), who was killed in the Second Battle of Bull Run, August 1862. Monroe apparently tried to catalog and care for the graves of those buried on the battlefield at Manassas. 4p. October 12, 1898.
Letter from Nellie B. Clarksall to Miss Heyward enclosing the previous letter of Sue Monroe. The letter concerns Miss Heyward's attempt to locate the remains of her uncle Nathaniel Heyward (II) who had died at the Second Battle of Bull Run. 3p. October 20, 1898.
Caption: 'Enthusiastic crowd of citizens of Charleston, S.C., assembled on Vanderhost's (sic) Wharf, Feb. 20, to greet the second visit of Gen. Gillmore and staff.--sketched by our Special Artist.' [full date March 25, 1865.]
Kate Ferguson, wife of Samuel Wragg Ferguson, writes to her husband's godmother. This undated letter was apparently written after Samuel Ferguson's promotion to brigadier general in the Confederate army. She relates how "Ferguson's command is now resting from his last terrible raid" and that "Capt Nugent and William Barker have not yet returned from Deer Creek." 4p.
Letter from James B. Heyward in Columbia to Dr. D.W. Ray, trustee for the late owner whose land James had verbally agreed to rent. James is anxious to move his slaves there for safekeeping but is worried the trustee had no knowledge of the agreement between James and the recently departed owner. James also mentions that he must hasten back to the low country "as my property there is in peril from the proximity of the enemy." 2p. December 19, 1864.
Letter from James B. Heyward at Combahee to his wife Maria Heyward. James has traveled back down to his Combahee plantation from Columbia with the hope of being able to check on the condition of his Fife Plantation near Savannah, if the news of the enemy is favorable. He apparently enjoys being back on his own plantation writing "it is delightful here." 3p. December 6, 1864.
Caption: 'The advance upon Charleston--entrance to the Stono River, S.C.--from a sketch by Lieut. Coleman, 100th N.Y.S. Vol.' Also identified with captions: 'Kiawah Island and River. John's Island. Stono River. Cole's Island. Old Rebel Fort.' [full date April 25, 1863.]