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Coleman Karesh Law Library

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The South Carolina Legal History Collection at the University of South Carolina School of Law

The South Carolina Legal History Collection
A Selected Annotated Bibliography

Stacy Etheredge
Reference Librarian, Coleman Karesh Law Library
University of South Carolina School of Law


  1. South Carolina - Legal
    1. Legal History
    2. Legal Biography
    3. Laws and Legal Records
      1. Trials
      2. Court Opinions
      3. Legislation
      4. Constitutions
      5. Public Records
      6. Miscellaneous
  2. South Carolina - History
    1. General
    2. Major Eras
    3. Regional
  3. South Carolina - Biography
    1. Individuals
    2. Compilations
    3. Papers and Letters
  4. South Carolina - Ethnic Groups
    1. African Americans
    2. Native Americans
  5. The Confederate States of America
    1. Legal History and Materials
    2. Narratives and Biographies
    3. The Civil War
    4. Research Aids


The South Carolina Legal History Collection is a special collection maintained by the University of South Carolina School of Law. The collection encompasses published primary and secondary sources dealing with the legal, constitutional, political and historical developments of South Carolina. The fundamental purpose of the collection is to support scholarly research; however, access is available to everyone.

Scope and Organization

This bibliography is designed to assist the researcher in locating materials in the South Carolina Legal History Collection. It includes references to books that deal with the history of South Carolina, organized around the topical headings of History, Biography, and Laws and Legal Records. All topics are further differentiated into subheadings. Call numbers are provided for each source; all sources are located in the South Carolina Legal History room. The bibliography is selective and is meant to represent the types of materials available in the collection.


South Carolina - Legal

Legal History

Canady, Hoyt P. Gentlemen of the Bar: Lawyers in Colonial South Carolina. New York: Garland Pub., 1987. (KFS1878 .C25 1987)

Doctoral dissertation which outlines the history of the legal profession in colonial South Carolina, as it rises from a constitution ban to a position of social, political and economic prominence. Canady focuses on the unique elements that shaped this development, including a lack of state-wide court systems, customary education at the Inns of Court, local politics, and the structure of society.

Cupp, Ruth W. Attorneys: From Charles Town to Charleston. Birmingham, AL: Association Publishing, 2006. (KFS1878 .C87 2006)

Cupp provides over 300 years of the history of lawyers in Charleston, starting with Nicholas Trott's arrival in 1699. She places figures such as John Calhoun, James Petigru, and Hannah Rubinrott Axelman (the first woman attorney in Charleston) within the larger context of the evolution of both the practice of law and the court system. Along the way she artfully links the story to local history, culture, politics, and everyday affairs, as well as to major historical eras.

Johnson, Herbert A., ed. South Carolina Legal History: Proceedings of the Reynolds Conference, University of South Carolina, December 2-3, 1977. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1980. (KFS1878 .R49 1977)

Collection of scholarly papers presented at an interdisciplinary conference devoted to the legal history of early South Carolina. Topics include South Carolina Chief Justice Nicholas Trott, early court administration, criminal and civil procedure in colonial South Carolina, the status of legal education, the beginnings of statutory law, and the availability of primary sources for research.

Senese, Donald Joseph. Legal Thought in South Carolina, 1800-1860. 1970. (KFS1878 .S45 1970a)

Senese's doctoral dissertation traces the development of the legal profession in South Carolina, from the late colonial era to just prior to the civil war, and its influence on the history of the state. He notes that the rise of a professional class of lawyers, with its members prominently linked to society and politics, guided the development of legal thought that was based on respect for precedent and a preference for the status quo of society.

Legal Biography

Brooks, U.R. South Carolina Bench and Bar. Columbia, S.C.: State Co., 1908. (F268 .B87 1908)

A two-volume collection which contains biographical essays and photographs of South Carolina judges and lawyers. Brooks focuses on the last half of the Nineteenth Century, centering on the critical periods of the Civil War and Reconstruction. (Note: the South Carolina Legal History Collection only has Volume One, which covers judges).

