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anything we wanted for plenty “sheepskins.” He would even furnish whiskey “on the sly,” which was positively prohibited by the prison regulations. He had only to go to headquarters at the close of the day and have his “sheepskins” cashed in genuine greenbacks, and he went away happy and serene, to dream of more “sheepskins.”

The amusements and diversions of prison life are wonderful to contemplate. They were numerous and varied. A man could find anything to suit his inclinations. Of all the many diversions, gaming was probably the most prominent, and stands at the head of the list. By common consent, it seemed that a certain part of the open court was set aside for gaming purposes. It made no difference how severe the weather was, these gaming tables were always in full blast. A man could amuse himself with any game at cards that he desired. There were “farrow bank,” “chuck-a-luck,” “brag,” “eucher,” “draw poker,” “straight poker,” “seven-up,” “five-up,” and most prominent of all, a French game, pronounced in Fort Delaware “vang-tu-aug,” meaning twenty-one. All these were games for “sheepskins”–bets, five cents; limit, ten cents. All were conducted on a high plane of honor. If a dealer or player was detected in attempting anything that was unclean, he was tried in court, convicted, and punished.

There were courts and debating societies; classes in French, Spanish, and Greek. There were Bible students and students in the arts and sciences prosecuting their varied studies. The gutta-percha ring-makers were quite numerous, and it was really astonishing to see the quality of the work turned out, being handsomely engraved and inlaid with silver. There were diversion and amusement for everybody and every class of men, except croakers and grumblers. They had no lot, parcel, or place, and such characters were not permitted to indulge in their evil forebodings. They had to be men, and real live men, too. The reader may desire to know whence all the books, cards, materials, etc., came. I answer, from the Yankee suttler, for “sheepskins.”

It must be said to the credit of the Federal prison officials, that the sanitary and hygienic arrangements were as near perfect as man could well make them. These officials were exceedingly jealous of the health of the place. In fact, it was often thought they were unnecessarily strict in enforcing their hygienic rules. Everything had to be thoroughly clean. Cleanliness was compulsory. A laundry machine was furnished, and a kind of laundrying was accomplished. Blankets were required to be dusted and sunned regularly. Every few weeks the whole army of prisoners were turned out into the cold, and there remained until the “shacks” were thoroughly white-washed, both inside and outside. This work was performed by “galvanized Yankees.” A “galvanized Yankee” was a Confederate prisoner who had “swallowed the yellow pup,” i.e., had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States Government. These men were looked upon even by the Federal officers as a contemptible set, and were required to do all kinds of menial service.

The water was good and plentiful. There could be no just criticism along this line. I am constrained to believe that it was owing to these stringent health laws that the percentage of sickness was so very small. Of course, I can only speak of the officers in Fort Delaware.

The prison fare is the most difficult, as well as unpleasant, part of prison life of which to treat. However, I will give the simple facts, and allow the reader to draw his own conclusions as to the justice and necessity for such treatment. To say that the fare was entirely insufficient, is putting it mildly, and would not be more than might be expected under similar circumstances and conditions; but the reader will more fully understand the situation when this insufficiency is exemplified by the facts which follow. Think of being compelled to live on two ounces of meat and six ounces of bread per day. Yet this was a prison ration for us towards the close of the war. This was totally inadequate to appease hunger. Men who had no other means of procuring something to eat were nearly starved to death. They stalked about listlessly, gaunt looking, with sunken cheeks and glaring eyes, which reminded one of a hungry ravenous beast. Hungry, hungry all the time. On lying down at night, many, instead of breathing prayers of thankfulness for bountiful supplies, would lie down invoking the most severe curses of God upon the heads of the whole Federal contingent, from President Lincoln down to the lowest private. Hunger makes men desperate and reckless. The last six or eight months of the war the fare was much worse than at any time previous. It was at this period that the Federal administration was retaliating, as they claimed, for the treatment their prisoners were receiving at Andersonville, Ga.

This inhuman condition of affairs was absolutely brought about by the United States Government itself by positively refusing time and again an exchange of prisoners, and it can not escape the just odium and stigma of the inhuman treatment, the untold suffering, and agonies of both the Confederate and Union prisoners of war.

As already observed, there were not a great number of officers who suffered so intensely, but there were some, who, like nearly all the privates, had no friends or acquaintances in the North to render any assistance, and they suffered greatly. Of course, we endeavored to relieve one another as far as we could. Often have I and others given our entire day’s ration from the mess hall to some brother officer less fortunate than ourselves. I have seen an officer peal an apple, throw the pealing upon the ground, and immediately an unfortunate one would pick it up and ravenously devour it. There were a great many wharf rats burrowing under the plank walks which traversed the open court of the prison. These rodents are much larger than our common barn rats, and they were eagerly sought by the starving officers. There was a general warfare declared on the wharf rat in prison. When these rats were taken and being prepared, the odor arising therefrom was certainly tempting to a hungry man, and when ready they were eaten with a keen relish. The rats did not require any of Lee’s and Perin’s Worcester sauce to make them palatable, or to give them zest. This will give the reader some idea of the straits to which some of the Confederate officers, and nearly all the privates, in prison at Fort Delaware were reduced to by gaunt hunger.

I must here chronicle an event which I desire to go down in history. After being in prison and being hungry for about two months, I received a letter, addressed in a lady’s handwriting, to “Lieut. U.B. White, Division 28, Fort Delaware,” and postmarked “Baltimore, Md.” My surprise was great, but on opening it and finding the writer’s name to be “Mrs. Mary Howard, of Lexington Avenue, Baltimore,” my surprise was unbounded. I knew no such person as Mrs. Mary Howard, and, in fact, at that time I did not know a soul in Baltimore. I felt sure that there must be some mistake about it. I read and re-read that letter. I scrutinized and examined the address again and again. It was plain, except that the final “s” in my name was wanting, which was and is, to my mind, a very natural and correct omission. Mrs. Howard said in her letter that she had been informed that I was a prisoner of war and that I was in Division Twenty-eight, Fort Delaware, and that I was in need of both money and clothing, and that if this was true she would be glad to relieve my wants. I immediately answered that letter. I said to Mrs. Howard that her information was only too true, which I very much regretted. From that time my hunger was appeased and my nakedness clad. Thirty-five years have elapsed since Mrs. Mary Howard wrote that letter, and to-day it is as much of a mystery to me as it was on the day I received it–by whom or by what means or device Mrs. Howard ever found out who I was, or what my condition and circumstances were, I will never know. She and I corresponded regularly during the balance of my prison life, and for sometime after the war when I returned to South Carolina, and yet that mystery was never explained. Mrs. Mary Howard! Grand, noble, heroic, Christian woman! “She hath done what she could.” Through her agency and her means and her efforts she not only assisted and relieved me, but hundreds of other poor, helpless Confederate prisoners. To-day she is reaping her sublime reward, where there are no suffering hungry, starving prisoners to relieve. God bless her descendants!

When General Lee surrendered we refused to believe it, notwithstanding the prison was flooded with various newspapers announcing the fact, and the nearby cities were illuminated, the big guns were belching forth their terrific thunder in joy of the event. However, the truth gradually dawned upon us, and we were forced to realize what we at first thought impossible–that Lee would be forced to surrender. A few days later we were all ordered into line, and officially notified of General Lee’s surrender. The futility of further resistence was emphasized, and we were urgently requested to take the oath of Allegiance to the United States Government. This was “a bitter pill,” “the yellow pup,” to swallow, and a very few solemnly complied. The great majority still had a forlorn hope. Generals Johnston, Kirby Smith, Mosby, and others were still in the field, and it seemed to be a tacit understanding, that we would never take the oath of allegiance as long as one Confederate officer contended in the field.

Finally, when there was no disguising the fact that General Johnston and all others had honorably surrendered–that all was lost–on the 19th day of June, 1865, the last batch of officers in prison took the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, bade farewell to Fort Delaware, and inscribed on its walls, on its fences, in books, and divisions the French quotation, “Font est perdeu l’honeur”–All is lost but honor.

“A prison! Heavens, I loath the hated name, Famine’s metropolis, the sink of shame, A nauseous sepulchre, whose craving womb Hourly inters poor mortals in its tomb; By ev’ry plague and ev’ry ill possessed, Ev’n purgatory itself to thee’s a jest; Emblem of hell, nursery of vice,
Thou crawling university of lice; When wretches numberless to ease their pains, With smoke and all delude their pensive chains. How shall I avoid thee? or with what spell Dissolve the enchantment of thy magic cell? Ev’n Fox himself can’t boast so many martyrs, As yearly fall within thy wretched quarters. Money I’ve none, and debts I cannot pay, Unless my vermin, will those debts defray. Not scolding wife, nor inquisition’s worse; Thou’rt ev’ry mischief crammed into one curse.”

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Leave the Valley for the Last Time–October 20th to December 31st, 1864.

The retreat from Fisher’s Hill to New Market will never be forgotten by those who participated therein as long as they live. To recapitulate the movements of the last thirty-six hours and reflect upon what had been accomplished, it seems beyond human endurance. No retreat in history, even the famous retreat of Xenophon, while of greater duration and under different circumstances, still it did not equal that of Early during the same length of time. From midnight of the 18th the troops were in line, crossing the river some miles in the distance before daylight, storms and takes the enemy’s lines by nine o’clock, incessant fighting for five or six miles (either fighting or on the run), then a stampede of the same distance, then back across the river and to camp, a two hours’ halt, a forced march of thirty-five miles–making over fifty miles in all–without eating or drinking, only as could be “caught up” on the march or run. Up the valley this routed, disorganized rabble (it could not be called an army) marched, every man as he saw fit, here a General at the head of a few squads called regiments, or a Colonel or Captain with a few men at his heels, some with colors and some without; here a Colonel without a man, there a score or two of men without a commissioned officer. A great number had abandoned their arms and accoutrements, others their scanty baggage. Some regiments had lost their whole supply trains that hauled their cooking utensils and provisions. Then we could see artillerymen with nothing but a few jaded horses, their cannons and caissons left in the general upheaval and wreck at the Stone Bridge, or on the field of battle; Quartermasters, with their teamsters riding or leading their horses, their wagons abandoned or over run by others in the mad rush to escape across the bridge before it was blocked. Along the road loose horses roamed at will, while the sides of the pike were strewn with discarded blankets, tent flies, oilcloths and clothing, the men being forced to free themselves of all surplus incumbrances in order to keep up with the moving mass. At one place we passed General Early, sitting on his horse by the roadside, viewing the motley crowd as it passed by. He looked sour and haggard. You could see by the expression of his face the great weight upon his mind, his deep disappointment, his unspoken disappointment. What was yesterday a proud, well-disciplined army that had accomplished during the first part of the day all, or more, that even the most sanguine General could have expected–crossed rivers, pulled themselves over the mountains, assaulted and surprised an enemy who lay in feeling security behind almost impregnable fortifications, routed and driven them from the field, capturing almost the whole camp equipage with twenty field pieces–now before him poured, the same victorious army, beaten, stampeded, without order or discipline, all the fruits of victory and his own camp equipage gone, his wagon trains abandoned, the men without arms, his cannoneers without cannonry and every color trailing in the dust. And what caused it? The sudden change from victory to defeat. It was not the want of Generalship, for General Early had wisely planned. It was not for lack of courage of the troops, for that morning they had displayed valor and over come obstacles which would have baffled and dismayed less bold spirits. Was it for the superior gallantry of the enemy’s troops or the superior Generalship of their adversary? The latter was awry, and the former had been routed from their entrenchments by the bayonet of the Confederates. Sheridan did not even hope to stop our victorious march, only to check it sufficiently to enable him to save the remnant of his army. A feeble advance, a panic strikes our army, and all is lost, while no individual, officer, brigade, or regiment could be held responsible. It shows that once a panic strikes an army all discipline is lost and nothing but time will restore it. For nearly one hundred years historians have been framing reasons and causes of Napoleon’s Waterloo, but they are as far from the real cause to-day as they were the night of the rout. It will ever remain the same sad mystery of Early at Cedar Creek. Men are, in some respects, like the animal, and especially in large bodies. A man, when left alone to reason and think for himself, and be forced to depend upon his own resources, will often act differently than when one of a great number. The “loss of a head” is contageous. One will commit a foolish act, and others will follow, but cannot tell why. Otherwise quiet and unobtrusive men, when influenced by the frenzy of an excited mob, will commit violence which in their better moments their hearts would revolt and their consciences rebel against. A soldier in battle will leave his ranks and fly to the rear with no other reason than that he saw others doing the same, and followed.

