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The Civil War Battle for Columbia

Updated on June 14, 2013

This battle was fought for Columbia, South Carolina on the return of Sherman's March, January 30, 1865

Part of South Carolina History

One thing I have noticed is that history doesn’t explain the taking and burning of Columbia, South Carolina as a battle. In fact, if you look up the battle of Columbia, results will come up for a Battle of Columbia, Tennessee. I believe this was more of a local South Carolina militia trying to stop General William Tecumseh Sherman and his Union Army from taking the capitol of the state of South Carolina, Columbia.

General Grant had two objectives in the year of 1864; the seizure of Richmond, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. Once these objectives were met, on the way back from Savannah, Georgia, Sherman was headed to take Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina was a pro-slavery state, and the first state to secede from the Union. In fact, there were more slaves living in the state than those of the Caucasian race.

Civil War (Reenactment) in May, 2012.  The Confederates are trying to stop Sherman from taking Columbia, South Carolina
Civil War (Reenactment) in May, 2012. The Confederates are trying to stop Sherman from taking Columbia, South Carolina | Source
Sleeping quarters for the soldiers who fought in the early 1860's.
Sleeping quarters for the soldiers who fought in the early 1860's. | Source
Apparently, this was an Army kitchen when the troops were in the field in the early 1860's.
Apparently, this was an Army kitchen when the troops were in the field in the early 1860's. | Source

Life as it was in the 1860’s

What most of us consider a fun camping trip was actually a way of life for the soldiers of both sides during the War Between the States in the 1860’s. Making s’mores over a campfire and telling ghost stories sounds like great fun. Sleeping in tents and fishing for your food can be quite an adventure for boy scouts or girl scouts, or just a family getting back to the basics of nature.

However, as you can see to the right, there are photos of the way they were forced to live, sleep, and prepare food for sustenance. This wasn’t a choice for these soldiers. It was a necessity. Unlike the wars of today, they didn’t have the option to contact their loved ones instantly. There obviously was no internet, no Facebook©, no email, and certainly no Skype©. Old fashioned written letters were all they had during this time. Mothers, wives and other family members usually had no idea if their loved one(s) were injured or dead until they received letters delivered to them, at times, months after they were written

Here are the South Carolina Confederate Militia marching toward the battle to save their capital city, Columbia
Here are the South Carolina Confederate Militia marching toward the battle to save their capital city, Columbia | Source
Pre-battle meeting among the Confederate Militia
Pre-battle meeting among the Confederate Militia | Source
On the look out.  Waiting for Sherman's wealth of Union soldiers and weaponry
On the look out. Waiting for Sherman's wealth of Union soldiers and weaponry | Source

The South Carolina Militia lost that minor battle, and as history reveals. They were not a trained and prepared official part of the Confederate Army. They were simply neighbors attempting to protect their land and possessions. During the reenactment, I heard men telling boys over the age of about 14 to hide their mothers, sisters, younger siblings, livestock, and any other valuables in the woods because the Union Army was coming through to pillage all they had. They were warned of the men in blue uniforms. Also, these young men (boys) were encouraged to take up arms and fight next to their neighbors to protect their community from the Union Army.

A confederate soldier leads the militia with verbal commands.
A confederate soldier leads the militia with verbal commands. | Source
Confederate local militia take cover in a previously built trench for protection.
Confederate local militia take cover in a previously built trench for protection. | Source

A Blemish on our American History

The War Between the States was the most devastating war in United States History. We lost more men in that war than in all the wars we have fought, combined. Our country was divided, brother against brother, father against son, cousin against cousin.

We all have our opinions regarding why this war had to take place. I believe there were many reasons. Regardless, it happened, and thankfully we remained the United States of America. I’m an anti-slavery southerner, and realize how the north and south complement each other on several planes. It was a sad, sad time in our history, but it is our history to learn lessons from.

Cannon fire
Cannon fire | Source
There was fighting on horseback in the woods near the battle field
There was fighting on horseback in the woods near the battle field | Source

Sandy Run, the battle to stop Sherman from taking Columbia

A markersandy run, south carolina -
Sandy Run, SC 29160, USA
get directions

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The Confederate States of America

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    • Mmargie1966 profile image
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      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I have videos also, but due to the current technical difficulties I can't get them on my hub.

      Thanks so much for all your kind comments.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      What a well-researched hub! I so much love learning about history and imagining the real experiences of people years ago. You're right - I've not heard of this battle. Thanks for the great information here - the map is fantastic, by the way!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I don't understand what you mean by "glued", Deep Metaphysical.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      I'm from Scotland but I find the history of the USA fascinating - but as your rightly say, very sad as well. Still, I think if, as human beings, we all learn something to the good, no matter where a war is fought, then those lives lost will not be in vain.

      This was a wonderful and thoroughly absorbing hub! Voted up!!

    • Deep Metaphysical profile image

      Deep Biswas 4 years ago from India

      I agree with Cruel there. Some these pages were in fact glued. Thanks for the great hub Mmargie.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you so much for your comment! I have a few videos that I want to upload as well, but HP is having difficulty with that at the moment, so stay tuned!

    • cruelkindness profile image

      cruelkindness 4 years ago from an angle view.

      Awesome hub! - Really interesting how some events in history have holes in them. Well structured read!

      Cruelkindness (Subliminally Thoughtless)

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