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“C” is for The Citadel

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “C” is for The Citadel. The Citadel originated in 1822 as an arsenal and guardhouse to defend white Charlestonians from possible slave uprisings. In 1842, the General Assembly combined the State Citadel with the Arsenal in Columbia to create the South Carolina Military Academy. When South Carolina seceded from the Union in December 1860, Citadel cadets helped shore up the defenses around Charleston harbor. One month later they assembled on Morris Island and fired cannon shots at the Star of the West which was trying to resupply Federal troops at Fort Sumter. Citadel alumni claim that these were the first shots fired in the Civil War. From 1865 until 1879 Federal troops occupied the Citadel. In 1882, led by former Confederate general Johnson Hagood, the institution’s supporters persuaded the legislature to reopen The Citadel.