Buford's Bridge developed as early as the 1790s, making it the oldest community in present-day Bamberg County. William Buford built a bridge and ferry operation here crossing the Salkehatchie River. The spot was well positioned between two major intersections; one from Walterboro to the Barnwell Court House and the other from Orangeburg to the Savannah River. The settlement quickly developed, and is recorded as having several residences, four stores, two taverns, a boarding house, Masonic Lodge, and Mizpah Methodist Church by the 1850s. The turmoil of the Civil War reached here in early February of 1865, as Federal troops took down many structures in the area to use as materials for building bridges (Confederates had previously burned Burford's Bridge to stall the Union advancement).
Today's snapshot is the O'Connor home in Charleston, where 50 Union soldiers (all officers and five of them brigadier generals) were held as their own army fired upon the city. In retaliation, 50 Confederate soldiers were placed in front of Union forts on Morris Island. At this point, soldier exchanges weren't allowed. President Abraham Lincoln caught word of the situation in Charleston and allowed an exception. But the story doesn't end there.
Soon after the exchange, Sherman was reportedly marching close to Andersonville (he wasn't, and here's a map if you're interested), which was overcrowded with Union Prisoners of War. To escape Sherman, many of these prisoners were sent to Charleston, only adding fuel to the fire. The Union forces retaliated by moving 600 Confederate prisoners to Morris Island. The prisoners were eventually removed to other camps, where they stayed until the end of the war. Remarkably, only about 40 died throughout the journey from disease (not shell-fire), inspiring their nickname, the "Immortal 600."
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Brookgreen Gardens is famous for its expansive gardens and impressive sculpture collection (it is America’s first sculpture garden after all). But looking at Brookgreen as an outdoor classroom opens up a whole new world of possibilities. This place beats any textbook out there when it comes to the nature and history unique to this region of South Carolina. Here are a few excursions that offer a deeper look into the whole story of Brookgreen Gardens:
Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War (though recent studies suggest the number is closer to 850,000). But gunshots were not the only means of death during America's deadliest military conflict. 400,000 soldiers were taken as prisoners of war, and upwards of 56,000 died in captivity. This is almost as many as the fatalities of those fighting in Vietnam. Here we outline POW sites in South Carolina and images we have found throughout our research. Make sure to also check out the SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum to do more research on your own, and if you have any information to add to our list please email us!
To India's first Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, the Taj Mahal was a "teardrop on the face of humanity.” Rudyard Kipling referred to this Muslim tomb as “the embodiment of all things pure.” Emperor Shah Jahan, the fourth of the Great Mughal Emperors, a dynasty that ruled much of modern India from 1525-1707 said, “The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs and makes the sun and moon shed tears from their eyes.” It is widely known that Shah Jahan built the tomb in honor of his beloved wife, Mumtaz, but that is hardly the full story of the emperor, or of the Taj Mahal.