|Folly Island, South Carolina|
|• Total||48.3 km2 (18.6 sq mi)|
|• Land||31.8 km2 (12.3 sq mi)|
|• Water||16.5 km2 (6.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||12312872|
Folly Island is a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean near Charleston, South Carolina. It is one of the Sea Islands and is within the boundaries of Charleston County, South Carolina. During the American Civil War, the 7-square-mile (18 km2) island served as a major staging area for troops of the Union Army that were attacking Confederate forces in the Charleston region. The largest settlement on Folly Island is Folly Beach.
The name Folly comes from an Old English term meaning "dense foliage." When Europeans first landed on the island in the early 1600s, they discovered a Native American tribe called the Bohickets. It is unclear what happened to them after the land was deeded to William Rivers in 1696.34 Pirates were known to sail along the South Carolina coast and the many inlets, sounds, bays formed by barrier islands and sea islands like Folly Island. Two of the most memorable were Edward Teach, known as Black Beard, and Stede Bonnet.56
For a time, Folly Island was known as Coffin Island because ships, before entering Charleston Harbor were required to offload sick passengers on barrier islands. Then when leaving, the ships would pick up the survivors and bury the deceased. One notable instance is in 1832 when the ship Amelia became wrecked on Folly Island. 20 of the ship's passengers died of cholera while Charleston cut off communication and supplies to avoid an outbreak in the city.7
The only Civil War related fighting to occur on the island was on May 10, 1863 when Confederate forces attacked Federal forces. Since the Conferedates were on a fact-finding mission, the fighting was very small scale. It was occupied by the Union army in August 1863 and served as a supply depot and camp for the troops besieging Charleston. Folly Island stayed in Federal control for the rest of the war. It was used as the staging area for the Battle of Morris Island which was July–September 1863.8 Fort Wagner was located on Morris Island and was the site of the battle fought at the end of the 1989 film Glory.
Folly Beach is occasionally impacted by hurricanes passing up the Atlantic Coast in the form of wind, rain and heavy surf which causes beach erosion. The most recent hurricane to impact Folly Island was Hurricane Irene in 2011 which caused severe beach erosion and forced the closure of the Folly Beach County Park, a popular public beach access point.9
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "http://www.cityoffollybeach.com/about-folly-beach/history/"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://www.follybeachsouthcarolina.org/index.aspx?nid=16"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pirates/bbeard.html"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://www.charlestonpirates.com/stede_bonnet.html"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://www.follybeach.com/evolution.php"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://oceanica.cofc.edu/an%20educator'sl%20guide%20to%20folly%20beach/guide/FBHistory.htm"Access Date May 15, 2012
- "http://www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=61"Access Date May 15, 2012
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