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Old 02-17-2017, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

William Tecumseh Sherman's army of 60,000 Federal soldiers were settled into the city of Savannah late in December of 1864. The city surrendered without a fight and was spared their wrath. His men rested, resupplied, and enjoyed the holidays, making plans to turn northward into South Carolina. After leaving Atlanta in November, their march had been almost completely unopposed, as the Confederates troops were disorganized, widely spread, and very few in number.
Although there had been widespread vandalism, theft of livestock, food, and personal possessions, few houses were burned. This concept of warfare against the home front of civilians was new, the people were understandably full of terror and dread. The stories, real or exaggerated, spread out before the march of the menacing force, by either letter, newspapers, word of mouth, or by large numbers of fleeing families who were trying to find a safe haven. One frequent destination was Columbia, South Carolina. Over a period of time, with the long running Union attempts to capture Charleston and these new refugees, the city population more than doubled in size to 20,000 people and with these people came their valued belongings. These newly deposited fortunes and possessions of all types and descriptions, greatly enriched the already wealthiest and most beautiful city in the entire nation, by many contemporary opinions.
South Carolina College Professor Joseph LeConte, disturbed by the reports of the happenings in the Peach State, traveled to a small town a little west of the conquered port city to retrieve Sallie, a niece, who had been visiting family there. On the way back began one of the most intriguing experiences that were to play out concerning the entire rampage of this invading army. With the girl in tow, they just missed the train they needed to return home and watched it as it pulled away from the depot, filled with similarly frightened citizens that sought to escape the area. Just as the train began to pick up steam and to speed away, it suddenly came to a stop. A man, unknown to LeConte, waved them to board the train and room was found for them to board. The stranger and LeConte struck up a friendship and completed their journey with no further difficulty.

Around dusk of February 15, 1865, parts of Sherman's army arrived across the Congaree River, but could not see Columbia due to a heavy fog shrouding it. Everyone was on pins and needles, uncertain if they should evacuate or if the Confederates would finally pitch a battle to defend and defeat the enemy. Upon entering the state, accounts of atrocities greatly worsened and a sixty to seventy mile width path was looted, ravaged, burned and destroyed almost everything in the horde's path. The sister states of Georgia and later, North Carolina, were treated with velvet gloves by comparison.

It was in this setting that on that same evening, the mysterious stranger showed up at the LeConte house, located inside the walled campus of the school, unexpected and unannounced. Once inside, he provided startling information. Calling himself Charles Davis, which he admitted was not his real name, said he was a 20 year old Southerner from Kentucky and claimed to be a cavalryman with a Confederate unit, but had been serving as a spy. He indicated he was well trusted and friends with officers of Sherman's army and knew their maneuvers. LeConte served as a chemist for the Confederates and had been ordered to leave the city with his laboratory. He was to leave with his brother-in-law who lived nearby. Davis was most insistent that the man leave, immediately, even offering his horse if it would speed up the process. Emma LeConte, a 17 year old daughter, asked the visitor the fate of the city, but no answer could be prodded aside the admission that it would alarm them too much. Prior to LeConte leaving around 12:30 AM, the spy promised his house and family would remain safe as would that of his brother-in-law. Davis and Emma continued to talk until 3 AM, when she went to bed, with he sleeping in the parlor. When she awoke at 7 AM, the man was gone.

During the day of the 16th, Union artillery began to fire on the city from across the river, targeting the shell of walls for the new State House which was far from completed and on number of black citizens who Sherman saw carrying off food supplies on Gervais Street. Since Sherman wanted the food for his own men, he ordered the cannons to rid the people on the street. During the cannonade, Mr, Davis returned to the LeConte home. He brought more news. He told them that the city would be evacuated. This was hours before anyone else, including the mayor had been informed. Once again, he spent the night with the family before leaving. When the Confederate troops did begin to leave, he seemed to be keenly interested. This increased the suspicion of the household that he was really a Yankee spy.

Around 8 AM of February 17, 1865, Mayor Goodwyn and three alderman rode down River Drive, in a carriage that displayed a white flag, seeking out the first Union soldiers to have crossed over the river and headed toward the city. They met troops under the command of Colonel Stone a few minutes later and unconditionally surrendered the defenseless and uncontested city with the promise that Columbia and its citizens would not be harmed (by pure coincidence, the exact spot of the surrender was across the street from my grandparents house). Repeated assurances by Stone and Sherman, himself, given again to the mayor and other prominent citizens promised the same thing over the next several hours.

