A BRIEF AND CONTINUING HISTORY OF CLARENDON COUNTY

by | August 23, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: August 22, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Chapter Six: Civil Strife

by JERRY ROBERTSON

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union. The first shot of the Civil War was fired from the Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861. From that date until after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Va. On April 9, 1865 Clarendon residents would be greatly affected by the war. Every family felt the impact; those of African descent who were freed from slavery, plantation owners who lost their worldly goods, and the men who lost their limbs and all too often, their lives. This, indeed, was the most personal of wars.

For several decades prior to the War of Secession, as Southerners called it, South Carolina questioned the worth of belonging to the United States. In 1850, South Carolina was 60 percent black, creating uneasiness among the white population. Southerners also believed the Tariff of 1824 was discriminatory. On December 20, 1860 South Carolina voted to secede from the Union. Former governor and Clarendon County resident John Laurence Manning was sent as a delegate to other Southern states to persuade them to join South Carolina in secession. On February 8, 1861 the Confederate States of America formed a provisional government in Montgomery, Alabama.

Clarendon residents went to war, many served in Company I, the 25th South Carolina Volunteers, known locally as the Clarendon Guard and Company I of the 23rd South Carolina Volunteers, known as the Sprott Guard. Colonel Richard I. Manning organized the Manning Guards. Clarendon residents also served in other units not unique to Clarendon County.

REFLECTIONS OF POTTER’S RAID, by Reverend William Wynn Mood is an account of the Union attack on Manning of April 8, 1865 that occurred almost simultaneously with the surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox Courthouse. Communications were slow and Potter continued to wreak havoc after the surrender. At the beginning of the Union Army’s march into the town of Manning, Second Lieutenant Charles Hampton Jones, Seventh South Carolina Cavalry, borrowed a horse to scout Potter’s movements, and seeing none, accepted and offer for supper from Mrs. W. J. Norris, after the meal there were shouts for people to surrender, Lt. Jones reportedly shouted back “I’ll show you how to surrender” and took aim at the nearest Union soldier, a Josiah Pratt, who was the only casualty of the encounter and was buried in a squash patch in the yard of Mr. & Mrs. John Blakeley’s home on Brooks Street.

Reverend Mood, sick in bed, and his wife with their new baby, were at home when it was overrun by Potter’s soldiers. Lieutenant Harrison L. Waterman, Union soldier, was moved to assist the Moods. He provided a guard through the night and helped Mrs. Mood move food from the storehouse. Twenty years later, Reverend Mood located Lieutenant Waterman and thanked him.

African Americans served in the Confederate Army. South Carolina provided pension relief for regular Confederate soldiers in 1887, but did not recognize African Americans until 1923. African Americans from Clarendon County who received pensions were: Jesse Charles, Manning; Sam Clyburn Sr., Manning; Jully Galluchat, Manning; Merriman Johnson, St. Paul; Robert Witherspoon, New Zion; & Joseph Wheeler, Turbeville.

The end of the war marked the beginning of a new struggle for the people in Clarendon County and across the South.

This is the sixth chapter of a continuing chronicle of Clarendon County from its early beginning to its present existence. Much, if not all of the information and facts is borrowed from Dr. Sylvia Clark’s excellent publication “Shadows of the Past.” A copy may be purchased at the Clarendon County Archives or the Clarendon County Museum & History Center

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