Today we drove from Charleston to Beaufort, so that I could deliver book samples of "The Road to Frogmore" to potential outlets in the town where Laura Towne spent the last 40 years of her life working with the newly freed slaves. Stops included The Penn Center, where preparations were underway for their annual Heritage Days--then a wonderful sundries store that has set up shop in the very building where Mr. Hunn and daughter Lizzie opened their store in 1863 -- and then to the Boulder County Library. Successful ventures all, but the highlight of the day had more to do with a stop we made along the way.
I'm starting to work on a new historical novel -- this one based on the lives of the family who owned the house where the Roundheads made their headquarters during the Civil War. Mr. Leverett was an Episcopal minister, assigned to a church about 15 miles inland from Beaufort. The church already had a history of surviving wars. It was built in 1745 but burned by the British in 1779. It was rebuilt in 1826 and then burned again by the Yankees in 1865.
Its ruins still stand there in the well-kept churchyard -- silent sentinel to the destructive nature of men's disputes with one another. It's loss in 1865 may, in fact, hastened Rev. Leverett's death. Here's a circular look at the grounds and charred remains.