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Sherman and the Burning of Columbia

by Lucas, Marion B.
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Retail Price: $12.95
Issue: Summer 2001
ISBN: 1570033587

Newly reprinted, Marion B. Lucas's study of what caused Columbia to catch fire after the battle for the South Carolina city in February 1865 includes a foreword by Bell Wiley. Summarizing Lucas's findings, Wiley notes that only one-third of the city burned, and the original fires were unintentionally ignited by cotton bales torched by fleeing Confederates. Disorder among the victorious Union troops led to more fires and chaos in the street. Wiley puts it succinctly: "The principal demons in the drama were cotton, whiskey, and wind."

review of Sherman and the Burning of Columbia, by Lucas, Marion B., Civil War Book Review, (Summer 2001).