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Sesquicentennial Events

“From Civil War to Civil Rights” Exhibits

Head to the City Gallery to see two exhibits observing the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial. The large-format photographs restored by Rick Rhodes for “Post Civil War Charleston 1865: A Charleston Retrospective” show the city’s destroyed forts, buildings, and houses. Meanwhile, “Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs” looks at the South’s legacy from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement through batik artwork. City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (843)958-6484,

“Post Civil War Charleston – 1865: A Photographic Retrospective”

View large-format photographs of Charleston that were taken amidst the post-war destruction of 1865 and recently restored by local photographer Rick Rhodes. City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (843)958-6484,

Gibbes Museum Exhibits

In “Passage on the Underground Railroad,” photographer and artist Stephen Marc tells of our country’s freedom-seekers through digital montages. “A Soldier’s View of Civil War Charleston” offers a very different perspective, with 30-plus oil paintings by Confederate soldier Conrad Wise Chapman depicting the forts and batteries around Charleston. Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. $9; $7 senior/military/student; $5 ages six-12; free for member/child under six. (843)722-2706,

“Threads of War: Clothing & Textiles of the Civil War”

Get a feel for the lives of those left on the home front during the Civil War in the first exhibit in The Charleston Museum’s new permanent textiles gallery. Civilian clothing, uniforms, quilts, and flags, plus magazines, daguerreotypes, and diaries, show how the war took its toll on every aspect of life. The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. $10; $5 ages three-12; free for child under three. (843)722-2996,

Prologue & Politics: The Civil War Vol. 1.

This musical exploration features a wide range of Charleston artists, musicians, and community members representing history through pictorial slides, spoken word, and music for string trio and choir. Charleston Library Society, 164 King St. Wednesday, 7pm. $20. (843)723-9912,

Meet Addy: An American Girl

Travel back in time to meet the American Girl series’ nine-year-old Addy Walker, who is determined to find freedom during the Civil War. Children will read from the book, play games, and make a craft. Charleston County Public Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Thursday, 4pm. Free. (843)805-6930,

APRIL 8-12
Civil War Voices

Virginia-based Barter Theatre travels to Charleston to present true stories of heroic individuals who lived during the Civil War era. Their tales of courage, passion, and sacrifice are woven together with traditional music of the period to help offer insight into the tragic events that shaped our nation. Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday & Tuesday, 2pm & 7:30pm; Sunday & Monday, 3pm. $32. (276)628-3991,

APRIL 8, 9, & 10
Film on the Green Series

Grab a comfy chair or blanket and head to Marion Square to watch one or all of the al fresco public film screenings happening this month. First up is the classic Gone With the Wind on the 8th followed by the celebrated PBS documentary The Civil War: Episode One—The Cause by Ken Burns, on the 9th. Before the screening, Jay Ungar, who wrote the film’s theme song, “Ashokan Farewell,” describes his involvement in the project. Glory, a war drama about one of the first African American volunteer units in the U.S. Army, wraps up the series on the 10th. Marion Square Park, corner of Calhoun & King Sts. Friday-Sunday, 8-10pm. Free. (843)724-7305,

APRIL 8-12
Reflections on the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Symposium

Deepen your knowledge of the deadliest war in American history during this fascinating symposium held at various locations throughout the Lowcountry. Co-sponsors SCHS, with the Citadel and the Ft. Moultrie/Ft. Sumter Trust, bring together a number of featured historians, including Walter Edgar, Bernard Powers, Barbara Bellows, Vernon Burton, Ed Ayers, Emory Thomas and James McPherson. Delve into the racial, economic, and political issues that set the war in motion, as these historians cover topics such as John Brown’s raid, America’s youth at on the onset of war, and the importance of Fort Sumter. Locations & times vary. Free. (843)224-0331,

APRIL 9-14
Civil War Sesquicentennial Events at Patriots Point

More than 300 Civil War reenactors will be camped at Patriots Point giving artillery, cavalry, infantry, medicine, and home life demonstrations. Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant. Saturday-Thursday, 9am-6:30pm. $10; $5 ages six-11; free for child under five. (843)884-2727,

APRIL 9-13
Day One April 1861

Watch some 300 reenactors participate in artillery and cavalry camp parades, basket-weaving demos, and more. Look for events on the 12th and 14th commemorating the first shots of the war and Major Anderson’s surrender at Fort Sumter. Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant. Daily, 9am-6:30pm. Prices vary. (843)884-2727,

APRIL 9, 12, & 14
“From Where They Stood:” Sesquicentennial Dinner Cruise to Fort Sumter

Enjoy a three-course Southern-style meal aboard the boat to Fort Sumter while listening to live period music as well as a lecture on the history of the Fort. Board at Fort Sumter Visitors Center at Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Saturday, Tuesday, & Thursday, 5:15-9pm. $65. (800)789-3678,

APRIL 9 & 12
Houses & Sites of the Civil War: Festival of Houses & Gardens

In affiliation with Historic Charleston Foundation’s Festival of Houses and Gardens, this tour features downtown sites associated with the Civil War. Locations vary. Saturday & Tuesday, 2-5pm. $45. (843)723-1623,

APRIL 9-17
Living History Demonstrations at Fort Sumter

Visitors to Fort Sumter this week will see a wide variety of reenactments, from Union and Confederate soldier musket drill and firing to a ceremony signifying the surrender of the fort. Fort Sumter National Monument. Saturday-Sunday, times vary. Free with paid boat tour ticket. (843)883-3123,

