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Sep 05, 2017

Contrabands at Spanish Wells Plantation, Hilton Head Island, SC, March 14, 1862

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On 13 March 1862, Captain J.D. Campbell listed contrabands at Spanish Wells Plantation on Hilton Head Island, in response to an order by Major J.M. Kilbourn of the 45th Pennsylvania Regiment, United States Army1

Written in the margin of the list is the following:

Spanish Wells

March 13, 1862


In Carrying Out your order of the 12th inst, I have given the names, and ages, of male and female “Contrabands” in Separate Columns. Those names marked Thus xx at at present employed at Fort [Illegible]. all express a desire to engage in the Cultivation of the landas free labourers. I have not, at any time, had any of the Blacks employed in the service of the Government.

The Negroes represent themselves as belonging (prior to the bombardment of the late rebel Forts in the vicinity of Port Royal), to four Young ladies, heiresse’s of the late “William Baynard” dec’d”, the proper. being now in the hands of his executor, Ephraim Baynard.

Believing the foregoing to meet all the points in your order, I am


Your Obedient Servant

Capt. J.D. Campbell

Commanding [illegible]

Spanish Wells, S.C.

To Maj. J.M. Kilbourn


List of Names of Contrabands Within the Limits of Captain J.D. Campbell’s Command, Spanish Wells, S.C.2

[table id=13 /]

Related Documents

In his report, Campbell notes that the contrabands listed were enslaved by four heiresses of the estate of the late William Baynard. William Baynard may be William Eddings Baynard (2 Feb 1800-1849). In his will, made 13 Aug 1849 in Savannah, Georgia, Baynard appoints his brother Ephraim Baynard and four others as Executors of his estate. To his wife Catherine A. Baynard he left a dwelling house and furniture in Savannah, Georgia. He willed that the remainder of his estate be divided among his children who were living at the time of his death3.

Baynard’s estate inventory, made 31 July 1850, lists only six house servants in Savannah. His South Carolina slave holdings were not included in the estate inventory filed in Savannah4. Probate records for Beaufort, South Carolina were destroyed by fire in February of 1865 in Columbia, South Carolina, where they had been sent for safekeeping during the Civil War. 

A search of did not point to any archival manuscripts of Baynard family papers held in archives.

Suggestions for Further Research

Although no probate records survive for Beaufort, South Carolina before 1865, antebellum church records may contain the names of people enslaved by William A. Baynard. 

To learn more about Spanish Wells Plantation, see “Spanish Wells Plantation,” Heritage Library, Hilton Head,, accessed 1 Sep 2017.

If you find an ancestor’s name on this list, there are several avenues of research you can pursue next. Here are some starting points:

References Cited

[1] Pennsylvania at Antietam: Report of the Antietam Battlefield Memorial Commission of Pennsylvania and Ceremonies at the Dedication of the Monuments Erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Mark the Position of Thirteen of the Pennsylvania Commands Engaged in the Battle … Antietam Battlefield Memorial Commission, 1906.

[2] “United States Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866,” images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Records by Number and Date > 00821-01078, Mar.-Apr. 1862 > image 464 of 1211; citing NARA microfilm publication M416 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[3] Will of William E. Baynard, Chatham County, Georgia Will Book G-H, 1827-1852, pp. 393-398. Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Georgia County, District and Probate Courts. Wills, 1775-1927; Author: Georgia. Court of Ordinary (Chatham County); Probate Place: Chatham, Georgia. 

[4] Estate Inventory of William E. Baynard, “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Chatham > Inventories and appraisements 1850-1861 > image 30 of 384; county probate courthouses, Georgia.