Living a Big War in a Small Place
Spartanburg, South Carolina, during the Confederacy
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
This small book is a distillation of material gathered over many years of studying and writing about the history of South Carolina and Spartanburg in particular. The contribution of the best of researchers, my wife Frances, to my last book, Gentleman Merchants, and this one is deep and invaluable. ...
Part One: The District
People in Spartanburg District were in trouble. Life had become defined by scarcity, impossibly high prices, bad-tempered neighbors, and hard living. Many people were short on food. Salt, necessary to keep meat edible over time, was difficult to find and even then too expensive. ...
One: The Setting
Located in the northwestern part of South Carolina among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Spartanburg District is made up of rolling hills drained by three river systems: the Pacolet, the Tyger, and along its most northeastern border with York District, the Broad. ...
Two: Spartanburg Wages War
Secession from the Union meant the independence long sought after by many of the men and women of Spartanburg District. Others in the area were ambivalent about the Union for many years prior to the 1850s. Leaders of the pro-Union factions in South Carolina were for the most part upcountry people, ...
Three: Spartanburg Beleaguered
Many residents of Spartanburg accepted the privations of war because they believed they were fighting for the right. But except for the initial year of fighting and the spring of 1863, when it seemed Vicksburg would withstand federal onslaught and General Robert E. Lee was invading the North, the war was depressing. ...
Four: Slavery during the War
Slavery had existed in Spartanburg from the time of the first settlements in the middle of the 18th century. By 1860 the district’s total population was about twenty-eight thousand, and the village population was about one thousand to one thousand two hundred. About one third of the district’s total population were slaves (there were about fifty free African Americans). ...
Part Two: Individuals
The following stories are about individual residents of Spartanburg District during the Civil War. The tales provide insight into the impact of war on even the smallest of communities, whether the sites of battles or not. People make history and historians largely deal with people in the aggregate, for the national and regional narrative is the sum of the actions and reactions of individuals. ...
Five: The Slave Catherine and the Kindness of Strangers?
On the 25th of January, 1865, David Lipscomb, a resident of Northern Spartanburg District, formally accused his slave, Catherine, before the local magistrate, Davis Moore, of the crime of arson.1 The magistrate summoned eight local slave holders to appear at David Lipscomb’s farm on the first day of February 1865 for Catherine’s trial. ...
Six: Emily Lyles Harris, Reluctant Farmer
Emily Lyles Harris’s husband, David Harris, started a journal in 1855 to keep an accurate record of his farm work so he could eventually learn the very best time and method for undertaking his various tasks. With his wife, children, and ten slaves, he worked one hundred acres of a five hundred acre farm located eight miles southeast of the village of Spartanburg. ...
Seven: A Question of Loyalty
In 1861 Elihu Toland of Glenn Springs published a handbill entitled the “12 We Wonders” under the pseudonym “Brutus.” According to court documents read in the 1980s but which are no longer accessible,1 a farmer named Benjamin Finch believed himself to be one of the targets of this handbill. ...
Eight: Having Fled War
As soon as war broke out the coastal areas of the Confederacy became vulnerable to Union attack. President Abraham Lincoln determined early on to blockade the Southern coast which was over 3000 miles long. Even as the Northern navy grew and the blockade became increasingly effective, it could never truly prevent all shipping from Southern ports. ...
War had not been the short-lived, adventurous, and triumphant experience almost everyone in Spartanburg had expected—not for the soldier in the field, and not for the people at home. Instead, it had necessitated unexpected sacrifice and caused social turmoil—it had proven hard and unforgiving. ...
About the Author
Philip N. Racine is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of History Emeritus at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the editor of The Fiery Trail: A Union Officer’s Account of Sherman’s Last Campaign, Piedmont Farmer: The Journals of David Golightly Harris, 1855–1870, ...
Page Count: 136
Publication Year: 2013
OCLC Number: 862077764
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