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Civil War home front exhibit opens at archives

Posted: September 17, 2013 3:42 p.m.
Updated: September 18, 2013 1:00 a.m.

A new exhibit featuring Camden in the Civil War opened Sept. 6 and will run through January 11, 2014.

Camden was not the scene of battles, but like every community in the Confederate states, the women on the home front were busy at work every day to provide supplies and food for the Confederate Army and hospitals, as well as feed and clothe their own families. Though there were shortages of certain goods, food and supplies could be readily purchased -- for cash -- in Camden throughout the war. A huge war effort here was caring for the wounded and ill who came in on the train and disembarked for the 1st South Carolina Hospital, located across King Street from the Mills Court House. Another focus was on the Soldiers’ Rest, opened in 1862 by the Kershaw Aid Association to care for returning soldiers before they made the final leg of their journey to their homes.

The exhibit also focuses on perhaps the largest contribution Camden made to the war – almost all of the men in town enlisted in the Confederate Army. Their letters back and forth to their loved ones illustrates the sacrifices on both the home front and on the war front. Letters of the Villepigue, Truesdale and Kirkland families are included in the exhibit. The navy blue South Carolina militia uniform worn in 1861 by Richard I. Manning, Jr. is also on exhibit. In the Confederate service from the first days of the war, Manning died one month before the Confederate grays were issues.

The Camden Archives and Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

(This information provided by the city of Camden.)

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