I was born November 18th 1839 at my grandfather's plantation "Roseland" in the Parish of St. Luke Beaufort District S. C. My ancestors came to South Carolina with Count Purry in 1734, and settled at Purrysburg near the Savannah River in what was then known as Granville Co.. By reference to the books of the Secretary of State it will be seen that lands were granted in that locality to various members of the family. Purrysburg proved to be a very unhealthy location and in a few years it was virtually abandoned, the settlers going in all directions. One branch of the Huguenin family went to New York, and the descendants are now living there. Letters have passed between some of them and ourselves. David Huguenin from whom I am descended moved to Georgia, and there remained until near the close of the Revolutionary War, when on account of the oppressions of the British he moved back to South Carolina and settled at "Point Comfort" on the Coosawhatchie River where he lived until he died and was buried in the family graveyard in front of the residence just north of the Avenue of Live Oaks which lead up to the house. This graveyard is still in good preservation, being surrounded by a substantial brick wall, with an iron gate. This homestead is still in the possession of the family being the property of the children of my first cousin Abram Huguenin who died a few years ago. The David Huguenin mentioned above was my great-grandfather, and he was the son of David Huguenin who came to this country in 1734. My great-grandfather left two sons and several daughters. Most of his children, his wife, and himself, besides many of his Negroes having died of small pox, which as very frequently occurs becomes an epidemic after a war. The two sons were Abram (my grandfather) and John, Mrs. Beck and Mrs. McLaws. My grandfather had a great turn for mechanics and for some years supported himself by his trade, the income from the estate going to support his brother and sisters. At an early age however he married Miss Anna Gillison a young lady whose family were wealthy, and he then turned his attention to planting, which he successfully followed to the day of his death. Amassing a large fortune and leaving not a dollar of debt when he died. He died in 184_ aged __years
(Blanks left by T.A. Huguenin). His death and burial is one of my earliest recollections, in fact the earliest. It left an impression upon me which I have never forgotten, and is as fresh in my memory as if it had of been yesterday. John Huguenin moved to Georgia and left one son Edward and several daughters- Edward left one son Edward, now living in Macon, Ga.- and three daughters. My grandfather had many children, most of whom died in infancy. He left Julius G., Cornelius (my father) and Emmeline who married Hon. Wm F. Colcock. Of course this sketch is not intended to give a detailed account of the family, but I thought it necessary in speaking about myself to give a brief account showing who I was and how I was descended. The family tree, which is only partial however, prepared by Abram Huguenin enters more into particulars and can be consulted. I have always looked with pride upon my ancestry and have ever been stimulated to do my duty and uphold the fair name of my family, which I had received unsullied and with God's help I hope to leave it untarnished by any act of mine, on the contrary I have made every effort to cast around it additional luster.
My father Cornelius M. Huguenin was married before he was 21 years old to Miss Adelaide Maria Barksdale, a daughter of Thomas Barksdale Esq. of Charleston S.C. By the will of his uncle Mr. Thos Gillison, he was left a handsome property consisting of lands and slaves. This property was so judiciously managed by my grandfather that on becoming of age it was nearly double what it had been originally. So it was that he had a handsome start in life independent of his father-- I was the second child born of this marriage, the first being my sister Anna, now Mrs. Wigg and living in Florida. For eleven years I was the only son, and consequently was very much indulged. No pleasure however expensive was denied me, all that love could bestow, or wealth could purchase was had for the mere asking. Servants to attend me specially, horses, guns, dogs and every conceivable method or means of enjoyment was at my command. Why I was not entirely ruined can be explained in but one way, and that was I had a guardian angel who watched over me in the person of my sainted Mother, who ever on the alert, yet not making her presence even known to me, she was always at hand with her kind and wise advice, to gently curb my wild and wilful fits of reckless daring. In this way my earliest days were past, and it was time for me to turn to study. I was always small of stature, tho' strong and hearty, as I was too small to go off to school and there was no good school in Grahamville, where we then spent our summers, it was determined then I should be taught by the governess employed to teach my sisters. This went on for a few years. I developed a taste for books and learned rapidly, it is true the way was made easy for me as my mother and sisters would help me, and as I had all the afternoons to play, I did not mind the few hours of school in the morning. After the death of my grand-father, my father determined to spend his summers at McPhersonville, which was much nearer to his plantation. And consequently the next summer we moved there. It was now determined that I was getting too old for the girl school at home, and as there was an excellent school in the village kept by the Rev. Benj Webb I was sent there. I was still very small but I had been well grounded in the first principles, and therefore got along very well. I remember that at this time I was put to learn grammar, and how well do I recollect with what pains and pleasures my dear Mother would help me out in the afternoons. The interest she took in teaching me soon developed a keen interest in me, and I applied myself so diligently that I soon stood high in my class. This aroused my ambition and finding out how easy it was for me to learn I studied hard and improved daily. When the winter came we moved to the plantation, and I rode daily to school a distance of 4 miles each way. This was great pleasure as my father allowed me to take my gun along, but he soon had to put a stop to it, as most of my time was spent on the road, and I was always late at school, but early home to dinner. Mr. Webb was an Episcopal minister, one of the best men I ever knew, a dear friend of my father's, but he was too good natured to manage boys-he lacked discipline and was not strict and positive, moreover his duties to his parish required most of his time. So he determined to give up the school and devote all of his time to his church and his farm. He was succeeded by Mr. Wm Currell, one of the best teachers I ever knew. While he was stern and exacting, he was very kind and just. If a boy deserved censure he got it, if he deserved praise he received it instantly. With all these advantages I did not improve. I was too near at home, and had too many privileges and sources of