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“C” is for Civil War

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “C” is for Civil War [1861-1865]. Even before the state had seceded in December 1860, South Carolina had already begun making preparations for a war that most of her citizens believed either would never actually occur or would be of short duration. On April 2, 1861, Confederate gunners began to fire on Fort Sumter. Over the course of the next four years, more than 60,000 South Carolinians either volunteered or were drafted into military service. The Palmetto State was not a major battleground, but it did see a few major campaigns and several minor engagements. One result of the Union victory was the emancipation of 400,000 slaves. A painful consequence of the Civil War was 18,000 to 21,000 men—or one of every fourteen white South Carolinians had been killed or had died from disease while in uniform.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.