When the Southern Lights Went Dark

By Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford

Globe Pequot, Softcover, 424 pages, www.globepequot.com

Mother (Mary Louise, author of 26 books, many about lighthouses and the U.S. Civil War) and daughter (Candace, who died in 2018) joined their research for this book on the restoration and relighting of the southern lighthouses that went dark even before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour to start the U.S. Civil War in 1861. Prior to the war, the U.S. had lighthouse districts that were run centrally by the Light-House Board in Washington, but things went sideways during the Civil War, and the Confederacy or sympathizers shut down lighthouses that they controlled. The structures were damaged during the war years and, after the war, local civilians were found to repair the structures, find the lenses, and get the lighthouses back in working order, with the help of Washington. It was a monumental task, but lighthouses from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke and Tybee Island to St. Simons Island, were restored and resumed their important role of warning sailors about hazardous shoals in these areas. This is the story of each of these lighthouses and how they were saved.

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