amusement. Every means was used to get excused from school, and I regret to say my dear father was too lenient. He had not been fond of books, and he frequently excused me in order that I might go hunting or fishing with him. He was a great sportsman, but did not like to go by himself. At that time the Rev. Joseph Seabrook had a large and flourishing school at Bluffton, the fame of which was abroad in the land, tho' I afterwards found out it was humbug. My mother seeing that I was not learning anything and there being every prospect that the longer I stayed at home, the more reluctant to study I would become urged upon my father to send me away to Bluffton, arguing that with all the temptations around me at home, I would day by day get more averse to books, and finally grow up without the proper education. Another argument that was used, was that as I was the only son my father did not wish me separated from him; this argument was of no longer any use now as my brother Cornelius was born. After much persuasion and long and tedious arguments my father reluctantly consented and it was determined that I should go to Bluffton the coming January.
Just now I wish to relate an incident which I have no doubt helped to shape my future. It was shortly after the close of the war with Mexico, and Court was being held at Gillisonville, our county seat. In those days there was but poor hotel accommodations there, and consequently the Juries and Lawyers in attendance at Court were invited to stay with the neighborhood gentry. At my father's house among others was the Circuit Judge and Mr. M. L. Bonham the solicitor of the Circuit. Mr. Bonham was in the prime of life a tall, elegant soldier-like man, who had won distinction in Mexico. After dinner every day the company always insisted that Capt. Bonham should relate his experiences in Mexico. With open ears, eyes and mouth I would sit by the fire with my little feet on the rounds of the chair, and listen to him as long as he would talk. No persuasion could get me to go to bed. I drank in every word and when urged to retire the Captain would say let him stay I will guarantee that he will be a soldier if ever the opportunity arises. The same Captain Bonham was a Brig. Gen. in the Confederate States and Governor of the State when it was an honor to be Governor of South Carolina. In 1887 or 8 when I was in command of the state troops at the General Encampment at Greenville S.C. there was present in my tent Gov. J. P. Richardson, Ex Gov. M. L. Bonham, Ex Gov. Johnson Hagood and a number of other distinguished gentlemen, and I related the above anecdote, whereupon Gov Bonham said he remembered the circumstances and was only too glad to know that he had been the instrument to strike the first spark of military enthusiasm in my bosom. The result was that after those campaign stories of Capt. Bonham, I seized upon every book upon military matters, Charley O'Malley I soon had by heart, and finally turned my attention to military books of a better type. January came, and my father accompanied me, after a tearful leave-taking of my mother, sisters, and brother. It was the first time I had left the paternal nest, and tho' the world was before me I was awfully downhearted. The tears shed on that occasion would have sufficed for a first-class funeral. You would have supposed that I was going to be transported for life. The Sunday before, (much to the horror of my dear Mother) I had been allowed to shoot ducks all day, my father saying "oh d--n it let the boy enjoy himself, he will not get a chance to shoot again this winter". That was the way of it. I was always between the two influences. My Mother's always for duty and study, my father always for indulgence. Both were kind in their way and their object the best they could see from their individual standpoints. Both would have died for me or made any sacrifice for my benefit, they loved me dearly, but each in his or her own way. Thank God I lived to show my devotion to them both, and never brought a tinge of shame to their cheeks. When we got to Bluffton the last link had to be broken as I told my father good-bye. I do not know who minded the separation most, I had been raised more like a companion and his favorite word for me was "Tom old fellow". It has been many years since but it is still very vivid. Bluffton was a complete failure. I got in with a parcel of wild boys much older than myself and committed every excess. Unfortunately, my father gave me a plenty of money and that gave me influence over my older companions. Besides Mr. Seabrook was an ignorant tyrant without the first instinct of a gentleman, the consequence was six or seven of us ran away. Some hid themselves between the cotton on the steamer, the rest journeyed by land some for Savannah. I started directly for home. The most of us were captured and carried back where we were placed in confinement and strictly guarded. Fortunately there were some gentlemen in Bluffton who were friends of my father, and they instituted an investigation, and found out that the cause was the tyranny of Seabrook, the coarse food we received, when paid an enormous price, his low, vulgar, drunken habits, (tho' an Episcopal minister) and his great partiality bestowed upon his favorites. Under those circumstances they wrote to the parents of the boys in trouble stating the case, Seabrook had previously made another statement reflecting severely upon us. My father came immediately, and after a full examination gave his mind to Seabrook and took me home. This was in the summer, I had hardly been there six months, but I had the satisfaction that it resulted in the breaking up of his school which dwindled from that day and from being one of the most prosperous schools on the coast in two years failed to exist. The summer passed in idleness and enjoyment, and when winter came it was determined to send me to school in Charleston. In January then I was sent to Charleston to a school kept by Mr. A. Sachtleben, a very fine teacher. This school was soon combined with that of Misses Serle and Miles, which I attended until August when the yellow fever broke out in Charleston and I was sent back home to avoid the disease. Thus it seemed that something always prevented me from pursuing my regular studies, tho' being naturally quick I learned something even in this uncertain course. This was the year 1854 and I became 15 years old in that November. The time had now come when some decisive course of action must be adopted, and without my knowledge my father applied for an appointment to the S.C. Military Academy. One day in December on returning from shooting with my father, the mail-boy handed me a letter, something I was totally unaccustomed to receive; besides this one was in an official envelope and had a very ominous look. My father knew what it was but said nothing and walked into dinner. As soon as I got to my room I opened it and found it contained, to my surprise, my appointment as a Cadet to the Arsenal in Columbia. On my joining the family to dinner, all was anxiety and eagerness to know the contents of the mysterious letter. I soon told, and showed the letter