THE COAST 61 Harrison County after the 3rd Mississippi Regiment of Pass Christian lost its flag to the Connecticut Infantry in a clash. Later survivors of the Connecticut unit returned the flag to Mississippi in 1885. Steed also established an outpost in Hancock County on the Pearl River and continued to operate a guerrilla warfare campaign against the Union, whose ever-tightening blockade left citizens in “a state of semi-starvation.” The Union blockade began early in 1861 when United States warships anchored off of southern coastlines. By 1862, the Mississippi Gulf Coast felt its effects. A squadron of Northern blockade ships appeared in the Gulf of Mexico and over time, effectively starved the people in the three coastal counties. President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States ordered General David Twiggs of East Pascagoula to command Department Number 1. This division of the Gulf Coast region included Louisiana and the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. Twiggs believed that control of Ship Island, twelve miles off the coast of Biloxi, would guarantee success in fulfilling this order. He was in an untenable situation, as mail and communication halted with the ever-tightening blockade. He did not have adequate resources and struggled to maintain control of Ship Island. On September 16, 1861, Twiggs ordered Ship Island abandoned. In October, he resigned his command of Department Number 1. Ship Island and Fort Massachusetts were so close to Hancock and Harrison counties they occupied much of the concerns of the coastal companies throughout the Civil War. The 3rd Regiment from Hancock County, approximately 800 men strong, saw some action in Kentucky but was mostly needed on the coast. Camp Lovell in Shieldsboro was where some of the men were stationed. Some were in Camp Goode, another local encampment. During the Civil War, these men offered small shipbuilding operations in Hancock County some protection from Northern invasions. Civilians in Hancock County hunkered down as the Civil War dragged on after 1862. The Union troops stationed in the region often raided and confiscated cattle and other goods and burned seized contraband lumber and cotton. Horses in the region disappeared as both armies needed them. Business came to a standstill along the Pearl River and in Shieldsboro, although some blockade running occurred through the back bayous and other more hidden waterways. Union soldiers burned the courthouse at Shieldsboro during a raid, but Father Henri Le Duc, the local priest, saved the town from destruction when he confronted the mostly Irish Catholic Northern soldiers. No major battles occurred in Hancock County during the Civil War, but many skirmishes and Union raids exacted a toll on the citizens. Moreover, a generation of men was lost in the war. Rebuilding After the War When the Civil War officially ended on April 9, 1865, Coast citizens who returned home found despair and much destruction. At the end of the conflict, only two of the original sawmills along the coast were operational. However, citizens soon began to engage in three proven endeavors—trade, tourism, and lumbering, even if those “watering places” that still existed were in a dilapidated state and few sawmills were workable. Nevertheless, the Mississippi Coast rebuilt on proven economic pursuits and new economic opportunities. In 1867, the Mississippi legislature outlined an election to determine the county seat once again for Hancock County. Bay St. Louis received the most votes, so it became the county seat even though the courthouse had been burned in the Civil War. It would not be until 1874 that citizens in Hancock County built a new wooden courthouse to replace the burned one. In 1911, the populace constructed the newest courthouse. The Neoclassical Revival–style two-story building cost $25,000 at that time, but after Hurricane Katrina damaged it in 2005, it cost $4.8 million to renovate. Today the Hancock County Courthouse is designated a Mississippi Landmark. By October 1867, steamboat service returned to the Mississippi coastal counties. With this, lumber mills opened again along with their satellite businesses, such as turpentine distilleries. Even more tantalizing were the rumblings that a railroad would arrive soon to connect Mobile and New Orleans. With the Mississippi coastal counties between these two cities, citizens waited for an economic boom, as railroad construction required lumber and other services. Pleasure activities also resurfaced by 1867, as yachting on the Bay of St. Louis resumed that year when the people of the community raised money and organized a sailing event. When the Civil War officially ended on April 9, 1865, Coast citizens who returned home found despair and much destruction.