Mike Coker describes the battle of Port Royal; On Nov. 7, 1861, a massive U. S. Naval fleet and U. S. Army expeditionary force sailed into Port Royal Sound, South Carolina defeating the outnumbered and outgunned Confederates defending Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard.  This pivotal battle shaped the direction of the Civil War and had a lasting impact on the postwar period known as Reconstruction.  Using a variety of historic images, this program explores the legacy of this nearly forgotten point in the history of the United States.

A bit about the speaker; As a South Carolina native Michael D. Coker grew up surrounded by history.   Visits to the areas many old homes, battlefields and historic sites convinced him to pursue a career in a field where he could continue to learn more.  From 2000-2009 he served as the curator of the visual materials collection at the South Carolina Historical Society.  During that time he authored numerous articles for “Charleston Magazine” covering various topics of South Carolina history. In 2006 he was a co-author of the S.C. Historical Society publication “Historic South Carolina- A Pictorial History.” In 2008 his first book “Charleston Curiosities: Stories of the Tragic, Heroic and Bizarre” was released, followed by “The Battle of Port Royal” in 2009.   He contributed the essay “The Civil War at Charleston” for The City of Charleston Tour Guide Training Manual.  From 2010-2015 he served as Assistant to the Director at the Old Exchange Building and the Old Slave Mart Museum.  For nearly 20 years he has introduced travelers to his home as licensed tour guide for the City of Charleston. He has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and appeared on the Smithsonian channel. He currently serves as the Executive Director at the Berkeley County Museum located at the Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner.