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Burning of Columbia Brochure Content

INTRO CONTENT

The burning of Columbia, SC was a major event in American history and a defining moment in the history of the state and city. Columbia, the site of the original Secession Convention and capital of the first seceding state, was seen by the Union army as a target to encourage the surrender of the remaining Confederate forces.

Columbia surrendered to the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman on February 17, 1865, and while the soldiers’ arrival signaled the imminent emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the city, the city suffered widespread destruction. The legacy of this physical loss is a pillar of the city’s common folklore and memories of the war, and it remains hotly-debated today.

EVENTS

Many of these events are free, but some require registration or a paid ticket. Check the full list of events at BurningOfColumbia.com for admission information and detailed descriptions.

Walking in the Past Lane: The Burning of Columbia

Richland Library

Thursdays @ 6 pm

Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly Street

Dec. 4: The Capture of the Coastal Plains Towns

Jan. 8: The March along the Old State Road to the Capitol

Feb. 5: The March from Columbia to Cheraw

 

After the Burning: Using Reconstruction Records in Family History Research

Richland Library

Saturday, Dec. 6 @ 2 pm

Richland Library Main, Bostick Auditorium, 1431 Assembly Street

 

Three Rivers Greenway Battlefield Connection Grand Opening

City of Cayce and The River Alliance

Friday, Jan. 9 @ 2 pm

Thomas Newman Public Boat Landing, Granby Landing Road, Cayce, SC

 

Second Sunday Roll: Bus Tour of Civil War Sites

Historic Columbia

Sunday, Jan. 11 @ 2 pm

Tour meets at Robert Mills House & Gardens, 1616 Blanding Street

 

Sherman’s Flame & Blame Campaign: A Book Discussion with Patricia McNeeley

Richland Library and SC Genealogical Society

Sunday, Jan. 11 @ 3 pm

Richland Library Main, Walker Local History & Family Center, 1431 Assembly Street

 

Jasper January Issue Launch Party and One Book, One Community Announcement
Jasper Magazine, One Columbia, Historic Columbia

Thursday, Jan. 15 @ 7 pm

Seibels House & Garden, 1601 Richland Street

 

Museum Road Show: Civil War Edition

South Carolina State Museum

Saturday, Jan. 17 @ 9 am – 4 pm

South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

 

Civil War Lecture Series: The Civilian Experience of Columbia’s Burning, Eric Plaag

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum

Sunday, Jan. 18 @ 3 pm

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, 301 Gervais Street

 

Burn to Shine: Film Series Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia

Nickelodeon Theatre

Nickelodeon Theatre, 1607 Main Street

Jan. 19: Rebirth of a Nation, post-film discussion with DJ Spooky

Jan. 26: C.S.A.: Confederate States of America

Feb. 1: The Battle of Bull Run

Feb. 2: The Searchers

Feb. 9: Sherman’s March
Feb. 12: Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Lunchtime discussion about Lincoln films with USC’s Dr. Thomas Brown

Feb. 15: Gone with the Wind

Feb. 16: Gone with the Wind REDUX

 

Walter Edgar’s Conversations on the Civil War

Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina

Tuesdays @ 5:30 pm

Capstone Campus Room, 902 Barnwell Street

Jan. 13: Fictional Representations of the Civil War with Dr. Robert H. Brinkmeyer, USC

Jan. 20: Jefferson Davis with Dr. William Cooper, LSU

Jan. 27: Abraham Lincoln with Dr. Vernon Burton, Clemson University

Feb. 3: Emancipation and Freedom with Dr. Heather Williams, University of Pennsylvania

Feb. 10: Sherman’s March with Dr. Carol Reardon, Penn State

 

Lunch & Learn Series

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum

Fridays @ 12 pm

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, 301 Gervais Street

Jan. 23: Carolinas Campaign: Three Officers

Jan. 30: Artillery Stories of the Carolinas Campaign

Feb. 6: Union and Confederate Calvary Leadership of the Carolinas Campaign

Feb. 13: Paths of Destruction: Sherman’s Final Campaign

 

