The 3rd (Gill'S) Battalion
South Carolina Reserve Infantry

Reports from the front

Compiled by

[Wednesday, 2 March 1864.]


The next call for State Troops will be similar to the last, except that now from 17 to 18 and 45 to 50 will be the ages; the number called for will have to be drafted, and as the persons will be compelled to go to camp, under penalty of being placed "in for the war;" it will be well for those to elect such officers as will first secure them an examination by Surgeons, and oppose any election of Field Officers until they are called into it and let them be taken from the line. Thus, the "Iron Greys" will be allowed to stay at home until the country needs their services, and not at the beck and call of holiday officers. Their places are "in the field", and we hope they will be allowed to stay there.



[Wednesday, 23 March 1864.]


  Adjt. Genl. Cooper [1] has issued orders for the complete enrollment under the late Act of Congress, of all white males between 17 and 18 and 45 and 50 years. The Enrolling officers for the different Counties and Districts in the several States are directed to proceed forth with in the work of enrollment, after which the men will be organized into companies, battalions and regiments. They will not be called out unless a greater emergency occurs, than now exists. They could illy be spared, at this time, we trust our Farmers will "speed the plough," while the wounded soldiers and conscripts unfit for field duty will relieve the Provost Guards and Government clerks who are.


[Wednesday, 13 April 1864.]


Headquarters Conscript Department,

Columbia, S. C.

April 6, 1864.


I.   THE enrolment (under section 5, of the Act of Congress "to organize forces to serve during the war, adopted February 17, 1864,) is hereby ordered of all male white inhabitants of this State who are between the ages of 17 and 18, and the ages of 45 and 50 years. All persons so liable are required to report for enrollment to the Enrolling Officers of their respective Districts, on or before the 16th of April instant.

II.   Under the terms of the Act of Congress, persons of the ages indicated are to constitute a "Reserve for State Defence and detail duty, and shall not be required to perform service out of the State." After being enrolled, they may form companies, under General Orders No. 86, Adjutant and General's Office, series of 1863, and elect their own officers.

III.   By special order of the War Department, all such persons are required to rendezvous at the headquarters of the Enrolling Officers of their respective Districts, on the 16th day of April instant, for the purpose of being organized into companies.

IV.   Those who fail to report will subject themselves to be assigned to general service with the class of persons between the ages of 18 and 45, unless they shall have a valid excuse for such default, to be judged by the Bureau of Conscription at Richmond.

                                                                        C. D. MELTON, [2]

                                                                        Major and Commandant of Conscripts.

                                                                        April 13.


[Wednesday, 20 April 1864.]


  On Saturday last, all persons in the 34th and 46th Regiments, between the ages of 17 and 18, and 45 and 50, were ordered to report to the Enrolling Officer, at this place, for organization into companies. The number present was about 250, nearly equally divided between the two Regiments, but of these a great many expressed their intention to appear before the Medical Board on Saturday or Monday next, for examination, with a view to exemption from physical disability; and others will petition as Farmers who will comply with the requisition of the Act, such as furnishing meat, selling at schedule prices, Etc. The two companies formed, will, therefore, be hardly more that the minimum, 64, under the following officers:

34th Regiment.

                                                JOHN T. LOWRY, Captain. [3]

                                                W. L. BROWN, 1st Lieutenant.

                                                THOS. J. ECCLES, 2d Lieutenant.

                                                JOHNATHON MOORE, 3d Lieutenant.

46th Regiment

                                                MILTON H. CURRENCE, Captain.

                                                N. A. STEELE, 1st Lieutenant.

                                                DAVID PATRICK, 2d Lieutenant.

                                                ROBERT MENDENHALL, 3d Lieut.


[Wednesday, 1 June 1864.]


Yorkville, S. C.

May 30, 1864.

  By recent orders from the War Department, no person between the ages of 18 and 45 years is eligible to an office in the Corps of Reserves, and such elections are declared void. In accordance with these orders, an election will be held here on SATURDAY, the 4th of JUNE, for Captain in the Company of Reserves which was formed from the 34th Regiment, S.C.M. Polls will be open until 1 o'clock, P. M. It is desired that every member of the Company, who can do so, shall report and give in his vote.

                                                                        J. S. R. THOMSON, [4]

                                                                        Lieutenant and Enrolling Officer.

                                                                        June 1.


[Wednesday, 15 June 1864.]


This class of Militia have been organized into battalions by Gen. Chesnut, [5] eight in number; the third, or right of the second regiment, should one be formed, is composed of the companies of York, Chester, Union and Fairfield. An election for a Major for each battalion, is ordered to be held at the respective Court Houses on the 24th inst. We presume the orders will be extended from headquarters, the time is short enough, for a general attendance should be had, to elect officers of capacity which may not be the case with a corporal's guard. Many of the old Reserves will remember the necessity of having approachable officers and irreproachable, and it may be they would like to have a vote in the matter, but it is their own business, so if they neglect it, it will be their own fault, and none of ours, as we give this gratuitous notice.


[Wednesday, 22 June 1864.]


     Though the notice has not been extended, as is generally the case in elections, we see by the numerous nominations of candidates, that an election for Major of the several battalions of Reserves, will be held on Friday next, the 24th inst., at their respective Court Houses, by the company officers. York, which has two companies, is included in the third battalion, with Chester, Fairfield and Union. It will be seen by an advertisement in our paper to day, that Capt. W. Perry Gill, [6] of Chester, is a candidate. Though it is a busy time, we would suggest that as many as can spare the time to attend will do so.


THE friends of Capt. W. PERRY GILL, of Chester, respectfully announce him as a candidate for MAJOR of the Battalion-State Reserves-to be organized from the Districts of Union, York, Chester and Fairfield. Election on the 24th instant, Friday next.

   June 22.


[Wednesday, 29 June 1864.]


            *                       *                       *                       *                       *                       *

—Capt. W. Perry Gill, of Chester, was on Friday last elected Major of the Battalion of Reserves, comprising the Districts of York, Chester, Union and Fairfield.

            *                       *                       *                       *                       *                       *


[Wednesday, 13 July 1864.]


     Orders have been issued to Brigadier General Chesnut to call out the State Reserves and place them at once in active service-the order will probably be extended today. This call is rendered necessary from the attempts of the enemy to get a foothold on John's and James Islands, where infantry is needed to protect our artillery. The order is imperative, so our people may as well prepare themselves to do their whole duty with cheerfulness.

     Where, now, is the Company that was to be made up for home defence? There are men in Yorkville, we believe, that could not be induced to take up arms against the Yankees under any consideration, and will bear watching.


[Wednesday, 20 July 1864.]


     Several Battalions of the State Troops have been called out, and are now on duty at different points. The others, among whom are Major Gill's, are ordered to be in readiness for further orders. General Chesnut has been unwilling to call out the Reserves so long as strict necessity did not require it, but even when called out, we are assured the public interests, or those of neighborhoods, will be allowed to suffer as little as possible.


[ The Chester (SC) Standard, Thursday, 28 July 1864.]

State Reserves - John Hardin has been elected Captain of the Chester company of State Reserves, in place of Capt. W. P. Gill, promoted.

     J. L. Morris, of this District, has been appointed Adjutant of the Battalion.   The Battalion consists of five companies, one in Union, two in York, one in Chester and one in Fairfield.


[Wednesday, 10 August 1864.]


     For the purpose of affording relief to the Agricultural interest, of preventing families being left without a male protector, and to provide for a police, Gen. Chesnut has authorized the companies of Reserves to be reduced to the number of forty-five men between the ages of 45 and 50-the youths between 17 and 18 being "floaters" are not counted, we believe. The action of the captains recently has been revoked, so all who may claim details must apply by petition, at once, through the Enrolling Officer and Advisory Board, subject to the approval of Gen. Chesnut. As the number is in a manner limited, the Board will doubtless consider the most important claims, therefore we suggest promptness.


[Wednesday, 14 September 1864.]


     To-morrow, the Reserves leave their homes for the camp, and the Detailed men are to be organized into companies for local defence….

            *                       *                       *                       *                       *                       *


[Wednesday, 21 September 1864.]



Hamburg, S. C., [7] Sept. 17, 1864.

     Dear Enquirer: - Maj. Gill's Battalion of Reserves, reached this place this morning, at 5 o'clock, and are encamped in the woods on Shultz's Hill. [8] Our trip was safely made, though as we are without tents, we look with fear and trembling towards a wet spell, that is much wished for everywhere else. Of course, I can give you as yet nothing of interest, but will keep your readers posted in future.



[Wednesday, 28 September 1864.]


Camp Merriwether,

Hamburg, S. C., Sept. 23, 1864.

     On Thursday morning, the 15th instant, Maj. Gill's Battalion, of the State Reserves, comprising companies from York, Union, Chester and Fairfield, (two from the first named District,) reached this point, via Columbia, on the railroad, the morning of the 17th, and proceeded to encamp on Shultz's Hill, opposite the city of Augusta, Georgia, where they now are, with Major Merriwether's Battalion, [9] who had preceded them a few weeks.

     Our place of Encampment, is high and dry, of course, with a pretty grove of native oak, but as we are without tents, the leafy canopy can only protect us from the noon-day sun, while we are left at the mercy of "the pitiless storm." A good spirit pervades the entire camp, and notwithstanding several unfriendly showers, the inconveniences we meet with, are borne with "a patient shrug." The cuisine of the camp is good-we draw bacon, beef, flour, meal, salt, rice, molasses, (rather sour) and vinegar, if we had vessels to put it in. We are short of frying pans, so we have to get up a stew and find ourselves being minus spoons "eating soup with a fork." On the whole, "the boys" are doing very well, and the "iron greys" are only beginning to think of the good old dames at home, and their unground sugar cane. I have no time to enter into details, or to moralize now, but will take other occasion to elaborate, with your permission. I would suggest that the good mothers at home "write often."

     On Thursday evening last [22 September 1864], President Davis, with his personal staff, passed through on his way to the front, and made a speech in Augusta. He said that Atlanta could be, and must be, recovered-he said lots of other things, we did not hear, as we were on this side of the river, but we hope the present visit will be the harbinger of better tidings than has been usual on such State occasions.

     The impression, and the general wish seem to be, that General Beauregard will be called to the front-we see lots of material in Augusta that Gov. Brown has not yet "brought to the fire," and them, too, who while professing a supreme contempt for Confederate money, have the usurer's cunning to "make the most of it."

     Maj. Gill's Battalion seems a little family, which while maintaining discipline, entertain the kindest feelings for its chief.-The two battalions are under the command of A. G. Blanchard, [10] an old Army officer, in service, I mean, and apparently a clever man, as he is an efficient officer.-We hope Gov. Bonham [11] will think of his "State Troops," and allow them the use of the tents they had last winter-though they have passed out of his jurisdiction, we are nevertheless a portion of "the chivalry."

     Letters for members of the York Companies should be addressed

            "To _____   _____

                 Gill's Battalion Reserves,

                        Hamburg, S. C.

            Care Capt. Brown."

            Or, Currence, as the case may be.



[Wednesday, 3 October 1864.]


Camp Merriwether,

Hamburg, S. C.,

Oct. 1, 1864.

     Notwithstanding the first of October is with us, we have very warm, sunny weather, and pleasant nights for our impromptu tents. Our morning reports show several complaining in each company, but it is rather to be attributed to the free use of molasses, which has been liberally supplied. The companies have been gradually filling up, and we have the promise of a pretty general furloughing of the old men, to enable them to grind their sugar cane, and sow wheat. The only duty besides drilling, which is kept up with spirit, we have been called on to perform, is the detail from Maj. Merriwether's of a squad to guard Yankee prisoners on their way to Charleston for an exchange. They enquired what so many soldiers were doing about here, instead of the front, to reinforce Hood and say that Sherman will be in Augusta shortly. The Georgia militia, it is said, after the expiration of their thirty days furlough, which will be in a few days, will be used to guard Macon and Augusta from the raids that may be attempted. An opinion is gaining ground in Augusta, however, among the knowing ones that Sherman will evacuate, as he cannot hold Atlanta much longer.-Should such be the case, the Reserves may be sent from this point to guard prisoners at some other place, and thus relieve the "sixteen" boys and old men, who we learn have been called out for that purpose.

