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By Bill Benson

First Memorial Day


On February 15, 1865, General Beauregard of the Confederate States Army ordered the evacuation of all Confederate forces from Charleston, South Carolina. He knew that his army could not stop General William T. Sherman's Union troops from capturing Charleston on their march north.

Union forces detested South Carolina. It was the first state to secede from the Union, in December of 1860, and it was there, at Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, that the Civil War had begun in April of 1861, when rebel forces fired upon Federal troops.

Four years later, on February 18, 1865, Charleston's mayor s...

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