During both the American Revolution and the Civil War, Charleston was not just a symbolic target but also one of the wealthiest—at least until the shelling started. Once the redcoats of 1780 and the Yankees of 1865 stormed in, nary a church, business or private home was spared fevered plundering. Worse, Charleston’s own homefront defenders oftentimes helped themselves to unguarded heirlooms. In 1779, Eliza Wilkinson’s shoe buckles were stolen right off her feet. In 1865, Union soldiers butchered several of Williams Middleton’s valuable water buffalo and stole the others, some of which were later found at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Join author and historian J. Grahame Long as he recounts the looting and lost treasures of Charleston.
Written by J. Grahame Long
2014 The History Press
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