O'Neall, John Belton. Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of South Carolina. Charleston, S.C.: S. G. Courtenay & Co., 1859. (KF354 .267 O5 1859)

The biographies of judges and lawyers in this two-volume set are really little essays rather than the "sketches" of the title. O'Neall focuses on historical rather than contemporaneous figures and thus provides a view of the legal profession in colonial and antebellum South Carolina. The volumes also include some primary material, such as bench dockets, jury charges, letters, and speeches.

Rogers, George C., Jr. Generations of Lawyers: A History of the South Carolina Bar. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Bar Foundation, 1992. (KF354 .S67 R63 1992)

A scholarly and exhaustive account of lawyers, the legal profession, and the Bar Association in South Carolina. Rogers covers over 300 years of legal history, from 1670 through 1992, focusing on leaders, notable events, and the contributions that lawyers and the Bar have made to the state. Discussions are organized around major eras, such as antebellum lawyers, the founding of the Bar Association, the period between the World Wars, and the Civil Rights movement.

Laws and Legal Records


______. Trial of the Booth and Toney Homicide: In the Court of Sessions for the County of Edgefield, at Edgefield Court House, S.C., Before the Hon. Thos. J. Mackey, Presiding Judge / prepared and reported by W.D. Ramey. Edgefield, S.C.: s.n., 1880? (KF223 .B66 R36 1880)

An old and bitter feud between the Booth and Toney families erupted into a triple homicide on a summer's day in 1878 in Edgefield, South Carolina (seven others were injured, including one who later died). The state originally brought charges against 5 defendants but only one was tried and eventually acquitted. The book includes testimony, arguments of counsel, the jury charge, and biographies of the attorneys.

Conner, James. The Libel Cases of the News & Courier. S.l.: s.n., 1875? (KF221 .L5 C65 1875)

In 1875 the State of South Carolina brought a criminal prosecution for libel against the Charleston News and Courier. The paper had proclaimed a public officer, C.C. Bowen, as a bigamist, forger, and embezzler, and accused him of procuring the murder of the superior officer who had him court-martialed during the war. Eleven jurors voted for acquittal but the jury was hung by one man, a confederate of Bowen. The book contains daily newspaper accounts which summarized the proceedings.

Edward A. Pearson, ed. Designs Against Charleston: The Trial Record of the Denmark Vesey Slave Conspiracy of 1822. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. (F279 .C49 D48 1998)

Contains the transcript for the trial which occurred after an intricately planned but betrayed slave insurrection in Charleston, thought to involve over 9000 slaves and free blacks. Of the 128 people charged with conspiracy, 35 were executed and 43 were deported. Pearson's introduction is 164 pages and provides a biography of the leader, Denmark Vesey, as well as a detailed look at the conspiracy, the trial, and the culture of antebellum Charleston.

Rubillo, Tom. Trial and Error: The Case of John Brownfield and Race Relations in Georgetown, South Carolina. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2005. (KF224 .B764 R83 2005)

Examines the 1900 trial of a literate black barber accused of shooting and killing a white police officer. Two different stories of the event emerged, self-defense versus unprovoked murder, which divided along racial lines and tore the community apart. Rubillo places the trial within the larger context of the fragile race relations existing in a small town in the South Carolina Lowcountry, when blacks were no longer slaves but whites were struggling to maintain their supremacy.

Williams, Lou Falkner. The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871-1872. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996. (KF220 .W54 1996)

Williams examines the brutal realities of Reconstruction in South Carolina when blacks wanted true freedom, an idea foreign and unacceptable to whites. President Grant responded to a KKK campaign of terror and violence by declaring a state of rebellion in nine counties and suspending habeas corpus, unprecedented during peacetime. Although 600 men were arrested and many tried and convicted, the fate of the klansmen was incidental to the larger constitutional issues of the meaning and scope of the Reconstruction Amendments and Enforcement Acts.

