They Created a Desert and Called It Peace – Today In Southern History

17 February 1865  

On this date in 1865…

Federal General William Tecumseh Sherman, after taking Columbia, South Carolina, allowed his drunken troops to burn almost the entire city to the ground. None of the federal arsonists were ever punished or brought to trial.

Other Years:

  • 1690 –  French explorer Henri de Tonti visits the Natchitoches Confederation near what is now called Natchitoches, Louisiana.
  • 1793 – Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray died in Pensacola, Florida.
  • 1801 – Thomas Jefferson secured his victory over incumbent John Adams in the disputed presidential election of 1800.
  • 1817 – The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 1864 – The Confederate submarine Horace L. Hunley sank the U.S.S. Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, S.C and vanished the same night.
  • 1870 – Mississippi was the ninth Confederate state readmitted to the union.
  • 1909 – Apache Chief Geronimo (Goyathlay) died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 
  • 1924 – Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, Florida
  • 1957 – A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri killed 72 people.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

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