Remembering Sherman’s Burning of Lexington

Friends of the Lexington County Museum

Saturday, Jan. 24 @ 6 – 10 pm

Lexington Town Hall, 111 Maiden Lane, Lexington, SC

 

Civil War Lecture Series: Prisoner of War Camps in the Midlands, Chester DePratter

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum. 301 Gervais Street

Sunday, Jan. 25 @ 3 pm

SC Confederation Relic Room & Military Museum

 

Through the Fire: An Evening Commemorating the Burning of Columbia

SC State Museum and SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Thursday, Jan. 29 @ 7 – 10 pm

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

 

Guided Tours of Congaree Creek Battlefield Site

The River Alliance

Jan. 30 – Mar. 14

Cayce Tennis Center, 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC

 

Civil War Encampment

Lexington County Museum

Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 am – 4 pm

Sunday, Feb. 1, 1 – 4 pm

Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox Street, Lexington, SC

 

Civil War Lecture Series: By the Red Glare Discussion and Book Signing with Mark Sibley-Jones

SC State Museum

Sunday, Feb. 1 @ 3 pm

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

 

Art from the Ashes: Columbia Artists Respond to the Sesquicentennial of the Burning of their City | Exhibit Opening and Monograph Launch

Jasper Magazine

Sunday, Feb. 1 @ 5 – 7 pm

Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main Street

 

First Thursday on Main Street | Burning of Columbia Edition

First Thursday will include exhibits, tours, panel discussions, performers, art galleries and more:

Thursday, Feb. 5

Art from the Ashes: Panel Presentation

7 pm, Tapp’s Arts Center

Impressions of Chimneyville Opening Reception

6 – 8 pm, Gallery at City Hall

 

Columbia Time Machine: Civil War Coin Trail Kick-Off

Columbia Regional Sports Council, Greater Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce, The River Alliance

Saturday, Feb. 7 @ 11 am

Cayce Tennis & Fitness Center, 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC

 

Civil War Lecture Series: Memory of Sherman’s March, Dr. Thomas Brown

Historic Columbia

Sunday, Feb. 8 @ 3 pm

Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding Street

 

The Civil War in Lexington County, J.R. Fennell

Lexington County Museum

Tuesday, Feb. 10 @ 6:30 pm

Lexington County Library Main Branch, 5440 Augusta Road, Lexington, SC

 

Sherman’s March through Lexington County, Louise Riley

Lexington County Museum

Wednesday, Feb. 11 @ 6:30 pm

Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox Street, Lexington, SC

 

Opening reception | Crafting Civil (War) Conversations

McKissick Museum, Wideman/Davis Dance

Thursday, Feb. 12 @ 6 – 9 pm
McKissick Museum, 816 Bull Street

 

On Agate Hill | Theatrical Performance by Barbara Bates Smith

One Book, One Community

Thursday, Feb. 12 @ 6:30 pm

Richland Library Main, Bostick Auditorium, 1431 Assembly Street

 

Congaree Creek Earthworks Historical Marker Unveiling

SC Department of Archives & History, SC African American Heritage Commission, City of Cayce, The River Alliance

Friday, Feb. 13 @ 2 pm

Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center, 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC

 

History Day

SC State Museum

Saturday, Feb. 14 @ 10 am – 5 pm

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

 

Civil War Relic Show & Book Signings

Cayce Museum

Feb. 14 and 15

Cayce Museum, 1800 12th Street, Cayce, SC

 

Bus Tour of Civil War Sites

Historic Columbia

Sunday, Feb. 15 @ 2 – 3:30  pm

Tour meets at Robert Mills House & Gardens, 1616 Blanding Street

 

Confederate Home State Historical Marker Unveiling

Richland County Conservation Commission, SC Dept. of Archives & History

Sunday, Feb. 15 @ 2 pm

Corner of Confederate Avenue and Bull Street, Columbia, SC

 

