Civil War

Battle for Columbia reenactment

Battle for Columbia Reenactment. Image from the Battle of Columbia's Facebook Page.

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.


  • 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 the Civil War were heard.

War & Battlefields

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


Pieces of History

Images of the War

Palmetto flag

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