Once the troops were established and in control, Professors LaBorde, Reynolds, and Rivers awaited their arrival at the gate of the campus wall. When they did appear, they were informed that the campus served as a hospital for 200 sick and wounded Confederate and Union men. They requested guards for protection of it and the library. Captain Young agreed to post guards inside and outside the walls, but remarked his surprise at the size involved. Outside the front entrance, the guards built a wooden shed for their use.

The numerous fires that doomed the city broke out about 7 PM, right after sunset. Eventually, the sparks from the major conflagration blew over unto the houses and buildings inside the college walls, setting numerous roofs afire. Included in these were the homes of Professors LaBorde and Rivers. Every available man on campus, such as surgeons, nurses, servants, professors, and even some Union medical personnel who went to help at the hospital earlier in the day,went to fire the fires. Everyone but the assigned guards. Doctor Thomson went to a Union Officer and asked him if he would see his own men burnt alive. At that, he and his guards helped fight the fire at the hospital and a couple more helped at other buildings. This all out effort to save the buildings left the patients inside the hospital unattended. Those who were able, crawled out of the building out onto a grassy area away from the blaze. Many left in their cots were forced to await whatever their fate might hold. It was later determined that of those who crawled outside, 20 later died from the bitter cold and exhaustion of effort and weakness from their wounds or other ills. Many of the Confederate soldiers unable to leave the hospital died, most likely from smoke inhalation. No count was reported of this group of victims.

All the fires at South Carolina College were extinguished by 4 AM of the following morning and no structures were lost, but the danger was not over. Shortly after 7 AM, roughly 150 drunken cavalrymen arrived at the gate, armed with torches, threatening to burn the school down. Many other schools and churches had been deliberately looted, desecrated, and torched in the city up to that point. One guard ran to get the professors to tell them they did not have enough men and would soon be overwhelmed. Dr. Thomson, LaBorde, and Rivers raced off to the nearby Headquarters of Union General O. O. Howard, whose troops were charged with the security of the city. Howard told his Chief of Staff, Colonel Stone to handle it. Stone pulled his revolver out and followed the men to the gate. The colonel confronted the troublemakers and begrudgingly, they rode away. The school was finally secure.

The population that did not evacuate Columbia and faced the night of thousands of terror filled women, children, and old men. The vast majority of them were destitute, hungry, and cold. There were three main areas of town they wandered to in an attempt to find some place of respite. One was Sydney Park, and another was the grounds of the State Asylum on Bull Street. Those two places found these poor souls still tormented, in various ways by groups of roaming soldiers. The third place was inside the walls of the college, where they were not harassed. Included in this group was Mayor Goodwyn, exhausted and in shock, like everyone else.

When Sherman prepared to march away, a couple of days later, he was asked to leave guns for protection against criminals, medicine, and some food for the starving populace. He left behind 100 rifles of the poorest condition, with minimal shot and powder, a small cigar sized box of medicine, and 560 head of cattle, all of which were stolen en route to Columbia. Many were skinny from lack of available feed. Some 15-20 of them dropped dead each day. These cattle were corralled inside the 20 acres of the walls of South Carolina College.

Remember the mysterious spy, Charles Davis? True to his word, the houses of Mr. LeConte and his brother-in-law were neither disturbed or burned during those horrific hours. He was never seen by the family again and his true identity remains unknown. In Sherman's wartime writings, he mentioned sending spies into Columbia, so Davis was likely one of them, unless he was as he suggested, a double spy. One last surprised remained. Following the day after his last visit, a servant was straightening up a book case in the parlor. He found a slip of paper revealing two crudely drawn interlocking hearts and words expressing friendship, apparently for Emma.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

I wrote the above information a couple of years ago on another Gamecock site and all that follows to several questions I had been asked. While I will not repeat those questions, I will add most of the replies for additional information for those who have interest:
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I pulled out about 15 or 16 books from my home library on the subject and pertinent side topics. I have almost 200 books on the war (out of about 1,100 plus books on a wide variety of history and other non historical topics) and have read about it since I first learned to read, in 1960. I had to reread parts of books I read decades ago to brush up on specifics and read two or three more books I had never gotten around to before now, and huge chunks out of other books. Took me a little over two weeks to research and I was also reading a few books on other topics ( one on a subject during the Revolutionary War and another one with a Biblical topic). Never tried to handle so many books at once.