The stampede of Early was uncalled for, unnecessary, and disgraceful, and I willingly assume my share of the blame and shame. My only title to fame rests upon my leading the Third South Carolina Regiment in the grandest stampede of the Southern Army, the greatest since Waterloo, and I hope to be forgiven for saying with pardonable pride that I led them remarkably well to the rear for a boy of eighteen. A General could not have done better.

We passed the little towns and villages of the Valley, the ladies coming to their doors and looking on the retreat in silence. Were we ashamed? Don’t ask the pointed question, gentle reader, for the soldiers felt as if they could turn and brain every Federal soldier in the army with the butt of his rifle. But not a reproach, not a murmur from those self-sacrificing, patriotic women of the Valley. They were silent, but sad–their experience during the time the enemy occupied the Valley before told them they had nothing to expect but insult and injury, for their bold, proud Virginia blood would not suffer them to bend the knee in silent submission. Their sons and husbands had all given themselves to the service of their country, while rapine and the torch had already done its work too thoroughly to fear it much now or dread its consequences. But the presence alone of a foreign foe on their threshold was the bitterness of gall.

On reaching New Market, men were gathered together in regiments and assigned to camping grounds, as well as the disorganized state of the army would allow. All night long the stragglers kept coming in, and did so for several days. We were suffering for something to eat more than anything else. Rations of corn were issued, and this was parched and eaten, or beaten up, when parched, and a decoction which the soldiers called “coffee” was made and drunk.

The troops remained in camp until the last of October, then began their march to rejoin Lee. The campaign of Early in the Valley had been a failure, if measured by the fruits of victory. If, however, to keep the enemy from occupying the Valley, or from coming down on the north or rear of Richmond was the object, then it had accomplished its purpose, but at a heavy loss and a fearful sacrifice of life. We arrived at Richmond early in November, and began building winter quarters about seven miles from the city, on the extreme left of the army. Everything north of the James continued quiet along our lines for a month or more, but we could hear the deep baying of cannon continually, away to our right, in the direction of Petersburg.

When we had about finished our huts we were moved out of them and further to the right, in quarters that Hoke’s Division had built. These were the most comfortable quarters we occupied during the war. They consisted of log huts twelve by fourteen, thoroughly chinked with mud and straw, some covered with dirt, others with split boards. We had splendid breastworks in front of us, built up with logs on the inside and a bank of earth from six to eight feet in depth on the outside, a ditch of three or four feet beyond and an escarpment inside. At salients along the line forts for the artillery were built, but not now manned, and in front of our lines and around our forts mines or torpedoes were sunk, which would explode by tramping on the earth above them.

At these mines were little sticks about three feet long stuck in the ground with a piece of blue flannel tied to the end to attract the attention of our pickets going out. But hundreds of white sticks, exactly like those above the mines, were stuck into the earth every three feet for a distance of forty feet all around, but these were marked red instead of blue. This was so that the enemy, in case of a charge, or spies coming in at night, could not distinguish harmless stakes from those of the torpedo. We picketed in front and had to pass through where these stakes were posted single file, along little paths winding in and out among them. The men were led out and in by guides and cautioned against touching any, for fear of mistake and being blown up. It is needless to say these instructions were carried out to the letter and no mistake ever made. On several occasions, even before we had our first quarters completed, a report would come occasionally that the enemy was approaching or quartered near our front, and out we would go to meet them, but invariably it proved to be a false alarm or the enemy had retired. Once in December the enemy made a demonstration to our right, and we were called out at night to support the line where the attack was made. After a few rounds of shelling and a few bullets flying over our heads (no harm being done), at daylight we returned to our camp. Our lines had been so extended that to man our works along our front we had not more than one man to every six feet. Still with our breastworks so complete and the protection beyond the line, it is doubtful whether the enemy could have made much headway against us. All the timber and debris in our front for more than one thousand yards had been felled or cleared away.

The ladies of Richmond had promised the soldiers a great Christmas dinner on Christmas day, but from some cause or other our dinner did not materialize. But the soldiers fared very well. Boxes from home were now in order, and almost every day a box or two from kind and loving friends would come in to cheer and comfort them. Then, too, the blockaders at Wilmington and Charleston would escape the Argus eyes of the fleet and bring in a cargo of shoes, cloth, sugar, coffee, etc. Even with all our watchfulness and the vigilance of the enemy on the James, that indefatigable and tireless Jew, with an eye to business, would get into Richmond with loads of delicacies, and this the soldier managed to buy with his “Confederate gray-backs.” They were drawing now at the rate of seventeen dollars per month, worth at that time about one dollar in gold or one dollar and seventy cents in greenbacks. The Jews in all countries and in all times seemed to fill a peculiar sphere of usefulness. They were not much of fighters, but they were great “getters.” They would undergo any hardships or risks for gain, and while our government may not have openly countenanced their traffic, still it was thought they “winked” at it. I do know there were a lot of Jews in Richmond who could go in and out of our lines at will. Sometimes they were caught, first by one army and then by another, and their goods or money confiscated, still they kept up their blockade running. I was informed by one of General Gary’s staff officers since the war, that while they were doing outpost duty on the lower James, Jews came in daily with passports from the authorities at Richmond, authorizing them to pass the lines. On many occasions they claimed they were robbed by our pickets. Once this officer allowed two Jews to pass out of the lines, with orders to pass the pickets, but soon they returned, saying they were robbed. General Gary, who could not tolerate such treachery, had the men called up and the Jews pointed out the men who had plundered them. But the men stoutly denied the charge, and each supported the other in his denials, until a search was ordered, but nothing was found. They cursed the “lieing Jew” and threatened that the next time they attempted to pass they would leave them in the woods with “key holes through them.” “While at the same time,” continued the officer, “I and so was General Gary satisfied these same men had robbed them.”

We were now again under our old commander, Lieutenant General Longstreet. He had recently returned to the army, convalescent from his severe wound at the Wilderness, and was placed in command of the north side. Scarcely had he assumed command, and prior to our arrival, before he was attacked by General Butler, with twenty thousand men. He defeated him, sustaining little loss, with Fields’ and Hokes’ Divisions, and Gary’s Cavalry. Butler lost between one thousand two hundred and one thousand five hundred men. The year was slowly drawing to a close, with little perceptible advantage to the South. It is true that Grant, the idol and ideal of the North, had thrown his legions against the veterans of Lee with a recklessness never before experienced, and with a loss almost irreparable, still the prospects of the Confederacy were anything but encouraging. Yet the childlike faith and confidence of the Confederate privates in their cause and in their superiors, that disaster and defeat never troubled them nor caused them worry or uneasiness. General Hood had gone on his wild goose chase through Middle Tennessee, had met with defeat and ruin at Franklin and Nashville; Sherman was on his unresisted march through Georgia, laying waste fields, devastating homes with a vandalism unknown in civilized warfare, and was now nearing the sea; while the remnant of Hood’s Army was seeking shelter and safety through the mountains of North Georgia. Still Lee, with his torn and tattered veterans, stood like a wall of granite before Richmond and Petersburg. What a halo of glory should surround the heads of all who constituted the Army of Lee or followed the fortunes of Longstreet, Hill, Ewell, and Early. At Chickamauga, Chattanooga, East Tennessee, Wilderness, or wherever the plumes of their chieftains waved or their swords flashed amid the din of battle, victory had ever perched upon their banners. It was only when away from the inspiration and prestige of Longstreet did the troops of Kershaw fail or falter, and only then to follow in the wake of others who had yielded.

Owing to the casualties in battle during the last few months and the disasters of the two Valley campaigns, many changes in the personnel of the companies and regiments necessarily took place, once we got fairly settled in camp.

Brigadier General Kershaw had been made Major General in place of General McLaws soon after the battle of the Wilderness. His Aid-de-Camp, Lieutenant Doby, having been killed on that day, I.M. Davis, Adjutant of the Fifteenth, was placed upon the personnel staff of the Major General.

Colonel John D. Kennedy, of the Second, having recovered from the wounds received on the 6th of May, was promoted in place of General Connor to the position of Brigadier General.

The Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel of the Twentieth both being captured on the 19th of October, Lieutenant Colonel F.S. Lewie, of the Fifteenth, was assigned temporarily to the command of the Twentieth. Captain G. Leaphart, senior Captain, was afterwards promoted to Major, and commanded the “Twentieth Army Corps” until the close of the war.

Lieutenant Colonel Stackhouse was made Colonel of the Eighth after the death of Henagan, and either Captain McLucas or Captain T.F. Malloy was promoted to Major (I am not positive on this point). Captain Rogers was also one of the senior Captains, and I think he, too, acted for a part of the time as one of the field officers.

The Third Battalion was commanded by one of the Captains for the remainder of the war, Colonel Rice and Major Miller both being permanently disabled for field service, but still retained their rank and office.

There being no Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel of the Seventh, and Major Goggans having resigned soon after the Wilderness battle, Captain Thomas Huggins was raised to the rank of Colonel. I do not remember whether any other field officers of this regiment were ever appointed, but I think not. Lieutenant John R. Carwile, who had been acting Adjutant of the Seventh for a long time, was now assigned to duty on the brigade staff.

Captain William Wallace was promoted to Colonel of the Second, with Captain T.D. Graham and B F. Clyburn, Lieutenant Colonel and Major respectively.

Colonel Rutherford, of the Third, having been killed on the 13th of October, and Lieutenant Colonel Maffett, captured a short while before, Captain R.P. Todd was made Major, then raised to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain J.K.G. Nance, Major.

Many new Captains and Lieutenants were made, to fill the vacancies occasioned by the above changes and deaths in battle, but I have not the space to mention them.

Our last Brigadier General, J.D. Kennedy, was a very good officer, however, his kindness of heart, his sympathetic nature, his indulgent disposition caused him to be rather lax in discipline. There was quite a contrast in the rigidity of General Connor’s discipline and the good, easy “go as you please” of General Kennedy. But the latter had the entire confidence of the troops, and was dearly loved by both officers and men. He was quite sociable, courteous, and kind to all. The men had been in service so long, understood their duties so well, that it was not considered a necessity to have a martinet for a commander. General Kennedy’s greatest claim to distinction was his good looks. He certainly was one of the finest looking officers in the army. I fear little contradiction when I say General Kennedy and Major W.D. Peck, of the Quartermaster Department, were two of the finest looking men that South Carolina gave to the war. I give a short sketch of General Kennedy.