Zeigler, J.A. The Last of the Bighams. Florence, S.C.: ?, 1925. (KF224 .B5 Z45 1925)

Zeigler tells the story of three generations of a prominent Florence County family raised in a "song of hate". Consumed by arrogance the Bighams believed that the law existed for those who knew how to shape it to their own selfish ends. A culture of criminality finally resulted in a family mass murder for which Edmund Bigham was tried three times in the 1920s, which is covered in the last third of the book. The author was a reporter for the Florence Morning News at the time.

Court Opinions

Chisholm, J. Bachman. An Index-Digest of the Reports of the Supreme Court of South Carolina: Embracing all the Reported Decisions, Both Law and Equity, from the Organization of the Court (Bay's Reports) to the Present Date (14 S.C.): And also the Manuscript Decisions Cited in Rice's Digest. Charleston, S.C.: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1882. (KFS1845.1 .C485 1882)

This two-volume set is a compilation of concise points of law from cases out of the highest courts of South Carolina, including both law (1783-1881) and equity (1784-1868). It is alphabetically arranged by subject headings, with points of law from different cases arranged in chronological order under each heading. The points of law reference case citations and are listed under multiple headings if necessary. Includes a table of contents for the headings.

Thurmond, William J. Thurmond's Key Cases: Containing Citations from Textbooks, U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, and South Carolina Reports, from 1st Bay to 157 S.C. Columbia, S.C.: R.L. Bryan, 1930. (KFS1847.1 .T4 1930)

Thurmond had compiled a list of basic points of law from leading South Carolina and United States Supreme Court cases for his own purpose and decided to make his work available in order to aid other practitioners. He intended his book to be a collection of legal principles, generally civil, that would apply to most ordinary cases. The points of law are arranged under alphabetically arranged subject headings and include citations to cases and sometimes quotations. There are also two small supplements from 1931 and 1932.


Flagg, Charles E.B. A Digested Index of the Statute Law of South Carolina, 1837 to 1857. Charleston, S.C.: S.G. Courtenay, 1858. (KFS1840 .F42 1858)

Flagg's volume continues the work of Rice's earlier digest of statute law, taking up where he left off in 1837 and continuing through 1857. References to statutes are listed under alphabetically arranged subject headings and a table of contents for the headings is included. The aim of the book is captured by Flagg's statement that "all who have had occasion to enter into the vast and growing wilderness of our Statutes at large, will fully understand the difficulty of finding out what is law".

Rice, William. A Digested Index of the Statute Law of South Carolina: From the Earliest Period to the Year 1836, Inclusive. Charleston, S.C.: J.S. Burges, 1838. (KFS1840 .S68 1838)

Written at a time when finding the law meant reading through the acts of each legislative session without guide or index, this book's goal was to make the statute laws of the state more accessible. It does not include the text of statutes but is strictly a finding aid, with acts referenced under alphabetically arranged subject headings. Rice incorporated an earlier statutes digest by Grimke (with coverage ending in 1790) which broadened his book's coverage from South Carolina's establishment as a British province through 1836.


_____. Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: C. A. Calvo, Jr., State Printer, 1895. (KFS2201 1895 .A2)

One of the most defining moments in South Carolina history was the 1895 constitutional convention, which created the basic constitution still in force today but also started the state down a long road of Jim Crowism. It was the 1895 constitution which, inter alia, created voter qualifications which greatly restricted black suffrage and mandated racial segregation of public schools. The journal is a transcript of the proceedings and includes addresses, resolutions introduced, motions, votes, assignment of committees, and a roll of members.

Underwood, James Lowell. The Constitution of South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1986. (KFS2202 .U52)

Professor Underwood took a decade to research and write this comprehensive analysis of the history and current application of the South Carolina Constitution. Blending history, political science, and law, he follows the evolution of the allocation of power under the Constitution in a state with a tradition of legislative dominance. Topics include the relationship of the three branches of government, local self-government, church and state issues, and the struggle for political equality.

