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January 23, 2010

Photoblogging: Charleston At War?

It's been ages and ages since we had one of these, but since there's no real news doin' and I'm all out of patience for music videos after yesterday's post, take a look at Charleston, South Carolina:

That's the small size. Definitely click over to SHORPY to see the jumbo size with all it's details.

SHORPY says that what you're looking at is the bombed-out remains of the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar after the U.S. shelled Charleston. It's dated 1865, which makes me suspect it was taken after Sherman blew past on his way to burning the shit out of Columbia. At that point, the Confederates had already retreated and surrendered the city.

However, I was a little curious about this because after a bunch of poking around I couldn't find a date to put to the bombing. The Cathedral's history page seems to indicate that what we're looking at is not battle-damage, but fire damage:

On December 11, 1861, a fire broke out in a factory on Hasell Street, destroying much of Charleston including the cathedral. Everything was lost.

Fund-raising for a new cathedral continued for the next 45 years, and the cornerstone for the present Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was laid in January 1890.

So, dear readers, fire damage, battle damage, or both?

You can also take a look at the Cathedral today. It's currently getting a massive face-lift and all-around restoration. Videos, photos, and articles from the restoration are available here.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:55 PM

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