     We had a pretty considerable fire within three hundred yards of our camp a night or two since, the pretty frame residence of a Mr. Kauffer was burned down, but with the assistance of the soldiers, who worked manfully, considerable valuable property was saved, though much was lost from the rapidity with which the flames communicated from one apartment to another. It is thought the fire was set in the cellar by some of the servants, who had been chastised for some cause a day or two previous.

     A visit to Augusta shows that no scarcity of goods exists there, for the fancy stores as well as the grocery establishments, are well supplied, and as well patronized, probably as though no war was going on. However, the streets are crowded with soldiers, many of them on crutches or with empty sleeves, while the hospitals are pretty well crowded. Prices here, are most extraordinary, though money seems plenty, and it is scattered about with a determination to get rid of it for any imaginable necessity.-Auction sales are largely attended, and even broken furniture and crockery bring fabulous prices. Every body seems to be speculating, and the darkies seem fully up to the tricks of the trade. They tell you that "$5 is no more than a quarter used to was," and seem highly elated at the idea that "a nigger is worth so much more than a white man."

     An election is to be held to day in the two York companies for Senator and Representatives to the Legislature, and for Tax Collector. We will not probably poll more than forty votes altogether, but it is well enough to "have a place in the picture."

     The news from Virginia is not very cheering, [12] yet Forrest's success [13] serves to keep up our spirits. Though it is hard for the farmers and plough-boys to be away from home at this time, they would be better satisfied if the "orders" of Gen. Cooper were carried out, and the large number of Enrolling officers, Doctors, Quartermasters, Commissaries, and their attachees, who occupy bomb-proof offices at home, making fortunes at the expense of the absent soldiers, were sent to the field, and their places supplied by the many wounded ones who are limping through the country, without even the miserable pittance they ought to have received long ago. The saying that this is the "rich man's war, and the poor man's fight," would not be so often heard, if the system of details were not so confined to certain classes, who occupy easy positions in every town and village; the more negroes a man has, the greater necessity for him and his sons shouldering their muskets to defend them; but a sword can bring out of these "noble sons of noble sires," who subside shortly after in the necessities of a Commissary or Quartermaster's Departmeent. About York, the Iron Workers carry on a system of detailing, which should be looked into-men are employed to work for their "victuals and clothes" and be kept out of the war, while iron is kept up at high prices-in Charleston, men are detailed to make salt at $9 a bushel, but it is sent by the favored ones to the up-country to be sold for flour, pound for pound, or a little over, and to avoid impressment, shipped to the credit of the "navy department," or some other mythical institution above the comprehension of our common people. The Rail Roads, too, appropriate more than their share of the fighting material of the country, while their fare is still increasing, and poor devils like us when we do chance to get a furlough home, we have to pay two months compensation for a twenty days visit home. So the world wags, and so when our independence is gained, those who have enjoyed ease and secured competences, will turn their backs on the poor soldier, save when they ask his vote for position, or power, forgetful of the past. The soldier's [ sic ] should remember all such, and probably will.



                                                                                    Hamburg, Oct. 1, 1864.

  Since my letter was mailed, orders have been received to take up our stakes and move to Florence, Darlington District. - My letter of this morning foreshadowed a movement of this kind, which has been ordered much sooner than I expected. Letters for members of the Battalion had better be held back until the arrival at our destination is known. We expect a wet time, as we leave on Sunday morning next.

                                                                                    In haste,    E.


[Wednesday, 12 October 1864.]


Camp Prison,

Florence, S. C., Oct. 7, 1864.

     The Battalions of Majors Gill and Merriwether again took wing from Hamburg, on Sunday morning, the 2d inst., reaching Branchville at one o'clock, Kingsville at dark, and this point, one and a half miles north-east of Florence, at four A. M. on Monday. Our boys left Shultz's Hill, with its full rations, good water, and "medicinal" conveniences with reluctance; now they are realising the privations and scarcities of a soldier's life. General Chesnut's attention will doubtless be called to the scanty fare dealed out at this place, where even soup is not dealt out, and cannot be bought. so nothing further need be said on this subject at present.

     Our men are called on to perform guard duty every other day and night, [14] as there are a large number of prisoners at this point, and many more daily coming in from Charleston, distant but 60 miles by rail-road, and Andersonville, Georgia.

     The prisoners are placed in an enclosure arranged in regimental order; this is made of split timbers 5 or 6 inches in thickness; well embeded [ sic ] in the earth; around this palisading, enclosing some twenty acres, is fixed the platform or walk for the sentinels, with occasional projections, from which they can look over into the camps and keep a sharp watch on the movements of the prisoners. In order that the latter may have no excuse for approaching the palisading, a ditch is run around the camp, about 15 feet from it, said to be like that of the Yankees at Hilton Head. The man who attempts to cross it, after being once warned, is shot if the sentry's eye falls on him, or without warning at night. Night and day a heavy guard is posted around, and lines of sentinels, with artillery and cavalry at convenient and important points, so escape seems impossible.

     The prisoners are divided into detachments of 100 each, under sergeants of their own appointment. The roll is called each morning at 9 o'clock; at the beating of the drum each detachment falls into line in front of its row of tents or earthworks, dresses up on the sergeant, in files of four, when the Major has them counted off by the several Lieutenants called on to assist him, who deem it by no means an agreeable employment, among so much filth and vermin, though the place is daily policed, and a deep branch runs through the entire camp-they cook their own rations, which of course they complain of, however plentiful they may be. They are not allowed to communicate with any but officers, whom they often importune for little favors, mostly to take the oath or be paroled, or for tobacco. The foreigners make many protestations of their disinterestedness, while the Yankees, most of whom were the denizens of the brothels and purlieus of Northern cities, pretend to believe our cause a losing one, though they curse the obstinacy of Butler in not effecting their exchange. Poor Devils! They do not see that one Confederate is worth a half dozen of them, and hence their sufferings. While writing, a goodly number of foreigners are taking the oath, which they swallow with avidity-how it will be observed may depend on their ability to get home again, while some will snap at the first bait thrown to them by substitute brokers.

     The prisoners pay little regard to their personal cleanliness; as a natural consequence much mortality prevails, ten deaths being about the minimum of those daily occurring. A hospital for the sick is outside of the stockade, where they receive every attention, and they are remanded when convalescent, but few having died in it. They are mostly scantily clothed, and unless provided by their government will suffer greatly, when the cold weather sets in.

     Previous to leaving Hamburg, elections were held in the York and Chester Companies. The two companies from York voted together and polled but 32 votes, the old men having been mostly furloughed home to gather their sugar cane and sow wheat a day or two previous. Of these, Col. Jones received the whole number for the Senate. For Representatives, Capt. Lowry, received 31, Col. Beatty, 26, Col. White, 20, J. C. Chambers, 17, J. S. Bratton, 10, Col. Rawlinson, 7. For Tax Collector, Col. Jackson received 29, Mitchell, 2, Sanders, 1.

     The weather continues quite warm. Our men have exercised much ingenuity in constructing tents and huts, which has infringed greatly on their supply of bed clothes, which will inconvenience them greatly when winter sets in. If Gen. Chesnut would furnish the cloth flys could easily be made; or plank could be, as a saw-miller nearby offers to furnish it, if a requisition is made. We this morning report two sick.

     The town of Florence is a pretty little place, of no business pretensions whatever, as it has not a single store, or rum hole. There are no loafers about town, and but very few males, though it is the junction of the North Eastern and Wilmington and Manchester roads. Capt. H. W. Connor, [15] of Charleston, is the Post Commissary and his clerk, a young wounded soldier. They are both clever gentlemen, and think "the powers that be," are in error as to the quantity and quality of rations to which citizens soldiers are entitled. In coming from Kingsville, to this place, we passed through several towns, but as the whole distance, seventy miles, was travelled by night in box cars, nothing can be said of them until some lucky chance gives us a day trip towards home.

     The water here is scarce, and not good; our men have commenced digging wells, but they have no spades, shovels or picks, so for the present they have stopped, at some six feet depth, without water. The Yankees are more expert-they have dug tunnels and wells after the fashion of moles, with their noses or claws, probably, while they are seconded by the Bog-trotters and trout-stands, who act as a mass-I hope you may never see. Some 500 of them are about to take the oath, which they should not be allowed to do.

     I have received through the kindness of Col. Melton, {16] at Richmond, the New York Herald, of the 19th ultimo, which has proved a valuable acquisition in the newspaper desert, and helped to while away the few hours of relaxation we can gain from the interminable bustle and duty of camp. The contents are fully in character, and prominent is a long account of a "Grand Anniversary Banquet at Delmonico's," by the resident Mexicans, who seem to have forgotten the whipping they received from the boasted United States, and, while they jabber lustily for their own independence of French rule, sit cheek by jowl with the Yankees in depriving the South of theirs. But, though it is said none but Mexicans were present, the ear marks of Yankee correspondents are plainly seen, and doubtless the drunken dons awoke the next morning to find out that they had made quite a figure the previous night. The "Diario" will doubtless translate with wonder to their columns, the rapid progress their runaway generals have made in Yankee American slavery. But, perhaps, the South and we have not been forgotten. However, the Mexicans and Yankees are mongrels well matched-the old Castilian blood has degenerated in the first, while the "nigger" is far the purest of the last.

     The Mexicans assume that Napolean has take advantage of the civil war in the United States, who had heretobefore protected them-and they are kept in this belief by the Yankee press, for their own low, selfish purposes.   The Herald is for McClellan, so far.

     I have spun this epistle out longer than intended-not knowing how the mails go and come as yet.   I may not have taken time by the forelock, as intended, but will strive, when I learn further of postal arrangements, to reach you on Sunday or Monday evening.

                                                                        Allons,                           E.


[Wednesday, 19 October 1864.]


Camp Prison,

Florence, S. C., Oct. 13, 1864.

     Since my last, several of our man have been sent from the York Companies to the Hospital at Florenceville [17] - but from the frost we had a morning or two since, the general health of the Encampment is improved, and they are doing pretty well. The hospital is in a comfortable building, and the attention kind.

     From the large accession of Yankee prisoners from Charleston to the Stockade, the mortality has considerably increased for a few days, not less than 50 being buried on Sunday last-on Wednesday, but three died in the stockade, though some 57 were sent to the Camp hospital, where they have a Yankee surgeon to attend them, who furnishes blankets, hats and clothing, sent from Yankee sanitary commissions, an exemplary [practice] by the way, that should be followed by our own people. It is difficult to imagine the destitution that prevails without witnessing daily the incident suffering, as we do, and we cannot but reflect that our own prisoners, are likely suffering, probably to a greater extent. Many have taken the oath, and enlisted, some vexed at the ingratitude of the Government who refuses to exchange for them, because their time is out, and others with a view to violating their obligation when opportunity offers. To say the least, they will not make trusty soldiers, and the Yankees probably expect we would rather parole than feed them. Shakespeare tells us of a knight who swore by his honor that pancakes were naught without mustard, and yet was not the knight foresworn, for he swore by that he had not. We would much rather have one of our own brave boys in lieu of half a dozen of them.

     Our papers and letters take their time in reaching this place. Those forwarded from Hamburg were improperly taxed 10 cents each, while the ten cent stamp was sufficient to send them to a soldier at any point. It was a small game to play, but the soldier will pay any money for a letter from home, when he has it.

     Rations continue short here, with no tobacco, but this does not abate the severity of duty. Our military family is hydra-headed and it would puzzle General Lee to see into the role [ sic ] of our organization. We have lots of little office[r]s apeing their superiors, and the consequence is, "such fantastic tricks are played before high heaven, as would make even angels" laugh at their folly. A profusely organized guard would require less than half the number here present-as it is, impromptu Generals and Inspectors carry out the principle that "Satan finds some mischief still, for idle hands to do."

