William Glaze began his career in 1838 as a silversmith and jewelry maker. But by 1850, he had turned his interests towards ornamental iron manufacturing. Thus, was born the Palmetto Iron Works on Arsenal Hill. When the Civil War broke out, there were no gun manufacturers anywhere in the South. With the support of his friend, the then Governor of South Carolina, Glaze transformed his company into an armory (the first weapons foundry in Columbia) and began making muskets, rifles, pistols, and swords. Around the same time , he had persuaded Benjamin Flagg, a successful arms manufacturer in New England, to move his musket machinery to South Carolina. In addition, Glaze had bought pistol machinery from the Asa H. Waters and Company. By now, Glaze's company consisted of 15 buildings on the grounds of the Arsenal Academy, a state military school. This whole complex was destroyed when General Sherman's troops occupied and burned Columbia in 1865. By 1868, Glaze had gone bankrupt and all his assets were sold at a sheriff's auction. His former partner, George Shields, rebuilt the company in 1888 and it remained open until 1928. The city of Columbia bought the property in 1942 to preserve it as a museum. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. As we've mentioned several times in previous postings, we love history and it was a great delight for us to have the opportunity to learn about this bit of South Carolina's history.
Located on Arsenal Hill, , the armory was built on the grounds of the Arsenal Academy, a state military school.
Colonel Joseph Walker, served as Commander of Company K, 5th South Carolina Infantry Regiment (The Palmetto Sharpshooters Regiment). He surrendered at Appomattox with General Robert E. Lee.