|View single post by Hellcat|
|Posted: Mon Oct 28th, 2013 04:57 am||
Root Beer Lover
|This next story begins in 1908, some 43 years after the war ended. This one comes from Nancy Robert's Ghosts of the Carolinas.
1908 in Deadwood, South Dakota, Francis Moore published a book. Moore had been an officer in Federal army and had served on Folly Island during the siege of Charleston and the book appears to have at least dealt with some of the activity of the siege. But Moore was only the one to tell the following events, he did not take part in them.
From April 3rd to July 10, 1863 the 62nd Ohio Infantry had taken part in the occupation of Folly Island, including action during the Skirmish of Folly Island. In preparation for the fighting to come General Gilmore ordered that all black residents of Folly Island be removed to Port Royal. Among those supervising the move was one Lt. Yokum of the 62nd. Yokum went to the house of an old woman and child, possibly her granddaughter/grandson or great granddaughter/great grandson or possibly just some child under her care as well as watching out for the old woman themselvesself, trying to get her to leave. She refused to leave and Yokum was forced to sit and listen to her, believing that showing her a little kindness would convince her that the Federal forces really did have her safety at heart.
The woman mentioned that her family had been living on Folly Island for a long time, dating back to the early part of the previous century. Some time as a little girl the woman, who appeared close to a hundred, and her family had witnessed pirates come ashore and bury six treasure chests, which she claimed were filled with gold, silver, and jewels, between a pair of nearby oaks. With the chests in the hole the pirate captain proceeded to run one of his men through. The victim fell into the hole and the pirates quickly buried them and the treasure chests before leaving the area. It may have been just in time to for apparently as soon as there ship was out of sight a British man of war appeared on the horizon searching for pirates.
The story of a treasure naturally interested Yokum and he asked if it had ever been dug up. The old woman told him it never had as the family was too afraid of the ghost created by the pirate captain to guard the treasure. In fact no one dared go near the spot for that reason. After this Yokum managed to convince the old woman and child to board the boat. Who knows what he said to her to convince her to leave. Maybe it was that she just needed a little kindness. Maybe he didn't give her a choice. Or maybe she had been serving sentry over the spot and needed to pass on her knowledge to someone else so that they could then take up her role. Whatever the case Lt. Yokum succeeded in getting her to leave. And with her and the child safely out of the way Yokum returned to the 62nd Ohio's camp and related her story to his friend Lt. Hatcher.
It was just before the witching hour, which we all know is when the creatures of the night are said to come out, when Yokum and Hatcher stole from their camp and returned to the old black woman's cabin, shovels in hand to unearth the long buried ill gotten booty. There was no breeze in the air to cool the evening. So perhaps it should have been a bit strange that the tops of the to oaks began to rustle as the treasure hunters approached. But then thoughts of gold and silver and jewels undoubtedly were all that occupied their minds.
Find a spot directly between the two oaks the men began t dig. There was a sudden flash of lightning, causing them to look up. Yokum searched for signs of an impending summer thunderstorm but to hi surprise the lightning was not accompanied by thunder of any kind. It was Hatcher who noted the change in the trees, their tops were now being buffeted as if by a strong wind though there is no mention of if either man could feel one. Most likely not as the men did not feel a breeze earlier when the tree tops were merely rustling.
The men returned to their digging. This time they did feel a wind as it blew sand against their faces and shirtless bodies. Perhaps it was they were willing to tolerate the blowing sand as it offered some relief from the heat of the night. But as they continued to dig the noiseless lightning became a constant companion, at times illuminating the darkness so that they could see each other as if it were daylight. And following one particularly long flash the two men suddenly realized they were no longer alone.
There, beside them was a figure dressed clearly like a pirate from days gone by. Neither man waited for anything to be said or even for a ghostly cackle or scream. They quickly fled the site and returned to the 62nd's camp. Once their they agreed to never tell another sole what they saw. The next day the 62nd went into action on Morris Island. In the days t come the regiment would take part in the infamous assault on Fort Wagner. Both men would be decorated for bravery. But not once during the war or in the years following it did either man relate the story of what happened. It wasn't until years after Hatcher had passed away that Yokum would relate the tale to his friend, Francis Moore.
Now for those saying "but the woman couldn't have been alive during the age of piracy" here is something to think about. Even though the golden age of piracy ended around the 1730s, the US would be dealing with coastal pirates well into the 19th century. So it would be possible for someone born prior to the Revolution and in their 90s or early 100s might still have witnessed pirates burying treasure.
But did Yokum and Hatcher really see the ghost of a the long dead pirate or did they find his skeleton wrapped in the tatters of it's 18th century clothing. And if they did see a ghost, is the treasure still there to be found? Surely by now that old cabin and one or both of the oaks gone. After all the city of Folly Beach is located of the island. Is it possible the treasure was dug up by some city developer long ago. Or has the treasure some home managed to remain buried, waiting for a modern treasure hunter with modern equipment to come along and find it?