By Peg Eastman

As nasty as today’s political divisions and disputes may be, they have not pulled us back in time to the days when citizens settled such matters from the ends of gun barrels. Although it was widely deplored, dueling became fashionable among military men during the American Revolution and it was not until 1880 that the South Carolina General Assembly banned the practice, following the Cash-Shannon duel in which William Shannon, father of 13, died. Six members of the Simons family were caught up in this peculiar custom and three died defending their “honor.” The earliest Simons duel involved Revolutionary War veterans and the last duel occurred in St. Augustine, Florida, when Richard Gough Simons was killed while returning from service in the Seminole War.

By Michael S. Kogan

As I write this essay on Robert E. Lee, I am aware that the subject of this article is under attack by fanatical forces attempting to wipe all those who fought for the Southland from the American story. Their hostility against all things Southern has led to the desecration of monuments and statues, even on the hallowed ground of cemeteries, dedicated to the men and boys “who wore the gray.” These are not monuments to the Confederacy, but to men who went to war because their homes were threatened with invasion.

By Peg Eastman 

Now that most of the final documents about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy have been released, the subject has once again become national news. Those who were alive then remember vividly that it was only a few days before Thanksgiving 1963, when America was jolted out of its post-war complacency with the news that the president had been shot in Dallas while riding in a presidential motorcade with his wife and Governor and Mrs. John Connally. An hour later, came the shocking announcement that the president was dead — a bullet had destroyed his brain.

Firearms in history

By Grahame Long

Dummy Rifle (or “fencing rifle”)


Chillicothe, Ohio


 Not to be confused with other “dummy” weaponry used to deceive enemy reconnaissance, these all-wooden “devices” mimic bolt-action rifle and bayonet forms and were used as training tools for American and other allied recruits. Due to expanding trench warfare tactics being employed throughout Western Europe by 1915, hand-to-hand combat training had become even more essential for those on the front. Furthermore, because of Allied shortages of rifles at the beginning of the war, plenty of new recruits were reduced to training with makeshift substitute weaponry. In Britain, for example, more than one million men had volunteered for service by the end of 1914, causing the demand for proper firearms (not to mention uniforms most other necessary equipages) to far outrun supply.

By Larry Kobrovsky

Imagine armed soldiers coming to your town, pointing bayonets, speaking to you in a foreign language, robbing your native land of your recent hard won independence and then following this up by taking all of your possessions, telling you that you no longer owned anything you worked so hard to obtain and filling every spare inch of your dwelling with strangers. This was the experience of Lithuanians when the Soviets occupied their country in 1939.

By Patra Taylor

Lee, Moultrie, Sumter, Horry, Hampton, Pickens, Marion: These are the names of just a few of the Palmetto State’s first century patriots who led the charge in 188 hard fought battles to repel the British from S.C. during the American Revolution. Although the names seem ever-present in our daily lives, the gallant acts of our state’s heroes seem to have faded from our collective memory; the amazing stories of their lives and deaths now primarily the purview of historians.

Waring Library Society Medical History Moment

By Susan Hoffius

Located on the southwest corner of Ashley Avenue and Beaufain Street overlooking Colonial Lake, the building that is now Baker House condominiums opened on Thanksgiving Day, 1912 as the Baker-Craig Sanatorium. Named for its founders Dr. Archibald E. Baker, Sr. of Charleston and Dr. Lawrence Craig of Dillon, South Carolina, the hospital was a private clinic specializing in surgical and gynecological cases. In 1917 Dr. Craig withdrew from the enterprise, leaving Dr. Baker as the sole owner and principal physician until his death on July 31, 1934.

Mercury newspapers can be found at the following locations:


Buxton Books

Caviar & Bananas

The Meeting Street Inn (Rack)

Clair's Service Station, Folly Rd. (Rack)

Harris Teeter, Houston-Northcutt Blvd. (Rack)

Mt. Pleasant Library, Mathis Ferry Rd. (Rack)

Pitt St. Pharmacy

The Square Onion, I'On (Rack)