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General John D. Kennedy was born in Camden, South Carolina, January 5th, 1840, the son of Anthony M. and Sarah Doby Kennedy. His mother was the grand-daughter of Abraham Belton, a pioneer settler of Camden and a patriot soldier in the Revolution. His father was born in Scotland, having emigrated to the United States about the year 1830, at which time he settled in Kershaw County, S.C., where he married. (He has been engaged in planting and merchandising for many years. Two sons and two daughters were the issue of this marriage.) General Kennedy obtained his early scholastic training in the Camden schools, and in 1855, at the age of fifteen, entered the South Carolina College at Columbia. He entered the law office of Major W.Z. Leitner soon after, and was admitted to practice in January, 1861, and in April of that year joined the Confederate Army as Captain of Company E, Second South Carolina Regiment, under the command of Colonel J.B. Kershaw. In 1862 he was made Colonel of the Second South Carolina Regiment, and in 1864 was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and held that position to the close of the war, having surrendered with General Johnston at Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1865. General Kennedy was six times wounded, and fifteen times was hit by spent balls. At the close of the war he resumed his practice of law at Camden, but abandoned it soon after and turned his attention to farming. In 1877 he once more returned to the bar, and has since been actively and prominently engaged in his practice. In 1876 he was a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, and was its chairman in 1878. In December, 1865, he was elected to Congress, defeating Colonel C.W. Dudley, but did not take his seat, as he refused to take the ironclad oath. In 1878-9 he represented his county in the Legislature, and was Chairman of the Committee on Privileges and Elections. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State in 1880, and in 1882 was a prominent candidate for Governor, but Colonel Hugh Thompson received the nomination over General Bratton and himself. He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge A.F.M. of South Carolina in 1881, and served two years. As a member of the National Democratic Convention in 1876, he cast his vote for Tilden and Hendricks, and in 1884 was Presidential Elector at large on the Democratic ticket. President Cleveland sent him as Consul General to Shanghai, China, in 1886. In 1890 he was Chairman of the State Advisory Committee, of the straightout Democratic party. In early life he was married to Miss Elizabeth Cunningham, who died in 1876. In 1882 Miss Harriet Boykin became his wife.

The above is taken from Cyclopaedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century.

Notes on General Kennedy’s life, furnished by one of his soldiers:

He was born at Camden, S.C., January 5th, 1840. While in his ‘teens he became a member of the Camden Light Infantry, of which J.B. Kershaw was Captain; elected First Lieutenant in 1860. Upon the secession of South Carolina, December 20th, 1860, Captain Kershaw was elected Colonel of the Second South Carolina Volunteers, and Lieutenant Kennedy was chosen Captain of the Camden Volunteers, a company composed of members of the Camden Light Infantry and those who united with them for service in the field. This company became Company E, Second South Carolina Volunteers, was ordered to Charleston April 8th, 1861, and witnessed from their position on Morris Island the siege of Fort Sumter, April 12th, 1861. The Second Regiment formed part of the First Brigade, commanded by General M.L. Bonham, of the Army of the Potomac, as the Confederate Army in Northern Virginia was then called. In the spring of 1862 the troops who had volunteered for twelve months reorganized for the war, the Second South Carolina Volunteers being, I believe, the first body of men in the army to do so. At reorganization Captain Kennedy was elected Colonel, in which capacity he served until 1864, when he was promoted to the command of the brigade, which he held until the close of the war. In 1862 the name of the army was changed to the Army of Northern Virginia, the Federals having called theirs the Army of the Potomac. The Second was engaged in every battle fought by the army in Virginia, from the first Manassas to Petersburg, except Second Manassas, and was also in battle of Chickamauga, battles around Knoxville, Averysboro, and Bentonville, and surrendered at Greensboro April 27th, 1865. General Kennedy was in every battle in which his command was engaged, and was wounded six times and struck fifteen times. He died in Camden, S.C., April 14th, 1896.

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Colonel R.P. Todd was born in Laurens County, about the year 1838. Graduated at a literary college (I think the South Carolina), read law, and entered upon the practice of his profession a year or two before the beginning of hostilities. At the first call by the State for twelve months’ volunteers, Colonel Todd enlisted in the “Laurens Briars,” afterwards Company G, Third South Carolina Regiment, and was elected Captain. He took his company with him into the Confederate service, and at the reorganization in 1862, was again elected Captain. Was made Major in 1864 and Lieutenant Colonel in the early part of 1865. He was in most of the great battles in which the regiment was engaged, and was several times severely wounded. He surrendered at Greensboro, N.C.

After the war he again took up the practice of law and continued it until his death, which took place several years ago. He represented his county in the Senate of the State for one term.

Soon after the close of the war he married Miss Mary Farley, sister of General Hugh L. Farley, formerly Adjutant and Inspector General of South Carolina, and of Captain William Farley, one of the riders of General Stuart, and a famous character in John Estin Cook’s historical romances.

Colonel Todd was a good officer, gallant soldier, and loyal and kind to his men. He was a man of brilliant attainments and one of the most gifted and fluent speakers in the brigade.

The writer regrets his inability to get a more enlarged sketch of this dashing officer, talented lawyer, and perfect gentleman.

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Captain John K. Nance was one of the most jovial, fun-loving, light-hearted souls in the Third Regiment. He was all sunshine, and this genial, buoyant disposition seemed to be always caught up and reflected by all who came about him. He was truly a “lover of his fellow-men,” and was never so happy as when surrounded by jolly companions and spirits like his own. He was a great lover of out-door sports, and no game or camp amusement was ever complete without this rollicksome, good-natured knight of the playground.

He was born in Laurens County, in 1839. Graduated from Due West College and soon afterwards joined the “Quitman Rifles,” Company E, of the Third Regiment, then being organized by his kinsman, Colonel James D. Nance. He was first Orderly Sergeant of the company, but was soon elected Lieutenant. At the reorganization of his company, in 1862, he was elected First Lieutenant, and on James D. Nance being made Colonel of the Third, he was promoted to Captain. Many times during the service he was called upon to command the regiment, and in the latter part of 1864 or the first of 1865 he was promoted to Major.

Captain John K. Nance was one of the best officers upon the drillground in the regiment, and had few equals as such in the brigade. He was a splendid disciplinarian and tactician, and could boast of one of the finest companies in the service. His company, as well as himself, was all that could be desired upon the battlefield.

In 1864 he married Miss Dolly, daughter of Dr. Thomas B. Rutherford, and sister of the lamented Colonel W.D. Rutherford. After the war he was engaged in planting in Newberry County. He was three times elected Auditor of the county. He was a leading spirit among the Democrats during the days of reconstruction, and lent all energies and talents to the great upheaval in politics in 1876 that brought about the overflow of the negro party and gave the government to the whites of the State. He died about 1884, leaving a widow and several children.

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Colonel William Wallace, of the Second South Carolina Regiment, was undoubtedly the Murat of the Old First Brigade. His soldierly qualities, his dashing courage, and the prestige that surrounds his name as a commander, especially upon the skirmish line, forcibly recalls that impetuous prince, the Roland of Napoleon’s Army. Upon the battle line he was brave almost to rashness, and never seemed to be more in his element or at ease than amidst the booming cannon, the roar of musketry, or the whirl of combat. Colonel Wallace was a soldier born and a leader of men. He depended not so much upon tactics or discipline, but more upon the cool, stern courage that was in himself and his men.

His life as a soldier and civilian has been fortunate and brilliant, in which glory and promotion followed hand in hand. A comrade gives a few facts in his life.

Colonel William Wallace was born in Columbia, S.C., November 16th, 1824, and was graduated at the South Carolina College in 1844. He then studied law under Chancellor James J. Caldwell. Was admitted to the bar in 1846, and began the practice of law at Columbia, in which he continued, with the exception of his military service, giving attention also to his planting interests.

At the beginning of the Confederate War he held the rank of General in the State Militia. At the call for troops, ordered out the Twenty-third Regiment, State Troops, and was the first man of the Regiment to volunteer. He was elected Captain of the “Columbia Grays,” afterwards Company C of the Second South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Kershaw commanding. After the reduction of Fort Sumter, with his company and three others of the Second, he volunteered for service in Virginia, and about a month after their arrival in Virginia the regiment was filled up with South Carolinians. He was promoted to Major in 1863, to Lieutenant Colonel after the battle of the Wilderness, and to Colonel after the battle of Bentonville.

He had the honor of participating in the capture of Fort Sumter and the battles of Blackburn’s Ford, First Manassas, Williamsburg, Savage Station, Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Second Cold Harbor, the defense of Petersburg until the winter of 1864-1865, and the campaign in the Carolinas, including the battles of Averysboro and Bentonville.

During the desperate struggle at Second Cold Harbor, in June, 1864, with the Second Regiment alone, he recaptured our breastworks on Kershaw’s right and Hoke’s left, from which two of our brigades had been driven. The enemy driven out consisted of the Forty-eighth and One hundred and Twelfth New York, each numbering one thousand men, while the Second numbered only one hundred and twenty-six men all told. So rapid was the assault that the color bearer of the Forty-eighth New York, with his colors, was captured and sent to General Kershaw, who was at his proper position some distance in rear of his division.

During his service Colonel Wallace was twice wounded–in the foot, at Charlestown, W. Va., and in the arm, at Gettysburg. After the conclusion of hostilities he returned to his home and the care of his plantation. Previous to the war he had an honorable career in the Legislature, and immediately afterwards he was a member of the Convention of 1865 and of the Legislature next following, and was elected to the State Senate for four years, in 1881. From 1891 to 1894 he was engaged in the correction of the indexes of the records of the Secretary of State’s office, and in 1894 was appointed postmaster of Columbia by President Cleveland.

By his marriage, in 1848, to Victoria C., daughter of Dr. John McLemore, of Florida, Colonel Wallace has five children living, Andrew, William, Bruce, Edward Barton, and Margaret. After the death of his first wife he married, in 1876, Mrs. Fannie C. Mobley, nee Means.

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John Hampden Brooks was Captain of Company G, Seventh South Carolina Regiment, from its entry into State service to the end of its twelve months’ enlistment. At the reorganization of the regiment he declined re-election, and served for a short time as Aid-de-Camp on General Kershaw’s staff. At this time, upon recommendation of Generals Kershaw and Jos. E. Johnston, he raised another company of Partisan Rangers, and was independent for awhile. Upon invitation, he joined Nelson’s Seventh South Carolina Battalion, Hagood’s Brigade, and served with this command (save a brief interval) to the end of the war. He was in the first battle of Manassas and in Bentonville, the last great battle of the war. At Battery Wagner his company was on picket duty the night of the first assault, and it was by his order that the first gun was fired in that memorable siege, and one of his men was the first Confederate killed. At the battle of Drewry’s Bluff, Va., Captain Brooks was three times wounded, and lost sixty-eight out of the seventy-five men carried into action, twenty-five being left dead upon the field. Upon recovery from his wounds he returned to his command, but was soon detached by request of General Beauregard and order of General Lee, to organize a foreign battalion from the Federal prisoners at Florence, S.C., with distinct promise of promotion. This battalion was organized and mustered into Confederate service at Summerville, S.C., as Brooks’ Battalion, and in December, 1864, Captain Brooks took a part of the command to Savannah (then being invested by General Sherman) and they served a short time on the line of defense. In consequence of bad behavior and mutiny, however, they were soon returned to prison. Captain Brooks was now placed in command of all unattached troops in the city of Charleston, but he became tired of inactivity, at his own request was relieved, and upon invitation of his old company, ignoring his promotion, he returned to its command.