Public Records

Langley, Clara A. South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1719-1772. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1983. (KFS1927 .Z9 L35)

Before 1790 all land transactions for the state of South Carolina were recorded in Charleston. Langley abstracted the earliest 74 volumes of conveyances available as a Works Progress Administration project. Most abstracts are for conveyances or titles to land that had been granted earlier under English law. The abstracts are in chronological order and include every name, relationship, profession and place mentioned. There are also indexes by last name, place name, and ship name.


Buchanan, Osmund W. The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of South Carolina, as Revised in 1882: with Amendments Up to Date. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards and Broughton, 1888. (KFS2328 .S68 1888)

Written by an attorney to aid other practitioners this book includes the South Carolina Code of Civil Procedure, as revised in 1882 and with updated amendments. The author annotated the sections with references to case decisions, the General Statutes, the South Carolina Constitution, and authoritative treatises. The volume includes an index and references to the old section numbers in use before the revision.

Earle, J.R. South Carolina Form Book: A Collection of Useful Official, Business and Professional Forms. Columbia, S.C.: R.L. Bryan, 1911. (KFS1868 .E27 1911)

An early collection of procedural and transactional forms that were in current use, intended by the author to be a guide to forms as they were and not a treatise on how they should be. The forms are arranged in alphabetical order by subjects such as abatements and wills, with some scattered references to South Carolina cases and code sections. There are also forms from courts, such as the probate court and the magistrate's court. There is an index but no table of contents.

Grimké, John Fauchereaud. The South-Carolina Justice of Peace: Containing all the Duties, Powers, and Authorities of the Office, as Regulated by the Laws Now of Force in this State, and Adapted to the Parish and County Magistrate. New York: T. & J. Swords, 1810. (KFS2320 .G5 1810)

Grimke defined the duties, powers, and jurisdictions of a Justice of the Peace so they would know the principles of their office and could act "with legal propriety". Topics are arranged alphabetically and include pertinent issues such as burglary, jurors, marriage, search warrants, and treason. He refers to English laws and authorities as well as the South Carolina Constitution, legislative acts, and decisions from state courts. The book also includes an index and occasional forms for warrants and indictments.

Wheeler, Jacob D. A Practical Treatise on the Law of Slavery: Being a Compilation of all the Decisions made on that Subject, in the Several Courts of the United States, and State Courts. New York: A. Pollock, Jr.; New Orleans: B. Levy, 1837. (KF4545 .S5 A5 1837)

This book is not a treatise as there is no original exposition by Wheeler, but rather a compilation of his abstracts of all the major decisions from federal and state courts that dealt with issues of slavery. All manner of the legal aspects of slavery are covered including such topics as title to slaves, masters' liability for maltreating slaves, masters' liability for acts of their slaves, fugitive slaves, and emancipation of slaves. Also included are a table of cases, an index, and footnotes with references to statutes and other authorities.

South Carolina - History


Bass, Jack. Porgy Comes Home: South Carolina ... After 300 Years. Columbia, S.C.: R.L. Bryan, 1972. (F269 .B28 1972)

Examines South Carolina's recent history while acknowledging the influences of 300 years of state history. Bass was a reporter and much of the original research for the book was based on his experiences. He discusses the vast transitions he watched occur in politics, education, society, and race, while highlighting South Carolina's unique influences such as the importance of family genealogy and the attachment to legislative dominance.

Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. (F269 .E23 1998)

This book was the first comprehensive history of South Carolina published in over 60 years and is considered to be the preeminent modern history of the state. Edgar covers over 475 years of recorded history, observing how South Carolina and South Carolinians played crucial roles during certain eras, especially during the first two hundred years of its existence (founding through Reconstruction) when its influence on national events was enormous.

