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MAIL on the RAILS

Historical Society program with artifacts, Sept. 16

Posted: September 10, 2018 4:05 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Seen in the Wateree Swamp, where the railroad was destroyed in 1865, Harvey Teal (left) will be explaining the importance of this scene at the Kershaw County Historical Society program, Sept. 16.

An artifact display and slides will enhance the multifaceted program “MAIL on the RAILS!!” which the Kershaw County Historical Society invites members and other interested persons to enjoy at 3 p.m. Sunday, September 16, at the Robert Mills Courthouse, 607 Broad St., Camden.

In the mid-1800s, the railroad -- the newest technology of the time -- sped delivery of mail and goods from afar right into the town of Camden. The intervention of the Civil War, the first war in which both sides made strategic use of railroads, brought great change.

The Society’s presenters, Harvey Teal and Tim Lord, for some time have both been avid students of the program subject, which they have researched on the ground as well as in print and manuscripts.

Their presentation will explore Camden and Kershaw County topics of Railroad History, Postal History, and Civil War History, especially U.S. General Edward E. Potter’s Raid from the South Carolina coast to Camden in 1865. Among Potter’s troops were African-American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts, portrayed in the movie Glory.

Teal and Lord will display artifacts from their respective collections relative to the topics. Teal is a locally familiar face -- a charter member of the Society, past president, present board member, several times a presenter, and author of several history books. He also writes the Society’s monthly historical column for the Chronicle-Independent, with his name modestly printed at the bottom.

Program attendees will also enjoy meeting and hearing “newcomer” Lord, who moved to Camden as a retiree in 2017, but who is an old friend of Teal’s and joined the Society at his urging. Lord worked in modern technological communications, but has a real love for history, especially of the Civil War and railroads. Both Teal and Lord are avid researchers and collectors.

A brief bit of business will be conducted as the Society conducts its annual election of officers. Present vice-president Tony Scully has been nominated as new president.

The program will conclude with refreshments and time to converse and examine displayed artifacts. Books and historical publications of the Society will be available for sale. The program is open to the public.

Membership in the Society is granted upon payment of dues, which may be paid at the meeting, by mail, or online at its webpage (kershawcountyhistoricalsociety.org) where more information is available. The Society also is on Facebook.

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