Captain Brooks was born at Edgefield Court House and was educated at Mt. Zion, Winnsboro, and the South Carolina College. His father, Colonel Whitfield Brooks, was an ardent nullifier, and named his son, John Hampden, in honor of that illustrious English patriot. That Captain Brooks should have displayed soldierly qualities was but natural, as these were his by inheritance. His grandfather, Colonel Z.S. Brooks, was a Lieutenant in the patriotic army of the Revolutionary War, and his grandmother a daughter of Captain Jas. Butler, killed in the “Cloud’s Creek massacre.” His brothers, Captain Preston S. and Whitfield B. Brooks, were members of the Palmetto Regiment in the Mexican War; the latter mortally wounded at Cherubusco and promoted to a Lieutenant in the Twelfth Regulars for gallantry in action.

Captain Brooks is the sole survivor of the first Captains of the Seventh Regiment, and resides at Roselands, the old family homestead, formerly in Edgefield, but now Greenwood County.

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Captain Andrew Harllee, of Company I, Eighth South Carolina Regiment, when a boy went with a number of the best young men of the State to Kansas Territory, in 1856, and saw his first service with the Missourians in the border troubles in that Territory, and took part in several severe engagements at Lawrence, Topeka, and Ossawattonic Creek with the Abolition and Free State forces, under old John Brown and Colonel Jim Law; the Southern or pro-slavery forces being under General David R. Atchison and Colonels Stingfellow and Marshall. After remaining in Kansas a year, he returned to his home and commenced the study of law at Marion Court House, but after a short time was appointed to a position in the Interior Department at Washington by the Hon. Thos. A. Hendrix, under whom he served as a clerk in a land office while in Kansas. This position in the Interior Department he held at the time of the secession of the State, and was the recipient of the first dispatch in Washington announcing the withdrawal of South Carolina from the Union, which was sent him by his uncle, General W.W. Harllee, then Lieutenant Governor and a member of the Secession Convention. He at once began preparations for his departure from Washington for Charleston, but was notified from Charleston to remain until the Commissioners appointed by the Convention to proceed to Washington and endeavor to treat with the authorities should arrive, which he did, and was appointed their Secretary. The Commission consisted of Senator Robert W. Barnwell, General James H. Adams, and Honorable James L. Orr. After many fruitless efforts, they finally got an audience with President Buchanan, who refused to treat with them in any manner whatever, and Mr. Harllee was directed to proceed at once to Charleston, the bearer of dispatches from the Commissioners to the Convention still in session, and after delivering the same he reported to Governor Pickens for duty. The Governor appointed him Assistant Quartermaster, with the rank of Captain, and he discharged the duties of that office around Charleston until the fall of Fort Sumter.

Anxious for service at the front, he resigned from the Quartermaster Department and enlisted as a private in Company I, Eighth South Carolina Regiment, and fought through the battles of Bull Run and Manassas with a musket. General Bonham, in command of the brigade, detailed him for scouting duty in and near Alexandria and Washington, and he had many thrilling adventures and narrow escapes in the discharge of those duties. In October, 1861, Lieutenant R.H. Rogers, of his company, resigned, and Private Harllee was elected Second Lieutenant in his stead. At the reorganization of the regiment and companies, in April, 1862, he was elected Captain of his company, which he commanded to the surrender. He was several times severely wounded, and bears upon his person visible evidences of the battle-scarred veteran. He was regarded by all his comrades as a daring and intrepid officer.

He lives upon his plantation, near Little Rock, where he was born and reared, is a bachelor, a professional farmer, and one of the leading citizens of his section of the State.

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Captain William D. Carmichael volunteered in 1861, and assisted in raising Company I, Eighth South Carolina Regiment, and was elected Second Lieutenant at reorganization. In April, 1862, he assisted Captain Stackhouse in raising Company L for the same regiment, and was elected First Lieutenant of that company, and upon the promotion of Captain Stackhouse to Major, he was promoted Captain of Company L and commanded it to the surrender.

He was three times wounded, twice severely, and was one of the most gallant and trusted officers of that gallant regiment. After the war he settled on his plantation, near Little Rock, married, and has lived there ever since, raising a large family of children, and is one of the most successful farmers of that progressive section. He is one of the foremost citizens of Marion County.

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Captain Duncan McIntyre, of Company H, Eighth South Carolina Regiment, Kershaw’s Brigade, was born at Marion S.C., on August 30th, 1836. Was prepared for college at Mount Zion Institute, at Winnsboro, S.C. Entered Freshman Class of South Carolina College, December, 1853.

Married Julia R., daughter of General William Evans, December, 1858. Commenced life as a planter on the west side of Pee Dee River, in Marion County, January 1st, 1860.

On secession of the State, he volunteered for service in the Jeffries’ Creek Company. Was elected First Lieutenant of the company, Captain R.G. Singletary having been elected as commander. On Governor Pickens’ first call for troops the company offered its services and was assigned to the Eighth South Carolina Regiment, Colonel E.B.C. Cash commanding. The company was ordered to Charleston on fall of Fort Sumter, where it remained until the last of May, when it was ordered to Florence, S.C., where, about the 1st of June, it was mustered into Confederate service by General Geo. Evans, and immediately ordered to Virginia to form a part of Bonham’s Brigade.

Captain McIntyre was with the regiment at the first battle of Manassas or Bull Run, and with the exception of two short leaves of absence from sickness and from wounds, was with the regiment in nearly all of its campaigns and important skirmishes and battles, Williamsburg, battles around Richmond, Va., Maryland Heights, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, and all of the battles against Grant up to the investment of Petersburg, Va. He was with the regiment and Longstreet’s Corps in the campaign in Tennessee.

In the Tennessee campaign he commanded the Eighth Regiment at the battle of Ream’s Station, and when the Second, Eighth, and Third Battalion, under the command of the gallant Colonel Gaillard, of the Second, made a daring and successful attack (at night) on the picket line of the enemy, the Eighth was on the right and first to dislodge the enemy and occupy the pits.

Captain McIntyre was twice wounded–first, in the chest at the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., and second time, severely in the thigh at Deep Bottom, Va.

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When Colonel William Drayton Rutherford fell in battle at Strasburg, Virginia, on the 13th of October, 1864, he was but a little more than twenty-seven years of age, having been born in Newberry, S.C., on the 23rd day of September, 1837.

The life thus destroyed was brimful of hope, for he was gifted with a rare intelligence, and possessed of an affectionate nature, with a deep sympathy for his fellow men and a patriotism which could only terminate with his own life. His father, Dr. Thomas B. Rutherford, was a grandson of Colonel Robert Rutherford, of Revolutionary fame, and his mother, Mrs. Laura Adams Rutherford, was a direct descendant of the Adams family of patriots who fought for their country in the State of Massachusetts.

The boyhood of Colonel Rutherford was spent on the plantation of his father, in Newberry County. Here was laid the foundation of his splendid physical nature, and his mind as well. While not beyond the height of five feet and ten inches, and with not an ounce of spare flesh, physically he was all bone and muscle, and was the embodiment of manly beauty. His early training was secured in the Male Academies of Greenville and Newberry. At the age of sixteen years he entered the Citadel Academy in Charleston, S.C. It was at this school he first exhibited the remarkable power arising from his ability to concentrate every faculty of his mind to the accomplishment of a single purpose, for, by reason of his fondness for out door sports and reading, he had fallen in stand amongst the lowest members of a large class, but, conceiving that some persons thought he could do no better, by a determined effort to master all the branches of study in an incredible space of time he was placed among the first ten members of his class. Military discipline was too restrictive for him, hence he left the Citadel Academy and entered the Sophomore Class of the South Carolina College at Columbia, S.C. In a few months after entering this college he was advanced from the Sophomore Class to that of the Junior. However, he never took his degree, for owing to a so-called college rebellion, he left college. Afterwards he regretted his step. Not content with the advantages be had already enjoyed, he went to Germany to complete his education, but the war between the States caused him to return to America. He espoused with heart and soul the cause of his native State. Before going to Germany he had been admitted to the practice of the law. Chief Justice John Belton O’Neall expressed himself as delighted with young Rutherford’s examination for the bar, and predicted for him a brilliant career as a lawyer.

He was made Adjutant of the Third South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, and so thoroughly did he perform his duties as a soldier, and so delighted were his comrades in arms with his courage and generous nature, that he was elected, without opposition, on 16th of May, 1862, Major of his regiment, and on the 29th of June, 1862, he became Lieutenant Colonel, and on the 6th of May, 1864, he was promoted to the Colonelcy of his regiment. General James Connor was so much delighted with him as an officer that he recommended him for promotion to Brigadier General. When this gallant officer fell in the front of his regiment, there was naught but sorrow for his untimely end.

In March, 1862, he married the beautiful and accomplished Miss Sallie Fair, only daughter of Colonel Simeon Fair, of Newberry. The only child of this union was Kate Stewart Rutherford, who was known as the “daughter of the regiment.” Kate is now the wife of the Honorable George Johnstone.

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Peace Conference–State Troops–Women of the South.

The civilized world, especially the Monarchies of Europe, which at first viewed with satisfaction this eruption in the great Republic across the waters, now anxiously watched them in their mad fury, tearing to tatters the fabric of Democratic government. This government, since its withdrawal from the Old World influence, had grown great and strong, and was now a powerful nation–a standing menace to their interest and power. But they began to look with alarm on the spectacle of these two brothers–brothers in blood, in aims, ambition, and future expectations, only an imaginary line separating them–with glaring eyes, their hands at each others throat, neither willing to submit or yield as long as there was a vestige of vitality in either. Even the most considerate and thoughtful of the North began to contemplate the wreck and ruin of their common country, and stood aghast at the rivers of blood that had flown, the widows and orphans made, and the treasures expended. They now began to wish for a call to halt. This useless slaughter caused a shudder to run through every thinking man when he contemplated of the havoc yet to come. The two armies were getting nearer and nearer together, one adding strength as the other grew weaker–the South getting more desperate and more determined to sacrifice all, as they saw the ground slipping inch by inch beneath their feet; the North becoming more confident with each succeeding day. It began to look like a war of extermination of American manhood. The best and bravest of the North had fallen in the early years of the war, while the bulk of the army now was composed of the lowest type of foreigners, who had been tempted to our shores by the large bounties paid by the Union Government. Taking their cue from their native comrades in arms, they now tried to outdo them in vandalizing, having been taught that they were wreaking vengeance upon the aristocracy and ruining the slave-holders of the South. The flower of the South’s chivalry had also fallen upon the field and in the trenches, and now youths and old men were taking the places of soldiers who had died in the “Bloody Angles” and the tangled Wilderness.

A talk of peace began once more, but the men of the South were determined to yield nothing as long as a rifle could be raised. Nothing but their unrestricted independence would satisfy them. The man who could call nothing his own but what was on his back was as much determined on his country’s independence as those who were the possessors of broad acres and scores of negroes.

