Missy Brandt & Will West, who were instrumental in making yesterday’s commemoration a reality, pose in front of Darien’s Adam Strain Building, which survived (with damage) the town’s burning.
On June 11, 1863 the seaport of Darien was vandalized and burned by Federal forces stationed on nearby St. Simons Island. The town was largely deserted, most of its 500 residents having sought refuge inland. Lost were public buildings, churches, businesses and most private residences. Conducting the raid were units comprised of among the first African-American troops to serve the Union cause, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers under Col. Robert G. Shaw, and the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers under Col. James Montgomery. The burning of Darien, undefended and of little strategic importance, was one of the most controversial events of the Civil War. (Text of historic marker placed by the Lower Altamaha Historical Society and the Georgia Historical Society in 2001). The movie Glory was based loosely on the story of the 54th Massachusetts.
Reenactors of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Encampment get ready for the parade .
For a larger selection of photos from the event, please visit