Charleston vs. Rock Hill, Round Two

The war of words between Charleston and Rock Hill escalates today, with a stinging rebuttal from Terry Plumb of the Rock Hill Herald:

I remind my colleagues from the Fourth Estate that the last time their city launched an unprovoked attack, it touched off a war that lasted four years, caused millions of deaths and plunged the South into crippling poverty for a century.

Of course, Charleston survived the Civil War in better shape than either Atlanta or Columbia because its city fathers surrendered to Gen.William T. Sherman as soon as he showed up with his Zippo.

Charlestonians didn't do a whole lot better during the American Revolution. The British waltzed through there and had their way in the Carolinas, until they ran into backwoods settlers up this way.

Rock Hill is named for a granite outcropping that had to be blasted to make way for a railroad between Columbia and Charleston. This city has a foundation of granite. Charleston's Battery was built upon a landfill.

When the British Army approached the city in 1780, Charleston high society, who looked down upon the "less civilized" people of the Upstate, seemed content to surrender their city without much of a fight, and make the best of occupation. While Charleston became a center of power from which to fight and oppress the rest of the state, some of the better people of the city chose to stick up for their fellow South Carolinians in the Upstate, who regardless of how they lived, deserved better.

One of those better Charlestonians, Isaac Hayne, even went to the gallows for defying the arrogance of those who ruled Charleston.

Likewise, the better people of the Lowcountry have spoken up in indignation at Hicks' unjustified attack. My letter is also awaiting publication, and the lady I spoke with at the paper who called to verify my letter said they had at least fifty of them.

Good Charlestonians, gracious, respectful, and considerate, are above that trash that was published in the Post and Courier. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

7 Response to "Charleston vs. Rock Hill, Round Two"

  1. Anonymous 4/7/06 14:13
    ... and the bitch slap could be heard from the coast all the way up to the mountains!!!

    hicks is such the bitch, and i'm sure more well-deserved slaps will be forthcoming.
  2. Agricola 4/7/06 16:58
    Suggest you read "The Siege of Charleston", by E. Milby Burton before you start throwing around unsubstantiated remarks about the role of Charleston and the Revolutionary War.
    In case it slipped your mind, we just celebrated Carolina Day (June 28) memorializing the defeat of the British fleet in 1780 at the Battle of Fort Moultrie, which also resulted in the creation of our state flag. Don't let your complexes get in the way of history.
  3. Earl Capps 4/7/06 22:36
    whooooaaaaa, agricola ... methinks you need to do your homework a bit more before you speak:

    1) Carolina Day commemorates the victory over the attacking British fleet, as well as the failure of the attempted ground invasion of Sullivan's Island.

    Which took place in 1776.

    2) As to my roots ... I was born in Roper Hospital, February 5, 1971.
    My grandmother lived on South Battery Street, back in the day when those down there were from there. She also taught at First Baptist Church School for several decades.

    My great-grandfather, the Reverend Jessie Bailey, was pastor at Rutledge Avenue Baptist Church for the better part of two generations.

    Further, my 2nd cousin, John Graham Altman, just left the State House.
    I come from long Lowcountry roots, and have plenty of right to speak to what is and is not proper Lowcountry decorum.

    3) The fall of Charleston to the British Army took place on May 12, 1780. It was the single largest surrender of American military forces until the surrender of Gen. Wainwright's command in the Phillipines in early 1942.

    In "Battleground: South Carolina in the Revolution", by Warren Ripley, he writes:

    "By April 21, Charlestonians were beginning to feel the fighting had gone on long enough". This resulted in Lincoln's first surrender attempt (p. 47).

    "On April 26 ... Another council was called to consider at least getting the Continentals out of the city to continue the war ... (t)he townspeople got winder of the meeting and informed Lincoln that if an attempt were made to sneak away, the Charlestonians would burn the boats and open the gates to the enemy" (p. 48).

    Pretty sad - Charlestonians turning on their fellow Americans.

    The fall of Charleston at that point was a forgone conclusion. However, if any significant portion of Lincoln's army had been able to escape inland and link up with Gates' army at Camden, at least one major setback might have been avoided.

    Instead, the Upstaters, who were for all practical purposes shut out of the South Carolina power structure of the time, kept fighting via volunteer militia units that played key roles in the two battles that did stop the British conquest of South Carolina, first, in an all-militia battle at Kings Mountain, and then at Cowpens, where militia were pivotal to baiting the trap, and then the subsequent double envelopment of Tarleton's forces.

    Those two battles made untenable the widescale British occupation that began with the fall of Charleston.

    Terry Plumb was absolutely correct.
  4. west_rhino 4/7/06 23:12
    ditto Earl! That sounds like the sort of Charlestonians that hallow the sitting mayor, who would, as some tories, burn out the rebellious James Islanders. Alas, when it ocmes to tyranny, little has changed, beyond the names.
  5. Agricola 5/7/06 07:21
    Earl, thanks for correcting my error on the date of the battle of Ft. Moultrie. It does not change the fact that it was a significant victory in the war, which was most satisfying given the relative lack of success up to that point. Again, the siege of Charleston was not a capitulation on the part of the citizens, as you point out, but a failure of nerve on the part of the army. As to your family tree, congrats. We're about equal.

    West-rhino: Since you do not know me, the utter vacuousness of your comment is understandable. Ad hominem attacks are typical of the uninformed. If you did know me, you could not have possibly written that nonsense.
  6. Earl Capps 5/7/06 09:12
    The Battle of Fort Moultrie had much to do with the desire by the British to come back and take the city, which they ulimately did.

    I think the above quotes from Ripley point out the complicity of the people of Charleston in forcing Lincoln to remain in the city, even when military logic made it clear that the city should have been evacuated so as to save his army.

    This does not even include the widespread hospitality and collaboration by the city's residents. While the Upstaters went head-to-head for King or Liberty, many in Charleston were content to pay their respects to the new masters.

    There is a long-standing belief that Charleston has always been represented the creme de la creme of South Carolina culture. This has been the source of much arrogance by Lowcountry residents, but since the real balance of power has long ago shifted (the majority of the colonial legislature once lived within 30 miles of the city), nobody really cares anymore.

    Except for the transplant who thinks he knows what he is talking about, as a way to slap around the Upstate.
  7. Moye 5/7/06 22:39
    Great history reading. General Francis Marion the Swamp Fox is buried a few miles from my home.On the other side of Santee River. I visit his grave site several times a year to place a American flag and to pay my respects. General Thomas Sumter who is part of my DNA not only is my first name Sumter but my son, my dad and on and on it goes. It may have been a small band of us in our area of the state but we all did our part in the first War. No one area of the state can claim victory or defeat.

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