Congressman Boyce, of South Carolina, began to call for a peace conference in the Confederate Congress. Montgomery Blair, the father of General Frank P. Blair, then commanding a corps in Sherman’s Army, begged the North to halt and listen to reason–to stop the fratricidal war. Generals, soldiers, statesmen, and civilians all felt that it had gone on long enough. Some held a faint hope that peace could be secured without further effusion of blood. A peace conference was called at Hampton Roads, near the mouth of the Potomac. President Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, on the part of the North, and Vice-President Stephens, Honorable R.T.M. Hunter, and Judge Campbell, on the part of the South, attended. Lincoln demanded an “unconditional surrender” of the army–emancipation of the slaves and a return to our former places in the Union. Mr. Stephens and his colleagues knew too well the sentiment of the Southern people to even discuss such a course. Not a soldier in ranks would have dared to return and face the women of the South with such a peace and on such terms as long as there was the shadow of an organized army in the field.

General Ord, of the Union Army, a humane and Christian gentleman, wrote and sought an interview with General Longstreet. He wished that General to use his influence with General Lee and the officers of the army to meet General Grant, and with their wives mingling with the wives of the respective Generals, talk over the matter in a friendly manner, and see if some plan could not be framed whereby peace could be secured honorable to all parties. All had had glory enough and blood sufficient had been shed to gratify the most savage and fanatical. These officers or the most of them had been old school-mates at West Point, had been brother officers in the old army, their wives had mingled in pleasant, social intercourse at the army posts, and they could aid as only women can aid, in a friendly way, to bring back an era of good feelings. General Ord further intimated that President Lincoln would not turn a deaf ear to a reasonable proposition for compensation for the slaves. General Longstreet accepted the overtures with good grace, but with a dignity fitting his position. He could not, while in the field and in the face of the enemy, with his superior present, enter into negotiations for a surrender of his army, or to listen to terms of peace. He returned and counseled Lee. Urged him to meet Grant, and as commander-in-chief of all the armies in the South, that he had a wide latitude, that the people were looking to him to end the war, and would be satisfied with any concessions he would recommend. That the politicians had had their say, now let the soldiers terminate the strife which politicians had begun. That Napoleon while in Italy, against all precedent and without the knowledge of the civil department, had entered into negotiations with the enemy, made peace, and while distasteful to the authorities, they were too polite to refuse the terms. But General Lee was too much a soldier to consider any act outside of his special prerogatives. He, however, was pleased with the idea, and wrote General Grant, asking an interview looking towards negotiations of peace. But General Grant, from his high ideals of the duty and dignity of a soldier, refused, claiming that the prerogatives of peace or war were left with the civil, not the military arm of the service. So it all ended in smoke.

General Lee began making preparations to make still greater efforts and greater sacrifices. He had been hampered, as well as many others of our great commanders, by the quixotic and blundering interference of the authorities at Richmond, and had become accustomed to it. There can be no question at this late day that the end, as it did come, had long since dawned upon the great mind of Lee, and it must have been with bitterness that he was forced to sacrifice so many brave and patriotic men for a shadow, while the substance could never be reached. His only duty now was to prolong the struggle and sacrifice as few men as possible.

General Bragg, that star of ill omen to the Confederacy, was taken out of the War Department in Richmond and sent to Wilmington, N.C., and that brilliant, gallant Kentuckian, General John C. Breckenridge, was placed in his stead as Secretary of War. General Breckenridge had been the favorite of a great portion of the Southern people in their choice of Presidential candidates against Lincoln, and his place in the cabinet of Mr. Davis gave hope and confidence to the entire South.

General Lee, no doubt acting on his own good judgment, and to the greatest delight of the army, placed General Joseph E. Johnston at the head of the few scattered and disorganized bands that were following on the flanks of Sherman. Some few troops that could be spared from the trenches were to be sent to South Carolina to swell, as far as possible, the army to oppose Sherman.

Governor Brown had called out a great part of the Georgia State Troops, consisting of old men and boys, to the relief of General Hardee, who was moving in the front of Sherman, and a great many of this number crossed over with General Hardee to the eastern side of the Savannah, and remained faithful to the end. Governor McGrath, of South Carolina, too, had called out every man capable of bearing arms from fifteen to sixty, and placed them by regiments under Beauregard and Johnston. The forts along the coast in great numbers were abandoned, and the troops thus gathered together did excellent service. North Carolina brought forward her reserves as the enemy neared her border, all determined to unite in a mighty effort to drive back this ruthless invader.

In this imperfect history of the times of which I write, I cannot resist at this place to render a deserved tribute to the noble women of the South, more especially of South Carolina. It was with difficulty that the soldiers going to the army from their homes after the expiration of their furloughs, or going to their homes when wounded or sick, procured a night’s lodging in Richmond, for it must be remembered that that city was already crowded with civilians, officers of the department, surgeons of the hospitals, and officials of every kind. The hotels and private residences were always full. Scarcely a private house of any pretentions whatever, that did not have some sick or wounded soldier partaking of the hospitalities of the citizens, who could better care for the patient than could be had in hospitals. Then, again, the entire army had to pass through the city either going to or from home, and the railroad facilities and the crowded conditions of both freight and passenger cars rendered it almost obligatory on the soldiers to remain in the city over night. And it must be remembered, too, that the homes of hundreds and thousands of soldiers from Tennessee, Maryland, Kentucky, Mississippi, and all from the Trans-Mississippi were in the hands of the enemy, and the soldiers were forbidden the pleasure of returning home, unless clandestinely. In that case they ran the risk of being shot by some bushwhacker or “stay outs,” who avoided the conscript officer on one side and recruiting officer on the other. In these border States there was a perpetual feud between these bushwhackers and the soldiers. It was almost invariably the case that where these “lay outs” or “hide outs” congregated, they sympathized with the North, otherwise they would be in the ranks of the Confederacy. Then, again, Richmond had been changed in a day from the capital of a commonwealth to the capital of a nation. So it was always crowded and little or no accommodation for the private soldier, and even if he could get quarters at a hotel his depleted purse was in such condition that he could not afford the expense. Nor was he willing to give a month’s wages for a night’s lodging. A night’s lodging cost five dollars for supper, five for breakfast, and five for a bed, and if the soldiers were any ways bibulously inclined and wished an “eye opener” in the morning or a “night cap” at supper time, that was five dollars additional for each drink. Under such circumstances the ladies of South Carolina, by private contributions alone, rented the old “Exchange Hotel” and furnished it from their own means or private resources. They kept also a store room where they kept socks for the soldiers, knit by the hands of the young ladies of the State; blankets, shirts, and under clothing, from the cloth spun, woven, and made up by the ladies at home and shipped to Richmond to Colonel McMaster and a staff of the purest and best women of the land. Only such work as washing and scrubbing was done by negro servants, all the other was done by the ladies themselves. Too much praise cannot be given to Colonel McMaster for his indefatigable exertions, his tireless rounds of duty, to make the soldiers comfortable. The ladies were never too tired, night nor day, to go to the aid of the hungry and broken down soldiers. Hundreds and thousands were fed and lodged without money and without price. Car loads of the little comforts and necessities of life were shared out to the passing soldiers whenever their wants required it. Never a day or night passed without soldiers being entertained or clothing distributed. One night only was as long as a soldier was allowed to enjoy their hospitality, unless in cases of emergency. The officers of the army, whenever able, were required to pay a nominal sum for lodging. Better beds and conveniences were furnished them, but if they were willing to take private’s “fare,” they paid private’s “fee,” which was gratuitous. As a general rule, however, the officers kept apart from the men, for the officer who pushed himself in the private’s quarters was looked upon as penurious and mean. It was only in times of the greatest necessity that a Southern officer wished to appear thus. If the Southern soldier was poor, he was always proud. This hotel was called the “South Carolina Soldiers’ Home,” and most of the other States inside the lines had similar institutions. In every home throughout the whole South could be heard the old “hand spinning wheel” humming away until far in the night, as the dusky damsel danced backwards and forwards, keeping step to the music of her own voice and the hum of the wheel. The old women sat in the corners and carded away with the hand-card, making great heaps of rolls, to be laid carefully and evenly upon the floor or the wheel. Great chunks of pine, called “lite’ood,” were regularly thrown into the great fire place until the whole scene was lit up as by an incandescent lamp. What happiness, what bliss, and how light the toil, when it was known that the goods woven were to warm and comfort young “massa” in the army. The ladies of the “big house” were not idle while these scenes of activity were going on at the “quarter.” Broaches were reeled into “hanks” of “six cuts” each, to be “sized,” “warped,” and made ready for the loom. Then the little “treadle wheel” that turned with a pedal made baskets of spools for the “filling.” By an ingenious method, known only to the regularly initiated Southern housewife, the thread was put upon the loom, and then the music of the weaver’s beam went merrily along with its monotonous “bang,” “bang,” as yard after yard of beautiful jeans, linsey, or homespuns of every kind were turned out to clothe the soldier boys, whose government was without the means or opportunity to furnish them. Does it look possible at this late day that almost the entire Southern Army was clothed by cloth carded, spun, and woven by hand, and mostly by the white ladies of the South?

Hats and caps were made at home from the colored jeans. Beautiful hats were made out of straw, and so adapt had the makers become in utilizing home commodities, that ladies’ hats were made out of wheat, oat, and rice straw. Splendid and serviceable house shoes were made from the products of the loom, the cobbler only putting on the soles. Good, warm, and tidy gloves were knit for the soldier from their home-raised fleece and with a single bone from the turkey wing. While the soldiers may have, at times, suffered for shoes and provisions, still they were fairly well clothed by the industry and patriotism of the women, and for blankets, the finest of beds were stripped to be sent voluntarily to the camps and army. As for tents, we had no need to manufacture them, for they were invariably captured from the enemy. Think of going through an army of sixty or seventy thousand men, all comfortably housed, and all through capture upon the battlefield. As for cooking utensils, nothing more nor better were wanted by the soldiers than a tin cup and frying-pan.

Salt was an article of great scarcity in the South. Coming over from Liverpool in ante bellum times as ballast, made it so cheap that little attention was given to the salt industry, and most of our best salt mines were in the hands of the enemy. But the Southern people were equal to any emergency. Men were put along the sea coast and erected great vats into which was put the salt sea water, and by a system of evaporation nice, fine salt was made. Farmers, too, that had the old-time “smoke” or meat houses with dirt floors, dug up the earth in the house and filtered water through it, getting a dark, salty brine, which answered exceedingly well the purpose of curing their meats.

All taxes, as I said before, were paid in “kind,” and the tenth of all the meat raised at home was sent to the army, and with the few cattle they could gather, was sufficient to feed the troops. There were no skulking spirits among the people. They gave as willingly and cheerfully now as they did at the opening of the war. The people were honest in their dealings with the government, and as cheerful in their gifts to the cause as the Israelites of old in their “free will offerings” to the Lord. There were no drones among them, no secretion or dishonest division. The widows, with houses filled with orphans, gave of their scanty crops and hard labor as freely as those who owned large plantations and scores of slaves. In fact, it was noticeable that the poorer class were more patriotic and more cheerful givers, if such could be possible, than the wealthy class.

Negroes were drafted to go upon the coast to work in salt mills or to work upon the fortifications. This duty they performed with remarkable willingness, until, perhaps, some Federal gunboat got their range and dropped a few shells among them. Then no persuasion nor threat could induce them to remain, and numbers of them would strike out for home and often get lost and wander for days, half starved, through the swamps of the lower country, being afraid to show themselves to the whites for fear of being “taken up” and sent back. Many were the adventures and hair-breath escapes these dusty fugitives had, and could tell them in wonderful yarns to the younger generation at home. It may be that the negro, under mental excitement, or stimulated with strong drink, could be induced to show remarkable traits of bravery, but to take him cool and away from any excitement, he is slow at exposing himself to bodily dangers, and will never make a soldier in the field.

