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“M” is for Miles, William Porcher

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  “M” is for Miles, William Porcher [1822-1899]. Educator, congressman. After graduating from the College of Charleston, Miles joined the faculty as professor mathematics. In 1855 he left the college, entered politics, and was elected mayor of Charleston. Two years later he was elected to Congress. After secession he served as a representative in the provisional and regular Confederate congress. He served as chair of the Military Affairs Committee of the Confederate House of Representatives. In 1861 he proposed a new design for the Confederate flag to replace the “Stars and Bars.” Although never officially adopted, Miles’ design, the “Southern Cross,” was used by the Army of Northern Virginia as its battle flag for much of the remainder of the war. In 1880, William Porcher Miles became president of South Carolina College when it was reorganized as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.