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
(Library of Congress / Molly Roberts)
The Constitutional Congress agreed upon several compromises when drafting the U.S. Constitution to ensure that all states would ratify it. On May 23, 1788, in the building seen above, the South Carolina legislature did just that. Many historians argue that Congress’ failure to agree on the slavery issue at that time, and the many compromises that followed, laid the groundwork for the Civil War In December 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. The building is a now a museum that details the city’s early history as a port for traders and even pirates.