Major Eras

Taylor, Rosser H. Ante-bellum South Carolina: a Social and Cultural History. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970. (F273 .T29 1970)

The author portrays "a way of life" as it once existed, by examining the social groups of the time (planters and professions, farmers and tradesmen, the poor white, and slaves) within the context of issues such as religion, education, health and culture. He depicts an era when South Carolinians truly believed that the plantation civilizations of the south were superior to the industrial civilizations of the north, and stubbornly resisted the changes that history was bringing.

Zuczek, Richard. State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1996. (F274 .Z84 1996)

South Carolina experienced the longest period of Reconstruction and the largest and most active federal presence of any of the Confederate states. Zuczek focuses on conservative white Carolinians, and analyzes why and how they opposed Reconstruction and why and how their opposition succeeded. He addresses the influences of entrenched political and societal values, such as constitutional and social conservatism, the militarism of the state, and latent vigilantism.


Bass, Robert D. Ninety Six, the Struggle for the South Carolina Back Country. Lexington, S.C.: Sandlapper Store, 1978. (F277 .N6 B28 1978)

The author chronicles the devastation suffered by the Ninety Six District of South Carolina, the "Back Country", during the American Revolution. Although the Americans eventually won the struggle for the Back Country after numerous battles with the British, it also went through a bloody fratricidal horror in what was basically a civil war between the region's Whigs and Loyalists.

Rogers, George C., Jr. Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1980. (F279.C4 R63 1980)

Between 1730 and 1820 Charleston was the South's dominant city, dominating art, science, literature, society, and politics. The author parallels the history of Charleston with the rise, apex, and decline of perhaps its most influential family, the Pinckneys. Rogers illustrates how Charleston's tie to "the center of an idea, a southern way of life" led to its becoming a closed city, with its stubborn adherence to slavery and the preservation of the past.

Specific Counties:

  • Lewis, Catherine H. Horry County, South Carolina, 1730-1993. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. (F277 .H6 L49 1998)
  • Pope, Thomas H. The History of Newberry County, South Carolina, Volume One: 1749-1860. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1973. (F277 .N5 P66)
  • Rogers, George C., Jr. The History of Georgetown County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1970. (F277 .G35 R62 1970)
  • Moss, Bobby Gilmer. The Old Iron District: A Study of the Development of Cherokee County, 1750-1897. Clinton, S.C.: Jacobs Press, 1972. (F277. C5 M68 1972)

South Carolina - Biography


Cote, Richard N., ed. Dictionary of South Carolina Biography. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1985. (F268 .D52 1985)

This volume does not contain biographical information itself, other than birth and death dates and an extremely brief description of individuals included. Instead it is an unannotated bibliography of biographies. It is designed to be used as a finding aid for published biographies and biographical sketches of South Carolinians. Covering the years 1670 to 1985, it includes references to 53 sources containing 13,300 sketches of 10,099 South.

Crawford, Geddings Hardy, ed. Who's Who in South Carolina: A Dictionary of Contemporaries Containing Biographical Notices of Eminent Men in South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: McCaw, 1921. (F268 .W36 1921)

Crawford presents brief entries of South Carolinians, living at the time of publication (1921), who "helped to shape the conditions of today in South Carolina thought and action". The book follows the regular Who's Who model of listing basic biographical data. Besides the usual collection of lawyers and business leaders there are also included engineers, military officers, geologists, alienists, consuls, consuls, railroad employees, architects, and pianists.

Garlington, J.C. Men of the Time: Sketches of Living Notables, a Biographical Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous South Carolina Leaders. Spartanburg, S.C.: Garlington Publishing, 1902. (F268 .G27 1902)

Contains concise biographical sketches of contemporaneous leaders of the "intellectual, industrial and commercial life" in South Carolina. Garlington accepted recommendations for individuals to include but took pains to ensure the accuracy of information presented, with most of the information gathered from original sources. He covers individuals whom he felt contributed to the state in some manner, including lawyers, ministers, merchants, physicians and public officials. The volume includes occasional photographs.

