Echoes of the Civil War resound throughout Columbia, and Historic Columbia is taking folks on a trip back in time to visit some of those Civil War sites.
It’s a Second Sunday Roll, a bus tour of Columbia’s important Civil War sites. The 90-minute tour begins at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“The Civil War shaped Columbia culturally, physically and psychologically in ways that remain apparent today in our cityscape,” said John Sherrer, Historic Columbia’s director of cultural resources. “Historic Columbia’s Civil War tour highlights people, places and events of this important era.”
Columbia’s antebellum and Reconstruction era structures – including churches, hospitals, armories, governmental buildings and private homes – offer testimony to this tumultuous chapter in American history.
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On the tour, visitors will learn about Columbia during the early years of the war and about the fateful night of Feb. 17, 1865 when 30 percent of the city’s structures were lost to fire. Folks can stop at the State House and count the iron stars marking where Union cannonballs hit the building.
“Contrary to popular belief, the entire city was not destroyed in February 1865,” Sherrer said. “Though about one-third of the city burned, a great deal of antebellum Columbia remained. Other forces, including urban renewal in the 1960s, led to further losses.”
People may be surprised to learn the history in their everyday lives.
“Today, reminders of the Civil War, the city’s burning, and how the era was memorialized, can be found throughout downtown,” Sherrer says. “You may buy your groceries at a former Confederate printing plant, or perhaps your favorite bar is in a former antebellum train station; maybe you take classes in what once was a Confederate hospital. The past is everywhere.”
Bus tour tickets may be purchased at the Robert Mills Carriage House, at 1616 Blanding St. in Columbia. www.historiccolumbia.org