around the table. Evidently, they had been prepared for it by my father, as there was a general chorus of assent "How well I would look as a soldier" "The beauty of brass buttons and gold lace" etc.etc. Sufficient to say I heard nothing else for a week, only the bright side was given however, and at the end of that time I reluctantly gave my consent to go and try. Everything was done to keep my spirits up and every argument used to show that of all places in the world it was the one I would like best. On the first of January 1855 I left for Columbia on the steamer via Charleston, there I spent the next night and the next morning started by R.R. for Columbia, arriving there after dark in a cold drizzly rain. On my arrival at the Arsenal I reported to Capt. Mathews the Supt., a gruff old soldier, but who I found out to be a kind hearted noble old gentleman notwithstanding his gruff exterior. I was assigned to Room No 11 bunk 47. There were two other cadets in the room McCaslan and McDowell, both from Abbeville Dist. A few minutes afterwards we were summoned to supper, and I found myself placed at the left of the Company (being the smallest) of 96 Cadets. We were marched into supper, and oh horror! I found myself seated at a pine table, without a table cloth, a plate containing molasses in front of me flanked by a chunk of stale loaf bread. We also had coffee without milk and sweetened with molasses. My heart full, I tried to eat, but could not swallow. I just sat there stupefied as it were. Just before we were ordered to get up one of the boys at an adjoining table threw a ball of bread which struck in to my plate and bounced upon my shirt and vest, plastering me with molasses. The tears rolled silently down my cheeks and small as I was if I could have located the boy there would certainly have been trouble. Marching out from supper, we were dismissed on the parade ground, then my troubles really commenced being the last to arrive the entire gang joined in tormenting me, until weary and angry I sought my room. When it was time to go to bed, I made up my bed as well as I could and tried to sleep, but what with the cold and my distress I laid awake for hours bathed in tears. It was certainly the most miserable night I ever spent. I made up my mind that it was impossible for me to stay in such a place after being accustomed to all the luxuries of life. The next morning brought no relief. I could not eat the fare, the cooking was so bad, the jibes and taunts of my companions were unbearable. I must have had a half dozen fights that day, and being the smallest and the youngest boy in the class I generally got the worst of it. My mind being made up I wrote to my father describing the situation in full, possibly making it actually worse, and concluded by asking him to send me money to come home, as it was impossible for me to stay. Thus having done all I could do I quietly awaited his reply, believing firmly that my request would be granted, and at most I would have but a few more days to suffer. This was the turning point in my life. Had my father yielded to my entreaties, I would have gone home and instead of obtaining an education and fitting myself for the battle of life which was before me I would have grown up a simple country bumpkin unfit for anything. A few days brought his reply. It simply stated that he had done everything he could do for me, flatly refused to send the money, winding up with the expression "if I left I need not come home" as he would not receive me. Nothing less than this heroic treatment would do. Up to this time I had from my birth virtually had my own way. I knew that my father was wealthy and expected to be provided for in every way not only in the present but in the future. Here then at one dash my hopes and expectations had been blasted. I was thrown entirely upon myself without help from any side. I was miserable. In a few days I received a letter from my mother, while approving of my father's action, it was filled with kind words and sound advice, placing before me the many advantages to be derived by graduating, and with the affectionate words such as only a good mother can use beseeching me to be reconciled and to apply myself. This letter so much in contrast with the stern and presumptory one my father had its effect, and I determined to make the best of it. In a few days I made many friends, some of them friends to this day. The boys left off greying me, and in fact I became a favorite and was petted and made much of on account of my youth and size. I easily mastered my lessons, and in April at the examination I was first in Mathematics and about 4th or 5th in general standing in a class of 96, many of whom were four or five years older than I was; this however was because I had been better prepared than many of them. On going home at vacation with this high stand in my class, I was received with open arms by all the family, "the fatted calf" so to speak was killed, nothing was too good for me, every wish was anticipated. Even the neighbors and friends of the family joined in to do me honor. It was the happiest month of my life. At the end of my vacation I returned and finished the year with my good stand. I was now very much encouraged, my ambition was aroused, and I felt confidence in myself and my ability. The following January I with the class who had passed the yearly examination was transferred to the Citadel and in April my stand was so good that I was appointed a Corporal! Oh proudest day of my life, when I heard my name read out by the Adjt. (afterwards Gov Thompson). I hastened to write the news home as I knew they would be pleased. As I expected a deluge of letters came from home, everyone who could write did so. My praises were sounded so that my head was almost turned, and when the gold stripe was sewed on my sleeves my joy was complete. My joy was however soon to be turned into the deepest sorrow, by the death of my dear, kind and generous father which occurred on the 31st of July 1856 in the 40th year of his age. I was Corporal of the guard on that day and night, and not having had but little sleep I was in bed asleep on the night of Aug 1st when I was aroused by the guard who informed me that my father was below. I was much surprised as I had no intimation that he was coming to the city. On going down I met my Uncle Mr W.F. Colcock, who informed me that he had heard from his nephew by way of Savannah and Augusta (by telegraph) that my father had died the previous day, but the news came in such a round about way and was so indefinite, that he hoped it was not true, however he thought it his duty to inform me and I had better get leave to go home. This was readily obtained and I went to his house in his carriage accompanied by my Aunt, who was in her nightclothes. I spent the night with them in tears, yet hoping the news would prove untrue. The next morning I took the train for Georges Station about 40 miles from Charleston, and then took the stage for Walterboro 20 miles further reaching that point about sunset. I was somewhat encouraged as I received no confirmation of the news, but determined to press on. Our home was about 