26 pages of notes on the topic to prove without a shadow of a doubt to anyone who has common sense and honesty to see it. Sadly, too many historians these days take the easy way out or the PC way out and that is deplorable.
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The cotton excuse is a tried and true, but incredibly faulty crutch historians have used to paint Sherman and his men in a better light. It goes back to studying the endless accounts of both sides of what happened, right down to Union Generals.. Without going into a very long explanation, whatever role the cotton may have played (and it was not fired by Confederates), was so minor, in the end, it is almost meaningless. other than a baseless excuse to blame the victims. The city was going to be burned that night, no matter what. It was a non factor.

Sherman lie, many times and kept changing his story and that is just for starters. In fact, the USC professor's book is "Sherman's Flame and the Blame Campaign".

The Union soldiers had the motive, manpower, and means to do it. They said they were going to burn the city for over a month prior, they bragged of doing it during the fire and they bragged of it, at least some, until they day they died. They even sang a song about burning Columbia as they marched into the city.

All Northerners hated SC far more than any other state and hated its citizens far more. Many hamlets, towns, and cities in SC were burned before and after Columbia and several times the Federals made baseless claims the towns were burned by others, but not them, You really think they were going to essentially remove a 60 mile plus width swath of SC off the map and spare the state capital where the idea to leave the Union originated and of the state where the first shots of the war occurred? Then Sherman called his men off as they entered NC. They did almost no destructive work to civilian property or stealing and were even told by Sherman to be polite as he wanted to be on good terms in a future, post war political sense. He had also promised many Georgians that SC would receive far worse and stirred the pot of animosity that they should feel for our state and people. Everything the man did was calculated.

After being a cop for about 1/3 of a century, you become a good judge of character and human nature and how people often act in certain circumstances. Sherman and his men were guilty as sin, in every regard. They did not just burn. They raped. murdered, assaulted, robbed, desecrated churches and graves, endangered the old and sick and small children and even cruelly taunted a woman during childbirth and much more. They were having the times of their lives.
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There are individual cases where Union soldiers did good, protective work in Columbia similar to the guards at USC, but they are pretty rare, indeed.

Most of the faulty history that has been repeated stems from Sherman trying to lay blame elsewhere for the purpose of making him and his men look good as they became national heroes up North when they captured Savannah and he was exceptionally proud of his men. He did not want to tarnish it by the barbarities which followed.

Sherman made many outlandish claims such as his men saved the city or that he rode several blocks through the city and did not see one act of vandalism or looting or men out of control. Odd how everyone else did and how one of his staff members rode up to Sherman and begged him to call his men off, but as he said, that Sherman "turned a deaf ear" on him. Ignored him.

You need to see the timeline of events by eyewitness accounts, from both sides to discount many claims and other factors that I won't go into detail. Also, study Sherman, himself, and his comments during and after the war. Chilling. He strongly hinted at the need for Southern genocide, for man, woman, and child, to end the war and the need to repopulate the South with Northerners. Similar genocide claims later for the Native Americans out West. He indicated to Union POWs he saw in Columbia and indicated that he felt it were better if there were no POW's, Better for them to die for their own sake and to benefit those still waging war. Sherman's army was within a day or two of Andersonville POW Camp in Georgia and could have easily rescued them, but did not want to be slowed down by them or have to feed them, so he left them where they were.

He also blamed the war on the slaves and cotton and wished there were both in hell. Yep, I would not believe anything that man said. He wasn't thought crazy earlier in the war by Northerners for no reason at all.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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It was common practice for the Union to confiscate cotton and send it up North for them to sell to Europe for big bucks. The men (mostly the officer) that seized the cotton got a nice reward and many got rich from the practice. Sherman did not want the cotton, as again, it would slow him down and it would cause more transportation woes. He said so in at least one of his wartime communications not to take the cotton.

Hampton and his men were miles away before the cotton ever burned and a minister saw Union troops laying about on the bales, smoking and set it on fire. Sherman blamed the blacks and then released prisoners from the jail, then the rescued Union POW's, and then Hampton for these fires. When those few bales caught, the minister estimated about 50 bales, the FD was no more than 100 feet away and were on the scene, at once to put it out. Many Union soldiers were standing about, but none moved to help. The fire was put out and before the FD could return back to their station, several soldiers bayoneted their fire hoses several times to make them useless. Even so, one Union soldier wrote that the bales were soaked and the street was covered by the water. After the huge blazes burned the city, the bales were still so soaked, they never burned.

