While most Civil War battles took place elsewhere, South Carolina  was the cradle of secession and has many sites of great historical importance to the War Between the States, as it’s sometimes called here.
Little Abbeville in the Upstate  is home to Secession Hill, where South Carolina first plotted its secession from the Union. And it is also where they announced their return to the Union.
Tour the Burt-Stark House (400 N. Main St., 864/366-0166, www.burt-stark.com ), where Jefferson Davis officially dissolved the Confederacy. Browse the Confederate-focused history books at the nearby Southern Patriot bookstore (107 N. Main St., 864/366-2395, www.confederatepatriotshop.com ).
In Aiken, a February reenactment marks the Battle of Aiken, one of the last Confederate victories of the war. Performed on a grand scale, over 10,000 visitors attend this two-day event.
Experience the reenactment of the Battle of Secessionville each November at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston . While you’re there, visit the restored brick slave cabins, a reminder of what the war left behind.
See St. Helena’s Episcopal Church , in Beaufort, used as a hospital by Union troops. Nearby is Beaufort National Cemetery , one of the few in the country where both Union and Confederate troops are interred.
Take the ferry out to Fort Sumter , target of Confederate batteries on the eve of war (ironically, none of the shots came from Charleston’s Battery itself as it was too far away).
See the newly raised CSS Hunley  submarine on the old Navy base in North Charleston, and marvel at the bravery of the men on this suicide mission.
Visit historic Drayton Hall  on the Ashley River, saved from torching by Union troops by a quick-thinking local who erected smallpox warning flags. It’s one of the few plantation homes in the area that survived the war.
In Columbia, tour the South Carolina State House  and its numerous monuments to Civil War figures. Note the Yankee cannonball damage on the walls.
Visit the Confederate Museum  on the second floor of Charleston’s City Market to see its collection of military memorabilia.