Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibit Series, 2011-2015:
Gettysburg: South Carolina in the Fight
June 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014
July 1-3, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle in American history with approximately 53,000 men killed, wounded, or missing. Combined with the loss of Confederate-held Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War. On June 28, 2013, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum will open an exhibit about the nearly 5,000 men serving in regiments from the Palmetto State that fought at the battle.
“Gettysburg: South Carolina in the Fight” examines the various roles of South Carolinians in Gettysburg Campaign. The exhibit displays the swords of Colonel William Davie DeSaussure, who was the highest ranking South Carolinian killed at the battle, and General Joseph Brevard Kershaw. Surrendered shortly before the end of the war to a Union cavalryman, this is the first known time that Kershaw’s sword has returned to South Carolina since the war.
Also on display are numerous rifles carried in the battle, artillery projectiles, camp items used by General Wade Hampton, personal letters home, and memorabilia from the 1913 reunion. The artifacts come from the museum’s own collection, private lenders, and Gettysburg National Military Park. The exhibit concludes with memorial walls listing the names of 539 men who were killed during the Gettysburg Campaign.
One of the most visually stunning items in the exhibit is the nearly life-size 21’x7’ reproduction of James Walker’s The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault, July 3, 1863, which is part of the Johnson Collection in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The highly-detailed artwork depicts Pickett’s Charge from the Union perspective.
“Gettysburg: South Carolina in the Fight” is the fourth in a series of exhibits the museum is presenting during the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.
Upcoming Exhibits Next Year
From Backrooms to Battlefields: The Buying and Selling of the Confederacy
Based on the discovery of rare Confederate purchasing receipts, this exhibit takes the visitor on a journey from the smoke-filled backroom deals of England, through the thrill and danger of blockade running in exotic foreign ports, to the Southern soldiers in the field. Learn how Confederate government used their lifeline to Europe to keep the Southern war machine running until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox that ending this nation’s greatest conflict.