If the Confederates had fired the bales before the Union troops had arrived, it would have already been catastrophic, but Hampton sent out written orders to his men not to burn the cotton as it might provide an excuse for Sherman to blame them for burning the city (how prophetic). Now, there may have been more than one set of bales burning, as one Union General remarked he saw a few bales smoldering but nothing than a dozen men with tin cups could not handle and that they were contained (not sure if those may have been the same bales mentioned earlier, or not).

Went Sherman and the Mayor strolled through a part of town in that area, Sherman had a interesting question as to the condition of the FD's equipment. When told they were in good shape, he replied that it was good to know.

The first troops enter Columbia shortly after 8 AM, the fires did not begin until 7 PM. Burning cotton or smoldering cotton would not take more than 11 hours to erupt. The biggest fallacy of those who claim the cotton caused the fire was everyone, North and South, Sherman, included, that there was a gale force wind blowing from the NW all day and night long. The bale of cotton were over a mile away from where the fires sprang up and with such a strong wind, any cotton bits could not defy such a strong and steady gale wind and travel so far in the opposite direction. The fires, also all began in the NW corners of the street blocks which were burned and there were thousands of witnesses that observed or were victims of many bands of Union troops setting those fires many using cotton, themselves to help the flames start easily, not to mention rosins, tar, even kerosene. The soldiers knew the direction of the wind and were taking advantage of it to do much of their burning work for them. Emma LeConte wrote the day following the fire that all the stories are difficult to keep straight (about the fire, vandalism, looting, etc,) because they all sound so similar. There are other reasons to discount the fire starting, but that is good enough.
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Like I said, there are many accounts through many books that tell the truth, if one takes the time to read them and use common sense, as well as the motive and anger and ease of opportunity to learn who set the fires. What I wrote in previous posts are just a few. Like I said, I came up with 26 pages of handwritten notes and I spent roughly two weeks reading, although I already knew of the accounts, I wanted to get exact quotes, exact time frames, etc. as I had not read on the topic in several years. The moment Sherman pitched the idea to Grant (who was the overall commander of Union armies) to take troops from Nashville (still leaving 30,000 or 40,000 behind) to march through the South, he knew exactly what would happen, if he could push back the half sized Confederate Army of the Tennessee (the western forces, not to be confused with the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Lee, who was soon in a prolonged siege in Richmond and St. Petersburg, VA). After a few, sharp, pitched battles, President Jefferson Davis changed commanders opposing Sherman. The new commander (often under the effect of heavy drugs to ease the pain of multiple war wounds which cost him, literally, an arm and a leg) decided instead of fighting Sherman, he would turn his attention to the smaller Union Army still in Nashville. A couple of ill advised, ill planned attacks on his fortified, entrenched foe, utterly destroyed the Confederate Army in the west, leaving almost no one in Sherman's path the rest of the way. This shattered group then limped off to Northern Alabama to spend the winter, further away from Sherman. Sherman kept dividing his huge force so the few Confederate forces left before him (we are talking a few hundred men or a couple of thousand to oppose him in his march, by this time in a couple different groups.) also split up, not sure where he was headed, making it even more impossible to stop the march.

When Sherman got to Savannah, it was the first contact he had with Grant or Lincoln is several weeks. He then got a great scare. Grant wanted Sherman to board his men on ships and transport them to Virginia where they could unite and overwhelm Lee and end the war. Sherman did not want this, as it would mean he could not go through the Carolinas and it would escape the full fury of he and his men. Grant relented and let Sherman continue his rampage as there were insufficient ships available to transport all his men and supplies in a short amount of time.

The USC professor who I will attend a lecture today is Patricia McNeely. She wrote a book last year called Sherman's Flame and Blame Campaign. I did not learn of the book until about a month ago and not bought it, yet. Go to Amazon, under books and type in the title. You can click on the cover to see inside it and there you will scan down to a very brief Introduction. It sounds like I wrote it (and I did not read the intro until a minute or two before I made this post). It mentions some of the exact points I have already made and I can easily tell it contains tons of the same material I went through).

