New book details lost treasures of Charleston

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014

“Stolen Charleston: The Spoils of War” covers the city’s history of piracy and plunder. PROVIDED

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 presents “Stolen Charleston: The Spoils of War” and recounts the looting and lost treasures of Charleston. The book launch will be held at the Charleston Museum, located at 360 Meeting St. in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 21 at 6 p.m. There will be a lecture followed by a reception and book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

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