February 17, 1865: Burning of Columbia, South Carolina

 

Controversy has raged since the burning of Columbia after Sherman’s army occupied it on February 17, 1865.  Although Sherman did not order the burning, I think the weight of evidence is that Union troops were responsible.  Blaming South Carolina for starting the War, Union troops were eager to visit upon the capitol of the Palmetto State the destruction that they believed was a just punishment.  Union diary accounts and letters leave little doubt as to Union responsibility.  Nonetheless, Sherman always denied that his troops were responsible.  Here is his account of the  fire: (more…)

Published in: on February 17, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on February 17, 1865: Burning of Columbia, South Carolina  
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