Dr. Daniel H. Trezevant, The Burning of Columbia, S.C., edited by Karen Stokes. Shotwell Publishing, 2022.
Dr. Trezevant was a respected Columbia physician who experienced fully the Yankee robbing and burning of South Carolina’s capital by Sherman’s army in February 1865. He wrote a series of newspaper articles just after, which became a pamphlet. Although there was a facsimile edition of the pamphlet in the 1950s, not much attention has been paid to Trezevant’s account compared to those of William Gilmore Simms and Emma LeConte.
The outstanding Southern historian Karen Stokes has remedied that neglect by editing a new edition of Trezevant’s work, amplified by her introduction and knowledge of materials from the good doctor’s unpublished papers.
Trezevant had just delivered a baby from a frail mother when Yankee soldiers, who had been busy looting the house, broke into the room declaring that they wanted to see “a Rebel born.” Later he witnessed the torching of his home by boys in blue who prevented him from rescuing the portrait of his son killed in the Mexican War. There are many other first-hand observations.
Trezevant’s subtitle is A Review of Northern Assertions and Southern Facts. He was prompted to set the record straight by reading the published lies of several Union officers about what had happened in Columbia. Since there are still supposed “experts” who deny the war crimes of the U.S. government in its brutal invasion and conquest of the South, it is always appropriate to make evidence available, especially in a time when mainstream opinion assumes that all evil is attributable to Southerners. Lest we forget.