Patsy Buck didn’t need much persuasion.

When the matriarch of Upper Mill Plantation heard about Horry County’s Patriot Trees project, she knew of a dozen live oaks on her family’s land that would be perfect for the program.

“It’s just historically significant because the sons of Henry Buck did fight for the Confederacy,” she said. “What better way to honor them?”

Horry County Patriot Trees is a joint effort of the county, local garden clubs, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Horry County Historical Society.

The groups are labeling certain trees with QR codes to honor the nearly 1,000 Horry County soldiers who served in the Civil War. The garden clubs are tasked with finding the trees while the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the historical society are providing the research on the soldiers.

Anyone who swipes a tree’s QR code with a cell phone or other mobile device will be able to access information about the individual soldier being honored and about the program itself.

Nestled along the banks of the Waccamaw River, Upper Mill Plantation is the first site to participate in the program. County officials will hold a ceremony at the plantation at 11 a.m. on Feb. 28.

Adam Emrick, a senior planner with Horry County Government, said all the men who will be recognized at Upper Mill had ties to the Bucksville area. The county is also dedicating one tree to Henry McCall, a slave who went with one of the Bucks to fight in the war.

“[McCall] went with him from the plantation,” Patsy Buck said. “He’s also being honored.”

Her late husband, Henry Buck IV, was a descendant of the original Henry Buck, one of the earliest settlers in an area south Conway known as Bucksville.

The original Henry Buck was a Maine native who moved to South Carolina in 1820 and found success in the lumber industry.

His descendants restored the old Buck farmhouse in the 1980s.

County officials initially planned to hold a kickoff ceremony for Patriot Trees at Upper Mill late last year, but they had some setbacks.

One of the reasons for the delay, Emrick said, was that the researchers working on the project gathered numerous details about each soldier.

“It’s far more than we expected and far more than we really needed for this project,” he said. “We’re going to try to lighten the level of research.”

Once the Upper Mill effort is finished, county officials will turn to Vereen Gardens, where they plan to highlight 11 trees along a marsh.

That ceremony is scheduled for April 25 and Emrick said other garden clubs are already lining up to hold their own events across the county.

Charles D. Perry • 488-7258

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