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  • Robert Reeves

An uncivil war

Updated: Dec 22, 2019


Although the Connie Maxwell Orphanage did not open until 1892, the American Civil War unquestionably had an impact on its founding just as it impacted everything in the South during the last half of the 19th Century. The orphanage's chief benefactor, Dr. John Maxwell, was a Civil War veteran who served as a surgeon for the Confederacy and saw action at major battles throughout the war.

More than this, however, the war altered both the economy and demographics of the South. According to "South Carolina: A History" by University of South Carolina historian Dr. Walter Edgar, South Carolina lost between 31 and 35 percent of its white male population in the war. Many children were left fatherless and many families destitute which led to the founding of several orphanages in the state in the ensuing years, including the Thornwell Orphanage in Clinton. It was Thornwell's struggle to keep up with the demand to provide care for children in need that eventually led South Carolina Baptists to get involved in childcare ministry.

This short segment of "The Connie Maxwell Story" deals with the Civil War era. I could really use additional photos of early South Carolina orphanages, especially Thornwell Orphanage in Clinton. Also, if anyone is aware of a historian who has done work on the impact of the Civil War on the lives of children and families in South Carolina, I would like to conduct an on-camera interview. If you have information, please send me a message through the contacts page.

The segment is part of the rough cut. That means that the sequence is not necessarily in its final form. The narrator's voice is my own at this point but I hope to have a professional read the script once I know I won't be making further changes to the script.


#SouthCarolina #orphanage #documentary #ConnieMaxwell #DrJohnMaxwell #CivilWar #WalterEdgar

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