     The boys who arrive at 18 years of age, are to be sent to the Camp of Instruction at Columbia, and they complain much at not being allowed to choose Their Companies-this, I would suggest, might be remedied by their friends at home choosing companies for them before the time, and the Captains asserting their prior claims.

     Furloughs according to the present powers are only to be allowed "one man in every twenty-five" and that for "ten days," while it takes a soldier from Yorkville six days to go and come.-An officer cannot obtain a leave of absence unless all the commissioned officers of his company are present; so you see there is little exclusiveness among us. A respectful petition has been got up by the officers, to General Chesnut to grant furloughs to the men to sow their wheat as was done last year, through the instrumentality of Capt. Lowry, and your correspondent, with the kindly aid of Mr. Carlisle, of the Charleston Courier. It worked well, then, and would far better now, considering the distance we are from home, and the over strict surveillance under which we are held.

     There is some talk of Reserves being sent to Columbia or Killian's Mills for guard duty; as Gill's Battalion are without tents, we trust it may be our good fortune to be one of the chosen few. We might at least get "comforts" from home in more senses than one, and probably a furlough for a few days once or twice a year. We are not grumblers, for all who have come out, do their duty, however onerous, willingly, asking only a just consideration from Gen. Chesnut, who we only acknowledge as our military chief.

     Cold and hoarse,                                                              Yours Etc.,



[Wednesday, 26 October 1864.]


Camp Prison, Florence, S. C.,

Oct. 18, 1864.

     This Tuesday, being a rainy day, to while away the ennui consequent, I seat myself on the pine straw in my tent, to write you a few lines.

     Since my last letter, Death has entered our military family, and removed from his duty on earth, J. W. Abernathy, of York District, a member of Co. D, Gill's Battalion. He was between 17 and 18 years of age, and took cold from exposure to the bad weather while on duty, eventuating in typhoid fever, from which he died early on the morning of the 17th instant.

"Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,

As his corpse o'er the ramparts we buried,

Nor a soldier discharged a farewell shot,

O'er the grave where our comrade was buried;"

but his body was placed in a neat coffin, and boxed in charcoal, then buried in the Presbyterian Church Yard at Florence, [18] with funeral services by Rev. Mr. Harris. Our acquaintance with him was short, but he was ever prompt in the discharge of duty, and thus was esteemed; to his relatives and friends we extend our sympathies. [19]

     There are many of our battalion in the hospital, with fever, measles, and mumps, but most of them are doing well. This, together with the loss of our boys are reporting as they become 18 years of age, and the negligence of the proper parties in not sending forward the skulkers at home, has reduced our ranks considerably, making our duties the more secure, and preventing those who responded promptly from getting home to sow wheat, and make molasses. Some of these last were graciously allowed a few days to "get fixed," but they are showing how worthy they were of the favor bestowed. We have too many "Orders" that are never enforced-and too many loop-holes for escape, if they were.

    The principal topic of discussion here is Mr. Boyce's letter. [20] Many attribute to him a desire for re-construction they deprecate in the loudest terms, while other think him "sound on the goose," and his errors, more of the head than the heart. For my own part, I believe, with Mr. Cobb [21] of Georgia, that there are people meaner than the Yankees, and they are those who desire to return into a Union with them.

     In a former letter you made me say that even soup was not dealt out, where I wrote soap -for cleanliness this last is indispensable; without it, we may soon be infested like Yankees, who scatter their favors profusely among those who brush against them. On a sun-shiny day they may be seen stripped to the buff, picking the "boogers" off, and occasionally we meet with a stray one in our camp where they receive the milesian flea application, to wit:

"When an Irishman catches a flea by the ear,

He kicks him and cuffs him, and beats him severe,

He plucks out his teeth and stamps him on the floor,  

Saying 'Lie there, ye divil, ye'll bite me no more.'"

     The Yankees continue to take the oath, and many of them are enlisting-a large number are accumulating here, but it is probable they will be sent to such places as they may be made useful. From the number of negroes, working on the fortifications here, the sooner the better for both of them.

     An exchange of prisoners is anxiously looked for-the Yanks could not be better pleased than we would to get rid of them. A late paper stated that Gen. Hardee was about to effect a general exchange, but Dame Rumor has so expressed her many tongues of late, we fear there was no foundation for the last. Several of the prisoners who were brought here from Charleston, have died of the yellow fever, and also several members of the 55th Georgia Regiment and Maj. Williams' Battalion, have fallen victims. But, though we are not "in the bloody field," the number of dead we daily see has a tendency to harden the sensibilities, and we can hardly realize that a few months ago we would have witnessed similar scenes with horror. To see human beings thrown, by their own comrades, like slaughtered hogs, into a wagon, and buried in a few inches from earth's surface, amid scoffs and jeers, is heart-sickening, and yet how can we sympathize with an enemy, so lost to all delicacy of feeling among themselves! "Bad luck to the Dutch, if the devil don't understand his jabber," says one, as he drops his load of mortality on the edge of a ditch; "here goes a hungry sergeant," says another; "right dress d__n you for a corporal," as the inanimate body is pressed close to its neighbor-these expressions I heard on Sunday last, when I turned away from the sickening sight. And such is war!

     The drum summons to Battalion Drill.

                                                            Guard Room, October 20, 1864.

     I have a little further to write you. A negro driver was killed by one of the hands under him, on Tuesday night last.

     You have read the story of the "Three Black Crows." Well, lest the tale of our camp having been surprised, our acting Orderly, Commissary, Quartermaster and Ordnance stores captured, might reach you, I give the facts, which are "reliable." The Orderly and his friend Gun, [22] were arrested at Florence last night, for being without a pass, and some hungry rogue stole all the beef, meal and flour our gun-box (provision chest) contained, with a knife and spoon; leaving the officer's [ sic ] mess in rather a bad fix. The "missing" have been released, and restored to their friends-but our stores are still minus,

     Many of our company who lately left York were stopped at Columbia -we look for them shortly. Five of our "18" boys leave to-night for the Camp of Instruction, and I hope a furlough home.



[Wednesday, 2 November 1864.]


Camp Prison,

Florence, S. C., Oct. 28, 1864.

     On Sunday last, owing to the meeting of Synod, some 30 miles below this, we had the pleasure of meeting in our camp Rev. W. W. Carothers, [23] and Majors A. A. McKenzie and Josiah Moore; the former gentleman performed Divine service for the Battalion very acceptably, while their sojourn among us was marked with many warm greetings.-An old familiar face from home, will always find a warm welcome and soldier's cheer.

     We still have mumps and measles among the boys, though not much other sickness, as we have been enjoying good weather of late, though the heavens portend a rainy time coming. Furlough's [ sic ] to sow wheat are now the cry, and five to fifty men is allowed-the first instalment will doubtless read this letter at their homes, as they start pretty nearly together-we wish them a pleasant time with their families, and a prompt return, in order to secure the same privilege to others. All detailed men are to be sent for, and those who have never reported, had better take the start of the parties to be sent for them; and report here at once-the old game of Reserves shirking duty, is played out, as they will find to their cost.

     As though the duties of the post were not severe enough, Gen. Chesnut has detailed an understrapper of some 18 years, who dodges the enrollment thereby, to "drill the Reserves." This he has undertaken by drilling the several guard reliefs, but which has been temporarily stopped by a certain Lieutenant refusing to allow such unheard of practices; for which said Lieutenant is under arrest, but confidently trusts to the military character and sense of rights of his superiors to relieve him. For men to go on a severe guard duty as is required here, every other day, and then being drilled while on guard as well as off, is too much for old men and boys. Humanity protests against it.

     A large number of Yankees (we mean foreigners, too, when we way Yankees) have been galvanized the past week-they have taken the oath, enlisted, donned the Confederate uniform, and gone to-no matter where 'til we hear from them. [24] One of them made a raid on our neighboring tent last Wednesday night, but was overtaken, bucked and gagged, and sent on his way, re-pining at his hard fate. This was doubtless the same fellow who foraged on us a week ago.

     We can give you no news from this quarter. It is reported 5,000 Yanks have landed near Georgetown, and a raid probable in this direction. Should such be attempted, they will find "a rough road to travel" before they can get here. A large number of vessels are said to be off Wilmington, with a view to attacking that place-the "thunder" of Presidential election is the first we expect to hear.

     The Reserves are mostly on duty at this point, but they have not had the pleasure of a visit from their Brigadier General yet. As he is seldom found in his office, doubtless business about home is too pressing, to allow attention to the "command" assigned him, here. Perhaps he is prepared to turn over the Reserves to the Confederacy altogether, as is proposed to be done when Congress meets, but while he has command, a little attention might be bestowed to our own and his advantage.                                                                     E.


[Wednesday, 9 November 1864.]


Camp Prison,

Florence, S. C., Nov. 4, 1864.

     Are you startled at the caption, reader? Well, you must know that on Monday last [31 October 1864], the "State Reserves" were mustered into Confederate service, and now rank with all those under the Government of Jeff. Davis, Esq., or his representative, in this Department, Gen. Hardee, whose tactics we have been taught to reverence, though we have no personal acquaintance with the man. A Georgia regiment here, claimed that they ranked our Major, as we were State Troops, but Major (now Lieutenant Colonel) Williams told them a different tale, that he was commissioned by President Davis and Georgia caved in. This Regiment, however, still holds the sway; they manage to keep the stockade under their own peculiar care, and various orders are made to prevent traffic with the prisoners which they ignore themselves. This reminds me of an anecdote I once heard the "mountain bear" tell in North Carolina, to wit: an old field schoolmaster had a goodly lot of scholars who were rather partial to possum hunting: On one occasion, he told them they must quit the practice; but the boys persisted, and old Syntax could contain himself no longer, so he swore they should quit it, for the fact was, there but very few possums about and he wanted to catch them himself.

     Notwithstanding the mortality among the prisoners in the stockade, there has been an increase among them in the natural way. "A well-spring of pleasure" has been opened, and "a babe in the house" pours forth his plaintive notes among the motley assemblage of Lincolnites. The mother is no doubt a popular character, and the little "volunteer" should rejoice in the name of "Florence," if a girl; at any rate "prison born" should have two godfathers, and Gen. Hardee should see such matters attended to in his department. The parents are man and wife, and we cannot but commend even an enemy, the devotion, through sorrow and travail, thus exhibited. It fully illustrates woman's character as the wife and mother - for the loved one she will bear hardships, sorrow, and even disgrace cannot separate them from the objects of their affection.

     The case I mentioned in my last of a certain Lieutenant's arrest has terminated honorably to his relief. The guard here have not been drilled since, and our military duties are progressing harmoniously, under the "Army Regulations."

     On Wednesday and Thursday last, we had a change of weather, which has been severely felt among us. We have managed to get two tents to each company in the battalion, one for the officers, and the other a sort of refuge for the sick-but those who have not the industry and skill to construct cabins, are still uncomfortably confined to their earthworks, composed of poles crossed transversely over forks, covered with pine brush, and this with dirt-rather a muddy substitute for lime and mortar.

     We hear of a general turning-out in York, but, as yet, none of the boys sent on have come to our relief. Most of the boys sent on, who have become 17 years old, have been detained as a prison-guard near Columbia, so but few can get furloughs to sow wheat, as the men cannot be spared. - If this state of things continues, the next crop of wheat throughout York, Chester, Union and Fairfield, will necessarily be short, and the evil effect will be felt the more severely by those in service who have no one to help their families at home, or protect them from the innumerable "details" or speculators who are fattening on their life's blood as it were.

     The measles, mumps and intermittent fever is still among us, though seemingly to yield to medical treatment. We have four of Company D, in the Hospital at Florence, which will rank among the best kept and regulated in the State. There are but two from Company C.

