Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 15, 1865

Columbia, SC, 1850Diary of Orrin Brown, outside Lexington, South Carolina

Wednesday–Feb. 15th

We were on the road about 8 AM marched back about 2 miles for we were on the wrong road we then turned to the right, our camp last night was within 18 miles of Columbia but we are leaving that place on our right and are in camp tonight about 4 miles from Lexington S. C. We marched about 20 miles today and went into camp about 6 PM right in the timber. Our foragers took the wrong road this morning and 5 of them have not come in tonight. Jim Gifford is among them. Our forces put out skirmishes this PM expecting the rebs were close by but if they were we did not see them. It rained all night and has been cloudy and damp all day. I read 1 chapt. in the Testament today.

Columbia is a planned city, created by the post-revolutionary South Carolina General Assembly as a new central capital location in 1786.  The city was located on the Piedmont Fall Line of the Congaree River, at the head of navigation in the Santee River system.  A canal was completed in 1800, connecting the Santee and Cooper rivers, benefiting development of the new state capital until railroads reached the area in the 1840s.  As for the new town itself, wiki describes the plat:

The commissioners designed a town of 400 blocks in a 2-mile (3 km) square along the river. The blocks were divided into lots of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) and sold to speculators and prospective residents. Buyers had to build a house at least 30 feet (9.1 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide within three years or face an annual 5% penalty. The perimeter streets and two through streets were 150 feet (46 m) wide. The remaining squares were divided by thoroughfares 100 feet (30 m) wide. The width was determined by the belief that dangerous and pesky mosquitoes could not fly more than 60 feet (18 m) without dying of starvation along the way.

South Carolina State House, Waud c.1860The original State House was designed and built by Irish architect James Hoban, who also designed the White House and was a supervising architect on construction of the national Capitol building in Washington, D.C.  The State House was burned by Union troops on the 17th of February 1865, in retaliation for South Carolina’s role in starting the War Between the States.



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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 15, 1865

  1. Pingback: Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 17, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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