Civil War

Ruins of Columbia, SC


Ruins seen from the capitol after Sherman’s March through Columbia. S.C., 1865. Photographed by George N. Barnard. 165-SC-53. Image from the National Archives and Records Administration.

From the Battle of Fort Sumter to Sherman’s March and Robert Smalls, South Carolina played a significant role in the American Civil War.



A Unionist, a Cooperationist, and a Secessionist

  • Unionist: Benjamin F. Perry
    Benjamin Perry spoke out against secession, believing that secession would hurt slavery more than the federal government.
  • Cooperationist: Benjamin Hill 
    Franklin J. Moses, a state senator, believed that the Southern states needed to have a coordinated action, calling for a Southern convention to address the issue of secession.
  • Secessionist: John Henry Hammond
    Senator John Henry Hammond was an ardent supporter of slavery and of immediate secession.


War & Battlefields

Confederate Submarine H.L. HunleyDrawing of the Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.


Pieces of History

Images of the War

Palmetto flagOn April 14th 1861, men of the 18th South Carolina regiment raised this Palmetto flag over Fort Sumter, starting the Civil War.

For the first time, photographers could capture the battlefields and lives of soldiers as it happened