Union in Union County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
the Gist Family
Among those buried here are
the secession Governor of
William H. Gist
Aug. 2, 1805 - Sept. 30, 1874
Mary Rice Gist
His second wife
Col. William M. Gist C.S.A.
Rose Hill, the Gist Mansion
Located One Mile East of Here.
Erected by Union County Historical Foundation and H.B. and Ruth Burnsed.
Location. 34° 36.108′ N, 81° 40.773′ W. Marker is in Union, South Carolina, in Union County. Marker is on Galilee Church Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located about 1 mile west of Rose Hill State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Union SC 29379, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rose Hill Mansion (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Old Quaker Cemetary (approx. 1.4 miles away but has been reported missing); Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church (approx. 4 miles away); Otterson's Fort (approx. 5.3 miles away); Fair Forest Plantation / Emslie Nicholson House Cross Keys House (approx. 5.8 miles away); Fairforest Meeting (approx. 5.9 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.3 miles away); Union Memorial Gardens Veterans Monument (approx. 7.5 miles away); Textile Memorial (approx. 7.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Union.
Also see . . .
1. William H. Gist. William Henry Gist (August 22, 1807 – September 30, 1874) was a Democratic Governor of South Carolina from 1858 to 1860 and a leader of the secession movement in South Carolina. (Submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. South Carolina Governor William Henry Gist. William Henry Gist was born in Charleston, South Carolina. (Submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site. In the days following the election of President Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina Gov. William H. Gist was characteristically blunt: “The only alternative left, in my judgment, is the secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” (Submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. About William H. Gist
Gist, a planter and slave holder, was an ardent secessionist. It ran in the family. His cousin was Confederate Brigadier General States Rights Gist, a name that was somewhat common for men born during the 1830s.
William Gist was South Carolina's governor the two years before the state seceded, and he lobbied hard for secession during his term of office. He often visited other governors to ask for their support. He finally made his case, but too late for him to have the honor of being governor when South Carolina finally left the union on December 20, 1860. Gist signed the Ordinance of Secession as just another private citizen.
There is one odd thing about Gist's signing of the Ordinance. In 1776, a proud John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence in very large letters so King George of England could read it. Former Governor Gist' signature on South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession is one of the smallest ones on the document. The man spent his entire term of office lobbying for secession, but his signature is tiny compared to other names. (Source: Touring the Carolina's Civil War Sites by Clint Johnson, pg. 327.)
— Submitted March 11, 2009, by Brian Scott
2. About Major William M. Gist
Major William M. Gist was a son of Governor W.H. Gist, the Governor just preceding Secession, and Mrs. Mary E. Gist; born in Union County in 1840. He was educated in the common schools of Union and York Counties and by private tutors, until January, 1854. He then went to school at Glenn Springs to Rev. C.S. Beard for six months. His health failing, he returned to his home, and in January, 1855, entered the Mt. Zion College, at Winnsboro, Fairfield County, taught by Hon. J.W. Hudson, and spent one year at that institution. He next entered the South Carolina College, in January, 1856, and graduated in the class of '59. The class which Major Gist was in at the time, the Junior, did not participate in the great "college rebellion" of March 28th, 1858. Through that rebellion one hundred and eleven of the students were suspended for six months.
When the first alarm of war was sounded, Major Gist responded promptly, with the same chivalric spirit that was so characteristic of his whole life. He joined, as a private, Captain Gadberry's Company, from Union, and left for Charleston on January 12, 1861, the company forming a part of Colonel Maxey Gregg's First Six Months' Volunteers, and remained with the command until their term of service expired. A vacancy occurring, Colonel
After the fall of Sumter a part of Colonel Gregg's Regiment was disbanded, and Major Gist returned to Union and began at once organizing a company for the Confederate States Army. He was elected Captain of the company and was joined to the Fifteenth Regiment, then collecting at camp near Columbia for drill and instruction. He served as Captain until the death of Colonel DeSaussure, then was promoted to Major. There being no officer senior to him, his way was open to the Colonelcy of his regiment at the time of his death.
Major Gist was a young man of rare qualities—open, frank, generous, and brave. He commanded the respect and esteem of all. Just verging into mature manhood as the toscin of war sounded, he had no opportunity to display his great qualities as a civilian, but as a soldier he was all that the most exacting could desire. He was beloved by his men, and they appreciated his worth. He was kind and affectionate to all, and showed favoritism or privileges to none. It was through that ungovernable impulse that permeates the body and flows through the hot Southern blood that he so recklessly threw his life away, leading his men to the charge. In a moment of hesitancy among his troops, he felt the supreme responsibility of Leadership, placed himself where danger was greatest, bullets falling thick and fast; thus
— Submitted March 11, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. About Rose Hill Plantation
William Henry Gist began construction on this mansion in 1828, completing it over a four-year period. Gist was only 21 years old when the house was begun. It was originally a brick Georgia home.
In the early 1850s, the mansion underwent a major remodel, and the double porches, colonnades and tuck-pointed stucco were added. This changed the look of the home into the Greek Classical Revival mansion you see now.
Gist was a very successful planter, local attorney, and a staunch advocate of States Rights and Sovereignty in the mid-19th century. Elected Governor of South Carolina in 1858, Gist led the move to sever ties with the Federal government in 1860, by ordering the State Legislature to call delegates to a convention of secession to decide whether South Carolina would leave the Union. South Carolina's Secession ultimately encouraged other states to follow, forming the Confederate States of America. Thus, Gist became known as the "Secession" Governor
abandoned by the family after the deaths of Governor and Mrs. Gist, the home was in serious disrepair by the early 20th Century. Acquired from the U.S. Forestry Commission by Clyde Franks, a Laurens businessman, the home was restored over an eighteen year period and became a State Park in 1960.
Rose Hill is an ideal place to investigate South Carolina's antebellum history, the lifestyles of prosperous Upstate planter families. cotton production, the lives of enslaved African Americans and tenant farming of South Carolina's past. Today, when touring the home, you can see original woodwork, period furnishings, artifacts belonging to the Gist family, and the ongoing preservation of this historically significant part of South Carolina's history and legacy. (Source: Brochure available on site.)
— Submitted March 11, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • Antebellum South, US • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Government • Military • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • Politics • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,941 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 2. submitted on February 11, 2013, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. 3. submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4, 5. submitted on February 11, 2013, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 10, 11. submitted on February 11, 2013, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. 12, 13. submitted on November 10, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.