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dreammachine

The Battle Of Aiken, SC

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How many of you know about this "Minor Calvary Clash"?  Most likely saved the Town of Aiken at the time and the textile mills in Graniteville, SC.  Lt. Gen Dan Hill had a big trench dug  somewhere between Graniteville and the Bath Mill (which was also saved) with about 10,000 Confederate Soldiers in his last line of defense if the Union Calvary got through Major General Wheeler in Aiken.  Thank goodness, the Yankee Calvary never made it past Aiken, but their original goal was to burn Aiken and then move and burn the Graniteville Textile Mills and the Textile Mill in Bath, SC and then if everything was going well - ride into Augusta, GA and destroy the Confederate Powder Works along the Savannah River in Augusta, GA.  Due to the savage fighting and surprise attack of Major General Joe Wheeler, he was able to drive the Union Calvary back and away from Aiken, SC.  This minor skirmish most likely put the Town/City of Aiken fifty years ahead of other Southern Towns/Cities in SC that were burned to the ground by Major General Sherman as he moved his army from GA through SC and pretty much burned and looted all that his men could do.

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They do a three day presentation of this battle.  The first day is all about showing school kids how the medical instruments were used back then and also how camp life looked to a certain degree.  Saturday is the "Battle of White Pond" which was suppose to lure the Union Cavalry into coming closer into Aiken, SC where MG Joe Wheeler had an ambush set up for them.  it is done in late Feb each year???

I had the opportunity to speak with an elderly man who had made a large part of his life studying the "Calvary Skirmish of Aiken", which has now become a major attraction for the city of Aiken and draws a good crowd each year according to how the weather holds up.

Basically, MG. General Wheeler had his men hiding up and down the streets of Aiken, SC and had even more over by the railroad cut (close to the Aiken County Courthouse) and they were all instructed to not to fire their weapons until the Union Calvary had been drawn deeper into the city of Aiken.  A Confederate Calvary Man from Alabama got a little nervous and fired off his revolver before the main part of the Union Calvary under Brig General Kilpatrick had made it's way into the city.  Once the Bama trooper fired his weapon - it turned into a running horse skirmish and it did not end until they got past where Montmerenci is today.  The battle has been embellished to make it look like a lot larger battle than it was.  Great for the school kids and it helps boost the local economy.   I think that the Brig Gen Bernard Bee SCV Camp is in charge of the whole affair and they have always done a very good job.  Sunday was always my favorite time to go and visit as that is when they have the "So-Called-Big-Battle".  There is a gate charge and of course they will have vendors selling food and drinks.

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