The Destruction of Charleston in the Civil War
Visitors to the South Carolina city can still see signs of the pre-Civil War structures that were devastated by Union bombardment and a blazing fire devastated
- By Ray Gordon and Molly Roberts
- Smithsonian.com, March 23, 2011
(George S. Cook, Library of Congress / Molly Roberts)
These soldiers, photographed in 1863, were likely from Company A (Palmetto guards) of the 18th Battalion, South Carolina Artillery. During the Battle of Charleston, companies such as these would have protected the harbor. Note the black slave working with the gun crew. Before the Civil War, the area was a lively public garden; today it is a public park lined with old cannons and noted for its beautiful harbor vistas.