Manse Jolly - Facts And Fiction

By Ed Sanders(1)

Following is a two part series about Manse Jolly written in 1981 by Steve Biondo and published by the Anderson Independent newspaper. The articles consist of a mix of part fact and part fiction. At first glance it would seem that the article is divided into two parts, the legend and the factual account about Manse. But unfortunately this is not what we find. The way the articles are written in some places it is unclear where fact ends and fiction begins. This is one of many accounts of Manse's life that have contributed to the confusion over his true story.

The first and most prominent deficiency in this article is the photo, it is not Manse Jolly. The source of this photo is unknown, one unconfirmed source states that it is a touched up photo of a Civil War reenactor 'posing' as Manse. See SandersWeb.net Manse Jolly page to view an authentic picture of Manse based on a daguerreotype that belonged to the Jolly family.

Those who are interested in the the historical facts about Manse Jolly should consult "The South Carolina Upcountry: Historical and Biographical Sketches (Vol. 2, 1982) by Elmer Don Herd(2). The chapter on Manse Jolly "Unreconstructed Rebel" is about 50 pages of well researched material. Many consider it to be the most historically accurate account available. For those who enjoy great 'historical-fiction' there is also an excellent  book recently published by Wilton Earle(3).

Note: The articles were scanned from the newspaper archives at the Anderson County Library and are of poor quality. If you have a better copy of the articles please let us know, we would like to have a better copy to publish.

Part I - The Legend Of Manse Jolly (April 12, 1981, Anderson Independent-Mail)


Part II  - Manse Jolly The Man (April 19, 1981, Anderson Independent-Mail)


1. Information compiled by Ed Sanders from the Anderson County Library (2005).
2. Don Heard is a noted S.C. history scholar who was President of Lander College, Greenwood, SC.
3. The book is titled: Manse: One Mans War by Wilton Earle (highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Manse Jolly!). Visit the authors website www.adeptbooks.com where you can read the first chapter and purchase the book! A previous book by the same author Manse Jolly: A Story Based On Fact is out of print and hard to find.