Civil War Charleston

December 13-15, 2019

A BGES Civil War Field University Program

St. Michael’s Church, the oldest surviving religious
structure in Charleston, South Carolina.
Copyright Robert Hankins

Charleston is one of the country’s most consequential cities. Birthplace of rebellion, citadel of resistance, pathos of defeat–experience the gentility of the southern society. Learn that here it is not only permissible but desirable to be an SOB resident. Stroll her streets, visit some of her greatest homes, experience the electricity of a town aflame with political passion, stop by a young man’s military college, and explore the tension of an isolated and starving garrison on an isolated island in the center of the harbor. Walk the hallowed grounds of that fort and the forts that subdued her, and then learn the story of the first successful submarine attack and its tragic aftermath. Finally, share a quiet moment of reflection with many great figures of Southern society in Magnolia Cemetery. This is a great program to end the year.



Mary Hatcher received a BA in U.S. History from the University of Mary Washington, concentrating on the Civil War’s impact on the civilian population. Between 1968 and 1979 she worked as a seasonal and permanent employee of the National Park Service, in living history interpretation and as a staff historian at Petersburg National Battlefield and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. She has continued her association by volunteering at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield and Fort Sumter National Monument, and as an employee of Eastern National bookstores at both sites. Since 1993, Mary and her friend and colleague Jean R. Hutchinson of Charleston, South Carolina, have collaborated in “Straightlace Seminars,” which offer programs that examine the impact of the War on the southern civilian population before, during, and after the conflict. She and her husband, Richard Hatcher III, reside in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Rick Hatcher graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in History. He began his long career with the National Park Service as a volunteer and seasonal employee at Richmond National Battlefield. Since then, he has worked at Fort Pickens-Gulf Islands National Seashore; Colonial National Historical Park; Kings Mountain National Military Park; and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. In 1992 he accepted the position of Historian at Fort Sumter National Monument, which includes Fort Moultrie, and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. Rick retired in 2015 and since has served on the board of the Fort Sumter-Fort Moultrie Historical Trust and as chairman of its History Committee since 2017. He is the author of The Campaign and Battle of Wilson’s Creek and the forthcoming Thunder In the Harbor about Fort Sumter, and he has contributed to many other publications. He resides in Richmond, Virginia.