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Charleston 1861

Courtesy of the Charleston Museum

In Charleston 1861, on the eve of Civil War, stormclouds (or smoke from a firestorm) are hanging oppresively above the Holy City. We are back to our view of ships on the Cooper River, but now Ft. Sumter and its flagpole intrudes from the left. The foreground stretch of land is no longer a verdant garden, but a barren sandbar. And the ships show little evidence of wind or sail, appearing instead to be at anchor, as if inertly awaiting the gathering storm.