30 miles distant. After much trouble I succeeded in hiring a horse and started about dark over a strange road over which I had never traveled. When about 15 miles on my journey the old horse gave out and I got off and lead him for awhile. It was very dark and dreary. I do not remember meeting a single person. About 2 o'clock in the morning I reached People's store at Sachkahatchie Bridge, I was now familiar with the country. I called and Mr. Peoples, who knew me well, came out, and I told him who I was, and my errand, and that my horse had given out, and asked him to lend me one. He lent me his own saddle horse, and in reply to my questions, said he was afraid my father was dead, as the mail-driver had told him he had seen a funeral procession on the road and the name sounded like Huguenin. I left at once for our Pineland residence about six miles distant, which I traveled in a hurry with my fresh horse. On reaching the house, everything was black as night could make it, a thunderstorm was approaching, not a sound to be heard even the dogs did not bark. I roused the servants, and I learned the facts of the death of my father, and that he had been buried the day before in the family burying ground at Point Comfort, and that my uncle Julius Huguenin had carried my mother and the children to his home in Grahamville. My main object now was to get to my dear Mother in her distress, and offer what comfort I could, but I was still 24 miles off. Without dismounting I rode to the plantation about two miles and got my father's fastest horse and a buggy and reached Grahamville just at sunrise. Worn and tired, two nights of anguish, one in Charleston and one on my journey, the previous night on guard, the fatigue of the journey by rail, stage, horseback and buggy was enough to break me down, added to this the great heat and you may get an idea of what a boy 16 years old can do when he makes up his mind to do it. My mother was in bed completely prostrated, the shock had been so sudden, my father having got up in the morning, and after breakfast went to the plantation, gave some orders, told the driver that he felt badly, and would go back. He had not been in the house but a few minutes, when he called, and before any help could be afforded him he was dead. The Doctor when he reached him after death said it was apoplexy, I presume in these days they would call it "heart-failure". Of course everything was left in confusion, the crops had to be harvested, and the varied interests of large plantations had to be attended to, but who was to do it? I was ready to take hold and undertake the work, but my Mother wisely said nothing should interfere with my education, and every sacrifice must be made if necessary to that end. My father did not employ an overseer, but attended to his business himself. After consultation with my Uncle Julius, we hired a very good man to look after the business for the balance of the year, when permanent arrangements would be made for the future. I took this gentleman (Mr. Morrall) and showed him everything and turned the entire property over for his management. These details lasted about ten days, and there being no further use for my services, I prepared to return to the Citadel. In the meantime however the yellow fever broke out in Charleston and the Corps of Cadets were moved to Columbia. There I joined them and continued my studies. The death of my father was a great loss to us in every way. Never was a parent more devoted to his family. Upon examination it was found that he was largely in debt, as well as I can remember about 30,000 dollars. Nevertheless his estate was worth much more, and after his debt were paid there would be a handsome amount left. After due consultation it was determined as he left no will, that my mother should administer upon the estate, and become the guardian of all the children, all of us being minors. It was further determined to sell the entire property, and thus avoid the risk of planting and handling such a large estate consisting of lands and negroes. This was a very wise conclusion, and in the end proved the best that could have been done. Consequently in January following the sale took place at advantageous prices, and my mother and the children moved to Charleston and made it their home. I of course was at the Citadel, this year I was promoted to be 2nd Sergt in my class, and my ambition was further stimulated by my desire to become Adjutant, which was satisfied the next year by receiving the appointment of 1st Lieut. and Adjutant of the Corps.. By this time I had secured the esteem and respect of all the Professors, and devoting myself to my duties, found my life to be as happy as at any time of my experience. In April 1859 I received my diploma, having graduated with distinction, I was immediately elected, tho' unsolicited by me or my friends, an Assistant Professor and served in that capacity for one year, when I resigned for the purpose of going to Europe, with the double object of pleasure, and to study Civil Engineering in the schools in B____. My great desire was to perfect myself in that class of engineering which pertains to bridge-building and similar work. I landed in July in Liverpool, and after visiting many places of interest in England I went to Paris. The understanding with my mother was that I was to pass the summer in sightseeing and in the winter commence my studies. There was quite a number of South Carolinians in Paris at this time and we had a plenty of amusements. With a small party of four we left Paris and started on our pleasure trip. We visited Brussels first, from there we went to Waterloo which I enjoyed very much having always been very much interested in everything connected with Napoleon. From there we went to Cologne and leisurely went up the Rhine stopping all along as fancy prompted us, finally reaching Baden Baden where we stayed some little while. From there we visited the lakes and other interesting places in Switzerland. Our intention had been to go to Italy, but at Geneva we received letters telling of the exciting political campaign in progress at home, and the great uncertainty of events, all of which induced us to return to Paris. We remained there for some time until finally letters were received which advised our return home, things being so uncertain that the question of our receiving our remittances became an important one. As I was still a minor of course I had to do what my mother said, who however promised that if things turned out alright I could return and complete my studies. This was a sore disappointment, but there was no help for it, and I sailed from Havre for New York, and reached Charleston in Oct. Everything and everybody was at fever heat in view of the Presidential Election which was to take place in November, and when it was found that Lincoln was elected the South, particularly this state, was wrought up to the highest pitch. Minute men were organized, the various military companies began drilling, and as I had a military training I was soon engaged nightly in drilling the various new companies being organized in Charleston. The Legislature met and called the