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Opening of 1865–Gloomy Outlook–Prison Pens–Return to South Carolina of Kershaw’s Brigade.

The opening of the year 1865 looked gloomy enough for the cause of the Confederacy. The hopes of foreign intervention had long since been looked upon as an ignis fatuus and a delusion, while our maritime power had been swept from the seas. All the ports, with the exception of Charleston, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C., were now in the hands of the Federals. Fort Fisher, the Gibraltar of the South, that guarded the inlet of Cape Fear River, was taken by land and naval forces, under General Terry and Admiral Porter. Forts Sumter and Moultrie, at the Charleston Harbor, continued to hold out for a while longer. The year before the “Alabama,” an ironclad of the Confederates, was sunk off the coast of France. Then followed the “Albemarle” and the “Florida.” The ram “Tennessee” had to strike her colors on the 5th of August, in Mobile Bay. Then all the forts that protected the bay were either blown up or evacuated, leaving the Entrance to Mobile Bay open to the fleet of the Federals.

Sherman was recuperating his army around Savannah, and was preparing a farther advance now northward after his successful march to the sea. At Savannah he was met by a formidable fleet of ironclads and men of war, which were to accompany him by sailing along the coast in every direction. These were to form a junction with another army at Newburn, N.C.

Another matter that caused the South to despond of any other solution of the war than the bloody end that soon followed, was the re-election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. The South felt that as long as he was at the head of the nation nothing but an unconditional surrender of our armies and the emancipation of the slaves would suffice this great emancipator. To this the South could not nor would not accede as long as there were rifles in the field and men to wield them. A great problem now presented itself to the Confederate authorities for solution, but who could cut the Gordion knot? The South had taken during the war two hundred and seventy thousand prisoners, as against two hundred and twenty-two thousand taken by the Federals, leaving in excess to the credit of the South near fifty thousand. For a time several feeble attempts had been made for an equitable exchange of prisoners, but this did not suit the policy of the North. Men at the North were no object, and to guard this great swarm of prisoners in the South it took an army out of the field, and the great number of Southern soldiers in Northern prisons took quite another army from the service. In addition to the difficulty of supplying our own army and people with the necessities of life, we were put to the strain of feeding one hundred thousand or more of Federal prisoners. Every inducement was offered the North to grant some cortel of exchange or some method agreed upon to alienate the sufferings of these unfortunates confined in the prison pens in the North and South. The North was offered the privilege of feeding and clothing their own prisoners, to furnish medical aid and assistance to their sick. But this was rejected in the face of the overwhelming sentiments of the fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers of those who were suffering and dying like flies in the Southern pens. Thousands and thousands of petitions were circulated, with strings of signatures from all classes in the Union, urging Congress to come in some way to the relief of their people. But a deaf ear was turned to all entreaties, this being a war measure, and no suffering could be too great when the good of the service required it. Taking it from a military point of view, this was the better policy, shocking as it was to humanity.

At one time it was considered in the Confederate Congress the propriety of turning loose and sending home as early as practicable these thousands of prisoners, trusting alone to their honor the observance of the parole. It was thought by the majority that the indiscriminate mingling and mixing of these fanatical agitators with the peaceable slaves in the country might incite insurrection and a bloody social war break out should the prisoners be released at the prison pens. Under all the varying circumstances the South was still busily engaged in mobilizing these prisoners in certain quarters, to protect them as far as possible from liberation by raiding parties. At Andersonville, Ga., there were twenty-two thousand; at Florence, S.C., two thousand; Salisbury, N.C., ten thousand; several hundred in Columbia, and detached numbers scattered along at various points on the railroads, at such places where convenient quarters could be secured and properly guarded. Quite a large number were at Bell Isle, on the James River, as well as at the Liby Prison, in Richmond. These prisoners were sometimes guarded by the State militia and disabled veterans. Those at Florence were guarded by boy companies, under command of Colonel Williams, the former commander of the Third South Carolina. The stockades, as the prison pens were called, consisted of tall pine trees set into the ground some six or eight feet, standing upright and adjoining. The space thus enclosed covered several acres or as much more as there were prisoners or troops to guard them. The stockade fence was about fifteen feet above the level of the ground, with a walk way three feet from the top, on which the guards watched. There was a “dead line” some fifteen or twenty paces from the inside of the wall, over which no prisoner was allowed to cross, on penalty of being shot. And to prevent any collusion between the prisoners and the guard, none were permitted to speak to the sentinels under any circumstances. To better carry out these orders, the soldier Who detected a prisoner speaking to a guard and shot him, a thirty days’ furlough was given as an acknowledgment of his faithful observance of orders. On more occasions than one the prisoners in their attempt to draw inexperienced guards into a conversation, and perhaps offer a bribe, met their death instantly. Inside the enclosure some of the prisoners huddled under little tents or blankets, but the greater number burrowed under the ground like moles or prairie dogs. Numbers made their escape by tunnelling under the wall.

When Sherman began his march through Georgia, the major portion at Andersonville were removed to Salisbury, N.C., where a great national cemetery was set apart after the war, and kept under the authority of the war department, containing thousands of graves–monuments to the sufferings and death of these unfortunate people–a sacrifice to what their government called a “military necessity.” Our prisoners were scattered in like manner at Camp Chase, in Ohio; Fort Johnston, in Lake Michigan; Fort Delaware, in the Delaware River; and many other places, subject to greater sufferings and hardships than the Federal prisoners in our hands.

The Government of the South had nothing to do but accept the conditions imposed upon the sufferers by the authorities in Washington.

In January, 1865, rumors were rife in camp of the transfer of some of the South Carolina troops to their own State to help swell the little band that was at that time fighting on the flanks and front of Sherman. Of course it was not possible that all could be spared from Lee, but it had become a certain fact, if judged from the rumors in camp, that some at least were to be transferred. So when orders came for Kershaw’s Brigade to break camp and march to Richmond, all were overjoyed. Outside of the fact that we were to be again on our “native heath” and fight the invader on our own soil, the soldiers of Kershaw’s Brigade felt not a little complimented at being selected as the brigade to be placed at such a post of honor. It is a settled feeling among all troops and a pardonable pride, too, that their organization, let it be company, regiment, brigade, or even division or corps, is superior to any other like organization in bravery, discipline, or any soldierly attainments. Troops of different States claim superiority over those of their sister States, while the same rivalry exists between organizations of the same State. So when it was learned for a certainty that the old First Brigade was to be transferred to South Carolina, all felt a keen pride in being thus selected, and now stamped it as a settled fact, that which they had always claimed, “the best troops from the State.” The State furnished the best to the Confederacy, and a logical conclusion would be “Kershaw’s Brigade was the best of the service.” Thus our troops prided themselves. Under such feelings and enthusiasm, it is little wonder that they were anxious to meet Sherman, and had circumstances permitted and a battle fought in South Carolina, these troops would have come up to the expectations of their countrymen.

But here I will state a fact that all who read history of this war will be compelled to admit, and that is, the department at Richmond had no settled or determined policy in regard to the actions of the army at the South. It would appear from reading contemporary history that Mr. Davis and his cabinet acted like Micawber, and “waited for something to turn up.” His continual intermeddling with the plans of the Generals in the field, the dogged tenacity with which he held to his policies, his refusals to allow commanders to formulate their own plans of campaigns, forced upon Congress the necessity of putting one at the head of all the armies whom the Generals, soldiers, as well as the country at large, had entire confidence. General Lee filled this position to the perfect satisfaction of all, still his modesty or a morbid dislike to appear dictatorial, his timidity in the presence of his superiors, often permitted matters to go counter to his own views. It appears, too, that when General Sherman allowed Hood to pass unmolested to his right, and he began tearing up the railroads in his rear, it was a move so different to all rules of war, that it took the authorities with surprise. Then when he began his memorable march through the very heart of Georgia–Hood with a great army in his rear, in his front the sea–the South stood stupified and bewildered at this stupendous undertaking. It was thought by the army and the people that some direful blow would be struck Sherman when he was well under way in Georgia, and when too far from his base in the rear, and not far enough advanced to reach the fleet that was to meet him in his front.

How, when, or by whom this blow was to be struck, none even ventured an opinion, but that the authorities had Sherman’s overthrow in view, all felt satisfied and convinced. But as events have shown since, it seems that our authorities in Richmond and the commanders in the field were as much at sea as the soldiers and people themselves. It was the purpose of General Beauregard to collect out all the militia of Governor Clark of Mississippi, of Governor Watts of Alabama, Governor Brown of Georgia, and of Governor Bonham of South Carolina to the southern part of Georgia, there, as Sherman approached, to reinforce General Hardee with all these State troops and reserves, under General Cobb, which numbered in all about eight thousand, and hold him in check until Hood came upon Sherman’s rear, or forced him to retire. Of course it was expected, as a matter of fact, that Hood would be successful against the hastily concentrated army of Thomas, and Sherman would be forced to return for the protection of Kentucky and Ohio. But in military matters, as in others, too much must not be taken for granted, and where great events hinge on so many minor details, it is not surprising that there should be miscarriages. Hood was totally defeated and routed in Tennessee. The Governors of the sister States, on false principles of safety and obsolete statutes, refused to permit the State troops to leave the borders of their respective States, leaving nothing before Sherman but the handful of wornout veterans of Hardee and the few State troops of Georgia, to be beaten in detail as Sherman passed through the State. The women and children of our State were in the same frenzied condition at this time as those of Georgia had been when the Federals commenced their march from Atlanta. In fact, more so, for they had watched with bated breath the march of the vandals across the Savannah–the smoke of the burning homesteads, the wreck and ruin of their sister State–left little hope of leniency or mercy at the hands of the enemy, while all their strength and dependence in the way of manhood were either in the trenches with Lee or with the reserves along the borders of the State. Companies were formed everywhere of boys and old men to help beat back the mighty annaconda that was now menacing with its coils our common country. These were quite unique organizations, the State troops of the South. The grandfathers and grandsons stood side by side in the ranks; the fathers and sons had either fallen at the front or far away in a distant State, fighting for the Southland.

The people of this day and generation and those who are to come afterwards, will never understand how was it possible for the women of the South to remain at their homes all alone, with the helpless little children clustering around their knees, while all that had the semblance of manhood had gone to the front. Yet with all this, a merciless, heartless, and vengeful foe stood at their threshold, with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other. Not only thus confronted, they were at the mercy of four or five millions of negro slaves, waiting for freedom, as only a people could after two centuries of slavery. The enemy was ready and willing to excite these otherwise harmless, peaceful, and contented negroes to insurrection and wholesale butchery. But be it said to the everlasting credit and honor of the brave women of the South, that they never uttered a reproach, a murmur, or a regret at the conditions in which circumstances had placed them. But the negro, faithful to his instincts, remained true, and outside of an occasional outburst of enthusiasm at their newly found freedom, continued loyal to the end to these old masters, and looked with as much sorrow and abhorence upon this wanton destruction of the old homestead, around which clustered so many bright and happy memories, as if they had been of the same bone and the same flesh of their masters. Notwithstanding the numberless attempts by Federal soldiers now spread over an area of fifty miles to excite the negro to such frenzy that they might insult and outrage the delicate sensibilities of the women of the South, still not a single instance of such acts has been recorded.

