Sherman’s March Through South Carolina Tour – $

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From Mary Lou, who got it from Steve Wise of PI Museum. I have heavily edited the descriptions. Go online if you are interested in learning more about the tour, prices, and itinerary.

Sherman’s March Through SC: A BGES Sesquicentennial Program, Presented by Stephen Wise & others, January 14-19, 2015 from Savannah, GA Sponsored by BGES Seminars, PO Box 1176, Chatham, VA 24531, or fax credit cards to 434-432-0596. Additional information at http://www.blueandgrayeducation.org.

William T. Sherman’s impact on the Civil War has been muted by criticism of his treatment of southern civilians and yet his legacy is really quite profound … Sherman had made Georgia howl but South Carolina would bleed. In a months time Sherman’s forces were called to the final assembly for the spring evisceration of Robert E. Lee’s besieged army—indeed initial planning called for Sherman’s army to join the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James in finishing the Civil War. Properly fed, Sherman’s force was potent and it was again going to war. Departing in January, his army left on two distinct tracks that would lay waste to Orangeburg and Columbia and leave a real legacy of destruction. After Sherman exited SC near Cheraw, he cut lose cavalry from Georgetown, SC to raid into the remaining reaches of the state, Potter’s Raid was “celebrating in the end zone,” the South was done! Walk in their footsteps as BGES brings you Sherman in South Carolina.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 : A lecture from Len Riedel on “Lee’s Back Door, The Threat and Promise of the Low Country.” In this lecture, Len will discuss the unrealized opportunity that federal strategy failed to exploit.

Thursday, January 15, 2015 : 8:15 AM: Steve Wise will lead us this morning as we examine how Sherman’s late fall march to Savannah scrambled the security of the Confederate forces guarding the city and the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. In an effort to support Sherman’s march, Federal troops stationed at Hilton Head Island marched and engaged Confederates at the battle of Honey Hill. You will get to walk the private grounds and very clearly see the earthworks charged by the 54th and 55th Massachusetts, both USCT regiments. The battlefield study picks up the Federal Landing at Boyd’s Landing on the Broad River. We will then go see a battle where the entire Citadel Cadet Corps successfully engaged United States Marines and other Union forces at Tulifinney. This key railroad junction kept the Charleston and Savannah open to the evacuating Confederate troops; but, it is sadly overlooked by history. Plus historian Gloria Swift will bring us to Fort McAllister where the Federals gained contact with the Union fleet. After a spirited interpretation of the brief encounter there we will return to Savannah for a walking tour of the town and the important locations in Sherman’s occupation—a key stop being the Green-Meherrin House that was Sherman’s headquarters. Dinner: The Lady and Sons Restaurant, home of Paula Dean’s famous southern cooking. .

Friday January 16, 2015 : On board for an early start, With Sherman’s arrival, Confederate troops under William J. Hardee began to evacuate. Our route out of downtown Savannah will roughly mirror that of Hardee’s troops. It will allow follow the footsteps of the Federal XV and XX Corps as they left Savannah. In making his march, Sherman wanted to create as much confusion as possible by confusing the Confederates as to his destination—Charleston, Augusta, Charlotte? With his troop strength the rebels could only guess. Light works were thrown up to resist at Delta Plantation, Union Causeway and upon the New River. At New River, Steve Wise will pick up the trail and story of the XX Corps as they moved to Hardeeville. We will then swing over to Sheldon Church where the Federal Right Wing movements will be explained.

You are in for a treat as the sites we will see are relatively unknown and never visited until you get there: they include earthworks at Pocotaligo; a railroad post at Pocotaligo station; the Confederate district Headquarters at McPhersonville where the Federal XV Corps turned inland in South Carolina. At Whippy Swamp we will see where the Federal XVII Corps drove away Confederate defenders. Moving on to Broxton Bridge we will see Confederate fortifications on the Salkehatchie River and then moving on to the state park at River’s Bridge. Here we will be met by South Carolina Park Ranger Dan Bell for a unique tour of the two day battle at the Bridge.

Crossing South Carolina was a major undertaking complicated by wide and difficult river crossings. Our stop at the Beaufort Bridge crossing of the Salkehatchie by the XV and XVII corps will show you how difficult these movements were. At Bamberg we will discuss the destruction of the South Carolina Railroad and at Orangeburg we will drive by sites in a town that the Federals clearly burned in spite. We will then head into the Columbia area for dinner at the Lexington Historical Society and a lecture by Eric Emerson on the South Carolina Secession Convention. We will then spend the next two nights in Columbia. . Lunch is again provided.

Saturday January 17, 2015 : … We are going to bring that all out by spending a full day in Columbia led by historian, Krissy Johnson. Sites include the state capitol, the Hampton Preston House and the University of South Carolina Horseshoe, Confederate Relic Room and South Carolina Military Museum, classic South Carolina BBQ and a lecture on Civil War Railroads emphasizing those in South Carolina by Roger Stroup.

Sunday January 18, 2015 : [Then it’s on to] Cheraw, …. Sherman’s last stop in South Carolina.

Monday January 19, 2015 : We are going to do Potter’s Raid.

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