famous convention which passed the Ordinance of Secession Dec 20th 1860. On that day I was in Georgetown S.C. where I had gone to attend as groomsman at the wedding of my friend Mr Glennis Herriot. I spent a week there abouts enjoying myself and returned to Charleston. I applied to the Sec. of War, Gen. Jamison, for a commission in the regular army of the state, which had been authorized to be raised. At first I was unsuccessful, and determined to go to Florida to seek my fortune in the coming struggle, having received pressing invitations to go there, where I was assured that my military education would insure me steady promotion. Armed with strong letters of re-commendation I was on the point of leaving, in fact was going the next day, when Gen. Jamison who knew me well, sent for me and said I should not leave the State in this emergency, and he handed me my commission as 1st Lieut. of the 1st S.C. Infantry. This regiment was simply on paper at this time, recruiting officers having been sent out from B______ to New Orleans to enlist soldiers. I was sent to Cheraw S.C. and opened an office there, I was soon recalled however and ordered to report to Brig. Gen. A.G. M. Dunovant to serve on his staff. He was in command of all the forces in and around Charleston. I served on his staff until he was relieved by Gen. Beauregard and also served a short while with the latter when at my request I was relieved and ordered to my duty with my regiment, then being organized on Sullivans Island. I was assigned to Company A, Capt. Wm Butler, who had been a Lieut. of Artillery in the U.S. Army, and who was temporarily in command of the partially formed Regt. The other officers of the Regt. had not yet arrived. They were Col. R. H. Anderson, Lt. Col. Barnard E. Bee, and Maj. Jno. Dunnavant, they were all stationed far in the west and took them some time to resign, have their resignations accepted, and travel over a long journey to reach us. However in time Col. Anderson and Maj. Dunnavant arrived, but little or anything was done to organize the Regt. All the Captains and 1st and 2nd Lieuts were of the same date of commission and there was constant confusion in regard to rank. I regret to say that our Colonel seemed entirely oblivious to the importance of a prompt and decisive course of action, until one evening Lt. Col. Bee appeared upon the scene, having been detained by a long overland journey from Texas where he had been in service. He at once grasped the situation and before going to bed that night every officer drew by lot his rank, and was assigned to his proper company. It was my misfortune to lose a Captaincy, out of six vacant captains I drew the 7th position which entitled me to be the senior 1st Lt. of the Regt. This was a great disappointment, as I felt myself much superior in education and in every other respect to others who had been more fortunate in the drawing than I was. However this was the only solution to the situation, and as Col. Bee saw it, some immediate solution was necessary to preserve and perfect the organization of the Regt. I entered upon my duties with my same Company, Capt Butler being the senior Capt. of the Regt., and in a short time proved my ability to such an extent that upon Col. Anderson being removed from the command of the Regt. and assigned to the command in Charleston, Lt. Col. Bee appointed me Adjt. of the Regt. He was the ablest and best equipped officer I ever served under not excepting Gen. R. S. Ripley who was the best artillerist I ever saw and who knew his profession from the smallest detail up to the most important.With Col. Bee as my comd'g officer, a man whose social qualities and education together with his personal character and high influences I was thoroughly in accord I enjoyed a period of delightful intercourse. He was very exacting and very careful that every detail should be carried out in the most strict and military manner, but official business being over he was the most genial gentleman I ever met, and notwithstanding the disparity of our ages he was a most perfect and instinctive companion. At the reduction of Fort Sumter, my Company manned a Mortar Battery just east of Fort Moultrie, there is where I first was under fire, tho' it was comparatively slight nevertheless it was the first time I was actually in danger. After the fall of Sumter, I was sent by Capt. Butler to report to Maj. Ripley the result of the action so far as our battery was concerned. Maj. Ripley was in command of Fort Moultrie and we were temporarily under his immediate command, this was my first interview with him, and he made a very favorable impression on me. When Gen. Beauregard was sent to Virginia our Col. Anderson succeeded him in command at Charleston and as I have stated Lt. Col. Bee had command of the Regt. which was now fully organized and being brought up to a full state of discipline, daily Company and Regimental drills, parades and guard mountings soon brought things to a great state of proficiency, and we had a magnificent Regiment. Sometime during the latter part of May Col. Bee was ordered to Richmond. He turned the command over to Maj. Dunnavant, who while a good officer in many respects, did not have the military training Col. Bee had, but this was thought little of as Col. Bee expected to return in a few days; in fact his last orders to me was to have a house prepared for Mrs Bee, whom he expected to spend the summer on the island with him. As is well known he was appointed a Brig. Gen. and ordered to report to Gen. J.E. Johnson in the Valley. He wrote me offering me a position on his staff which I accepted and was writing to receive my orders to join him when news was received of his death at Mannassas. A few minutes before his death, on going into action, he met my friend Capt. Press Smith and asked why I had not joined him. Smith told him I was waiting for orders, which by the bye I never got, I suppose his early death was the reason. In consequence of the promotion of Col. Anderson to be Brig. Gen. and the death of Col. Bee, Maj Dunnavant was promoted Col. and Capt. Simkins was made Major of the Regt. I succeeded Capt. Butler as Captain of Company "A" and Lt. W.J. Davis succeeded Simkins as Capt. of Company "B". The balance of the summer we remained on Sullivans Island until some time in the latter part of August when the Regt. was ordered to Edisto Island. I was placed in command of the Battery at North Edisto Inlet with my company. Capt. Adams with his company garrisoned the Battery at South Edisto, the balance of the Regt. was quartered at Edingsville as a support to the two flanks. This was my first independent command, the youngest Captain in the Regt. in years, and next to the junior in rank. This was quite a distinction and I labored hard to render my command efficient in every respect. Up to this time the drill had been in Infantry alone, now I had to teach them Artillery drill, and the various duties connected with Battery duty, the handling of ordnance etc.etc. Day and night I studied my profession and was unremitting in my duties, and in a short while I found my command in excellent shape, thoroughly up to their duties