Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 12: No 1) >> 'A Scene Which Beggars Art to Portray': Simms and the Writing of The Sack and Destruction of Columbia, S.C. >> Page 35

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Page 35

Secondary Scholarship | 2004
Transcription Capture, Sack and Destruction
of the City of Columbia


Serial Edition

1. "Capture, Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia." The Columbia
Phoenix, v.1, n.1—10 (Mar. 21—Apr. 10, 1865).
Beginning with the Phoenix's inaugural issue, Simms's "Capture, Sack
and Destruction of the City of Columbia" ran for ten consecutive issues. It
had no by-line, but Simms's authorship was taken for granted, as he was the
editor of the paper though that fact was not advertised until much later, in
the Oct. 12, 1865 issue.31
The list of destroyed properties and dispossessed owners and occupants,
originally entitled "The Fire" (renamed "A List of Property Destroyed" in the
pamphlet edition), ran for the first three issues, with a few corrections
appearing during the remainder of the serialization.
Overall, the serial account is 24, 362 words, not including "A List of
Property Destroyed," which accounts for another 4,000 words, including
corrections. With the exception of the last installment, chapters are not
named in the Phoenix, appearing only with roman numerals.
One chapter, fifteen, was reprinted by another newspaper, The Daily
South Carolinian, on Apr. 29, 1865 (v.16, n.77). All or part of the book may
have appeared in other newspapers, as was common at the time. (I am
indebted to Dr. Allen Stokes for pointing out this reprint.)

la. Chapts. 1—8, The Columbia Phoenix, v.l, n.1 (Mar. 21, 1865), pp.1—4.
"The Fire," pp.4—5.

lb. Chapts. 9—12, The Columbia Phoenix, v.1, n.2 (Mar. 23, 1865), pp.1—3.

31 In a column titled "Friendly Notice—Correction," the new editor responds to an item in the
Charlotte (NC) Times on his accession to the editorship of the Phoenix, saying that "it is due to
Mr. Simms, who has conducted it from the beginning, to state that he withdrew from his
connecion with the paper before Mr. Johnston entered upon his duties." The Daily Phoenix, v.1,
n.167 (Oct. 12, 1865), p.2.