The Beaufort Arsenal Museum is located on 713 Craven Street in Beaufort, South Carolina. Many relics of nature, war and early industry are housed there. Once an arsenal, this building was constructed in 1798 of brick and tabby.
Construction of the Beaufort Arsenal was begun in 1795 and was completed by 1799. Construction was entrusted to Col. Thomas Talbird. The building had deteriorated substantially by 1852, when the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery Company rebuilt the complex “on the foundation of the old Arsenal a building capable of accommodating a garrison of 250 men and a battery of six guns.” The Beaufort Volunteer Artillery was organized in April, 1775 and is the fifth oldest military unit in the United States.
It has taken part in every war fought by this nation, including the Revolutionary War. For years it was housed in or connected with the Beaufort Arsenal. The building was enlarged and renovated in a 1934 WPA project. The Beaufort Museum occupied one of the wings and the National Guard occupied the main building. The city-owned Beaufort Museum now occupies the entire site. The two brass trophy guns in the yard were captured from the British in 1779 and seized by Union soldiers at the fall of Fort Walker in 1861. They were returned to Beaufort after 1880.
The Beaufort Arsenal was the home of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, which traced its formation to an earlier company organized in 1776 and served in the Revolutionary War. The BVA was stationed at Fort Beauregard during the Battle of Port Royal on November 7, 1861.