and under the strictest military discipline. I was encouraged in my efforts by the commendations of my superior officers, with whom I maintained the most pleasant associations. Even Gen. Drayton and staff who visited me on a general inspection tour complimented me in the highest manner. I remained at North Edisto (commonly called "Battery Bay") until after the fall of Hilton Head, when our Regiment was ordered to Charleston. In two days and a night I dismounted all the guns and placed them with all the ammunition (except the loaded shell) on board a steamer and with my Company started for Sullivans Island. The Regt. was here stationed for a time, my Company forming a part of the garrison of Fort Moultrie. Six Companies of the Regt. towards Spring (1862) were sent to "Church flats" near Rantowles, the balance, my Company included, remained at Fort Moultrie under command of Lt. Col. Butler. In April '62 the attack of the Ironsides and Monitors was made. We were at dinner when the long-roll was sounded and soon every man was at his post, ready for the fray, the first of the kind, ironclads against forts. The first shot was fired by the orderly Sergt. of my Company, Wm C. Snipes, an ____ column biad, and broke to pieces as it struck the leading Monitor; the action soon became general and in few minutes the flagstaff of Moultrie which stood on the right of my battery was shot down and fell across the bomb-proof on which I was standing giving orders. The top of it buckled over and killed one of the reserve men who was sitting behind the bomb-proof apparently out of danger. This incident went to show me that in a fight no calculations could be depended on as to risk of life, and I ever after took no thought of what might happen, but always endeavored to do my duty without regard to events. As is well known the fleet was driven back, and we were all much elated by our success. Forts Sumter and Moultrie which had borne the brunt of the fight were manned by Regulars, and it was a proof what discipline could do even against the heavy odds against us in guns and ammunition shielded by powerful iron armor. I remained at Moultrie until the Spring of 1863. Lt. Col. Butler having become Col. of the Regt. was placed in command of all the Artillery on Sullivans Island and I was for the greater part of the time in command of Fort Moultrie. During the Summer of 1863 (July) the famous attack on Morris Island took place, and we were constantly engaged with the Monitors and Ironsides. In August, owing to a dispute with Col. Butler, I was relieved of the command of Moultrie, much to my regret and sent to command Battery Beauregard. This was intended as a sort of punishment for me, the new command being less important; but one of the reasons assigned was that all the Regt. being concentrated on Sullivans Island it was not just that the most important garrison Fort Moultrie should be commanded by one of the junior Captains, it was forgotten however to assign this reason until many months had elapsed, and until personal relations among many of the Regimental officers had become very much strained. Much ill feeling having been engendered by the official treatment of our late Col. Dunnavant, my personal friend, whose cause I espoused most warmly. However I made no complaint and assumed charge of my new post, with cheerfulness and the determination to do my duty there as I had done elsewhere. During the siege of Battery Wagner the various Companies of our Regt. took their turn of duty as a part of the garrison. On Sept. 3rd I received orders to take my Company to Morris Island for duty. At dark we were embarked and about midnight reached Battery Gregg. Here I received orders to send half of my Company to Wagner and with the balance to take command of Gregg. Early next morning I was relieved of my command and ordered to Wagner and assigned to duty as Chief of Artillery of the whole island. Of course I was much gratified. I was young and longed for an opportunity to distinguish myself, and here seemed to me the occasion. I reached Wagner under a heavy fire, having borrowed a horse from one of the couriers. Col. Keith the comd'g officer assigned me to duty immediately, and I made an inspection of the Battery. I found things in bad shape, the garrison especially the Artillery positions were worn down. The guns and mortars more or less disabled, the entire face traversed and severely cut up, and the enemy in speaking distance nearly of us. For the next two days it was very trying, hot thirsty and hungry, hardly a moment out of danger. I looked death in the face, and never expected to leave the Battery alive. On Saturday about mid-day I was slightly wounded by a fragment of shell, which fortunately struck on my thick sword belt, or the wound in my stomach might have been fatal. The contact made me very sick and I vomited the little food that was in my stomach. In a letter to my Mother a few days after, and which is now published in Dr. Johnston's book, will be found quite a lengthy statement of these few days, and it will be only necessary to add a few incidents to make it complete. On Sunday morning (Sept 6th Anna's birthday) it was evident that our time was limited, the enemy steadily approaching with his ____ and the bombardment heavier than ever. The infantry were sheltered in the bomb-proof and in the sand hills just in rear of the Battery. It was with the greatest difficulty I could keep the artillery to their guns as the protection was very scant and they were worn out, and suffering for water, our supply having been cut off. Still they did their duty manfully. Word was sent to Gen. Beauregard of the desperate conditions of affairs, and he sent Col. Harris his Chief Engineer to make a personal inspection, which the gallant old soldier thoroughly performed. Upon his recommendation orders were received just before sunset for the evacuation. In the meantime while on a visit to the extreme right or west flank to inspect the artillery there posted I received a severe blow on my left knee from a fragment of shell which knocked me down, and recovering I proceeded to return to Head Qtrs. and as it was shorter and less dangerous I went through the mane bomb-proof which also contained the Hospital; here I met Dr. Wm Ravenel our Surgeon, who seeing my condition offered his assistance. He gave me a glass of brandy and what was to me the greatest cup of pure water which he had on hand buried in the sand for the use of the wounded. This was the first drink of water I had had for two days and I never shall forget it as long as I live. On reaching Head Qtrs. I found the orders had arrived, and I at once volunteered to command the rear guard and bring up the rear. At Col. Keith's request I prepared the plan for the evacuation, which tho' referred to in his report I do not find published. I took Lt. Mazyck the ordinance officer and tried the fuses, finding they did not burn satisfactory, I reported to Col. Kieth and requested him to allow me to fire some rosin which was in the main bomb-proof. He called a council of his principal officers, who discussed the matter, which was over ruled by the advice of Capt. F.D. Lee