For generations, residents and visitors have enjoyed Neptune Park, named for Neptune Small, a faithful servant of Thomas Butler King family at Retreat Plantation, now home of the Sea Island Golf Club. Born into slavery in 1831, Neptune accopanied one of the King sons, Henry Lord Page King, as manservant when he enlisted in the Confederate Army. During the battle of Fredericks- burg in 1862, Captain King volunteered for a dangerous mission and was killed. When night fell, Neptune retrieved King's body and brought it home for burial in the family burial ground at Christ Church, Frederica, St. Simons. Although he could have chosen to remain at home, Neptune returned to war as manservant to the youngest King son, R. Cuyler King. After the war the King family gave this portion of Retreat Plantation to Neptune who, as a freedman, had chosen "Small" as his last name for his slight stature. Neptune died in 1907 and is buried in the Retreat burial ground. This marker and live oak tree are given and dedicated by Sea Island Company to his memory.
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