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Christ Church was among the first of the Charles Town colony's 10 parishes to be organized under the Church Act of 1706. Because the Church of England was the colony's state church, parishes represented more than just a religious confederation; Anglican church vestries also served as local civic leaders.
The first wooden church erected here in 1706 burned in a 1725 forest fire. The brick and stucco building you see today was built the following year. Just north of the church is the original vestry house, c. 1751.
Charles Town fell to the British during the American Revolution in 1780 and was occupied for nearly two years. As the British evacuated the city, they burned many of the places and things in the path of their retreat, including Christ Church. Though the interior of the church was destroyed, the walls you see today remained standing. Parishioners rebuilt the church's interior in 1788.
During the last months of the American Civil War, the church and its graveyard were occupied by the 21st Massachusetts Regiment, an African-American calvary unit. Their valued horses were stabled in the church building, while the men camped around the graveyard. Members of the 21st Massachusetts were the first to enter Charleston after its fall on Feb. 18, 1865, The church's interior was stripped bare for use as firewood. It was again rebuilt by 1874.
The churchyard contains about 900 souls, dating back from the mid-1700s to today. Some of those buried here include:
Christ Church and U.S. Highway 17 in the early 20th century.