Papers and Letters

Hamer, Philip M., ed. The Papers of Henry Laurens. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1968-2003. (E302 .L28)

A 16 volume set dedicated to the papers of Henry Laurens, one of South Carolina's most important contributors to the American Revolution. Although Laurens was educated in England he strongly opposed British policies in the colonies. He became President of the Continental Congress after James Hancock, during a critical period of the Revolution. The set, which took over 40 years to complete, covers the years 1724 to 1792 and includes letters, records, and documents from his personal, business, and official lives.

Meriwether, Robert L., ed. The Papers of John C. Calhoun. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1959-2003. (E337.8 .C148)

Calhoun was perhaps South Carolina's most influential and prominent statesman, serving the United States in the Senate and House of Representatives, as Secretaries of War and State, and as Vice-President. The 28 volumes of this set, which took over 55 years to compile, covers the years 1801 to 1850 and collects his personal and professional correspondence, speeches, and official documents. The papers detail his often controversial political views, such as his adamant pro-slavery position.

South Carolina Ethnic Groups

African Americans

Gordon, Asa H. Sketches of Negro Life and History in South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971. (E185.93 .S7 G66 1971)

Written in 1929 by an African-American author this book was important for its time as its goal was to dispel the idea that the "Negro" race was a race lacking in achievement and without civilization and history. Based primarily on secondary sources it was meant to present sketches of black life, accomplishment, and history in South Carolina, focusing on topics such as the black farmer, the black businessman, and the contributions of the black woman.

Wikramanayake, Marina. A World in Shadow: The Free Black in Antebellum South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1973. (E185.93 .S7 W69 1973)

Focuses on the social phenomenon of the Free Black in antebellum South Carolina. A peculiar anomaly they were neither slaves nor citizens but "denizens", enjoying certain limited rights but with no guarantees of personal liberty. Because of their tenuous hold on freedom their interest lay in accommodating the white community rather than segregating with their own, resulting in a marginal position between the two societies of slave and white.

Native Americans

Milling, Chapman J. Red Carolinians. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940. (E78.S6 M54 1940)

Milling attempts to trace the history of the more than 30 native tribes living, at one time or another, within the borders of the early South Carolina province. They existed together with complex intertribal relationships and also maintained contacts and trade agreements with tribes outside of state. Although the language is obviously dated, there is a good deal of important information with many quotations from primary sources and classic authorities.

Waddell, Gene. Indians of the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1562-1751. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1980. (E78.S6 W22 1980)

Waddell's goal was to reconstruct the way of life of the native tribes from the lowcountry coastal region of South Carolina. There is a general discussion of the 19 tribes indigenous and distinct to the state, as well as comprehensive explanations of topics such as language, food, religion, education, medicine, and art. There is extensive documentation and heavy use of primary sources, including eyewitness accounts and translations of Spanish documents.

The Confederate States of America

Legal History and Materials

Confederate States of America, District Courts, South Carolina. The Sequestration Cases: Before the Hon. A.G. Magrath. Charleston?: s.n., 1861. (E487 .C55 1861)

After the Confederate Congress passed the 1861 Sequestration Act, which authorized government seizure of the property of "enemy aliens", cases were brought by three lawyers who had been served writs of garnishment under the Act. Although the constitutionality of the Act was affirmed by the judge, an avid Confederate, the cases underscored a perceived threat to civil liberties and states' rights by a too-powerful central government. The pamphlet includes the attorneys' arguments, the judicial opinion, the Sequestration Act, and the U.S. Confiscation Act.

Lester, William Wharton. A Digest of the Military and Naval Laws of the Confederate States. Columbia, S.C.: Evans and Cogswell, 1864. (KFZ9095 .A45 L48 1864)

Collected together all the laws relating to the army and navy, both provisional and regular, of the Confederate States of America from the beginning of the Provisional Congress through the first session of the Second Congress in June 1864. The laws are arranged topically with a table of contents, margin notes with references, and an index. An appendix also includes the Articles of War, clauses of the C.S.A. Constitution relating to military and naval affairs, and President Jefferson Davis's instructions on private armed vessels.