APRIL 9 & 10
Mary Chesnut’s Road to Fort Sumter

Based on a diary kept by South Carolinian Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut (1823-1886), this poignant production by Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina tells the story of one woman’s tribulations during the rise and fall of the Confederate States of America. After Saturday’s performance, join the theater troupe as well as the South Carolina Historical Society for a champagne and dessert reception at the Fireproof Building at 100 Meeting Street. The Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm & 7pm. $25 performance; $25 reception. (843)723-3225,

APRIL 9-15
Military Enlistment Program

Don’t miss this opportunity for children to experience what it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Saturday-Friday, 8:45am & 11am. Free. (843)883-3123,

APRIL 9 & 29
Tour of Battery Pringle

Join Charleston Museum curator of history Grahame Long to explore one of the most well-preserved Confederate earthworks in existence. The Saturday trip includes a stop at Battery Tynes. Dill Sanctuary, 1163 Riverland Dr. Times & prices vary. (843)722-2996,

Charleston Congregations

Discuss the history of the religious congregations that were in Charleston during the start of the Civil War. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Sunday, 1-5pm. Free. (843)883-3123,

Civil War Food: Battlefield & Homefront

Visitors will explore wartime fare through interpretive demonstrations and short lectures about cuisine on and off the battlefield. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Monday, 1-5pm. Free. (843)883-3123,

Voices From the Civil War

Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, and The Family Band perform with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra,
CSO Spiritual Chorale, and Mt. Zion AME Spiritual Ensemble with Sean Newhouse as guest conductor and Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. as concert host. The musical program includes film score selections by Jay Ungar featured in the PBS Documentary, The Civil War, directed by Ken Burns; Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait for orchestra, narrated by Mayor Riley; a selection of spirituals, and a variety of music popular during the Civil War period, including “Bonnie Blue Flag,” “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and ending with “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Renowned historians Edward L. Ayers and Barbara Jeanne Fields will give brief remarks. White Point Gardens, Murray Blvd. at East Bay St. Monday, 9-10:30pm; Free. (843)724-7305,

Sunrise Concert: When Jesus Wept

In observance of the moment the first shots of the Civil War were fired, this program features music for brass ensemble and military drum, including a hymn by colonial composer William Billings. White Point Gardens Bandstand, South Battery at Meeting St. Tuesday, 4:30am. Free. (843)724-7305,

United States Postal Service First Day Issue Ceremony

Don’t miss the official ceremony and issuance of the official Fort Sumter National Monument and Manassas National Battlefield Sesquicentennial postal stamp. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Tuesday, 12:30-1pm. Free. (843)883-3123 x. 20,

The Sounds of Charleston During The Civil War

Dr. Nic Butler discusses the music of wartime, from popular songs and military marches to minstrel shows and African-American spirituals. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Thursday, 1pm. Free. (843)883-3123

Winslow Homer & the Civil War

This lecture, led by architect and art historian Kenyon C. Bolton, provides insight into the early stages of Winslow Homer’s career when he spent time on the front lines creating sketches of soldiers as a special correspondent for Harper’s Weekly. Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. Thursday, 6pm. $10; free for Gibbes member. (843)722-2706, x.22,

Women’s Work: Survival Skills for the Mid-19th Century

Come see demonstrations illustrating a woman’s work during the Civil War, including candle-making, butter-churning, rice-processing, indigo-dying, and toy- and quilt-making. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Friday, 1-5pm. Free. (843)883-3123,

Junior Ranger Day: Civil War Games

Children will learn to play wartime games such as lawn hoops, duck-duck-goose, croquet, jacks, tops, marbles, hopscotch, chess, checkers, and quoits. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Saturday, 10am-3pm.
Free. (843)883-3123,

The Real Truth of Civil War Medicine: Diseases, Surgery, & Dentistry

Dr. Scott Evans talks about mid-1800s medical practices, while David Smoot discusses Civil War-era dentistry. Liberty Square, 340 Concord St. Sunday, 1pm. Free. (843)883-3123,

South Carolina Masonic Research Society 2011 Banquet & Symposium

Masonic author Michael Halleran, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War, serves as keynote speaker at this first annual event. Omar Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant. Friday, 7pm. $25. (843)599-5219,

“The Beginning of the Civil War” Manuscripts

This exhibit consists of more than two dozen items on Secession and the beginning of the American Civil War. Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 68 Spring St. Tuesday-Friday, 11am- 4pm. Free. (843)853-4651,

“…Deathly Blasts by the Thousands” Civil War Lecture

Technological advancements in small arms weaponry during the Civil War laid the foundation for a devastating new age of warfare. Charleston Museum curator of history Grahame Long explores the transition from traditional armed conflict to the far deadlier fighting that emerged in the mid-19th century as inventions such as the rifled musket with Minié balls, dependable revolvers, and metal cartridges brought accuracy and efficiency to the battle field. The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. Wednesday, 6:30pm. Free. (843)722-2996,

MAY 25-26
“Jews, Slavery, & The Civil War” Conference

This conference covers themes such as Jewish attitudes toward slavery and abolition, Jewish soldiering and wartime service, and anti-Semitism in the North and South. Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Center, 96 Wentworth St. Monday & Tuesdays, times & prices vary. (843)953-5682,