From the Archives: 140 years later ... scars of the war remain

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

April 15, 2011 

One hundred and forty years after Sherman tore through the Midlands, you still can see some of the fallout. We take you on a tour:

* Bridges: As Sherman's troops approached the city, Confederate forces burned the main bridges entering the city to slow his progress.

Where to find them: You can see the granite abutments of the burned bridge over the Saluda River from the pedestrian bridge at Riverbanks Zoo. You can lean out and touch the abutments of the burned bridge over the Congaree River from the deck of the West Columbia Riverwalk, just under the current Gervais Street bridge. Nothing remains of the Civil War -era Broad River bridge, which apparently had wooden abutments.

* The State House: The exterior of the current State House was nearly finished when the war broke out. The old State House and the interior of the unfinished new State House were destroyed during the fire.

Where to find them: Bronze stars on the granite exterior walls of the new State House mark damage caused by artillery from Sherman's troops.

* Earthworks: A long, curved mound branches off from the dirt portion of Old State Road in Cayce a few yards south of Congaree Creek. Experts think this is an earthworks used by the Confederate troops. The troops set up behind the mound to fire on the approaching Union troops, making the creek crossing difficult.

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