A new exhibit at South Carolina State Museum will begin the observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and open new history exhibit space. "The Coming of the Civil War" will look at the origins of the disagreement between South Carolina and the federal government, beginning with the nullification crisis of 1832-33.

It also will examine how this division grew. The slavery issue began to >Fort Sumter.

Artifacts that will help tell the story include a green palmetto tree flag, c. 1860, which unofficially symbolized sovereignty or independence; a silk scarf imprinted with President Andrew Jackson's proclamation to the people of South Carolina condemning the 1832 nullification ordinance; original lithographs from Harper's Weekly magazine, created at the time of the events leading up to the Fort Sumter firing; a lithograph copy of the Ordinance of Secession; and more.

The display is part of an expansion of the museum's permanent Civil War exhibits that will add, when complete, another 2200 square feet of new space to the museum's history floor under the title The Civil War in South Carolina 1861-1865. "The Coming of the Civil War"will be augmented by five more single-topic exhibits through the sesquicentennial war years (2011-2015) until the expansion space is filled.

In addition, a new Web site devoted to the war's 150th anniversary will follow each succeeding exhibit to further explain the forces that led to the war and the events that took place during the conflict, and will include programs, events, links to other sites and more. The site can be accessed from the museum's regular Web site, www.southcarolinastatemuseum.org. A second site opening in mid-November will feature 3-D photographs from South Carolina during the war.

Contributed by guest blogger, Tut Underwood, Public Information Director for South Carolina State Museum, who has lived in Columbia since 1977 and is a graduate of USC College of Journalism.

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