“War is a social disease, real patriotism uses reason rather than cowering behind public opinion.”
Charleston American editorial, 16 June 1917
In spite of the patriotic support by most South Carolinians there were notable individuals and a few newspapers that disagreed. The most notable opponent in the Palmetto State was the former governor Coleman Blease. A conservative who opposed progressive legislation championed by Gov. Manning, Blease opposed Gov. Manning’s patriotic pronouncements. As soon as war fever began to pick up Blease castigated the Governor with abusive rhetoric, that accused Manning of "stealing the souls and bodies of your boys" to fight the war.
The Charleston American became the mouthpiece for the state’s anti-war proponents. John P. Grace, the editor and former mayor of the coastal city, was an ardent Irish nationalist opposed the war, in part because of his anti-British feelings. His paper editorialized frequently against the war, both before and during the early months of the war. Grace made it clear that he believed that big business in New York was behind the war because they wanted to protect their investments in the Allies, something that stood at more than $2 billion (as compared to investments in Germany of only $20 million). But by fall, 1917, Grace had to relinquish his editorship to prevent the government from shutting his paper down for sedition. Another paper in the upstate, the Abbeville Scimitar was not so lucky. Its anti-war stance led to its closing while its editor, W.P. "Bull Moose" Beard, was arrested and jailed for sedition.
Pockets of opposition formed in the areas of the state where German communities had existed for years. In Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Charleston Counties anti-war sentiment existed, and rallies opposing war were held. However, this opposition melted once government cracked down on such sentiments by summer. The anti-German sentiment led to the suppression of German language teaching in the schools. Consequently it was not surprising when the state's one German daily in Charleston, the Deutsches Zeitung, shut down in fall 1917. Even towns with German names were changed. Thus Hamburg, on the Savannah River in Aiken County, was renamed North Augusta as it is today.