Cannon fire and Confederate sharpshooters will take Columbians back Saturday to a historic event that happened nearly 150 years ago.
A re-enactment of Union troops and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman firing on the Capital City will take place on both sides of the Congaree River. Participants are from South Carolina, as well as North Carolina and Georgia, organizers say. About 80 re-enactors are expected to participate, Gordon said.
Those driving over the Gervais Street bridge during Saturday’s re-enactment could feel like they are in the middle of artillery fire.
“They’re going to see quite a display of fire and smoke,” said Don Gordon, event chairman.
Cannons will be on the West Columbia side of Gervais Street in front of Stone River. Confederate soldiers will be on the Columbia side in the woods.
The event will have more cannon power than ever before to re-enact the hundreds of shots fired upon the city, Gordon said.
“The Yankees didn’t just loosen up a few cannons and throw a few rounds in,” said Gordon, who is part of the Wade Hampton Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is presenting the event.
Reminders of the battle can be seen on the outside of the State House building, with stars marking where cannon balls hit.
Union troops were trying to trick the Confederates into thinking that they were going to force a crossing, Gordon said.
In reality, the troops wanted to loop back around and capture Broad River bridge, he said.
“It’s important that we actually understand the true history of our city,” Gordon said. “We were fighting against the invading army that had burned every town that they came through.”
If you go
What: Firing on Columbia
When: Noon to 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cannons on the West Columbia side of Gervais Street bridge in front of Stone River, Confederate sharpshooters in the woods on Columbia side of the bridge. A good viewing spot would be near the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater.