South Carolina, The Civil War

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Summary

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgia, located across the Savannah River; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina became a slave society after rice and indigo became established as commodity crops, and from 1708, a majority of the population were slaves, many born in Africa. It was the first of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution.

Details

On December 20, 1860, when it became clear that Abraham Lincoln would be the next president, South Carolina became the first state to declare its secession from the Union. On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries began shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and the American Civil War began. The Union Navy effectively blockaded Charleston and seized the Sea Islands. Planters had taken their families (and sometimes slaves) to points inland for refuge.

The Union Army set up an experiment in freedom for the ex-slaves, in which they started education and farmed land for themselves. South Carolina troops participated in major Confederate campaigns, but no major battles were fought inland. General William Tecumseh Sherman marched through the state in early 1865, destroying numerous plantations, and captured the state capital of Columbia on February 17. Fires began that night and by next morning, most of the central city was destroyed. South Carolina suffered 18,666 military deaths during the Civil War, which was nearly one-third of the white male population of fighting age.

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External Links

  • WikipediaState of South Carolina government websiteSouth Carolina Department of Parks & TourismEnergy & Environmental Data for South CarolinaUSGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of South Carolina

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