the Engineer, as I was the junior officer not only in rank but in years all my pleading was in vain. I protested that it made no difference to Gen Beauregard how the fort was blown up so it was blown up and in answer to the objection that the smoke would reveal to the enemy our intentions I promised not to set fire to the rosin and straw until I had received information of the embarkation of the last of the troops. All to no avail and I received positive orders not to fire the rosin and straw. Here was the mistake of my life, about 11 o'clock that night Col. Kieth turned over the command to me and left for Battery Gregg. I was then in sole command and should have under the circumstances taken the responsibility upon myself and set the fire as I had no hope of the fuse doing its work. Why I did not I cannot tell, except that I was very young and had been raised in a school where "obedience to orders" was looked upon as the first duty of the soldier. In looking back upon the matter and with the result before me, I think I would have been justifiable in disobeying Col. Kieth's order. Had that fire been ignited the fort would have been blown to pieces with great loss to the enemy in the trenches. Not one of the enemy would have dared to enter the fort, and if he did the means of extinguishing the fire was not at hand as there was no water to be had, and the straw and rosin would have burnt fiercely. However it is all over now tho' I regret it exceedingly. Gen. Gilmore in his report says the fuse had gone out before reaching the Magazine. After leaving Wagner I hurried to Cummings Point as fast as my disabled knee would permit me. The enemy had now intercepted some of our boats, and as I was left somewhat behind when I reached the landing I found all had embarked my comrades supposing I was aboard. I thus found myself alone, the sole living Confederate on the Island. I could not swim, I had no arms or coat nothing to show that I was an officer except my sash which was tied around my waist. My sword, coat and pistol had been given to Capt. Pinckney to carry, when I gave out on the way. Thus I was in a deplorable situation, if I remained on the beach I was as likely to be killed by our own batteries as the enemy's, for I knew the instructions were for our batteries to open on the Island as soon as the evacuation was completed. The moon was just rising and I was about to turn and go to the sand hills, thus try and find shelter until morning, when if not killed the only thing left for me to do was surrender. Just at that moment I saw a boat approaching along the shore going out to sea. I hailed it, and my voice was recognized, as the party in the boat were my late companions. Without stopping, as they were pursued, the boat was steered as near to the shore as possible and I was hauled in by one of the sailors. We steered out towards the bar for awhile, to avoid the enemy's boats which were between us and Sumter and then came back into the harbor by the main channel north of Sumter. About daylight we reached the city near the N.E. R.R. wharf, and I was carried to Mr. Mazyck's house at the corner of Chapel and Alexander St. By this time I could not walk as my knee was much swollen the water having made it very much more painful. After a breakfast of chicken and bread, washed down with some fine old Madeira, I got a buggy and went to report to Gen. Ripley my arrival, as news had reached the city that I had been left wounded or dead on the Island. My presence was a great pleasure to Gen. Ripley and Col. Kieth who I found with him. While giving an account of the evacuation Gen. Ripley received an order to place Capt. Lesesne and myself under arrest for not blowing up the two forts. Gen. Ripley and Col. Kieth were much annoyed by this as they had heard my story and Col. Kieth knew if I had been let alone Wagner would certainly have been blown up. They told me to wait in Gen. R's office and write my report and they took the carriage and went immediately to Gen. Beauregard office and explained the whole matter. The result was that the order for our arrest was immediately countermanded and Gen. Beauregard was so satisfied with my efforts that he sent me a kind message, regretting my injuries, and ever after was a stout friend of mine. My Company in the meantime had returned to Battery Beauregard and that evening I joined the Company to find it had been under a heavy fire all day with the ironclads and my first Lt. Erwin killed. Some twenty of my men were captured the night of the evacuation in the boats after they left the Morris Island, and some had been wounded and killed there among them my gallant orderly Sergt. Snipes. The next morning the 8th the great naval battle was fought. Soon after the fight commenced, Press Smith's Company was almost annihilated by an explosion in Fort Moultrie, and I was ordered to send one of my companies at Battery Beauregard to take its place. I sent Capt. Burnett's Company and this left my own weakened Company as the sole garrison of the Battery. In a short while after they had gone a shell burst in a gun chamber wounding Lts. Wardlaw and MacBeth, this left me as the only Commissioned Officer of the Battery, except the surgeon who was in the bombproof looking after the wounded. However I fought on during the day until the enemy was repulsed, and what was left of my Company and myself were glad when night came and some rest could be had, which we had not had day or night since the 3rd when we left for Morris Island. I remained at Battery Beauregard until about February, in the month of November and December, however, I was very ill with typhoid fever and was temporarily relieved of command until I was well enough to resume it. The enemy having shown a disposition to attack Sullivan's Island by the way of Long Island the garrison of Battery Marshall was increased the fort strengthened, and I was sent to command that important post. As a part of my duties I commanded scouting parties in boats which went as far as Bulls Bay. Thus it was that having taken a fancy to Bulls Island I bought it. I remained in command of Battery Marshall until the latter part June 1864 when I got a leave of absence to go and see my mother who was a refugee in Spartanburg. This was the first leave of absence I had since the war commenced. I was in Spartanburg but twenty-four hours when a telegram from Gen. Ripley ordered me to return and report to him immediately, this I did reaching Charleston at daylight the next day and went to Gen. Ripley's office where he soon came. There I learned from him that the enemy had made an attack on Fort Johnson a few nights before, and a fleet of vessels and transport were off Dune's Island. He feared an attack upon Battery Marshall and ordered me to take his own boat and go there at once. He also informed me that I would find a Company of Cavalry at Marshall awaiting my orders. I was to take them across to Long Island and establish a line of pickets from Dewees' Inlet to this end of Long Island in order that every movement of the enemy in that direction would be known to me and communicated to him. I lost no time and before dark had personally