Ruin Reminder

I am often asked on my tours of Charleston whether Northern troops under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burned any of Charleston. Fortunately, Charleston was spared from Sherman’s destructive methods largely due to the fact that his army moved toward the middle of the state to destroy Southern railways in Columbia. But there should be no doubt as to what Sherman and his troops did. He was ordered by Lincoln’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Henry Halleck, to “lay waste to South Carolina”, and he certainly did. Nothing in Sherman’s path was safe, whether private homes, slave quarters, or in the case of the picture below, Old Sheldon Church near Beaufort, which was torched in February of 1865. Ironically, the church had been rebuilt after the Revolution, when the first structure on the site was burned by British troops during the American Revolution in 1779. Today, the old ruins stand quietly, surrounded by forest and faded grave stones. There is an Easter service held inside the ruin each year, but otherwise it remains as a reminder of the realities of war, and how much of the suffering is traditionally among non-combatants. <img.src=”Charleston Civil War history” alt=”Old Sheldon Church”

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