Such were the feelings and condition of the country when Kershaw’s Brigade, now under General Kennedy, boarded the train in Richmond, in January, 1865. We came by way of Charlotte and landed in Columbia about nightfall. The strictest orders were given not to allow any of the troops to leave or stop over, however near their homes they passed, or how long they had been absent. In fact, most of the younger men did not relish the idea of being seen by our lovely women just at that time, for our disastrous valley campaign and the close investiture of Richmond by Grant–the still closer blockade of our ports–left them almost destitute in the way of shoes and clothing. The single railroad leading from our State to the capital had about all it could do to haul provisions and forage for the army, so it was difficult to get clothing from home. We were a rather ragged lot, while the uniforms of the officers looked shabby from the dust and mud of the valley and the trenches around Richmond. Our few brief months in winter quarters had not added much, if any, to our appearance. By some “underground” road, Captain Jno. K. Nance, of the Third, had procured a spick and span new uniform, and when this dashing young officer was clad in his Confederate gray, he stood second to none in the army in the way of “fine looking.” New officers did not always “throw off the old and on with the new” as soon as a new uniform was bought, but kept the new one, for a while at least, for “State occasions.” These “occasions” consisted in visiting the towns and cities near camp or in transit from one army to another. An officer clad in a new uniform on ordinary occasions, when other soldiers were only in their “fighting garments,” looked as much out of place as the stranger did at the wedding feast “without the wedding garments.” But the day of our departure from Richmond Captain Nance rigged himself out in the pomp and regulations of war, his bright new buttons flashing in the sunlight, his crimson sash tied naughtily around his waist, his sword dangling at his side, he looked the “beheld of all beholders” as the troops marched with a light and steady step along the stone-paved streets of Richmond. He had married a year or so before the beautiful and accomplished sister of our lamented Colonel, and had telegraphed her to meet him at Columbia on our arrival. He dared not trust these innoculate garments to the dirty and besmeared walls of a box car so he discarded the new on our entrance to the train and dressed in his old as a traveling suit. All the way during our trip he teased his brother officers and twitted them with being so “shabbily dressed,” while he would be such a “beaw ideal” in his new uniform when he met his wife. He had never met his wife since his honeymoon a year before, and then only with a twenty-one days’ furlough, so it can be well imagined with what anticipations he looked forward to the meeting of his wife. He was so happy in his expectations that all seemed to take on some of his pleasant surroundings, and shared with him his delight in the expected meeting of his young wife. He would look out of the car door and hail a comrade in the next car with, “Watch me when we reach Columbia, will you,” while the comrade would send back a lot of good-natured railery. It was an undisputed fact, that Captain Nance was a great favorite among officers and men, and while all were giving him a friendly badgering, everyone was glad to see him in such a happy mood. He had given his new suit in charge of his body servant, Jess, with special injunction to guard it with his life. Now Jess was devoted to his master, and was as proud of him as the “squires” of old were of the knights. Jess, to doubly secure this “cloth of gold” so dear to the heart of his master, folded the suit nicely and put it in his knapsack and the knapsack under his head, while he slept the sleep of the just in the far corner of the box car. When we reached Charlotte Captain Nance concluded to rig himself out, as this was to be our last place of stoppage until Columbia was reached, and should his wife meet him there, then he would be ready. So he orders water and towel, and behind the car he began preparations for dressing, all the while bantering the boys about his suit.

At last he was ready to receive the treasured gray. He called out to his man Jess, “Bring out the uniform.”

Jess goes into the car. He fumbles, he hunts–knapsacks thrown aside, guns and accoutrements dashed in every direction–the knapsack is found, hastily opened, and searched, but no uniform! The more impatient and more determined to find the missing clothes, the idea began more forcibly to impress Jess that he might have slept on the way. So engrossed was he in the search for the missing suit, that he failed to hear the orders from his master to–

“Hurry up! If you don’t soon bring on that coat I’ll frail you out. You think I can wait out here naked and freeze?”

But still the hunt goes on, haversacks once again thrown aside, knapsacks overhauled for the third time, while beads of perspiration begin to drop from the brow of Jess. The real facts began to dawn more surely upon him. Then Jess spoke, or I might say gave a wail–

“Marse John, ‘fore God in heaven, if some grand rascal ain’t done stole your clothes.” His great white eyes shone out from the dark recesses of the car like moons in a bright sky.

Nance was speechless. Raising himself in a more erect position, he only managed to say: “Jess, don’t tell me that uniform is gone. Don’t! Go dig your grave, nigger, for if you black imp of Satan has gone to sleep and let some scoundrel steal my clothes, then you die.”

Such a laugh, such a shout as was set up from one end of the train to the other was never heard before or since of the “Lone Pine Tree State.” All of us thought at first, and very naturally, too, that it was only a practical joke being played upon the Captain, and that all would be right in the end. But not so. What became of that uniform forever remained a mystery. If the party who committed the theft had seen or knew the anguish of the victim for one-half hour, his conscience would have smote him to his grave.

But all is well that ends well. His wife failed to reach him in time, so he wore the faded and tattered garments, as momentous of the Valley, through all the tangled swamps and morasses of the Saltkahatchie, the Edisto, and the Santee with as much pride as if clothed in the finest robes of a king.

We remained at Branchville for several days, and from thence we were transported by rail to Charleston and took up quarters on the “Mall.” The citizens hailed us with delight and treated us with the greatest hospitality. The greater number of the best-to-do citizens had left the city, and all that lived on the bay and in reach of the enemies guns had moved to safer quarters in the city or refugeed in the up country. But every house stood open to us. Flags and handkerchiefs waved from the windows and housetops, and all was bustle and commotion, notwithstanding the continual booming of cannon at Sumter and on Sullivan’s Island. Every minute or two a shell would go whizzing overhead or crashing through the brick walls of the buildings. Soldiers were parading the streets, citizens going about their business, while all the little stores and shops were in full blast, the same as if the “Swamp Angel” was not sending continually shells into the city. The people had become accustomed to it and paid little attention to the flying shells.

On one occasion, while a bridal ceremony was being performed in one of the palatial residences in the city, the room filled with happy guests, a shell came crashing into the apartment, bursting among the happy bridal party, killing one of the principals and wounding several of the guests.

While I and several other officers were eating breakfast at one of the hotels, a great noise was heard in the upper portion of the building, giving quite a shock to all. Someone asked the colored waiter, “What was that noise?” “Only a shell bursting in one of the upper rooms,” was the reply.

Women and children walked leisurely to market or about their daily vocations, the shells roaring overhead, with no more excitement or concern than had it only been a fourth of July celebration.

Even the negroes, usually so timid and excitable, paid but momentary attention to the dangers.

[Illustration: Lieut. Col. F.S. Lewie, Co. H, 8th S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. Duncan McIntyre, 15th S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Robert W. Shand, Private 2d S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: D.H. Crawford, First Sargeant and afterwards Lieut. 2d S.C. Regiment.]

The Confederates had abandoned the greater part of Morris’ Island, and great batteries had been erected on it by General Gillmore, with the avowed purpose of burning the city. Some weeks before this he had erected a battery in the marshes of the island and a special gun cast that could throw shells five miles, the greatest range of a cannon in that day. The gun was named the “Swamp Angel” and much was expected of it, but it did no other execution than the killing of a few civilians and destroying a few dwellings. The citizens were too brave and patriotic to desert their homes as long as a soldier remained on the islands or in the forts. The gallant defenders of Sumter, after a month of the most terrific connonading the world had ever seen, were still at their guns, while the fort itself was one mass of ruins, the whole now being a huge pile of stone, brick, and masonry. Fort Moultrie, made famous by its heroic defense of Charleston in the days of the Revolution, and by Jasper leaping the sides of the fort and replacing the flag over its ramparts, still floated the stars and bars from its battlements. All around the water front of Charleston bristled great guns, with ready and willing hands to man them. These “worthy sons of noble sires,” who had, by their unflinching courage, sent back the British fleet, sinking and colors lowered, were now ready to emulate their daring example–either to send the fleet of Gillmore to the bottom, or die at their post. No wonder the people of South Carolina felt so secure and determined when such soldiers defended her borders.

The city guards patrolled the streets of Charleston to prevent the soldiers from leaving their camps without permits, and between these two branches of the service a bitter feud always existed. The first night we were in the city some of the soldiers, on the Verbal permission of their Captains, were taking in the city. Leaving their arms at camp, they were caught “hors de combat,” as it were, and locked up in the city guardhouse over night. The next morning I went to look for my absentees, and away up in the top story of the lower station house I saw them, their heads reaching out of the “ten of diamonds” and begging to be released. After much red tape, I had them turned out, and this incident only added to the ill will of the two parties. After the soldiers began to congregate and recount their grievances as they thought, they used the city guards pretty roughly the remainder of our stay. But the most of all these differences were in the nature of “fun,” as the soldiers termed it, and only to give spice to the soldier’s life.

There were two young Captains in the Third, who, both together, would only make one good man, physically. So small in stature were they that on some previous occasion they had agreed to “whip the first man they ever met that they thought small enough to tackle.” This personage they had never as yet met, but walking down King street they entered a little saloon kept by a Jew. The Jew could scarcely see over the counter, so low was he, but otherwise well developed. On seeing the little Jew, the two young officers eyed each other and said one gleefully:

“John, here’s our man.”

“Yes, yes,” said D, “You tackle him in front and I’ll leg him in rear. By all that’s sacred, we can say we whipped one man, at least.”

So telling the little Jew of their agreement, and that they thought he was the man they were looking for, ordered him out to take his medicine like a little man. The Jew took it good humoredly and told the officers he was their friend and did not care to fight them, etc. But the officers persisted so, to “humor them and to show friendship for the young men,” said he would “accommodate them.” At that the Jew struck out with his right on John’s jaw, hitting the ceiling with the little officer. Then with his left he put one in the pit of D.’s stomach, lifting him clear of the floor and dropping him across a lot of barrels. Then John was ready by this time to receive a “header” under the chin, piling him on top of D. The boys crawled out as he was preparing to finish up the two in fine style, but–

“Hold on! hold on! young man,” cried both in a breath, “we are not mad; we are only in fun; don’t strike any more.”

“All right,” said the Jew, “if you are satisfied I am. Come let’s have a drink.”

So all three took a friendly sip, and as the two wiser, if not stronger, young men left the shop, one said to the other:

“We’ll have to get a smaller man yet before we can say we whipped anybody.”

“You are right,” said the other; “I was never worse mistaken in all my life in the size of the man, or he grew faster after he began to fight than anything I ever saw. He stretched out all over, like a bladder being blown up.”

They found out afterwards that the Jew was a professional boxer, and was giving lessons to the young men of the city.

The soldiers seemed to be getting rather demoralized by the influences of the city, and were moved over the Ashley River and encamped about four miles of the city, in a great pine forest, near the sea. This was a great sight for many, for as much travelling as the troops had done during the last four years, this was their first close quarters to the ocean, and many had never before witnessed the great rolling waters of the sea. Oysters were plentiful, and negroes on the plantation brought out boat loads for the soldiers, and gave them out for a little tobacco or a small amount of Confederate “shin-plasters.” These were about the only articles they had seen in a long time that they could buy with a “shin-plaster” (fractional currency), as almost every other commodity was worth from one dollar up. Great fires were built at night, and eight or ten bushels of the sweet, juicy bivalves were poured over the heap, to be eaten as the shells would pop by the heat.

From this place, after a week’s sojourn, we were carried by rail to the Saltkahatchie River, at the crossing of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad.

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On the Saltkahatchie. February, 1865.

