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From These Honored DeadHistorical Archaeology of the American Civil War$
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Clarence R. Geier, Douglas D. Scott, and Lawrence E. Babits

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049441

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049441.001.0001

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South Carolina in the Civil War

South Carolina in the Civil War

A Historical-Archaeological Perspective

(p.104) 7 South Carolina in the Civil War
From These Honored Dead

Steven D. Smith

University Press of Florida

The Civil War began and nearly ended in South Carolina, and the state has paid dearly for that most dubious honor. Between the state's opening salvo against Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor (April 12, 1860) and Union General William T. Sherman's march across the state (January to March 1865), some 18,000 to 21,000 South Carolinians became casualties of war. The state's economic infrastructure was also thoroughly destroyed. The emotional scars, social-political ramifications, and resultant cultural conflicts are still being felt and debated. Scattered across the state, especially in the low country, are the scars of war in the form of campsites, battlefields, fortifications, and ruins. This material evidence of the struggle and are, therefore, critical assets for understanding the archaeology of what historian Page Smith calls America's “epic drama.” Archaeologists are using these assets to develop an archaeological perspective of the war distinct from the perspective provided by historic documents alone. This essay summarizes the contributions South Carolina archaeologists have made to date. These studies demonstrate a slow but steady generation of archaeological facts that build upon what we already know.

Keywords:   South Carolina, archaeologist, Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, General William T. Sherman, Charleston, Savannah, campsites, battlefields, ruins, forts

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