State Museum Presents Through the Fire, an Evening to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia

Jan. 29 event features dramatic Civil War presentations, live bluegrass music and period food and drinks

Release No. 15003

Media Contact:
Anna Kate Twitty, PR Manager, (803) 348-6010 (c), (803) 898-4948 (o),

COLUMBIA, S.C., Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 – Join the South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum at Through the Fire from 7 – 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29. This special evening event will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Burning of Columbia and will feature historical presentations, live bluegrass music and Civil War-inspired food and drinks.

“This is an immersive way to experience history,” said JoAnn Zeise, State Museum history curator. “Being able to see images and listen to readings of our past while enjoying music and period food will truly make for a unique experience.  We will be brining history to life.”

Guests will experience the Civil War up-close and personal with a special presentation in the State Museum’s new BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium.  The planetarium presentation will travel back through space to February of 1865 to display the same night sky that was above Columbia when Sherman’s troops burned the city.   In addition, there will be dramatic readings of accounts from people who witnessed Sherman’s path.  Images from diaries, newspapers, military accounts and letters will fill the planetarium dome, as actors from Trustus Theatre read and interpret important historical documents from the event.

There will also be a special presentation in the Rev. Dr. Solomon Jackson, JR 4D Theater.  Guests will see the Civil War jump off the screen as the Relic Room presents Civil War in 3D, a special display of more than 75 Civil War images in 3D.  A short presentation about the images will be given by the Relic Room’s curator of education, Joe Long.

Civil War-inspired food will be prepared by Dan “The Pig Man” Huntley, a York County chef who is well-versed in 19th century food and culture.  The menu lineup will include country-ham biscuits, traditional South Carolina Purloo with rice and quail, cornbread and cracklin’ made with South Carolina stone-ground corn meal and traditional “Goober Peas,” also known as boiled peanuts. In addition, there will be cocktails of the period served to guests.

Bluegrass band Palmetto Blue will play Civil War era song selections throughout the evening.  In addition to performing songs of the era, Palmetto Blue will present the history of the songs as they relate to the war. This traditional band features two recipients of the South Carolina Folk Heritage Award for their folk music preservation efforts.

The event will take place at the State Museum located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia, S.C. Tickets are $35 for the public and $28 for museum members and can be purchased at All guests must be 21 or older.  Advanced tickets are recommended as space is limited.

The State Museum is one of nearly 30 organizations comprising 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

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 old 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 an interactive 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 to learn more.