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Confederate Relic Room exhibit features artifacts from Kershaw County

Posted: July 2, 2013 3:51 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2013 5:00 a.m.

July 1-3 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle in American history with approximately 53,000 men killed, wounded or missing.

On June 28, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum opened an exhibit about the nearly 5,000 men serving in regiments from the Palmetto State that fought at the battle.

"Gettysburg: South Carolina in the Fight" examines the various roles of South Carolinians in the Gettysburg Campaign. The exhibit displays the swords of Colonel William Davie DeSaussure, who was the highest ranking South Carolinian killed at the battle, and General Joseph Brevard Kershaw. Surrendered shortly before the end of the war to a Union cavalryman, this is the first known time that Kershaw’s sword has returned to South Carolina since the war.

Also on display are numerous rifles carried in the battle, artillery projectiles, camp items used by General Wade Hampton, personal letters to home and memorabilia from a 1913 reunion. The artifacts come from the museum’s own collection, private lenders and Gettysburg National Military Park. The exhibit concludes with memorial walls listing the names of 539 men who were killed during the Gettysburg Campaign.

One of the most visually stunning items in the exhibit is the nearly life-size 21’x7’ reproduction of James Walker’s "The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault, July 3, 1863," which is part of the Johnson Collection in Spartanburg. The highly-detailed artwork depicts Pickett’s Charge from the Union perspective.

"Gettysburg: South Carolina in the Fight" is the fourth in a series of exhibits the museum is presenting during the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.

Founded in 1896, the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is the oldest museum in the Columbia area. The museum focuses on South Carolina’s military history from the Revolutionary War to the present.

The exhibit will run through January 5, 2014.

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