News from Hell before Breakfast: Old General Sherman Gives a Commencement Address

One Book, One Community

Thursday, Feb. 19 @ 7 pm

Richland Library Main, Bostick Auditorium, 1431 Assembly Street

 

The Palladium Society’s Chili Cook-Off

The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia

Saturday, Feb. 21 @ 5 – 8 pm

Music Farm Columbia, 1022 Senate Street

 

On Agate Hill | Jasper’s Book Club

Jasper, Richland Library

Sunday, Feb. 22 @ 3 – 4:30 pm

Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly Street

 

Tatara Fire: A Discussion with Henry Mandell

The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia, Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries

Tuesday, Feb. 24 @ 6 pm

Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main Street

 

Lee Smith and the Good Ol’ Girls | One Book, One Community Finale Event

Thursday, Feb. 26 @ 7 pm

701 Whaley, 701 Whaley Street

 

ANNIVERSARY DAY EVENTS

Tuesday, Feb. 17

 

Columbia Burning: A Sesquicentennial Reappraisal

Presented by the University of South Carolina with support from the History Center, the Institute for Southern Studies and the Graduate School

Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main Street

 

9 – 11:30 am: Panel Discussion on the Burning of Columbia

By bringing in scholars who are generating new work on the burning of Columbia, our goal is to shed fresh light on the meaning of the events of February 17, 1865 as an example of urban disaster and recovery. The arrival of the Union army marked a day of jubilant emancipation for blacks, thousands of whom followed in the wake of Sherman’s advance northward. These and other topics, including the evolution of modern warfare, will be discussed.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas Brown, University of South Carolina

Dr. Ann Sarah Rubin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Megan Kate Nelson, Harvard

Caitlin Verboon, Yale

 

12 pm: Presentation on mid-to-late-19th-century foodways by Dr. David Sheilds with period-appropriate meal by Scott Hall Catering.

 

2 – 4 pm: Dr. Tom Sugrue (University of Pennsylvania) will lead this discussion looking at the role of public history/public intellectuals in shaping and advancing civic dialogue to deal with difficult pasts, as well as the role of the academy in preparing students for community and public engagement.

 

Burning of Columbia Historical Marker Unveiling

4 pm – 1200 Block of Main Street, Columbia, SC

 

Columbia Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia

Boyd Plaza, 1515 Main Street

5 pm – Join us for a commemoration of one of the most significant events leading to the end of the Civil War, of the destruction of the city and the suffering endured by SC and its citizens during Sherman’s March, but also pointing to a rebirth of both Columbia, SC and the nation, unified and free, that led to the prosperity and freedoms we enjoy today. Featuring comments by elected officials and historians; performances by Benedict College Concert Choir, Sandlapper Singers, dancers and artists; and a reading by Columbia’s Poet Laureate, the Columbia, SC community will reflect on this defining moment in the city’s history. Following the commemoration ceremony, explore exhibits, performances, tours, music, readings and more on Main Street.

 

Readings from Jasper Magazine’s Art from the Ashes

7 pm – Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main Street

 

Cleaning Up the Dirty South | Performed live by The Dubber

8 pm – Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main Street

 

EXHIBITS

 

Visit BurningOfColumbia.com for exhibit hours.

 

From Confrontation to Conflict: South Carolina’s Path to the Civil War

SC Department of Archives & History

On display through May 1

SC Department of Archives & History, 8301 Parklane Road

This exhibit highlights South Carolina’s path from nullification to secession through the state’s most important documents. Visitors learn about how a series of prewar confrontations over tariffs and slavery eventually led to the nation’s bloodiest conflict.

 

The Civil War in South Carolina

SC State Museum

Permanent exhibit now on display

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the State Museum opened a new, permanent exhibit on the war in South Carolina. The exhibit invites you to discover and explore the Civil War experiences of the people of South Carolina.