     There are still in the stockade here, 10,000 prisoners, over 1,000 having died, from scurvy and their own natural filthiness. They are well fed, drawing the same rations we do, but they crave vegetables, which except potatoes, are not to be had by any of us. They have boothes [ sic ] inside, where they sell bacon, tobacco, potatoes, red peppers, and pea-soup, to one another, carrying on, perhaps, their old trades, except that their swindling operations are confined to one another. They have yet some specie among them, though their currency is mostly greenbacks, for when the soldier is not allowed to trade Potatoes is our currency most available with them-these are bought outside at $5 per bushel, and exchanged for rings, pipes, ink stands, watches, oil-clothes, and a certain style of Yankee hat, which is becoming very fashionable among us, and which form a part of the "home remittables." It is said, if you lock two Yankees up in a room together, they can make $5 apiece swapping jackets.-If so, they have an opportunity of carrying on a thriving business- tunneling, it was found, would not pay.

     From the frequent whistling of the cars near us, we opine that if the Yankee cavalry expect to visit us by way of Georgetown, they will find the way a hard one to travel, and when an attack is made on Wilmington, that the "note of preparation" has been already sounded. But we do not look for any fighting now, until after the Presidential election, which comes off in Yankeedom on Tuesday next. Unless a raid may be gotten up the enemy will hardly risk a defeat, for fear of injuring the cause of Lincoln, though they can outlie the Jews, when it suits their purpose, which seems to be all of the time. With us, it matters little who is elected, for in the success of neither party can we look for a just expression of the Northern sentiment. The ballot box and the jury box are made subservient to the cartouche-box-might and not right will control the polls; if the "Puritans" will bow with humility to the new order of things, well enough; if they have spirit enough left to cut one another's throats, "bully for them," say we.

     The papers seem "still harping on" the Boyce letter. His sending a copy of it to Holden, of North Carolina, shows they are birds of a feather, and we have often heard it said that "its an ugly bird that dirties its own nest." Let the war be carried on with spirit, our whole force put into the field, and all the negroes, the women and the children-sacrifice everything we have but our cause, which is eternal separation from the Yankees.

    "Asa Hartz" is a trump card in Columbia, now, we see by the Guardian: throw him our *



[Wednesday, 16 November 1864.]


Camp Prison,

         Florence, S. C., Nov. 11, 1864.

     Saturday night last, the prisoners had quite a merry time in the stockade. A Yankee sutler had managed to smuggle in a quantity of liquor, while the Confed. who sleeps in his shanty, inside, entered into a sort of armistice with him, and they "all got drunk together," in which friendly gathering, he of the "Strong Arm." ("Lambh Landher," as the Irish have it) found himself minus the next morning of his pocket book and $2,000, a natural result from affiliation, or re-construction, its twin-brother. The Confed. sutler, if not a wiser, should be a soberer man, after this.

     On Tuesday last, the prisoners, inside. held an election for President, without fear of old Abe's bayonets, though still surrounded with that emblem of free suffrage, in other hands.-Two bags of white and black peas were procured, the white for McClellan and the black for Lincoln, one of each was given to the voters, who dropped in a burly superintended by two burly inspectors, the one of his choice. Little Mack's champion was a jovial Irishman, who made the speech of the occasion, combining some good sense, with much inimitable humor, but with little success, as will be seen by the sequel. The vote as reported to me by one of the supervisors, if correct, shows but little interest among the mass, as their rolls showing a week ago some 10,000, not counting the baby and its mother; it stood, 1903, viz: Lincoln, 1284-McClellan, 619. As it may be necessary that this return should be made to Washington, you had better send an Enquirer to Secretary Stanton by flag of truce. An election was quite a novelty to some of the prisoners, who never were parties to one before, while to others it was the first sober exercise of the franchise they had ever indulged in. They hurrahed over the result, however, but the "vim" was wanting.

     This post has been well fortified, and will be found available for a large force at any time it may be needed. There has been some talk of removing the prisoners to Columbia, and the Reserve Forces with them, while the Georgians here with us will be sent to Charleston, Wilmington or Savannah; but the orderly citizens of Columbia protest strongly against it, for various cogent reasons peculiar to their own sense of comfort. As an entrepot [25] for Yankee prisoners, and the necessary guard of citizen soldiers, are by no means an acquisition of any fashionable town, especially one where two Terpsichorian Professors are in full sway, with their innumerable votaries; [26] nevertheless the fact that Columbia is "a safe place," is the best reason why all the Reserves should be there, that they might shelter under the protecting wings of the Great Brigadier. Badinage aside, do the Columbia people know the situation of Florence? Its contiguity to the coast, where a raid from Georgetown, distant but sixty miles, may at any time be gotten up, and if successful, greatly endanger the roads that pour into the lap of Columbia the great quantity of public stores dropped there? The place here is well fortified as an outpost, we repeat, and that accomplished, the neighborhood of Columbia could be placed under like condition, not waiting until the Yankees get there as they may yet do, without invitation, if such a selfish penny wise and pound foolish opposition is carried out, as the anti-war citizens of the Capitol propose-for we cannot suppose that the home of Hampton, or the brave soldiers who have left it or returned with honorable wounds, would consider as intruders the old citizens and boys who have left their farms and mother's apron strings to contribute their all to the public safety. It is true, there are other places as well fit for the purpose as Richland District, but the neighborhoods could justly re-vamp the same objections, and Gov. Bonham, yielding to the most popular objection, might be necessitated to locate a stockade on his own plantation. With the Reserves, there is little choice in the matter-true, some of them from the up-country who are expected to do all of the dirty work, will be nearer to their homes, from whence they may occasionally receive "a box" of those little necessaries camp life require, but they have followed the path pointed out to them without "remonstrance," and cannot but feel aggrieved that they should be excluded from "the pale," so redolent of lace, fine women, dancing masters, and mammoth distilleries. It is to be hoped that some of these are the privileged "classes" alluded to by the Secretary of War, in his report to the President; that they, too, may be ordered from their comfortable quarters and find what they would mete out to the Reserve Forces, base ingratitude.

     The measels [ sic ] and mumps continue "in force" so far, but have nearly run through, and in a short time we expect to report a clean bill of health. The police regulations are ample, and the men have constructed for themselves as comfortable camps as circumstances allow, being without plank or nails.-Some, who were able, have bought cloth and made themselves tents, in which they can keep dry, and roast their shins and "taters." They are not dispirited, however, except at mail time when they fail to receive looked for letters from home. They read the Enquirer over and over, conning eagerly every advertisement that calls to mind some familiar name, and even the letters of "E" are read with a gusto, highly satisfactory, at least, to your humble correspondent.

     Writing in this vein reminds me of an anecdote I once heard, or read-A student in Rome, in Italy, from one of the Southern States, was once upon a time sauntering moodily, and alone through the crowded streets of the Papal city; he had received no tidings from home for many months, and his heart was sick with anxiety, when his eyes rested on a thick-lipped, wooly-headed, and bushy specimen of the African race coming towards him; he obeyed the first impulse of the moment, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him; it was the only memento of home the great city afforded him.

     The synopsis of the President's message, which has just reached us, has been read with apparent satisfaction. Much depends on the present session of Congress, and if the President is fully sustained, the ranks of the army filled up, the "privileged classes" sent to the field, and the farmers and mechanics (your correspondent is neither) constitute the only "public necessity," for exemption, peace may be conquered; if not and the people's time and means, which are equivalent, frittered away, in conventional projects, and re-construction policies, we may look for a fulfillment of the Yankee threat of ultimate starvation. We would suggest that certain members of Congress would be better fitted for field service, but as soft places would have to be made for them, they may cost less where they are. If they will only call for the publication of the names of all Government employees, and exempts, and the "necessaries" for them, it will take many columns of the newspapers, but prove far more interesting to the soldiers than the windy articles that now occupy them, for and against Mr. Boyce; et id omne genus. We would like to see Gen. Chesnut's port-folio unraveled-as a continuous line of the old "Council," it would possess some historical interest. My paper says "halt."                                                                                                    E.


[Wednesday, 23 November 1864.]


Camp Prison, Florence, S. C., Nov. 18, 1864.

     On Tuesday evening last, a lot of about forty fine dressed Yankees, captured by the Tallahassee; [27] reached this place, and were quartered with their ragged, less fortunate brethren, who will doubtless soon reduce them to their own condition. The same night, 149 reached here from Columbia, where they had for some time sojourned, after leaving Anderson[ville] -in their own graphic terms, they were "exchanging heaven for hell." This is quite a compliment to our Capitol, and its "angelic choir," when "even their enemies praise them."

     The negroes who have been working on the fortifications here, having concluded the labor assigned to them, are sent home. Those from your District, who are ordered out this month, will probably be assigned to like duty, near Columbia; if the work is as well done there, and as promptly, as it is at this point, under the superintendence of Maj. Warley, [28] the good citizens will feel more security than they anticipated in the "establishment of an entrepot for Yankee prisoners" in their midst. We hope they have become reconciled to "their fate," and ours.

     Among the guard who brought the blue bellies, were several of our York neighbors-

Stinson, [29] Floyd, [30] Earwood [31] and Boyd, [32]

who looked as though they could stand the campaign for a good time to come; they wear well-though a furlough home would doubtless improve their complexions.

     We are continuing to furlough as many of our company to gather their corn and sow wheat, as our numbers will allow; it means that "public necessity" does not require the Farmer and Mechanic at home, at all, if we judge from the details that have been granted by Gen. Chesnut and Maj. Melton.-We will not say that the general impression of the camp is, that undue influences have been encouraged, and that the "Enrolling officer" has made himself obnoxious from favoritism, and personal animosities, but it is deemed justly a part of "the chronicle" to state that such accusations are loudly made throughout this camp, and in letters from home, and there are none to contradict them. One thing is certain, and your correspondent says this on his own authority, if the order of Gen. Cooper was enforced, the Enrolling offices would be filled by men who have been wounded in service, those who are over fifty, or such as are really unfit for other services.

     While on this subject, it may be as well to notice the great outcry by some of the press against the President, because he does not think it right to exempt Printers, Editors, Etc., 'as a class." Nor is it right that any class should be exempted as such. Your own memory will recall the fact, that some six months ago circulars were sent to the several newspaper publishers throughout the country, requiring the number, ages, &c., of the parties necessarily engaged in publishing the several papers.-Doubtless, the return has been startling, especially to those who know something of the press, and its acquirements. A proper force has always been "detailed," and "War Editors," who sit in judgment, and decapitate Generals as fast as old Abe himself, should be the last to insist on exemption "as a class"-to have carte blanche to fill up when the Enrolling officer, or that other humbug, the Medical Board, comes up, with the name of some "dem'd clever feller." The Printing office should not be made an asylum for those whose places are properly in front. The profession is an honorable one, but should have no special privileges-those who profess to expound the law, and enforce its observance on others, should themselves set the example of strict and cheerful obedience. A sufficient number will always be detailed for newspaper and ordinary job work, but it may be necessary that "Southern Literature" may rest on its laurels for a while, and such firms as West & Johnson discontinue their reprints of the new novels of the day; works of necessity will give them ample employment, and they can well spare the innumerable proof readers, clerks and agents, now about to be conscripted among the "working classes."

     Wednesday was strictly observed, the usual quiet of Sabbath prevailed, and services were performed by the Rev. R. A. Lester, at Headquarters to a large and attentive audience. We have many good singers in our Battalion, so nightly the harp is tuned to songs of praise, strangely in contrast with the large number in the stockade, where ribald jesting and vulgar song alone prevail. A Catholic Priest occasionally visits the prisoners, but we have not learned how his kind ministrations have been received; he doubtless has the approval of his own conscience, that he has done his duty; and that if in the hour of adversity they would turn their thoughts on high, like the Good Shepherd, he would lead the way. We have no Chaplain at this post, but a week does not pass that we do not have two or three sermons from passing ministers. There is preaching at Florence on Sundays, but as "a pass" is required, the Reserves, generally, do not care to be under any obligation to the Georgia Commandant for one; a minister 'in camp' will always meet a good cheer, and a kind welcome.

     Since writing the above, an appointment has been made here for the Rev. M. D. Wood, of York, on next Sunday week, should he find it in his convenience to attend. It is proposed to unite ours with Col. Williams' battalion, in a call on that gentleman to a chaplaincy-whether he will accept or not, is a matter for the future, but the call will be made, with great unanimity, seen au fait accompli. We hope to see him here on Sunday week anyhow.