Here are the books I pulled out of my home library that I used to make most of my arguments:

"Sherman's Army Marches Into South Carolina & Lexington County" - Louise J. Riley

"Who Burnt Columbia?" - James Guiguard Gibbes (the day after the fire, the mayor was mentally and physically unable to continue and Gibbes was appointed to take over)

"The Sack and Destruction of Columbia, South Carolina" - by William Gilmore Simms (Simms was considered the top historian in America at the time of the war. He wrote landmark history of SC in 1860, and later, his daughter wrote histories of the state that were used for many decades to teach schoolchildren in the state, even up to the time I was a kid).

"When the World Ended" - The Diary of Emma LeConte"

"South Carolina Civilians In Sherman's Path" - Karen Stokes

"Sherman's March" - Burke Davis

"War Crimes Against Southern Civilians" - Walter Brian Cisco

"A Carnival of Destruction - Sherman's Invasion Of South Carolina" - Tom Elmore

"Kill-Cavalry - The Life Of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick" - Samuel J. Smith (probably the worst General of note on either side of the war and of whom Sherman even
called him a fool, but added he wanted a fool (to do the job he had in mind) and was widely disliked by most people, including his own men. He led Sherman's cavalry of several thousand men aside from Sherman's 60,000 infantry. He was probably the worst vandal in the army. Anderson Cooper of CNN, is a direct descendant of Kilpatrick.

"Columbia - Capital City Of South Carolina 1786-1936" - Helen Kohn Hennig (another great state historian of long ago)

'"Columbia & Richland County - A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990' - John Hammond Moore

"Tales Of Columbia" - Nell S. Graydon

'Cry Heart - Personal Experiences of the War Between the States" - Compiled by Lee Jacobs
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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Kilpatrick was incredibly lucky, in a fashion, as I know two additional incidents in SC where he escaped either capture or death by pure luck.

He was a womanizer to the extent that would make JFK or Bill Clinton look like the Gerber baby. Got a camp follower, servant girl pregnant and dumped her, after the war was made US Ambassador to a South American country and got the President's daughter pregnant and left the country, without her.

He wanted to be President and that is why he was always trying to get his name in the papers of his war deeds (he was notorious for falsification of his reports to make his failures and near disasters look like great victories by he and his men). He died a few short years after the war of some problem with one of his internal organs.

He was always putting his men in dangerous, reckless situations as Kilpatrick knew only one tacit...Charge!!! At he battle of Gettysburg, he got into an argument with a high ranking subordinate and out of his petty anger ordered the man and some cavalry to make a charge of entrenched infantry. The officer protested the foolishness of it and when Kilpatrick accused him of cowardice, the officer made the charge under protest. As expected, the horsemen had no chance and had severe, needless casualties. The officer in question was killed, no doubt to the satisfaction of Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick also concocted an idea to make a daring raid with cavalry on Richmond to free Union POWs there and one other thing. An officer of his led a second small group in the raid. Kilpatrick's group pulled off the raid and never made it, instead, rode around the countryside, leaving the other group by themselves, unaware they were alone. They were discovered just outside Richmond and in a short exchange of gunfire, the lead officer was killed. Found inside his pocket were signed orders for this officer to find and kill Jefferson Davis and as much of his cabinet as possible. This was printed in Southern papers. The Northern Press denied it, saying it was a forgery.

Never understood why Kilpatrick wasn't booted out of the army. Maybe because he was so foolish and reckless, but a fighter, he was allowed to stay.
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Ladies and Germs, anyone who wants to know the absolute truth about the burning of Columbia, I just got back from the lecture by the USC Emeritus Professor and it was better than superb. She said she wrote the book because she never understood why the myths of it kept being repeated when the truth was right in front of everyone. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

In a fast moving lecture, she told in infinite detail all she had time for and mimicked all the information had I recently compiled and shared snippets of in this thread. She nailed it. When I have time, I will read the book, but I did pick up at least one killer quote from Sherman I had not heard before, something along the lines of what he did to Georgia was a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 and South Carolina was a 10 of 10.

I imagine the books can be found or ordered at various bookstores, but you can get them from Amazon. I bought two copies from her tonight (big crowd, by the way).

