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South Carolina State Museum Hosts Second Annual History Day

Event held in partnership with the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum on Feb. 14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                      Release No. 15004                                                         

Media Contacts:
Anna Kate Twitty, public relations manager, (803) 348-6010 (c), (803) 898-4948 (o), AnnaKate.Twitty@scmuseum.org
Jami Boone, curator of exhibits and design, 803-737-8287 (o), jboone@crr.sc.gov

COLUMBIA, S.C., Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 – The South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum are partnering to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s march across the state and the burning of Columbia during the State Museum’s second annual History Day event from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.

History Day will feature Civil War military reenactors and living historians demonstrating the lives of soldiers and civilians, a live Civil War era music performance by musician Jim Dreyfus, historic movie showings and hands-on learning activities, including how to make historic Valentine’s cards and how to make cockades, a knot of ribbons with distinctive colors worn on hats or clothing often used to display southern support for secession.

Other event highlights include presentations by Joseph McGill on African-American soldiers, Emily Cooper on Civil War First Lady of South Carolina Lucy Holcomb Pickens, Chester DePratter and Jim Legg with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology on the Camp Asylum dig on Columbia’s Bull St., and associate archivist at the Missouri History Museum and Research Center Molly Kodner on letters written by Union soldier James Love to his fiancé, including many as a POW at Campy Asylum. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History will be selling authentic Confederate currency and there will be book signings by authors Karen Stokes of the South Carolina Historical Society and Mike Wadsworth.

“We are excited to present our second annual History Day in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s march through South Carolina,” said JoAnn Zeise, State Museum curator of history. “This event is a great opportunity for the State Museum to partner with other cultural groups and organizations to bring awareness of South Carolina’s deep and rich history.”

The day will also include the opening of the State Museum’s new exhibit, Finding Freedom’s Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville.  The exhibit highlights the rich history of the freedman’s town of Mitchelville, S.C. and tells the story of nearby enslaved people who fled their plantations for the Union lines after Union occupation in Port Royal during November 1861. Recent archaeological findings help tell the story of these formerly enslaved men and women who rebuilt their lives, legal system, schools, churches and homes after becoming free.  Mitchelville is included with State Museum general admission or membership and will run through Sunday, Aug. 23.

“The S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is excited to jointly sponsor History Day,” said Katie Conley, S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum curator of history. “Visitors will be given the opportunity to learn about the experiences of all South Carolinians who endured Sherman’s march through the Carolinas and the burning of Columbia, 150 years ago.”

In addition, guests can see Paths of Destruction: Sherman’s Final Campaign, the S.C. Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum’s new exhibit on Sherman’s march through the Carolinas at the end of the war.  Paths of Destruction focuses on the march’s impact on the people of South Carolina and Sherman’s controversial application of “hard” or “total” war. Artifacts include Union and Confederate weapons and accoutrements, ammunition, excavated Camp Asylum POW pieces, uniforms, excavated relics from locations along Sherman’s path and flags. Highlights of the exhibit are a life-size diorama depicting Columbia after the burning, audio segments of first-person accounts during the campaign and a pre-and-post burned Columbia interactive map. Paths of Destruction is included with S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum general admission and will run through March 6, 2016.

History Day will be held from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is included with State Museum general admission or museum membership. The S.C. Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum’s exhibits, including Paths of Destruction, are available to the public for a separate fee. Visit scmuseum.org to learn more.

The State Museum and the S.C. Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum are part of a group of more than 30 organizations participating in Columbia Commemorates, a multi-disciplinary coalition formed to plan and implement the citywide commemoration of the Burning of Columbia. For a full list of events and exhibits planned for the commemoration, visit BurningofColumbia.com.

About the South Carolina State Museum:  As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista.  The State Museum is housed in one of its largest artifacts, an 1894 former textile mill full of character and charm.  In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch a multisensory 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology. Visit scmuseum.org to learn more.

About the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum:  Founded in 1896, the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is the oldest museum in the Columbia area. The museum offers a unique opportunity to discover and explore the state’s military history through informative and award-winning exhibits, featuring many rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts.  Visitors to the museum can explore South Carolina’s distinguished martial tradition in exhibits covering the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the War on Terror and other American conflicts. The museum’s evolving permanent exhibits and changing exhibit galleries make each visit a new experience! Visit www.crr.sc.gov for more information.  

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History Day Cutlines:

Reenactors Cutline: Civil War military reenactors and living historians will be featured during History Day.  The South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Relic Room and Military Museum are partnering to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s march across the state and the burning of Columbia during the State Museum’s annual History Day event from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. Courtesy of the S.C. State Museum.

Mitcheleville Cutline: Slaves of the rebel Gen. Thomas F. Drayton taken on Drayton Hall located on Hilton Head Island, S.C.  Finding Freedom’s Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville, the State Museum’s new traveling history exhibit, will open during History Day on Saturday, Feb. 14. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Paths of Destruction Cutline: The S.C. Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum’s new exhibit, Paths of Destruction: Sherman’s Final Campaign, commemorates the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s march through the Carolinas and the burning of Columbia. It can be seen at History Day from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. Courtesy of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.