Huge Cache Of Confederate Weapons Seized by General Sherman may have Been Found In South Carolina River, Washington Post, January 21, 20155
Drunk and rowdy, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops captured
South Carolina’s capital on Feb. 17, 1865. It was nearing the end of
the Civil War, and Sherman’s plan was to destroy the state where
secession began. “The truth is, the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina,” Sherman wrote to Gen. Henry W. Halleck. “I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems in store for her.”
Sherman’s 60,000-man army torched Columbia in retaliation for seceding from the Union. The blaze, which he later blamed on a Confederate general he said left cotton bales in the streets, destroyed a third of the city. Sherman’s troops made off with the Confederate armory. They confiscated cannonballs, rammers, sabers and bayonet scabbards. And, on their way out of town, they dumped whatever they couldn’t carry into the Congaree River.
Amid a massive toxic tar cleanup, historians have found possible
evidence of the loot using sonar and metal detectors near the Gervais
Street bridge in downtown Columbia, the city’s State newspaper
first reported over the weekend. The munitions, if indeed they are
munitions, are said to be buried in 40,000 tons of black tar that
spilled into the river several years ago from a now-defunct power plant.
Historians are trying to find the best way to retrieve the stash, with
explosive experts on hand.
“Hopefully, none of it is going to blow up,” Joe Long, curator of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, told the newspaper. Researchers
located more than 200 sites in the two-foot-thick oil sludge as
“exhibiting signature characteristics that could be associated with
Full Text is continued at Washington Post, January 21, 2015