Edited by John Hammond Moore
6×9, 174 pages, paper
When South Carolina Was an Armed Camp: The Reconstruction Essays of Belton O’Neall Townsend is collection of essays from the 1870s about Reconstruction in S.C. Its author of essays was from Florence; the editor and author of introduction lives in Columbia. This is a very important book, especially for academic centers in S.C. and beyond.
In the 1870s, a series of articles in national publications described the brutal violence that was being directed against South Carolina African Americans and the outrageous corruption that had marked several Republican administrations. The author was Belton O’Neall Townsend, with cameo performances by Mark Twain and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
When South Carolina Was an Armed Camp contains all six of Townsend’s essays, which have often been quoted by historians but never before compiled in a book. In addition, this volume contains his epic poem, “Wild with All Regret: A Tale of Reconstruction” and a biographical introduction by noted historian John Hammond Moore who shows Townsend’s own life was as bizarre as that of any fictional character.