Pictured above: Charleston, S.C. View of ruined buildings through porch of the Circular Church (150 Meeting Street)/ Barnard, George N./1865/LOC
On Saturday, February 18, 1865, with Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s Union army arrival imminent, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered control of the city to Union Brigadier General Alexander Schimmelfennig at 9:00 a.m. Evacuation of the city had already begun on February 17 and continued throughout the early morning hours of February 18, 1865. The troubled city had been under siege since July 10, 1863.
South Carolina, traditionally defending slavery and states rights, played a pivotal role in events leading up to the Civil War. It may well be said that few were doubtful that events in South Carolina would take the nation into a civil war.