Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 10, 1865

Rev. James Henley ThornwellDiary of Orrin Brown, at Boiling Springs, near Kline, South Carolina

Friday–Feb. 10th

We had a very cold night and there has been a cool west wind blowing all day but the sky has been clear. We have marched about 23 miles today the same kind of a country that we came through yesterday and passed some very large plantations but the large buildings were all burned except one & they hoisted a white flag on one corner of their Poarch and their house was guarded. It was a very beautifull residence. We also passed two very nice Churches which are always respected by our army. We got considerable forage today. We went into camp about 5 PM in a grove of Pine timber and we were very tired. I read 2 Chapt. in the Testament today.

The Boiling Springs community of Barnwell County, SC, was site of the original courthouse when the area was organized after the Revolutionary War.  In 1791, the District Courthouse was moved to the village of Barnwell, which had just been burned by Kilpatrick’s cavalry along with most of the rest of the town.  The Presbyterian Church in Barnwell was used until 1869, when the Reconstruction Legslature moved the county seat to Blackville, until returned to Barnwell in 1874.  The present courthouse was completed in 1879.  During Reconstruction, the area saw extensive violence in preventing freed slaves from voting.

A Presbyterian Church had been organized in 1842 at Boiling Springs, by Rev. James H. Thornwell, a prominent theologian who went on to become president of South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) in 1851-1855, and later to teach at Columbia Theological Seminary, in Columbia, SC (now located in Atlanta).  Thornwell also was an organizer of the Presbyterian Church in the CSA, which became the Presbyterian Church in the United States until 1983, when it merged with the Northern church to become the PCUSA.  The present building was constructed in 1897.



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