Matthews, James M., ed. The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America. Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein, 1988. (KFZ8625.2 1861)

The title is misleading as the book includes not only the laws of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America but also the regular Congresses, through 1864. It contains all public acts, private acts, and resolutions, in chronological order by session, with original indexes. From the first act, stating that the laws of the United States will continue to be in force if not inconsistent with the Confederate Constitution, through the last the statutes illustrate how very quickly momentous history can be made.

Moise, E. Warren. Rebellion in the Temple of Justice: The Federal and State Courts in South Carolina During the War Between the States. New York: iUniverse, 2003. (KF368 .M26 M65 2003)

Moise explains the history of both the federal Confederate and the state courts in South Carolina during the Civil War. Part One details various issues of the judicial system of the Confederate States of America, including the dispute over creating a Supreme Court. Part Two specifically focuses on the bench, bar, and courts of South Carolina, covering such topics as legal education and admission to the bar, everyday practice of law, and the substantial role South Carolina's played in secession and in creating the Constitution and federal courts of the C.S.A.

Patrick, Rembert W., ed. The Opinions of the Confederate Attorneys General, 1861-1865. Buffalo, N.Y.: Dennis, 1950. (KFZ9027.5 .A8 A5 1950)

Although the Confederate Constitution made specific provisions for a Supreme Court the Confederate Congress never enacted the legislation necessary to establish it. Thus, by default the Attorneys General became the chief authority on national law, issuing opinions that ranged from the most mundane problems of administration to erudite questions concerning the fundamental powers of the new government. The volume contains all of the 218 official opinions issued, providing valuable insight into the basic principles of the confederate government and the unique problems it faced.

Robinson, William M., Jr. Justice in Grey: A History of the Judicial System of the Confederate States of America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1941. (JK9973 .R68 1941)

Robinson provides a judicial history of the Confederate States of America, broadly outlining the legal system by describing the structure and operations of the state and federal courts. He also discusses the failed efforts to create a Supreme Court and Court of Claims, both of which put the Department of Justice under an undue burden. Within the details of the cases, ordinary civil disputes and criminal prosecutions as well as wartime conscription and sequestration laws, is a broader picture of the social, political, economic, and military life of the time and the region.

Narratives and Biographies

Chesnut, Mary Boykin, ed. by Ben Ames Williams. A Diary from Dixie. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950. (E487 .C34 1950)

Mary Chesnut was a well-bred South Carolinian who assiduously kept a diary during the entire Civil War. She was intelligent, articulate, independent, and not blind to anyone's faults, which lends her diary a refreshing bluntness and warmth. She was also well-informed, knowing most of the leaders of the Confederate government and army. She begins the day she hears Lincoln was elected and ends four months after the war ("I am old, old, old; the weight of the years that hangs upon my eyelid is of lead").

LeConte, Joseph. 'Ware Sherman: A Journal of Three Months' Personal Experience in the Last Days of the Confederacy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1938. (E487 .L42 1938)

A unique wartime journal as it covers the adventures, not of a soldier or government leader, but of an ordinary citizen braving the countryside and Sherman's army in order to find his daughter, sister, and nieces. LeConte goes from Columbia to his sister's plantation 35 miles south of Savannah and back to Columbia, only to leave again the night before Sherman arrives in order to move an army medical laboratory. Also includes pen sketches he made during his journeys and an introduction by his daughter.

Manigault, Arthur Middleton, ed. by R. Lockwood Tower. A Carolinian Goes to War: The Civil War Narrative of Arthur Middleton Manigault. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983. (E605 .M27 1983)

When Manigault wrote these memoirs immediately after the war he intended only his family to read them and that fact is shown by the level of honesty and emotional reflection he reaches. As a brigadier general he was privy to information not known to the lower ranks and provides a wealth of details about the historically neglected Western Army of the Confederacy, including the Confederate's only authorized night attack. A sensitive and careful observer the book is much more than just an account of battlefield logistics.

