An Interactive Walk led by St. Peter’s Catholic School Teacher Marie Phillips and her third grade students, February 17, at 10 a.m. Walk begins at the Tapps Building, 1644 Main Street, and concludes in St. Peter’s Church Cemetery, 1529 Assembly St. All are welcome to attend; the walking tour is free.
Experience the unique perspective of a child on the burning of Columbia, as chronicled in the diary of Selena Bollin Magrath, student at the Ursuline Convent and School for Girls, located on the Tapps site in 1865. Selena’s diary tells the moving story of what she and her fellow students endured as they fled the burning school to the safety of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, led by Mother Baptista Lynch, Mother Superior of the Ursuline School.
Come hear this historic eyewitness account, as St. Peter’s School teacher Marie Phillips and her students lead us on the same route their historic counterparts took that fateful night. One Union soldier, who witnessed their perilous flight through the city that night, commented, “I have never seen such order and discipline, not even in the finest regiment of the Union Army!”
Few people know General Sherman was married to a Catholic and his daughter, Minnie, had been taught by Mother Baptista Lynch in Ohio. Mother Baptista begged General Sherman to remember this connection and to send troops to protect her students on February 17, 1865. He did so, but it was too late to stop the fire and chaos erupting in the city that night, and the convent burned down.
In St. Peter’s Cemetery, where Mother Baptista had spent the cold, windy night surrounded by her frightened students, the General and Mother Baptista met the following morning. She rebuked him for failing his promise, and his words stung her deeply. Find out what he said on this interactive walk! Years later Mother Baptista Lynch was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery,where her headstone can still be seen today.