"Sherman's Flame & Blame Campaign" by Patricia G. McNeely

Nice sized paperback, well illustrated, large print and only 201 pages of text.
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Here is just a small nugget that I found astounding during my research:

The blaze was so huge and intense, that some said it was brighter than day. Reports were that 2 miles away, from any direction of the city, it was bright enough to read a newspaper or to use a needle and thread to sew by the light alone, and lastly, the glow of the fire could be seen as far away as Rock Hill and Greenwood.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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Old 02-17-2017, 11:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

F*CK Sherman
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

I have a copy of the book "Those 163 days;: A southern account of Sherman's March from Atlanta to Raleigh" by John Gibson. This book was published in 1961 by our own university press. The book gives a detailed account of the Yankees march of terror through the state including the virtual destruction of Lexington, the burning of Columbia, including the deliberate destruction of Wade Hampton's Millwood Plantation, as well as the narrow escape of the Hampton Preston House.

The book was given to me by my Hoosier grandmother who was a lifelong DAR member and an avid historian. Before she passed away, she gave me all her DAR documentation and told me when i was ready to join the SAR, this was what I would need.

She also advised me to that i was eligible for the Sons of the Confederacy, due to my multiple Confederate great great grandfathers. I later found out I also have a Federal great great great grandfather (10th NY Cavalry) which makes me eligible for membership in Sons of Union Veterans.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

Wonderful deed by your grandmother, SF. Just ordered a copy of the book which I will add to my collection and try to find a few more nuggets of info from it. Thanks.

There has been more written on the war than any other topic in history, including the bible, supposedly. At least one book, magazine article, newspaper article, etc., has been published about it every day since it ended.

I had two GGF's who fought in Kershaw's brigade (one in the 15th SC, which fought in most of the major battles of the war, including Gettysburg, and was wounded in the Battle of The Wilderness in 1864/ the other was in the 20th SC, which was around Charleston, then moved to Virginia just in time for Cold Harbor. He simply dropped dead on Christmas Eve 1864 while standing around a campfire outside of Richmond...other ancestors on my mothers side, too, but I have no info on them). Have a few tales of Sherman's visit and vandalism to the family home in Lexington.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

I have read a book that Emma wrote on the days leading up to Shermans attack. I found it in the State Archieves Library in Columbia. Its across the street from the Calhoun building. Anyway, the book was really a copy of Emmas diary during the time.
The book begins with her describing the new State House that was being built and they were actually having a bake sale trying to raise monies for the troops to have proper uniforms for the winter. Her writings painted the picture as well as anyone I have ever read. I cant remember the name of that book but I do believe it was her first publication.
Growing up I was taught SC history from one of Simms state history books. It was smaller in build not pages, than all the other books we had in school. That book covered everything from the Edisto Indians, Revolution to the war between the states. If you dont know, Simms lived on The Woodlands Plantation that is located on Hwy 78 between Bamberg and Branchville. My family traded with Woodlands Plantation along with the Marion family during the formation of this country and I have family documents that are hand written. I am getting ready to see about better preservation of these documents. It will be a task. Probably about 5000 plus pages of writings, records of crop growth and money. Death and births of families and friends. ect ect.
I do love Emma though, she was a brave young lady. Not to mention, well read..

Thanks for the write up Brat. Well Done...
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

"When the World Ended" - The Diary of Emma LeConte"

Yeah, remember the SC History classes back in the day. Glad you have those documents, Smoove. Real treasures.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

You can never discuss Sherman without prefacing his name with SOB. He was and always will be a total POS.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

Sherman later had a narrow escape in 1871 at Ft. Sill, OK when he nearly lost his scalp to Kiowa chiefs.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

for those really interested in this or other ACW (American Civil War) topics I belong to another site devoted to such topics.

i have read many differing positions on the burning of Columbia , how it was started, etc..I'll leave it at that. Is the hatred for Sherman that he wasn't a confederate? So if he fought for the CSA would there be hatred for him had he burned, say...Harrisburg, PA?
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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Old 02-18-2017, 02:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKE226 View Post
for those really interested in this or other ACW (American Civil War) topics I belong to another site devoted to such topics.

i have read many differing positions on the burning of Columbia , how it was started, etc..I'll leave it at that. Is the hatred for Sherman that he wasn't a confederate? So if he fought for the CSA would there be hatred for him had he burned, say...Harrisburg, PA?