 

Impressions of Chimneyville: Columbia’s Civil War Destruction

Historic Columbia

On display Jan. 9 through Mar. 31

Gallery at City Hall, 1737 Main Street

After the Burning of Columbia, citizens came to identify their hometown by the remnants of buildings that dotted its skyline. Columbia’s physical transformation is shown through historical images and descriptions in this exhibit.

 

Columbia Now: Four Photographers Show Us Our City

Columbia Museum of Art

On display Jan. 9 through Apr. 5

Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main Street

Columbia Now is a selection of 24 photographs by local photographers stressing Columbia’s emergence as a vital city within the American landscape, one that has risen from the ashes to be a home for a diverse and forward-moving community.

 

Art from the Ashes: Columbia Artists Respond to the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Their City

Jasper Magazine

On display Feb. 1 – 28

Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main Street

Literary and visual artists respond to the 1865 Burning of Columbia, particularly the role and activities of civilian women and men and other individuals already marginalized in the culture of the time, and the effects of the burning on these individuals and groups.

 

Chapman’s Charleston 1863-1864

SC State Museum

On display through February 1

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

This exhibit tells the story of the Civil War in Charleston through the eyes of artist and Confederate soldier Conrad Wise Chapman. The 33 original paintings examine art during the war, the military defenses of Charleston against the Union siege and other artists who worked in the city during the war.

 

The Burning of Columbia, SC, 1865

Richland Library

On display now through March 31

Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly Street

An exhibit of materials from the Richland Library’s historic collections depicting the surrender and burning of Columbia, SC on February 17, 1865. On display are photographs, original lithographs, and first-hand accounts of this watershed event in the city’s history.

 

Paths of Destruction: Sherman’s Final Campaign

SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

On display Nov. 21, 2014 through March 6, 2016

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, 301 Gervais Street

Paths of Destruction details Sherman’s march through the Carolinas with a focus on the burning of Columbia, as well as the ethical issues of the campaign. Features a life-size diorama of Columbia in flames.

 

Crafting Civil (War) Conversations

McKissick Museum

On display Feb. 2 – May 30

McKissick Museum, 816 Bull Street

Crafting Civil (War) Conversations is a juried exhibition of contemporary craft that conjures a post-Civil War scene of reconciliation between formerly enslaved people and former slave owners.

 

Finding Freedom’s Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville
SC State Museum

On display Feb. 14 – Aug. 23
SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

Learn more about the town of Mitchelville, founded by formerly enslaved men and women on Hilton Head Island in 1862, before the Emancipation Proclamation took effect and years before slavery was abolished in America.

 

Courage: The Vision to End Segregation and the Guts to Fight for It

SC State Museum

On display Feb. 28 – June 26

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street

Explore South Carolina’s role in the Supreme Court’s landmark Civil Rights decision Brown v. Board of Education. The exhibit traces the saga of Rev. J.A. DeLaine and the brave citizens of Clarendon County who brought the first lawsuit challenging racial segregation in public schools and reminds us that the struggle for freedom and civil rights was far from over when the Civil War ended.

 

Upcoming Lexington County Historic Events 

  • Three Rivers Greenway Battlefield Connection Grand Opening: Jan. 9 in Cayce
  • Remembering Sherman¹s Burning of Lexington: Jan. 24 at Lexington Town Hall
  • Guided Tours of Congaree Creek Battlefield Site: Jan. 30 ­ March 14 in Cayce
  • Civil War Encampment: Jan 31 & Feb. 1 at the Lexington County Museum
  • Columbia Time Machine: Civil War Coin Trail Kick-Off: Feb. 7 in Cayce
  • The Civil War in Lexington County: Feb. 10 at the Lexington County Museum
  • Sherman¹s March through Lexington County: Feb. 11 at the Lexington County Museum
  • Congaree Creek Earthworks Historical Marker Unveiling: Feb. 13 in Cayce
  • Civil War Relic Show & Book Signings: Feb. 14 & 15 at the Cayce Museum

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