     The rail and Schedule at Florence does not seem to suit any parties traveling in that direction. Parties leaving this place, do so at 10 ˝ p.m. for Kingsville, which point they reach about daylight. They may wait until 8 o'clock for the regular up-train to take them to the Charlotte junction, or take the freight train, with a passenger or box car attached, and reach Columbia at 12 m. where they can remain 'till sundown, submitting to the most exorbitant charges for carrying boxes from one point to another. We, the Reserves, have no right to complain of any imposition, or inconvenience, but the following excerpt from the Charleston Courier may prove more effective:

     "Citizens having occasion to leave or enter a car between Kingsville and Florence, or families residing or visiting in that region, suffer some inconvenience which we suppose could easily be remedied, without trouble, by adjusting the schedules of the roads concerned so as to make closer connection at Florence. As the cars now run, the train from Charleston reaches Florence at 10 30 P. M., more than an hour after the passage of the train from Wilmington to Kingsville. That this hour is not needed for any other connection seems obvious from the fact that this train, anticipating by an hour and a half a train from Charleston often containing passengers desiring to go towards Kingsville, is often detained at Kingsville three hours. Cannot our rail road friends bridge over this gap?"

     Thank you, friend Grist, [33] for the package of papers sent, and the "tobac"-the latter is redolent of the old Printing office; while from the former we have culled an extract, which we think should have been copied at home, and in many other quarters of the Confederacy, it is headed "A time to Dance," and as it differs materially from the "over-righteous: tirades of fanatics, I send it for publication, as an appendix to my previous letter. I am always on hand for "a little dance to-night, boys," when such is in season, but that is not now.

     The health of the Battalion is daily improving, and I hope soon to report the disappearance of mumps nd measles. We still have one bad case of fever in the hospital from Company D, but all the rest are rapidly convalescing.

     The weather is now quite warm, and we may expect rain in a day or two.-We still pursue the old routine of duty, with sufficient rations, and an occasional quarrel with the Georgia officers and ours, to make camp rumors indispensable to our pine-fire gossips.

     Hoping a liberal number of Farmers may be detailed to make something to eat for our families at home, at scheduled prices, and the speculators be sent to the front "as a class," no more at present from                                                                              E.

     P. S.- It becomes my melancholy duty to announce the death of William T., son of J. H. and Elizabeth McGill, in his 17th year, of Typhoid Fever. - He was an amiable young man, a good soldier, and a dutiful son. He died in the Hospital, at Florence his evening, where he received every attention from his afflicted father, who shared with him the duties of Camp, and accompanied his remains home, to the family burial ground in York District. [34] Though he is no longer in the ranks to do his duty to his country, his friends and comrades feel assured he was not unprepared for his sad journey through the vale and shadow of death:

"Rest, soldier, they warfare o'er,

No stirring drum shall rouse thee more,

But calmly, on thy Saviour's breast,

'Tis thine to sleep, in endless rest."




[Wednesday, 30 November 1864.]


Florence, S. C., Nov. 24, 1864.

     Several of our sick, who were in the Hospital, have convalesced so far, that they have been sent home on a thirty days furlough, and we, this morning, sent from camp five to replace them, who, we hope, will ere long be able to follow. The camp is no place for sick folks; and the sooner they are sent home, the better it always is for all parties; they will there receive better attention than strangers can bestow, and return to camp better fitted for its duties. How many brave soldiers would have been saved to the Confederacy, if such had been made the rule!

     We have had terrible weather since Saturday last; Sunday was very wet, cold and windy-Monday was no better, though drier, and Tuesday and Wednesday was bitter cold. To-day, the sun shines out beautifully, and all hands are building chimneys, as though they expect to stay here for winter quarters. Our chimney is of the latest pattern, the outside being a good imitation of old-field pine, with a chicken-coop rampart, wile over the mantle-piece, inside, is a classic mirror, with "divil a face in it." But though they do not add to the beauty of the landscape, they are very comfortable, and that was the end aimed at.

     I could give you lots of news as to army movements, but such would be contraband in paper, and must therefore be reserved for your private ear.-Suffice it, that we are prepared for any emergency, and as we are clearing our decks for action, the State will have no cause to blush for us. We hardly see a necessity for turning out the children from home-there are yet enough of those at home, who claim to be men, for all necessary purposes; and it should be the duty of the women to shame them into a proper sense of duty, for it is useless to expect the proper officers to send them on, where they might have to follow.

     The subject of re-organizing the army, is again before Congress, and it is very important that it should be acted on at once. There are entirely too many officers-companies should not consist of less than 100 men, and when reduced to 50, should be consolidated-meretorious officers could then be retained, or the private in the ranks, meet with merited promotion. There are always too many officers absent on leave, with from $80 to $130 per month, and claiming commutation of subsistence-the money that has been thus expended, or due, would startle even Mr. Trenholm, [35] if he should wake up some morning, and see the round numbers staring him in the face. At a time like this, no officer should intrude himself on the service; if his wish is to serve his country, let him remember, "the post of honor is a private station," and that it is not actually necessary he should receive so many dollars per month. Reduce the field and line, make Regiments into ten companies of 100 strong, and then we may look for efficiency, and not otherwise-why, our whole battalion would not make three good companies. These are truths, whether palatable or not, besides the necessities of the country require some change.

     No more this week.                                                                                  E.


[Wednesday, 7 December 1864.]


Florence, S.C., Dec. 2, 1864.

     Since the last letter to you, Death, who it is said, often seeks a shining mark, has visited the camp of the York companies, and removed two of their most promising young men. Robert J. Turner, [36] of Company C, died on the 26th, and William Porter, [37] of Company D, on the 28th ultimo. They had been for some time laboring under disease, which their friends believed, from their youth and strength, they would eventually overcome, but such, it seems, was not to be the case-the body of the first was sent to his home in York District, while the other was interred in the cemetery of the Presbyterian Church, at this place:

"Oh mourning parents! To whose hearts

E'en peans of triumph bring

A wailing sound, a dirge like note;

And memory's fatal sting;

Look upward! mid the hosts of Heaven!

Your hero loved is there,

Still battling in his country's cause,

Now with an angel's prayer.

Oh when I would of comfort speak,

All palsied seems my tongue,

And echo pitying repeats,

Alas! he died so young."

    On Sunday, according to appointment we had the pleasure of a visit from Rev. M. D. Wood, of Yorkville. He preached before Gill's and Williams' [38] battalions, at 10 ˝ o'clock; at the church in Florence, at 3, and before us again at night; he remained over night at the hospitable residence of Mr. McCown, and the next day preached at the hospital, where he had the melancholy task of ministering to the last hour of poor young Porter. During the evening he visited the stockade, and at night preached before Brown's [39] and Ward's [40] battalions, when he took the train at 11 o'clock for Kingsville, on his way home. Mr. Woods met with a warm reception on all hands, and his eloquent discourses were much admired, and it is hoped produced good fruit. Were we organized into a Regiment, and not in a transition state at present, measures would be immediately taken to secure his invaluable services as Chaplain-as it is, we can only look hopefully forward to another visit. The York companies claim him practically as their own, and trust their friends at home, will spare him, at least for a while.

     We are now having no new cases of sickness, though young recruits are beginning to come in; those who have been in the hospital are being furloughed home for a season, as soon as they are able to safely undertake the journey. Otherwise, furloughs have stopped for the present, perhaps from the reason of so many waiting at home to be brought here with bracelets on. As Governor Bonham proposes to have two new Brigadiers appointed, perhaps they are waiting for the appointment, but they need not, as there are lots at home, who have been dodging the war from the first, ready to make the sacrifice of their persons for a general's commission, and their staff appointments are already made of the young nobility.

     The absence of telegrams from the Columbia papers leave us in the dark as to the news of the day, and consequently, rumors of every description are afloat. The "reliable gentleman" who is always on hand at Kingsville, furnished us a choice variety; but we would rather have the "telegraph news" even though one-half of it is lies, as usual.

     We commenced shipping Yankees for exchange, to Savannah, last Sunday [4 Dec 1864], but after two batches of about 1,000 each had been sent off, and another set prepared, Gen. Hardee cut it off short, and our Yankee friends found that they had "halloed before they got out of the woods," that "there is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip;" but they impudently profess to believe that Sherman will relieve them shortly.

     The subject of conscripting negroes for the army, is still a source of discussion-some men who have willingly sent their sons, shed tears when their niggers are even sent to the coast, and whine out in their lamentations, that the soldiers should be hired to do the work on fortifications, behind which they are to raise corn and speculate on the soldiers [ sic ] families. It would never do to let the negroes fight our battles; but it will do, and it must be done, to make the owner of the negroes support the soldiers who are fighting for them. They must take up arms themselves, too, before this war is over-to acquire great and triumphant results, we must combine all the energies and resources of the country. We must rally round the Government, and sustain it freely with our blood and our treasure. This is no common war between nations for separate national interest only, but it is a war of races, involving two distinct orders of civilization. Our success is Yankee ruin, but theirs is not only our ruin, but our deep degradation and infamy. There is no alternative. Better far for all of us to sink down and fill freemen's graves, our swords in hand, rather than subjugated, to survive and wear in peace the chains of slaves and the livery of bondsmen. We have suffered nothing yet compared to what was suffered in the first war for independence. Augusta, Savannah, Charleston, Camden and "Ninety-Six" were all then British posts, and Georgia and South Carolina were occupied almost entirely for nearly three long dreary years; yet a heroic ancestry rose from our valleys, and descended from our hills, trusting in God, and resolved to perish rather than survive as slaves, and drove the enemy from our soil.-If we are not a bastard race our freedom is our own, even if every male has to sleep on his arms, and every female wear at her side a gleaming dagger. It is a great mistake to suppose that this war is to be settled by long range cannon or heavy shell. If not by negotiation, even if our fortifications fall, and our towns are taken, we will come at last to close quarters, with the battle-axe and bowie-knife, and fight under the black flag in every glen and swamp, with the watchword, "war to the knife, and from the knife to the hilt."

     Let the speculator in the sufferings of his country be looked upon with loathing and detestation. Let no man hug his wealth to his bosom in this trying hour, lest he fall like Ananias. Without credit, without currency, without pay, we must all fight this war out to the bitter end. Let all come up to the rallying cry of the President, and their country and all will be safe. There is no doubt of final success, if the people rise as one man, and stand by the Government and country in this great emergency. If there are errors, or there is bad judgment, hold all to a strict account, and settle it hereafter; at present let us strengthen our armies, and see that justice is done to the needy families of our soldiers at home. Our enemies are educated savages, foreign mercenaries, and pious knaves; first cleave them down, as they fiercely thunder at our gates, and after that turn and put our domestic affairs and households in order. Let us then remember those who have fought our battles, or left families, to share with use the boon they have richly purchased; let the rich man account for his ill-stored gains, and a grateful country never forget the friends or enemies they tried in the adversity.

     But I have got off my beaten track, and near the close of my allotted space. I have mere room to suggest to the sitting Legislature the passage of a bill, to ignore all military titles in home circles; there are so many Colonels and Majors on the peace establishment that it is hard to tell who "swore with us in Flanders;" besides the editors are getting to be "dear Colonel," and some of these I know from childhood, and venture at the first trial, they could not tell on which side of their portly bodies a sword should properly hang. I believe "Major" is the lowest title to which these parlor-knights aspire-"Captain" borders on the vulgar. Enough for the present.                                                                         E.


[Wednesday, 14 December 1864.]


Florence, S. C., Dec. 10, 1864.

