THE “FAMOUSLY HOT” CITY’S MOST INFAMOUS MYSTERY …
On this day in 1865, Union forces under the command of major general William Tecumseh Sherman captured the city of Columbia, S.C. – and burned a sizable portion of it to the ground.
Or did they?
In his 1999 book Lies Across America, author James W. Loewen disputes this version of history – the one that’s still plastered on monuments all over the Southern city. Citing research by historians Marion Lucas and James Rhoads, Loewen concludes that the main fire which destroyed roughly a third of the city was accidental – the result of wind rekindling cotton fires set previously by retreating Confederate troops.
In fact according to Loewen’s account, union troops actually helped to contain the conflagration.
Confederate loyalists bristle at such “revisionist history.”