Experience Charleston as it was in 1860–1865 through the photographs and storytelling of local historian Jack Thomson and his associates at Civil War Walking Tours.

Your experience begins now—in 1860! Walk with Jack and his associates as they take you on a trip through Charleston’s history that is much more fun than any van or bus tour. This beautiful city has been bombarded for eighteen months by Union forces. Devastation and destruction are everywhere. Heavy smoke lingers in the air. And yet this city where the Ordinance of Secession was signed in 1860 survives… now more beautiful than ever.

Your knowledgeable tour guide will give you an accurate and vivid portrayal of the period. See actual photographs of Charleston from this era while standing in the same spots as the original photographer in 1865. Enjoy a unique experience seeing places and photographs that cannot be matched by a typical carriage tour.

Along the way you will meet people like Gus Smythe, the young Confederate Signal Corps Sergeant up in St. Michael’s steeple with a bird’s eye view of the Union shells raining down from Charleston harbor. You will also be introduced to Jane Wightman, a free person of color with her own slaves and a beautiful brick house on cobblestoned Chalmers Street.

Jack uses his collection of 118 photographs from 1865 to set the mood and illustrate his stories. Step back in time with Civil War Walking Tours and experience Charleston’s wartime society like never before. Your adventure awaits you!

The Company

“Tour guide Jack Thomson uses his extensive collection of Charleston Civil War photographs during the tour to illustrate how little the city has changed.” –Travelfacts

Jack has conducted Civil War walking tours of Charleston since 1986. Come join him and explore Charleston in a whole new way.


Take a Tour

Travel back through time as Jack guides you through the streets of Charleston. Our two hour tour covers over 300 years of history.
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Read the Book

This fascinating book explores Civil War era Charleston, South Carolina through an in-depth photographic study.
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Read Jack Thomson's articles about Charleston during the Civil War. Learn more about life in Confederate Charleston.
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