A Civil War battlefield preserved as an historic landmark is a solemn reminder of South Carolina's both glorious and painful past. Allendale and surrounding counties were devastated by Sherman's scorched earth campaign to defeat the South.
The Battle of Rivers Bridge On Allendale's border with Bamburg County between the towns of Sycamore and Ehrhardt, is South Carolina's only state park that preserves a Civil War battlefield.
The invasion of Union Troops under the ruthless command of General Sherman devastated the state's proud and prosperous plantation culture. Allendale County was in the cross-hairs of the Civil War with many battles taking place here. For many of the people of Allendale, the War is remembered with sadness. For others, the War brought liberation. And today, Allendale continues to build a new society of both Blacks and Whites building a future together with common purpose. It is a work in progress, but the history of the county is very present and still plays a key role.
Right: The Rivers Bridge State Park has a number of sign boards that do a good job of telling the history of the Civil War as it was fought in and around what is now Allendale County.
Allendale History Web Site A new web site chock full of photos and commentary provides a fascinating view of Allendale in the late 19th and early to mid 20th Centuries. It shows in photos how an American town grew from a business center in a farming community during Victorian times to a thriving example of modern American living in the golden years of the 1950's and '60's. It is the story of a classic American town. The site is based largely on the extensive image collection of Allendale native and historian Jim P. Bryan.
Brittish troops captured Savannah in December, 1778 and then Augusta at the end of January, 1779. Continental forces were able to recapture Augusta but were later out maneuvered and badly beaten by the British at the Battle of Brier Creek on the Georgia side of the Savannah River just south of what is now Allendale County.
The story is told eloquently in a Field Guide written and published by Allendale historian Dan Johnson. The Field Guide also directs visitors to a number of key locations in the story of the battle that are accessible to tourists.
Dan Johnson's field guide is available on Amazon and at several retail outlets including the Salkehatchie Arts Center.
1907 -1967: Sixty Years of Growing Prosperity
By 1907, Allendale and Fairfax had become commercial centers with shops, guest houses and hotels. Shown at left the old Warren Hotel in the center of town at the intersection of Main Street and Railroad Avenue, where the train station was. By 1957 Allendale was a favorite stop over on the new Route 301, the highway to the south. Modern motels and diners lined the highway entering and exiting the center of town.