     Brigadier General John H. Winder, [41] has been constituted Commissary General of Prisoners of War, a new office in the Confederacy, and has his headquarters for the present at this place. Since his arrival, the exchange of prisoners between this post and Savannah seems to have been resumed, as we send off a thousand or so, almost every day, via Charleston. We have also been receiving occasional fresh instalments, among which is a dark mulatto, and a negro as black as the ace of spades, or his prototype, the devil. He looks strange to us in his blue coat, as the first of his class we have seen, but he is perfectly at home with his companions, as any other "black sheep" might be. There was quite a dispositioin to cut short this "culud pussons" career, but he was turned into the stockade, from which we hardly think he will be permitted to come out alive, for the foreign Yanks do not relish his scent, and our boys will hardly withstand the temptation of "hitting the bull's eye," when the opportunity offers.

     The health of the Camp is improving, and we now are daily receiving accessions to our numbers. Every day we have rumors of changes of Commandants of the Post, and of our removal to other points, where active duty awaits us; this is listened to with patience, and it seems a disposition to be equal to the emergency; the only drawback seems the leaving at home of those who are as much if not more interested in the success of our arms, than the poor fellows who had not the money, the corn, or the whiskey to purchase exemption for their miserably carcasses.-The time has come when every man must take up his gun, and march to the point of danger, Quarter Masters, Commissaries, Clerks, Rail Road employees, advisory boards, Medical boards, Enrolling officers, and skulkers or every description, lame and halt, light duty men, speculators, and all-must quit their long enjoyed quite for a while, or be stripped of their ill-gotten gains, and sent over the lines at once. If they stay at home, they but eat the bread or the women and children who they are too cowardly to protect. Young men who can remain at home now when they see old ones between 45 and 50, and boys of 16 and 17 bearing all the privations and dangers of the soldier's life, are but sores on the body politic, and should be removed at once by the speediest and most potent remedies.-Of the vagabonds who play off their pranks and fantasies before the Medical Boards, we have only to hope that actual disease of body may soon overtake them, of the nature they assume-their minds are too corrupt for worldly cure.

     The Legislature have passed a Military bill, calling out the old men and children, and wonderful to relate have struck out the clause appointing a Brigadier General as Nurse or Granny.-In fact, this last seemed to be the main object of the bill, to first crate a necessity, and than an application; but knowing ones, seeing no chance of getting the appointment themselves, upset the whole plan, and left it on the statue book with the bare merits to recommend it. But a Brigadier must be made, and Governor Bonham tries another tack, in nautical phrase. One is proposed to be elected by the Legislature, or the officers of the Militia they are to command; this Bill is so gilded as to be easily swallowed, so we may soon expect to find the lobby crowded with nice young men, or patriotic old ones, willing to don the livery, and they in their turn will become the dispenser of like patronage to the smaller sattelites [ sic ] who are in flutter round them, out of harm's way:

"Great fleas have lesser fleas, they lesser fleas to bite 'em,

And so on, ad infinitem."

     However unfair, it may be to take a man's meat, which he contributed to "save his bacon," the Supreme Court of North Carolina has decided adversely in the case of the bonded exempts, and remanded them to service. Judge Sanders (old Remus) delivered the opinion, and even Judge Pearson coincided. The same Court have decided that persons in State service, becoming fifty years of age, are entitled to a discharge; as we have some such who would be of far more service on the farm, a decision of the subject is looked for from this State. We go for old men at home and the young ones in the army.

     It was proposed in the Legislature that the Reserves, under "their experienced officers, should be sent to the field," and their places as guards of posts and prisoners to be supplied by the Militia. We accept the compliment, on our own part, and trust that Gen. Chesnut will not think they are poking fun at him and his decidedly military staff, "Colonels" Barnwell [42] and Miles, [43] who, like Othello, since their arms knew seven years strength, have wasted their "genius over Blackstone," instead of Macombe, Scott, or Hardee! "Major" Melton will excuse us if we call to mind his claims on the black gown before the War, as contrasting greatly with booted Major and "Captains" and "Lieutenants" in the Quartermaster and other departments may shed the lace that now bedizzens their collars, if they find their "experience" about to be removed with a chance to smell gunpowder! The "Solicitor" would have more difficult cases to handle in his new, than in his old field, and we wish him rid of them.

     The Yanks seem in great spirits since the exchange has been resumed; except the late importations of Shermanites from Georgia, who expected better times in South Carolina. They have made way for the older prisoners, and consequently have a doubtful future before them. Enlistments are still going on with the foreign elements, most Irish and French; these seem to have been humbugged and drugged by liquor into the service, and though hunger and misery may have induced them to make any terms to get out, we notice every appearance of satisfaction among them. There are among the prisoners, men of every trade, lot of your "art preservative of all arts," friend Grist, for what place is there a Printer will not be found-Shoemakers also abound, and many of them profess to be first rate workmen. If our friend Tom Palmer, or Billy Smith were here, they might get out on parole some of their old countrymen who could assist them materially in their praiseworthy endeavors to take care of the soles of the good ladies and children of York. By-the-bye, Mr. Herndon, of your town, passed by our camp yesterday, on his way to the stockade, where he procured a Tanner, so you will doubtless get leather after this.

     Enquiry is made here for our friend Chancellor Chambers, [44] as his name does not appear on the Legislative roll; we have heard that the Secretary of War refused to furlough officers to attend the Legislature, but we see the names of many of them; perhaps they have run the blockade, which Sergeant Chambers cannot.

     If we get to Pocotaligo or Savannah, our boys propose to furnish Yankee scalps for their Yankee brethren in York to speculate on-they think it probable some of the "country-borns" will take a few, so it is suggested they send their orders at once.

     To the ladies, I am requested to say, that the old bachelors of Companies C, and D, will try to get home about Christmas; we think they hardly deserve a furlough¸ but, poor fellows, they had no idea how forlorn they were, until they came to camp, with nobody to write them; they were compelled to write to somebody, so it is possible some of you have caught an "old fell" and that Christmas may relieve their and your aching hearts.

                                                Sleepily yours,                                      E.


[Wednesday, 21 December 1864.]


Florence, S. C., Dec. 15, 1864.

     It is just three months to a day, since our Battalion left home, and though we have lost several from disease, we have got along tolerably well, so far. There has been a general clearing out of measles cases from the hospital, those who were able to travel having been sent home to "Christmas."   A few still remain, but the general health of camp is much better than it has been.

     The exchange of prisoners is still going on.-They are delivered in Charleston harbor, instead of at Savannah, as heretobefore. Though they are sent off a thousand at a time, we have new accessions daily, and just while writing, a number are passing our quarters on the way to the stockade; they were captured recently at Pocotaligo, and have thus succeeded in gaining a foothold in the interior.

     It is now understood that a stockade is being built on the South Carolina railroad, eleven miles below Columbia, to which point the prisoners remaining unexchanged will be removed, and the reserves sent on to the front, as the militia will relieve them of any further guard duty. It is hoped by than time (some twenty days, it is said) our commanding officers will be at their posts, as it is we are like "sheep without a shepherd," and it is hard to tell from one day to another who is in command. The Georgians are still lording it over us, but it is thought they will be relieved after a while. Gov. Brown certainly has some use for them in his own State-there is none for them here, except to keep out of harm's way, and sport gay uniforms, trade in greenbacks and Yankee jewelry, and drinking whiskey. As a consequence, late hours are kept, and we have now a new feature in guard mounting, at 8 o'clock, p. m. instead of in the morning, as has been the custom from time immemorial; the change produces great dissatisfaction among both officers and men, but it can not last longer than some sober-minded men are placed in command. General Winder did not stay with us long, but he left a good many in his trail, who should be doing duty at the front, with guns on their shoulders. A company of "M.D.'s" can be picked up at any hospital station, and we would call the attention of the war brokers to the fact.

     It is a source of regret among us that the hospitality of our fellow citizens at home should be called in question; that Yankee prisoners are better treated in Yorkville than our own soldiers. A week since, one of our men on his way home, with a sick furlough, had his leg hurt, and was left at the York depot until late in the evening without assistance, until a good Samaritan moved him in a hand-barrow to the hotel, and procured a night's lodging and refreshments. The next morning arrangements were made by the soldier for his conveyance home by an old "hacker" for $25, a dollar a mile, but at the end of the journey $50 was demanded, and paid! If this is not extortion, what is it. If this be the hospitality we meet with at home, what must we expect from strangers! It is not necessary to name the party, he has been for sometime marked by high professions and low practices, which old age rather increases; miser-like

"Still prowling, relentless, and eager to save,

Still grasping for cash on the brink of the grave."

     The near approach of Christmas holidays, though but little merriment can be expected at his time, has created quite a furor for furloughs, among both young and old. They had been suspended for twenty days, which time is near out, and as your correspondent expects to be with you in "a few days," he would like to have company home. Many of our boys have not been home or three months, and as the have withstood disease, a furlough home to see their sweethearts should reward them, especially as they may have to go into harder service on their return to duty.

     The scramble for the office of Governor will be over, before you receive this; whoever may be "the lucky man," the position to be properly filled, will be one of great responsibility. [45]   The hand that is to guide the ship of State through the storm now threatening it, should be a sober and steady one; there should be no halting between two opinions now, but the man of nerve is required, one who will take the responsibility of putting in the army the innumerable skulkers that infest the capitol; and with spirit and capacity to lead the troops over which he is Commander-in-Chief. The men who can now claim exemption, from any cause, with the Yankees besieging Savannah and Pocotaligo, are unfit for any office, of either profit or trust, and the sooner the State were rid of them the better. At this time, every man should be in the field; if they shrink now, their coward hearts will more surely fail them, when the danger is at their own doors, and helpless women and children cling to them for protection. When the history of this war is written, though many a brave soldier will only be numbered among the "unrecorded dead," there should be a page or two reserved for those who slipped into soft places, and, Nero-like, fiddled while Rome was burning. The great names of the Revolution have passed away, blood has degenerated, and time has created new names for the page of history; let the broken down aristocracy, who have gloried in the name of their ancestor, remember the deeds they are now vainly called on to perform. Do they relish the picture?                                                                                     E.


[Wednesday, 11 January 1865.]


     Messrs. Editors:- Your correspondent having left the camp at Florence, on the 1st instant on a short leave of absence, will account for the non-reception last week of his accustomed letter. The health of the camp was much improved, the measles and mumps having general run through, and those who were able to travel being generally furloughed home, where they remain, and I am sorry to hear are not improving very fast. Their absence renders the duties of camp very onerous, requiring guard duty to be performed every alternate day by those who are present, and thus furloughs can only be granted in very extreme cases. It is hardly contraband to state that there are still 8,000 prisoners in the stockade, about 100 scattered about promiscuously outside with a battalion of foreigners, who have been organized under competent officers, whose position we by no means envy, for those who have been galvanized heretofore are pretty generally back in their old quarters, if they have not walked off with the clothing that should have been furnished our own soldiers. The fact is, it would have been far better at first to have paroled the prisoners, and saved the vast expense it has cost the Government in feeding and guarding them.

     It was expected when your correspondent left, that the prisoners would be removed within the next ten or fifteen days, to a new stockade near Killian's Mill Pond, or some other point, but if an exchange which is spoken of has any foundation in fact, the removal may not be carried out. One thing is certain, though we may have guard sufficient to convey the prisoners to a point for exchange, there is not to remove them to a safer locality. But as Sherman is now advancing towards Grahamville, the probability of an exchange of the Florence prisoners would seem doubtful. The small pox has made its appearance among them, some four or five cases having proved fatal; so fears were entertained of the contagion spreading without-the cases, when they occur, are removed to a hospital in the woods, at some distance from the entire camp, where they receive every attention necessary from their own stewards.

     A flag staff, of Yankee construction, has been erected, and the Confederate flag, also of their own manufacture and procurement, floats proudly over the prison. Thus, Yankee like, they sustain the ruling passion of avarice and deceit. They have outside a barber, tin and jewelry shops, and carry on their trades with their usual cunning and unconcern; Yankee bakers cook bread for the sutlers, and Yankee shoemakers are making officers boots and their ladies slippers; a hundred or two are let out every morning who cut and carry wood enough to supply the thousands inside, and a general appearance of business and comfort is made to appear, as it does exist among them. All this kindness, too, at a time when their fellows are threatening our very hearthstones, and planning, perhaps, to come to their relief-a relief, we should think not very desirable by the non-combatant portion of them.-But retaliation has always been a great bugaboo to us.