Trescot, William Henry. Memorial of the Life of J. Johnston Pettigrew, Brigidier General of the Confederate States Army. Charleston, S.C.: John Russell, 1870. (E467.1.P5 T74 1870)

This small book is a concise narrative meant to be more of a memorial than a biography and tells the story of J. Johnston Pettigrew, brigadier general and son of North and South Carolina who died in the immediate aftermath of Gettysburg. The author's love of his subject is evident as he relates the events of Pettigrew's military life more as illustrations of the man's character than as connections to the history of the war. An eloquent beginning examines the inexorable calls to duty on both sides.

The Civil War

______. Who Burnt Columbia? Part 1st. Official Depositions of Wm. Tecumseh Sherman and Gen. O. O. Howard, U.S.A., for the Defence; and Extracts from Some of the Depositions for the Claimants. Charleston, S.C.: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, 1873. (E477.75 .W36 1873)

After the war several individuals filed claims against the United States for property damage caused by the burning and destruction of Columbia. This pamphlet, distributed in the South by attorneys for the claimants while the cases were still pending, presents excerpts from depositions made by their clients and witnesses as well as by United States Generals Sherman and Howard. Also includes a prefatory "To the People of the South", a plea for Southerners to provide rebuttal testimony "if one spark of patriotism is left".

Burton, E. Milby. Siege of Charleston, 1861-1865. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1976. (E470.65 .B87 1976)

This comprehensive account of the Siege of Charleston is a story of soldiers and citizens alike. The siege is unique for many reasons, including the fact that it was one of the longest military operations ever (587 days) and involved over 13 different modes of warfare. Burton explains why it "was a siege even though the back door was open", as to Southerners everywhere Charleston and Fort Sumter, the "Cradle of Secession", were symbols of the Confederacy and had to be defended at all costs.

Emerson, W. Eric. Sons of Privilege: The Charleston Light Dragoons in the Civil War. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005. (E577.6 4th .E44 2005)

Emerson artfully blends social and military history in this tale of an aristocratic Confederate cavalry company drawn from Charleston's most prestigious families. The elite status of this "company of gentleman" ensured that most of the war was spent in undemanding local assignments with little danger. However, as the fortunes of the South waned the company found themselves thrust into weeks of brutal combat in Virginia, where social superiority could not save them from the devastating consequences of being militarily ill-prepared.

Rosen, Robert N. The Jewish Confederates. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000. (F220.J5 R68 2000)

Rosen tells the neglected story of Jewish Confederates and the irony of their loyalty to the Confederate States of America. Most were recent European immigrants and, although celebrating their Exodus from their own enslavement in Egypt, were committed to their new homeland even in its defense of slavery. Like many other Confederates the Jewish Confederates fought for the South for many reasons, but chiefly to prove that they were worthy citizens and to do their duty as they saw it.

Research Aids

McCawley, Patrick. Guide to Civil War Records: A Guide to the Records in the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1994. (Z1242 .M22 1994)

The Archives is the official repository of South Carolina government records; this compilation is a guide to its records that relate specifically to either the Civil War or its veterans. The records provide a glimpse into the realities of the aftermath of a war including rolls of dead South Carolina troops, artificial limb applications, claims of property loss due to the enemy, hospital records, claims of slaves lost in public service, and applications from former confederates for presidential pardons.

Sellers, John R., comp. Civil War Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Washington: Library of Congress, 1986. (Z1242 .L52 1986)

The Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress holds the personal papers of Americans, as opposed to official government records. This volume is an indispensable guide to the Division's materials relating directly to the Civil War, which includes over 40,000,000 original items from more than 1,000 separate collections. The annotated entries guide the researcher to collections containing letters, diaries, memoirs, photographs, and personal or family papers.