War & Reconstruction

Transitioning to the nineteenth century, this gallery focuses on secession, the Civil War and Reconstruction in South Carolina

Exhibit Highlights

Drawing from first-person records in the Historical Society’s collections, this gallery features interactive portraits of South Carolinians who come alive to tell stories about life during this time. Hand-drawn maps, photographs and scrapbooks are also on display.

Augustine Thomas Smythe
Smythe was assigned to the Confederate Signal Corps. He served on the ironclad CSS Palmetto State and then occupied a post high above Charleston in the steeple of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. From behind a telescope in his lofty perch, he observed the fierce attacks on Fort Sumter, the effects of the unrelenting shelling of the city by enemy guns at Morris Island, and the naval battles and operations in the harbor, including the actions of the Confederate torpedo boats and the H. L. Hunley submarine.