     We have accounted above, probably, for the non-appearance home to Christmas of many who would like to "crowd the ingle" at that time-the father and the son were alike denied; the old bachelors grumbled away, like bears with sore heads, but we suppose its all one to the girls where they are, for there is no music in them; if you whistle a tune to them, they cannot tell "home, sweet home," from "Patrick's day in the morning."   But I forget, I am not in camp.                                                                                          E.


[Wednesday, 1 February 1865.]


Florence, S. C., January 27, 1865.

     My first letter for the present year, makes a melancholy opening: another of the "firstlings of the flock" has been gathered by the Good Shepherd, and our company has lost in J. Daniel Whisonant, one of its noblest young soldiers. He died in the hospital at Florence, on the 24th instant, of typhoid pneumonia, after a short illness. During which he received every attention that friendship could bestow, and his body was sent home in charge of a relative and brother soldier to his bereaved parents. [46]

     The general health of the Camp is good, measles and mumps have run out, and the small pox has been confined to the Stockade, with one exception, and that, a member of Capt. Currence's company, who is said to be out of danger; in fact but little mortality has attended it, and but little alarm is occasioned, though prudence is exercised, and the sick are immediately removed to the two hospitals established for the purpose, some distance from the encampment. The weather has been very wet and cold, so that those who have been anxiously looking for a removal, now express a willingness to remain until the winter is over, as they are generally well provided with comfortable cabins, or tents, with chimnies attached. The removal question, however, is daily on the tapis, [47] and many sage conclusions are arrived at, the only correct one being, that we will remain here until the public interest requires a change.

     The damage done by the recent rains has been repaired, and communication is once more opened, though many of us claim "back rations" of letters that come too slowly to hand. Letters are very desirable, as well as boxes, at this present, as furloughs are stopped, and bread rations, especially, have been on short order. We have great many absent at home without leave, and but few with it, but as they will be brought here, in a short time, the boys look anxiously for what they may bring with them.

     We have now news here, but what the Columbia papers afford you; the "reliable gentleman" is met with every night at Florence depot; so we are not without our great expectations and often disappointments. The mails arrive at a late hour at night, but often when we are on tip-toe for news, our worthy Post Master, who thinks with Sancho Panza, that "sleep is a great invention," retires to his innocent couch, and the different pouches are tripped off to as many different points, so as considerably to damage the morals of the unchristian among us. But we will not have him turned out yet, he may do better, and we do not wish to raise a muss, for we remember that "blessed are the peace makers," and doubly so would they be in this time, especially if the blear eyed stories we see in the papers are true.

     While sitting by our camp-fires, we cannot but think of those poor women and children, who may be shivering at home over colorless embers, deprived, too, probably of many of the necessities of life; it has been said that

"-----the same hen

That can scratch for one, can scratch for ten,"

but it must be hard scratching now, when the corn is hoarded up, or turned over to negroes to sell, or sent to the Government Distilleries, where whiskey can only be procured for it.



[Wednesday, 11 February 1865.]


Florence, S. C., February 3, 1865.

     The health of the 3d Battalion continues goo[d], while in Companies C and D we have no sick list. Since my last, however, we have heard of the death of two of our young members, Wm A. Robinson, at the residence of his father, [48] where he was on sick furlough; and Benj. Hall, [49] at Columbia, with a number of others who were detained on their way here. They were both exemplary youths, who gave promise of long and useful lives, but they are lost to their country, and fond parents are called upon to mourn with many others whose hearts have been wrung by this cruel war. The absent are beginning to come in, as they are followed up by the Enrolling Officer; if those of other Districts do their duty, we will soon have a respectable force here, and the duties be consequently much lighter than at present; though our boys do their duty cheerfully.

     The great subject of conversation here, is the movements toward peace, said to be going on; many are building high hopes and great expectations, but none seem to anticipate or desire any settlement short of our separation from the Yankees. The present movement may be somewhat similar to the Jacques mission, [50] except that the present are the more respectable; if there is not a flame up at the outset, and if an armistice should be agree on, then we may look for something from negotiation. The proposition to arm the negroes seems to be generally condemned by the planting interest, who are rather the more willing to make concessions, but it comes with bad grace from that portion of this State, which was the most noisy for secession. If matters are not now accommodated, and it is hoped that our military leaders will not relax their preparations; the negroes will have to be put into the army, and their owners, too, or South Carolina will be the scene of the most bloody and relentless war this summer, that history records. Let us hope that wise counsels will prevail, that each party will go calmly to the table, each make proper concessions, and thus bring about a peace that will be honorable to both, and an example to the world; and evidence that Republicanism, as an experiment, has not, in one instance, proven a failure. With a treaty offensive and defensive, the "old Union" might be again invincible amid the clangor of arms; while in peace a separate existence will only induce an emulation as to which could excel in arts, science, mechanical and agricultural industry; all that can make a great people.

     The prisoners have been dying more rapidly, the last two weeks, probably from exposure to weather-the small pox does not increase among them, and we hear of but one or two deaths. If an exchange is not affected soon, the authorities will find it to their interest to remove the prisoners, and their guard, to some more healthy locality, as the Summer makes this place one of the most unhealthy in the State. We still hear talk of moving, but suppose an exchange is expected. God grant the exchange may be made, the poor devils here be sent where they come from, we can't say home, and our brave boys, now languishing in Northern dungeons, be returned to their families and friends, many a heart echoes this wish-humanity demands it should be done.                                                 E.


[Post-war recollections of Private Thomas W. Scoggins, Company D (undated).] [51]

*                       *                       *                       *                       *                       *

Frequent trips were made to Wilmington, N. C., by train to make the exchange of prisoners at a point on Cape Fear and while they were near the city, Wilmington was captured by the Federal forces [22 February 1865]. Taking their prisoners with them, the Confederates retreated nine miles east of Wilmington where they burned the bridges over the river. The First Lieutenant, James Snyder, was killed in this skirmish [See "Fatal Accident," below]. The remaining forces retreated to Goldsboro, enduring many hardships and with rations very scarce. They continued to exchange prisoners at the burned bridge near Wilmington, passing through both lines under a flag of truce. They were ordered to join Johnston at Raleigh in order to oppose Sherman in his advance through North Carolina. The fighting took place at Smithfield near Fayetteville, [52] Johnston being forced to withdraw. Thomas Scoggins and his brother, John, were sick with pneumonia here for three weeks, being moved to Greensboro and finally to Charlotte. [53] They, with a small part of their company, had been divided from their command by Sherman's continued advance and made their way to Chester with the intention of rejoining their comrades at Winnsboro or Columbia. At Chester, the news of Lee's surrender reached them and they stayed in Chester three or four weeks awaiting orders. None came, and as Lee's soldiers from Virginia were passing through Chester on the way to their homes, the company under the 3rd Lieutenant, Thomas Eckles, decided to disband.

            *                       *                       *                       *                       *                       *


[Thursday, 16 March 1865.]


THE Members of Company D, Gill's Battalion, are ordered to report at Chester, S.C., on Monday next [20 March 1865]. I will furnish the necessary transportation. Those of Company C, had better report also.

                                                                                    THOMAS J. ECCLES,

                                                                                    Lieut. Commanding, Co. D.

   March 16, 1865.



     We are pained to record the death of Lieut. James J. Snider, [54] of Company D, Gill's Battalion of Reserves, and a worthy and esteemed citizen of this place. While a train and its guard was conveying prisoners from Wilmington to Goldsboro, Lieut. Snider, occupying a place on top of one of the coaches as it passed under a bridge, [55] was fatally injured, and survived the accident but a few hours. His remains were brought to this place by those in his immediate sphere. The intelligence of his death will bring sorrow to all who knew him.


[Thursday, 23 March 1865.]


     THE members of Co. D, 3d BATTALION S.C. RESERVES, who have not been furloughed to the 3d of April, are ordered to report to Maj. GILL, in Chester, on Tuesday, the 28th instant, for LOCAL SERVICE. All those whose furloughs have expired, and others absent without leave, are required to be prompt in their attendance. By order of Gen. Chesnut.

                                                                                    THOMAS J. ECCLES, Lieut.

                                                                                    Commanding Co. D.

   March 23.



     Brig. Gen. Chesnut has ordered the several Battalions of Reserves, constituting his Brigade, to assemble at their respective rendezvous, and furloughs to be granted to the members for fifteen days. Such as are absent with leave at the date of this order, (the 16th instant) are directed to report to their Battalion commander at his headquarters, at the expiration of fifteen days from the date of their furloughs.

     The several Battalions are to be re-assembled at the respective rendezvous, at the expiration of fifteen days from the period of their furloughs; for whatever duty they may be assigned. All men who can mount themselves are directed to procure horses.


[ The Tri-Weekly News (Winnsboro, SC), Thursday, 6 April 1865. ]


Yonguesville, S. C., [56] April 4, 1865.

     IN obedience to orders from Major W. P. Gill, each member of my company will report at Chesterville on Monday the 10th inst., prepared to go into camp.

                                                                                    JOHN M C LURKIN,

                                                            Capt., Co. B, Gill's Batt. S.C. Reserves.

   April 6, '65.


[Thursday, 30 November 1865.]


     It becomes our painful duty to announce the death of one of our well-known citizens- Thomas J. Eccles, Esq. He died in this place on Sunday last [26 November 1865], in the 49th year of his age, after a lingering illness of nine weeks, caused from exposure incident to military service last Spring.

     Mr. Eccles was a printer by trade, and had been at sundry times, connected with the newspaper press in this place, as editor and proprietor. Also in the same capacity at Rock Hill, in this District, and at Lincolnton and Shelby, N. C. He was sprightly writer and had many admirers. He was firm in his friendships, forgiving in disposition, and generous to a adversary. His virtues, let us remember and emulate; and if he had faults, let us forget them.

(c) 2000-2003 Lewis F. Knudsen, Jr.

Columbia, South Carolina. Fred Knudsen

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Bil Brasington

Foot Notes and References:

[1] General Samuel Cooper (1798-1876), Adjutant and Inspector General, C.S.A., was a native of New Jersey, and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1815. Through his long pre-war Army service, he developed close associations with many Southerners, including Jefferson Davis, and married a Southerner from an old Virginia family. In 1852, he was appointed Adjutant and Inspector General of the U.S. Army, and immediately following his resignation in March 1861, was named to the same post in the Confederate Army, which he held throughout the war. Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders, (Baton Rouge, LA: 1987), pp. 62-63.

[2] Major C. Davis Melton, Commandant of Conscripts for South Carolina, was a lawyer and newspaper editor from Chester, South Carolina. Prior to his appointment as major in the Confederate adjutant general's department in November 1862, he served as assistant adjutant general of South Carolina.

{3} John T. Lowry, age 37, was a farmer from Yorkville, South Carolina, who had previously commanded Co. B, 5th SC Infantry, State Troops. As explained in the next item, his election as captain of Co. D was subsequently declared invalid, and William Lawson Brown was elected to replace him.

{4} John S. Rowland Thomson, of Spartanburg District, served as a sergeant in Co. K, SC Palmetto Sharpshooters, until disabled by chronic diarrhea in August 1863. He was then detached to the Conscript Bureau, and assigned to duty as an enrolling officer at Spartanburg, with the rank of first lieutenant. A review of his service records shows that he requested to be transferred from Spartanburg due to the perceived censure of his neighbors for holding a non-combatant assignment while appearing to be entirely fit and able, and as a result he was apparently reassigned to Yorkville. National Archives and Records Administration, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Confederate Organizations from the State of South Carolina, 1861-1865, (Microfilm No. 267).

{5] Brigadier James Chesnut, Jr., (1815-1885), of Camden, South Carolina, was a former member of the Confederate Congress, and aide to President Jefferson Davis. On 23 April 1864, he was appointed a brigadier general in the Confederate Army, and placed in command of the South Carolina Reserves. After the war, he was prominent in South Carolina Reconstruction politics. Warner, op. cit., pp. 48-49.

