Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Calhoun’s Carolina

  by Charles King Bird

John C. Culhoon. Culhoon is the right pronunciation by the way. John C. Culhoon was an upcountryman. We upcountry people tend to suspect Charlestonians, like Dr. Fleming, of being somewhat haughty and dissipated. Calhoun studied law briefly in Charleston and found a bride here, and he stopped off when he couldn’t avoid it on his way to and from Washington, but he lived in the far western hills as far from Charleston as you could be and still be in South Carolina.

He is buried here, as you may have noted, in the yard of St. Phillips Church. There is a story in that. Having been fortunate in spending nearly every day with this very great man for over 35 years, I have no doubt that he would have preferred to be laid to rest on his own land like Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson.

When his remains were on their way back from Washington City, his family was persuaded to allow him to rest in Charleston temporarily while a suitable monument and final resting place was erected at the Capitol in Columbia. Then the war came and the plans for the monument were never forwarded. In late 1864, when it appeared that Sherman might be headed toward Charleston, the rector and sexton of St. Phillips disinterred the remains and hid them until the war was over. And then there was Reconstruction.

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