From the Battle of Fort Sumter to Sherman’s March and Robert Smalls, South Carolina played a significant role in the American Civil War.
- SCIWAY-Civil War
Find out about Civil War soldiers from South Carolina, battlefields such as Fort Sumter, and more.
- The Civil War Soldier
What was life as a soldier like in 1863?
- Odds of a Soldier
Find out what the odds of a soldier were of being killed in action, dying disease, and being captured by the enemy.
- Civil War Statistics
Learn more about the men who fought in the Civil War including average weight, age, hair color, pre-war occupations, and more
- Civil War Statistics
- Civil War Maps
Discover maps of South Carolina, battlefields, and other maps from the Civil War era.
- A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln
Learn more about the issues America faced during the Civil War era, including the war, the slavery debate, and the aftermath.
- Robert Smalls
Robert Smalls was a slave from Charleston who escaped to freedom and became a ship captain for the Union army.
- P. G. T. Beauregard
General Beauregard was command of the forces that carried out the orders for the bombardment of Fort Sumter.
- Letters between James and Alexander Campbell
Read letters between these two brothers on separate sides of the 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: Franklin J. Moses, Sr.
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.
- Burt-Stark House
Watch this movie learn more about the Burt-Stark Mansion in Abbeville, SC which held the last council of war of the Confederacy.
- Fort Sumter
Explore the history of this famous fort in Charleston, where the first shots of Civil War were heard.
- Civil War Related Places in South Carolina
Find out more about places in South Carolina that have Civil War history.
War & Battlefields
Drawing of the Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
- Those Honored Dead: The Battle of Rivers Bridge and Civil War Combat Casualties
Read about the Battle of Rivers Bridge, including maps, soldiers’ accounts, and images of the wounded.
- The Swamp Angel
The Swamp Angel was the nickname of a 16,500 pound cannon that shelled the city of Charleston in 1863.
- Sherman’s March
General William T. Sherman marched across South Carolina and Georgia, destroying much within his path.
- Union Occupation of Port Royal Sound
The citizens of Beaufort evacuated the city as the Union fleet came to occupy Port Royal.
- The H.L. Hunley Discovered
Watch this video about this early submarine built by the Confederates which sank off the coast of Charleston.
- Civil War-era Foodways
Read recipes and descriptions of food cooked and eaten by civilians and soldiers during the Civil War.
- American Civil War Recipes
Use these recipes to create your own hardtack or Johnnie Cake.
- American Civil War Recipes
- The Bonny Blue Flag
Listen to the Confederate song written to celebrate succession and titled after the flag South Carolina used after its succession in December 1860.
- SC Confederate Relic Room
Explore uniforms, photographs, swords, and other artifacts of the Civil War.
- Camp Life: Civil War Collections
See how soldiers lived in camps as they spent weeks at a time in tedious routine.
Pieces of History
- The Union is Dissolved
The ordinance of secession was passed on December 18, 1860 in Charleston and this broadsheet was published 15 minutes later to tell the citizens of the event.
- Telegram Announcing the Surrender of Fort Sumter (1861)
- New South Newspaper, 1862 - 1866
- Emancipation Proclamation
See the original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation which called for the ending of slavery in the Confederate states.
- The Palmetto Flag
See the actual flag that was raised over the captured Fort Sumter.
Images of the War
On 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
- Beaufort Civil War Images
- Historic Images of Fort Sumter
- Bernard’s Photographic Views of the Sherman Campaign
- Photographs of African Americans During the Civil War
Explore with Discus*
* Requires access to the Discus databases. Learn more here.
- Nullification Crisis
Read about the tension between Southern states and the federal government, leading to an Ordinance of Nullification by South Carolina that allowed Southern states to nullify federal laws that were considered unconstitutional.
- Grimke Sisters
Sarah and Angelina Grimke were sisters from Charleston that became ardent supporters of the abolitionist movement.
- Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Boykin Chesnut kept a diary of her experiences during the Civil War that was published after her death.