{6} William Perry Gill, age 48, was a farmer and former state legislator from Lewisville, Chester District. He enlisted as a private in Co. B, 6th SC Infantry on 11 April 1861, and received a medical discharge as a brevet second lieutenant on 11 April 1862. He next served as captain of Co. D, 6th SC Reserve Infantry, at Columbia from November 1861 to February 1863, and then as captain of Co. L, 5th SC Infantry, State Troops, from August 1863 to February 1864. J. S. R. Faunt, Robert E. Rector, and David K. Bowden, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Volume I, (Columbia, SC: 1974), pp. 370 and 374; and National Archives and Records Administration, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Confederate Organizations from the State of South Carolina, 1861-1865, (Microfilm No. 267).

{7} Now North Augusta.

{8} Probably on the land of Henry Shultz, a German immigrant who founded the town of Hamburg.

{9} 6th Battalion SC Reserve Infantry, commanded by Major Robert Merriwether.

{10} Brigadier Albert Gallatin Blanchard (1810-1891) was born in Massachusetts and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1829. Following service in the U.S. Army, he settled in New Orleans in 1840, where he pursued a number of occupations. He entered Confederate service as colonel of the 1st LA Infantry, and was promoted to brigadier general on 21 September 1861. Most of his career was spent assigned to conscript duty and at camps of instruction. In July 1864, he was assigned to Brigadier General James Chesnut, Jr. in Columbia, and was sent to Hamburg, SC, on 15 September 1864, to organize and train reserve troops. Thereafter, he served as General Chesnut's inspector general until January 1865, when General Chesnut turned over command of the South Carolina Reserve troops in the field to him. After the war, he returned to New Orleans, where he was the assistant city surveyor until his death.

Warner, op. cit., p. 27.

{11} Milledge L. Bonham (1813-1890), Governor of South Carolina, 1862-1864.

{12} Probably referring to the depredations of Union forces under Major General Philip H. Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.

{13} On 16 September 1864, a Confederate force of about 4,500 men under Major General Nathan B. Forrest left Verona, Mississippi, on a month-long expedition to interrupt Sherman's communications in northern Alamaba and middle Tennessee, and attacked the Federal garrison at Athens, Tennessee, on 23 September 1864.

{14} Each 24-hour guard relief, or shift, required 6 commissioned officers, 17 non-commissioned officers, and 336 privates. Inspection report of Captain John C. Rutherford, dated 5 November 1864. O.R., Series II, Volume VII, p. 1099.

{15} Captain Henry W. Conner, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, age 59, was a banker from Charleston, and the father of Brigadier General James Conner.

{16} Lieutenant Colonel Samuel W. Melton, Assistant Adjutant General, was a lawyer from Yorkville, SC, and editor of The Yorkville Enquirer. After initial service on the staff of Major General Gustavus W. Smith, he was assigned to the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office in Richmond during the latter years of the war.

{17} The Wayside (2d South Carolina) Hospital, Florence, South Carolina, commanded by Surgeon Theodore A. Dargan.

[18] In 1904, the remains of seventy-five Confederate soldiers were moved from the Presbyterian Church burial ground to Mount Hope Cemetery, preparatory to the sale of the land to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Friends of the Florence Stockade Newsletter, No. 11, (November, 1999).

{19} John W. Abernathy, age 13, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Ebenezer Post Office, York District, South Carolina, in the household of M. W. Abernathy, age 47, blacksmith, along with Catherine, age 47, Margaret H., age 17, and William N., age 16.

{20} William Waters Boyce (1818-1890), was a Confederate Congressman from Winnsboro, South Carolina. In 1864, he published a controversial open letter urging President Davis to call a convention of all the states of the old Union to discuss ending the war. Ezra K. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress, (Baton Rouge, LA: 1975), pp. 27-28.

{21} Probably Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb (1823-1862), brother of Governor Howell Cobb of Georgia, and an ardent Secessionist before the war. A successful lawyer with no military training, he organized and led the Cobb Legion, and became an able commander before his death at the Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862. Warner, op. cit., p. 147.

{22} Apparently referring to Private William Hull, Co. E, acting commissary, and Private J. W. Moore, Co. D, acting ordnance sergeant. See Annotated Roll.

{23} The Reverend W. W. Carothers was a Presbyterian clergyman from Yorkville, South Carolina.

{24} "Lieutenant-General Hardee, without my knowledge, has given permission to Colonel Daniel, of the Fifth Georgia Regiment, to fill up his companies with such prisoners as should take the oath of allegiance and enter our service. About 1,100 of them enlisted, and have been carried away to some place unknown to me by one of General Hardee's inspectors." Brigadier General W. M. Gardner to General Samuel Cooper, 2 November 1864, O. R., Series II, Volume VII, p. 1086.

{25} Entrepot: a transshipment point.

{26} Apparently referring to Brigadier General James Chesnut, Jr., and Major C. Davis Melton, both of whom maintained their headquarters and staffs in Columbia.

{27} The CSS Olustee (formerly the CSS Tallahassee ], ran through the blockade at Wilmington, North Carolina, on 29 October 1864, and captured or destroyed six ships before running short of coal and returning to Wilmington on 7 November 1864. The prisoners were likely passengers and crewmen from these vessels.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 3, (Washington, DC: 1896), p. 836.

{28} Major Frederick F. Warley, 2d SC Artillery, was chief of artillery at Fort Wagner on Morris Island, when he was wounded and captured during the evacuation of that position on 4 September 1863. He spent most of the next year in various Union prisons before being exchanged in August 1864, and was then placed in charge of the design and construction of the Florence Stockade.

National Archives and Records Administration, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Confederate Organizations from the State of South Carolina, 1861-1865, (Microfilm No. 267).

{29} Not identified.

{30} Private J. E. Floyd, Co. C. See Annotated Roll.

{31} Private Anderson Yearwood, Co. D. See Annotated Roll. .

{32} Private B. J. Boyd, Co. C. See Annotated Roll.

{33} Probably Lewis M. Grist, proprietor of The Yorkville Enquirer.

{34} James H. McGill, age 47, farmer, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Antioch Post Office, York District, South Carolina, along with Elizabeth, age 50, Mary Jane, age 16, Sarah E., age 15, William T., age 13, Robert M., age 11, Martha I., age 8, John A., age 5, and Andrew J., age 2.

{35} George Alfred Trenholm (1807-1876), well-known banker and businessman from Charleston, South Carolina, and Confederate Secretary of the Treasury from July 1864, until the end of the war.

{36} R. J. Turner, age 16, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for New Center Post Office, York District, South Carolina, in the household of Robert Turner, age 46, farmer, along with Minerva, age 40, George, age 19, M. J. (female), age 17, William B., age 5, and R. (female), age 1.

{37} William Porter, age 14, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Sharon Valley Post Office, York District, South Carolina, in the household of Francis Porter, age 49, farmer, along with Mary, age 48, Nancy, age 24, Margaret, age 22, Theodore, age 20, Mary, age 18, Narcissa, age 16, Rupert, age 12, and Rebecca, age 8.

{38} 4th Battalion SC Reserve Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Williams.

{39} 5th Battalion SC Reserve Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas R. Brown. See Annotated Roll.

{40} 7th Battalion SC Reserve Infantry, commanded by Major James W. Ward.

Annotated Roll.

{41} Brigadier General John Henry Winder (1800-1865), was a native of Maryland, and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, class of 1820. He served with distinction in the Mexican War, and was appointed a brigadier general in the Confederate Army on 27 April 1861. Appointed provost marshal at Richmond, Virginia, his duties included the supervision and control of prisoners of war there. On 21 November 1864, he was appointed Commissary General of Prisoners east of the Mississippi River, and died at the Florence Stockade while visiting the facility on 7 February 1865. Warner, op. cit., pp. 340-341.

{42} Captain Edward H. Barnwell, Assistant Adjutant General, served previously on the staff of Brigadier General W. S. Walker. Following Walker's capture on 20 May 1864, he was transferred to the staff of Brigadier General James Chesnut, where he remained for the rest of the war. National Archives and Records Administration, Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers, and Non-Regimental Enlisted Men, 1861-1865, (Microfilm No. 331).

{43} First Lieutenant Charles Richardson Miles was acting district attorney for the South Carolina District of the Confederate States before his appointment as first lieutenant and drill master in January 1864. He was assigned to Major C. D. Melton in the Conscript Bureau at Columbia, where he apparently continued serve as acting district attorney. In later years, he became the Attorney General of South Carolina. Ibid.

{44} Sergeant James C. Chambers, Co. A, 12th SC Infantry, was a representative from York District in the 46th General Assembly (1864). He enlisted in 1861, and served until January 1865, when at his request he was discharged as an elected civil officer. Faunt, Rector, and Bowden, op. cit., p. 392, and Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Confederate Organizations from the State of South Carolina, 1861-1865, (Microfilm No. 267).

{45} The "lucky man" was Andrew G. Magrath (1813-1893), who was elected by the 46th General Assembly in November 1864, and served to the end of the war, when he was briefly imprisoned at Fort Pulaski, Georgia.

Dictionary of American Biography.

[46] John D. Whisanant, age 12, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Boydton Post Office, York District, South Carolina, in the household of William Whisanant, age 41, farmer, along with Lucy Ann, age 33, Jerome F., age 10, Thomas Perry, age 8, Mary Jane, age 6, Amanda A., age 5, Elizabeth, age 4, and William, age 1.

[47] On the tapis: under consideration.

[48] William A. Robinson, age 13, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Bethany Post Office, York District, South Carolina, in the household of Andrew Robinson, age 43, farmer, along with Nancy, age 46, Francis (male), no age, Margaret, age 17, Amzi (male), age 15, Nancy, age 14, Lander A., age 11, John H., age 10, Jacob M. age 9, and James M., age 5.

[49] B. F. Hall, age 12, is listed in the 1860 Federal Census for Yorkville, York District, South Carolina, in the household of Mary A. Hall, age 38, domestic, along with Susan, age 17, Dan M., age 7, and Sarah C., age 6.

[50] On 14 July 1864, Colonel James F. Jaquess (1819-1898), on leave from the 73d IL Infantry, and James R. Gilmore (1822-1903), a civilian journalist, passed through the lines with the purpose of conferring with President Jefferson Davis to determine on what terms, if any, the Confederate government might agree to peace. Jaquess was a Methodist minister who became convinced it was his Christian duty to end the war, and through Gilmore obtained the tacit approval of President Lincoln to attempt his unofficial mission. They met with Davis on 17 July 1864, and were told by him in no uncertain terms that the "war must go on till the last of this generation falls in its tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self government. We are not fighting for slavery; we are fighting for independence, and that or extermination we will have."

Dictionary of American Biography, and Alfred H. Guernsey and Henry M. Alden, Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil Warl (New York, NY: 1866), p. 667.

[51] "Thomas Williams Scoggins," in United Daughters of the Confederacy, South Carolina Division, Recollections and Reminiscences 1861-1865

Volume VI, (1995), pp. 213-214.

[52] Probably referring to the Battle of Bentonville, 19-21 March 1865.

[53] Service records indicate that a number of men were admitted to the hospital in Raleigh on 4 March 1865, and were subsequently transferred to hospitals in Greensboro and Charlotte over the next several weeks.

[54] James J. Snider, coachmaker, age 31, is listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Yorkville, York District, South Carolina, along with Margaret, age 19, and William H., age 7 months. He does not appear in the 1860 Federal Census for South Carolina.

[55] Confederate troops withdrew from Wilmington on 22 February 1865, and burned the Bridges at Smith's Creek, on the outskirts of the city, and the Northeast Branch of the Cape Fear River, nine miles north of the city. The railroad bridge at the latter site was a 400-foot long covered structure, and taken in conjunction with Private Thomas Scoggin's recollections above, it seems probable that Lieutenant Snider died as the result of injuries received when he struck the roof of this bridge.

[56] Yonguesville (now Woodward) is located about 15 miles north of Winnsboro.