McLeod Plantation stands along the Wappoo and Stono Rivers on James Island, just outside downtown Charleston, SC. First appearing on a map in 1695, it originated as a 617-acre plantation, though is now only 60 acres. It features an antebellum-style house, and a row of slave quarters that have remained surprisingly well-preserved. Belonging first to Morgan Morris, its ownership changed several times in the 18th century and was purchased by its namesake, William Wallace McLeod, in 1851.
McLeod Plantation was used for many purposes during the Civil War. On the Confederate side, it was used as headquarters for General Gist’s Brigade and other units, a commissary, and a field hospital. After Confederate troops fled Charleston on February 17, 1865, the Union troops took over McLeod and used it as a field hospital and officers’ quarters. Among those camped at the site were the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments, some of the first African-American units in the United States. Following the war, it became headquarters for the Freedmen’s Bureau.
In 1879, the McLeod family regained possession of the plantation. Knowing that his predecessors were unsuccessful with cotton cultivation, William Ellis McLeod raised potatoes, asparagus and dairy cattle on the site instead. He bequeathed the property to the Historic Charleston Foundation in his will in 1990, and in 2011 it was purchased by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, vowing to preserve and protect the historic site.
Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed McLeod Plantation, and as always, I love to hear from you! 🙂