When we reached our destination on the Saltkahatchie, we were met by our old commander of Virginia and Tennessee, Major General McLaws, from whom we had been separated for more than a year. The soldiers were glad to see him, and met him with a rousing cheer, while the old veteran was equally delighted to see us. It was like the meeting of father and absent children, for General McLaws was kind and indulgent to his men, even if not a very successful General. After being relieved of his command in East Tennessee and succeeded by General Kershaw, he had commanded the post at Augusta, Ga., to which place he returned after the close of hostilities and remained until his death. He was the greater part of the time postmaster of the city of Augusta. There being few occupations that the old West Pointers of the South could fill, they generally accepted any office in the gift of the government that would insure them an honest livelihood.

General McLaws was facing two corps of Sherman’s Army at this place with some few veterans, State troops, and reserves. Sherman had been quiet for some time, recruiting his army with negroes from the great plantations along the coast, and resting up his army for his march through the State. Negroes flocked to his army by the thousands, and were formed into regiments and brigades, officered by white men. Even our own Generals and some of our statesmen at this time and before were urging Congress to enlist the negroes, but the majority were opposed to the movement. To show how confident were our leaders even at this late day of the Confederacy, I will quote from Wm. Porcher Miles, then in the Confederate Congress, in reply to General Beauregard urging the enlistment of the slaves. It must be understood that at this time Lee had all he could do to hold his own against Grant, growing weaker and weaker as the days rolled by, while Grant was being reinforced from all over the United States. Lee had the solitary railroad by which to subsist his army. Sherman had laid waste Georgia and was now on the eve of marching; through South Carolina. The Army of the Trans-Mississippi was hopelessly cut off from the rest of the Confederacy. The Mississippi River was impassable, to say nothing of the Federal pickets that lined its banks and the gunboats that patrolled its waters, so much so that one of our Generals is said to have made the report “that if a bird was dressed up in Confederate gray, it could not cross the Mississippi.” Hood’s Army was a mere skeleton of its former self–his men, some furloughed, others returned to their home without leave, so disheartened were they after the disastrous defeat in Tennessee. Still all these conditions being known and understood by the authorities, they were yet hopeful. Says Mr. Miles in Congress:

“I cannot bring my mind to the conviction that arming our slaves will add to our military strength, while the prospective and inevitable evils resulting from such measures make me shrink back from such a step. This can be when only on the very brink of the brink of the precipice of ruin.”

From such language from a Confederate Congressman, dark as the day looked on February 4th, 1865, the date of the letter, the people did not seem to feel that they were on the “brink of the precipice.” Continuing, Mr. Miles goes on in a hopeful strain:

“But I do not estimate him [speaking of Grant] as a soldier likely to decide the fate of battle. We have on our rolls this side of the Mississippi four hundred and one thousand men, one hundred and seventy-five thousand effective and present. We can easily keep in the field an effective force of two hundred thousand. These are as many as we can well feed and clothe, and these are sufficient to prevent subjugation or the overrunning of our territory.”

How a man so well informed and familiar with the foregoing facts could hope for ultimate results, is hard to comprehend by people of this day and generation. It was the plan of General Beauregard to concentrate all the available troops in North and South Carolina on the Saltkahatchie, to keep Sherman at bay until Dick Taylor, with the remnant of Hood’s Army, could come up, then fall back to the Edisto, where swamps are wide and difficult of passage, allow Sherman to cross over two of his corps, fall upon them with all the force possible, destroy or beat them back upon the center, then assail his flanks, and so double him up as to make extrication next to impossible. But in case of failure here, to retire upon Branchville or Columbia, put up the strongest fortifications possible, withdraw all the troops from Charleston, Wilmington, and in the other cities, put in all the State troops that were available from the three States, push forward as many veterans as Lee could temporarily spare from the trenches, barely leaving a skirmish line behind the works around Richmond and Petersburg, then as Sherman approached, fall upon him with all the concentrated force and crush him in the very heart of the State, or to so cripple him as to make a forward movement for a length of time impossible; while the railroads in his rear being all destroyed, his means of supplies would be cut off, and nothing left but retreat. Then, in that event, the whole of Beauregard’s troops to be rushed on to Lee, and with the combined army assault, the left flank of Grant and drive him back on the James. That the soldiers in the ranks and the subaltern officers felt that some kind of movement like this was contemplated, there can be no doubt. It was this feeling that gave them the confidence in the face of overwhelming numbers, and nerved them to greater efforts in time of battle. It was this sense of confidence the soldiers had in the heads of departments and in the commanding Generals that gave the inspiration to the beaten army of Hood that induced these barefoot men to march half way across the continent to place themselves in battle lines across the pathway of Sherman. It was this confidence in the wisdom of our rulers, the genius of the commanders, the stoicism of the soldiers, and above all, the justness of our cause and the helping hand of the Omnipotent, that influenced the women of the South to bear and endure the insults of the Federal soldiers, and view with unconcern the ruin of their homes and the desecration of their country. From the standpoint of the present, this would have been the only possible plan whereby any hopes of ultimate success were possible. But to the people of this day and time, the accomplishment of such an undertaking with the forces and obstacles to be overcome looks rather far-fetched, especially when we reflect that Johnston, with fifty or sixty thousand of the best troops in the service, had failed to check Sherman among the mountain passes of North Georgia, or even to prevent his successful advance to the very walls of Atlanta. That General Beauregard, with his handful of regular troops and a contingent of boys and old men, could accomplish what General Johnston, with a well equipped army of veterans, failed in, was simply a blind faith in the occult influence of Providence.

But it seems as if the department at Richmond had lost its head, and had no settled policy. Telegrams were being continually sent to the Generals in the field to “Crush the enemy,” “You must fight a great battle,” “Either destroy him or so cripple his efforts to reach Grant, that reinforcements would be taken from Lee’s front,” “Why don’t you fight?” etc. These were the encouraging messages Generals Beauregard and Hardee were receiving, but where were the troops to accomplish such work? Generals from every direction were calling for aid–to be reinforced, or that the enemy was making advances, without means to stop him. The answer to all these calls were the same, in substance at least, as that given by Napoleon to the request of Ney of Waterloo, when that marshal called upon the Emperor for reinforcements, “Where does he expect me to get them? Make them?” It seems that the people, with the exception of the privates in the field and the women and children at home, had become panic stricken.

On the 3rd of February General Sherman began crossing the Saltkahatchie at places between Broxton’s and Rivers’ Bridges (and above the latter), and was moving by easy stages in the direction of Branchville. It was not conclusively known whether Sherman, on reaching that place, would turn towards Augusta or in the direction of Charleston, or continue his march to Columbia. President Davis having declined the proposition of General Beauregard to evacuate all the cities on the coast and make a stand on the Edisto, declined also a like proposition to fight the great battle at either Branchville or Columbia, without offering any better policy himself. The only alternative the latter had was to keep out of Sherman’s way as well as possible and to allow him to continue laying waste the entire center of the State. His only encouragements were dispatches from the President to “Turn and Crash Sherman,” “Call on the Governors,” “Bring out the militia,” etc.

Sherman’s columns of advance consisted of four great patrolled lines, with a corps on each. His extreme right was made up of the Seventeenth Corps, under General Frank P. Blair, the Fifteenth next, under General Jno. A. Logan, the two being the right wing of the army, commanded by General Howard. The left wing, under General Slocum, consisted of the Fourteenth Corps, on extreme left, General Jeff. C. Davis commanding; the next, the Twentieth, under General A.S. Williams, the whole numbering sixty thousand. The cavalry, numbering four thousand additional, was on either flank.

To meet this formidable array, Beauregard had under his immediate command Hardee, with thirteen thousand seven hundred (three thousand being State militia); around Augusta and on the march in Georgia and upper South Carolina was the remnant of Hood’s Army–Steven D. Lee, with three thousand three hundred and fifty; Dick Cheatham, with two thousand five hundred.

Stewart’s Corps was far back in Georgia, and too far away to give any hopes of meeting Beauregard in this State. It consisted of Loring’s Division, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven; Wathals’ Division, one thousand and thirty-six; French’s Division, one thousand five hundred and nineteen.

It must not be forgotten that the number under Hardee included the troops in and around Charleston, and all the cities and towns in the State where soldiers were stationed.

General Wheeler, in command of several brigades of cavalry, now reduced to a mere skeleton organization, was hovering around the enemy’s flanks and in front between Branchville and Augusta.

Just prior to the evacuation of Columbia, General Beauregard applied to the war department for the promotion of General Wade Hampton to Lieutenant General, to take precedence over Major General Wheeler, now in command of all the cavalry in this army. He further asked that he be assigned to the command of the cavalry of his department, all of which was granted. Generals Hampton and Butler were both at home at the time, the former on furlough, the latter recruiting and mounting his troops. These two Generals being natives of the State, and General Hampton so familiar with the topography of the country through which the army had to pass, General Beauregard thought him a desirable officer for the post. Furthermore, Wheeler’s Cavalry had become thoroughly demoralized and undisciplined. From their long, continual retreats the cavalry had become to look upon “retreat” as the regular and national order. Acting on the principle that all which was left in their wake of private property would be appropriated by the enemy, they fell with ruthless hands upon whatsoever property their eyes took a fancy to, consoling themselves with the reasoning “that if we don’t take it, the enemy will.” So audacious had become the raids of Wheeler’s command that citizens had little choice between the two evils, “Wheeler’s Cavalry or the Federals.” The name of “Wheeler’s men” became a reproach and a by-word, and remains so to this day with the descendants of those who felt the scourge of these moving armies.

These are matters that are foreign to the subject or to the “History of Kershaw’s Brigade,” but as the greater part of the soldiers of South Carolina were away during the march through their State and ignorant of the movements of the armies, I write for their information, and the concluding part of this work will be rather a history of the whole army than of one brigade.

* * * * *


March Through South Carolina, February and March, 1865.

When Sherman put this mighty machine of war in motion, Kershaw’s Brigade was hurried back to Charleston and up to George’s Station, then to the bridge on the Edisto. Raiding parties were out in every direction, destroying bridges and railroads, and as the Southern Army had no pontoon corps nor any methods of crossing the deep, sluggish streams in their rear but by bridges, it can be seen that the cutting of one bridge alone might be fatal to the army. It was discovered early in the march that Sherman did not intend to turn to the right or the left, but continue on a direct line, with Columbia as the center of operations. We were removed from the Edisto back to Charleston, and up the Northeastern Railroad to St. Stephen’s, on the Santee. It was feared a raiding party from Georgetown would come up the Santee and cut the bridge, thereby isolating the army Hardee had in Charleston and vicinity. Slowly Sherman “dragged his weary length along.” On the 13th of February the corps of General Blair reached Kingsville and drove our pickets away from the bridge over the Congaree.

On the 15th of February the advance column of the Twentieth Corps came in sight of Columbia. All the bridges leading thereto were burned and the Southern troops withdrawn to the eastern side. Frank Blair’s Corps left the road leading to Columbia at Hopkin’s, and kept a direct line for Camden. Another corps, the Fifteenth, crossed the Broad at Columbia, while the Fourteenth and Twentieth were to cross at Freshley’s and Alston. Orders had been given to evacuate Charleston, and all the troops under General McLaws, at Four Hole Swamp, and along the coast were to rendezvous at St. Stephen’s, on the Santee, and either make a junction with the Western Army at Chester, S.C., or if not possible, to continue to Chesterfield or Cheraw. The plan of the