Yes, if he acted in a similar way as a Confederate Officer, I would hate him just as much. I think there would have been a good probability that if he acted in a barbaric way or did not discipline his men, let alone give tacit approval, he would have been dealt with in some way. At the very least, removed from the army.


When the Army of Northern Virginia invaded the North which culminated in the battle at Gettysburg, there were no reported acts of vandalism, theft, or other criminal acts, as Lee had given his men stern orders to be on their best manners or offenders would be punished up to execution. There are written accounts of Northern civilians remarking in positive ways of their conduct. Whenever Lee's men took any food they offered written notes to which they could refer to the Federal government for repayment or gave them the choice in Confederate money if they wished to accept it (which they didn't, of course).

William Quantrill and his murderous gang out in Missouri were condemned and disavowed as part of the army by the CSA for his actions as they had pledged themselves on their side in the war. The most notorious men of the group were finally hunted down and killed (Frank and Jesse James were part of this group).

There are some Union officers which I admire such as George Thomas or Winfield Scott Hancock.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

Didn't Ewell or Early ransack Chambersburg Pa?
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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Didn't Ewell or Early ransack Chambersburg Pa?
Yes. It has been too long for me since I have read anything on that exact incident to remember the reason for it or exactly what was burned to offer comment or condemnation on it, although I knew that was where you were going from your original post.

That is not to say there was never brutality from the side of the CSA, but often much of these acts were in retaliation of some sort.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: South Carolina College And The Burning Of Columbia

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More information on another question asked:
-----------------------------------

"Sherman's Army Marches Into South Carolina & Lexington County" - Louise J. Riley

"Who Burnt Columbia?" - James Guiguard Gibbes (the day after the fire, the mayor was mentally and physically unable to continue and Gibbes was appointed to take over)

"The Sack and Destruction of Columbia, South Carolina" - by William Gilmore Simms (Simms was considered the top historian in America at the time of the war. He wrote landmark history of SC in 1860, and later, his daughter wrote histories of the state that were used for many decades to teach schoolchildren in the state, even up to the time I was a kid).

"When the World Ended" - The Diary of Emma LeConte"

"South Carolina Civilians In Sherman's Path" - Karen Stokes

"Sherman's March" - Burke Davis

"War Crimes Against Southern Civilians" - Walter Brian Cisco

"A Carnival of Destruction - Sherman's Invasion Of South Carolina" - Tom Elmore

"Kill-Cavalry - The Life Of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick" - Samuel J. Smith (probably the worst General of note on either side of the war and of whom Sherman even
called him a fool, but added he wanted a fool (to do the job he had in mind) and was widely disliked by most people, including his own men. He led Sherman's cavalry of several thousand men aside from Sherman's 60,000 infantry. He was probably the worst vandal in the army. Anderson Cooper of CNN, is a direct descendant of Kilpatrick.

"Columbia - Capital City Of South Carolina 1786-1936" - Helen Kohn Hennig (another great state historian of long ago)

'"Columbia & Richland County - A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990' - John Hammond Moore

"Tales Of Columbia" - Nell S. Graydon

'Cry Heart - Personal Experiences of the War Between the States" - Compiled by Lee Jacobs
I have Karen Stokes' book on my Nook E-reader.

The paradox of the atrocities committed by Union troops during Sherman's march through the South was that, aside from the property destruction, most were committed against slaves instead of whites.

Most Union troops were conscripted against their will to fight in Lincoln's war to free the slaves, where they were slaughtered by the thousands on fields of battle.

Thousands of unarmed male slaves were murdered and the female ones raped by Federal troops during Sherman's march. Female slaves hid out in the woods for weeks to protect themselves. There were standing orders among Sherman's officers to do these things.

There were many instances of Southern whites protecting slaves during the pillaging.

The institution of slavery was just as wrong then as it is now, but I think African-Americans fair better under modern Southern core values than they do up North.

I have never really understood what these horrible atrocities had to do with the idea of "freeing the slaves."

Drafts and conscription have always been a part of waging war since the beginning of time. Most people are also ignorant of the fact that many Southern men and boys were also conscripted against their will to fight in the War.

Occasionally in the historical accounts from various counties you will hear of the new homes of returning Confederate officers mysteriously burning during or after their construction. I have come to view this as retaliation for the deaths of sons and fathers.

This is why the Civil War monuments to the fallen need to remain as they are, where they are. Not everyone who fought and died in the Civil War did so of their own free will.
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