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Batesburg-Leesville is a town in Lexington and Saluda counties, South Carolina United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town's population was 5,385 in 2018, up from 5,362 at the 2010 census.
The town of Batesburg-Leesville was formed in 1992 by the consolidation of the towns of Batesburg and Leesville. Batesburg was "named for Captain Tom Bates, a prominent citizen of the community and a captain in the War between the States." Leesville was "named for Colonel John W. Lee, a prominent resident of the community."
The D. D. D. Barr House, Batesburg Commercial Historic District, Simon Bouknight House, Cartledge House, Cedar Grove Lutheran Church, Church Street Historic District, Broadus Edwards House, Hampton Hendrix Office, Hartley House, Henry Franklin Hendrix House, Thomas Galbraith Herbert House, J.B. Holman House, A.C. Jones House, Leesville College Historic District, Crowell Mitchell House, McKendree Mitchell House, Mitchell-Shealy House, Old Batesburg Grade School, John Jacob Rawl House, Rawl-Couch House, Southern Railway Depot, and Rev. Frank Yarborough House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In February 1946, Sergeant Isaac Woodard, a black World War II veteran, was severely beaten by local police officers, including Chief Lynwood Shull. The assault left Woodard completely and permanently blind. Woodard was traveling home by Greyhound bus after being honorably discharged from Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, the bus driver having reported Woodard to local police in Batesburg-Leesville after a verbal argument between the two. Several police officers involved in the beating, including Shull, were indicted in U.S. District Court in October 1946 at the urging of President Harry S Truman, but all were ultimately found not guilty. The attack was the subject of radio commentaries by Orson Welles in July and August 1946.
In early 2018, the Town of Batesburg-Leesville, along with Town Attorney Christian Spradley, Police Chief W. Wallace Oswald, and Mayor Lancer Shull (no relation to Linwood Shull), reopened the Woodard case to consider dismissing the 1946 charges. During a regular term of municipal court on June 5, 2018, the Woodard case was reopened and the charges were dismissed by Town Judge Robert Cook.
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