Florence National Cemetery
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Located a quarter mile north of the old Florence Stockade—which sadly provided many of the bodies for this site—Florence National Cemetery (803 E. National Cemetery Rd., 843/669-8783, daily dawn–dusk, free) was established as a national cemetery at the end of the Civil War. It contains remains of not only many of the Union POWs who perished a short distance away, but Confederate soldiers who gave their lives for the lost cause.
A large portion comprises graves of unknowns, but one exception is the final resting place of Florena Budwin, the first female interred at a national cemetery. Legend has it that Florena disguised herself as a man in order to follow her husband, a captain serving in a Pennsylvania regiment.
Her identity was discovered while she was imprisoned at the stockade, where she cared for injured Union soldiers until she fell ill and died shortly before war’s end. She has the only marked grave in Row 13.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition