Bamberg County and its county seat, Bamberg, were named for local resident William Seaborn Bamberg (1820-1858) and other members of the Bamberg family. The area was a part of Barnwell County until 1897 when the new county was established. Although the area has been primarily agricultural, several towns developed along the route of the South Carolina Railroad in the mid-nineteenth century. In February 1865 Confederate soldiers fought an unsuccessful skirmish against General Sherman's troops at Rivers Bridge, now the site of a state park. The plantation of author William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) was in what is now Bamberg County, and artist Jim Harrison is also a native of the county.
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