The Civil War: 150 years later

On a foggy day near Christmas 1860, a delegation of South’s Carolina wealthiest, most powerful citizens – planters, judges, legislators and clergy, all white men – assembled at Columbia’s stately red brick-columned First Baptist Church to contemplate smashing the Palmetto State’s bond with the United States of America.
Within hours, the assembly adopted a resolution that [...]

Sesquicentennial of Civil War should be commemorated

THE ISSUE: 150th anniversary of Civil War; OUR OPINION: Observances are not to be about celebration
The question was this: “How does visiting here make you feel?”
It came from a native Northerner, a newspaper editor accompanying a group of journalists from around the country to the Civil War battleground of Gettsyburg, scene of one of the [...]

The Civil War: 150 years later

On a foggy day near Christmas 1860, a delegation of South Carolina’s wealthiest, most powerful citizens – planters, judges, legislators and clergy, all white men – assembled at Columbia’s stately red brick-columned First Baptist Church to contemplate smashing the Palmetto State’s bond with the United States of America.
Within hours, the assembly adopted a resolution that [...]

A civil sesquicentennial

Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of South Carolina’s secession from the Union. Charleston’s place as the setting of that historic event and of the fateful firing on Fort Sumter less than five months later forever mark this city as center stage for the Civil War’s start.
And as our community, state and nation mark the sesquicentennial [...]

The Happiest Man in the South

As befitted statesmen who had gathered together to do – so they believed – the Lord’s own work, the delegates met in a holy sanctuary: the austere, neoclassical First Baptist Church of Columbia. The secession convention of the state of South Carolina (soon, almost certainly, to become the independent and sovereign Republic of South Carolina) [...]

Secessionists were clear about their cause: slavery

ONE HUNDRED fifty years after our state seceded from the United States, precipitating the secession of our sister states and, ultimately, the Civil War, there is heated disagreement over just what that secession and war were about. Those who insist that it was fought over slavery and those who insist that it was all about [...]

Celebrate or commemorate: Debate rages over Civil War anniversary

Organizers of Civil War anniversary events sought Wednesday to distance themselves from a ball being held Monday to celebrate secession.
“I won’t be going,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said after a news conference held at the Historic Charleston Foundation’s headquarters on East Bay Street, where the mayor and those organizing events to commemorate the 150th anniversary [...]

Historic Columbia house lets you get in touch with Christmas past

If you want a break from Christmas present and future with no iPads, computers or video games, there’s a special place you can visit for a taste of Christmas past.
Step into the Hampton-Preston Mansion, and time stands still. The historic home on Blanding Street is decked in 19th Century holiday fashion.
“We’re focusing on 1860, the [...]

What has S.C. learned since the Civil War centennial?

I remember the Civil War centennial. I was a mere lad at the time, but images remain. There was enthusiasm throughout the country, but nowhere more than in South Carolina, where it all began.
As historian Robert Cook has written in his book, Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961-1965, the commemoration nearly collapsed out [...]

Civil War anniversary celebrations stir race debate

At South Carolina’s Secession Gala, men in frock coats and militia uniforms and women in hoopskirts will sip mint juleps as a band called Unreconstructed plays “Dixie.”
In Georgia, they will re-enact the state’s 1861 secession convention. And Alabama will hold a mock swearing-in of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
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