carried out his orders and returned to my command at Battery Marshall. I shall always remember his last words upon leaving his office "I don't want any surprise on Sullivans Island like there was on Morris Island, I put every trust in you and I feel satisfied I will not be mistaken". He then added much to my surprise "How would you like to have command of Sumter?". I assured him it was the dearest wish of my heart. He then said "We will see". I was not long to remain in command of Battery Marshall, on July____ (Blank left by T. A. Huguenin) at about 4 P.M. I was ordered by signal to go to Sumter. The order simply said, "Capt Mitchell is killed, you will take command of Sumter, I need not tell you to hold it". I ordered my boat to meet me at the ferry landing, and mounting my horse rode to Col. Rhett's headquarters as Commandant of the Island, showed him my orders, a duplicate of which he had received, and informed him that I was then on my way to Sumter, my boat waiting for me. He said he could not prevent my going, but advised me not to run the risk in broad daylight. I told him that I was aware of the risk, but that under the circumstances I thought it my duty to lose no time, as I was not aware of the condition of the Fort, and possibly my presence was immediately expected by the General in command. After bidding Good-bye to my friends who I met on the way I embarked in full daylight for the Fort, and reached it just about sunset under a very heavy fire. One of my crew had his oar cut out of his hands, the boat was struck in several places, but not injured seriously. As I leaped ashore the first thing I saw was a coffin containing the dead body of my gallant predecessor; this was not an inspiring sight, in fact it was a warning of what I might expect my own fate to be. I found the Fort in command of Capt. Hall 32nd Ga. Regt., who tho' my senior in rank and years at once turned over the command to me, notice having been telegraphed to the Fort that I had been assigned to the command and would come as soon as possible. I immediately telegraphed my arrival to Gen. Ripley, and promised to make a written report by daylight next morning. I at once held a conference with Capt. Jno Johnson the Engineer in charge and by his advice determined as soon as it was dark enough to permit us to do so unseen by the enemy to make an inspection of the physical condition of the Fort. In the meantime the various Officers of the Fort called on me and I was introduced to those who I did not know already, and received pleasant assurances from them all of cordial support in my important command. During the night, accompanied by Capt. Johnson who carried a dark lantern, we visited every portion of the Fort, and made notes for my report. While on this tour of inspection we approached a scaffold behind the East face and Capt. Johnson said, "this is strange a sentinel should be standing here". Upon examination, by the aid of the lantern, we found him some fifteen or twenty feet below on the parade ground cut in half by a shell, which had passed through his body. I only mention this to show the uncertainty of life, and how sudden a man was killed, even the Officer of the Guard did not know it until we reported it, and ordered the sentry's place refilled by another soldier. Just before morning the inspection, so far as that night was concerned, was completed and at daylight my report went up. The next day was a busy one. The garrison had to be mustered, I found it to consist of five companies about 300 men, the Engineer corps about 45 or 50, consisting besides the officers of many skilled mechanics with their assistants, and lastly about 200 Negro laborers, who worked under the direction of the Engineer force. I do not propose here to enter into a military history of the defense of Sumter under my command, as the general account has been already written, much better than I could do, by Capt. (now Rev. Dr.) Jno Johnson. What I propose doing is to give such incidents as I think will be interesting to my family, and which would not appear in a formal military account. After mustering and inspecting the garrison I looked into the Commissary Department, found out the amount of rations and water on hand; then the Ordnance Department our supplies offensive and defensive, the materials on hand and what were required by the Engineer Department, and last but not least the damage being done by the bombardment which was going on steadily day and night. Our hospital was well supplied, the dead and wounded were sent to the city every night consequently we never had many wounded on our hands for any length of time, say from four to six hours. The best provisions were furnished us, whenever the weather would permit fresh bread, meat and water was sent to us every night notwithstanding the fire of the enemy, sometime a boat would be lost, and on one occasion the Steamer Randolph loaded with Engineer supplies was sunk at the Wharf and became a total wreck. Before the barracks were destroyed the water required by the garrison was collected from the sheds into three cisterns, the main one was located under the gorge wall, near where theoriginal "Sally-port" was, the others were under the west and north faces. The main one was always kept in reserve, never to be used except all communications were destroyed; the one under the north face was only used in great emergency, the one under the west face was for daily consumption and was generally filled every night or so by the water boat from James Island. On one occasion owing to stormy weather the water boat did not come for several nights and the garrison was placed on short water rations, we always kept a reserve supply of commissary stores on hand sufficient to last 90 days. The citizens supplied us with many luxuries, and every blockade runner sent us presents of ice, fruit, liquors etc. when they reported their arrival, which they were required to do. On the whole then we were well supplied with the necessaries of life and in some respects the comforts, but our quarters were close, damp, and very uncomfortable and the danger was constant, no one was safe outside the bombproof, and as our duties required us to be constantly from one part of the Fort to another the risk of life was very great. The garrison as I have said consisted of five Companies, two of Artillery to man the four guns remaining in the North-East and North-West casemates and the mountain howitzers which were run up on the parapet every night; and three Companies of Infantry whose duties were to man the parapet at night to resist an assault. We had a sub-marine cable connecting us with via James Island, Charleston and an operator on duty all the time. I found it necessary to make many changes in the discipline of the Fort, this was at first hard to do, owing to the fact that the garrison was being continually changed, no troops serving longer than two weeks at a time, it having been found that they could not stand the fatigue any longer. Of course the Engineer Corps was permanent except the Negro laborers who were relieved every ten days. The daily routine of military life was also changed. For instance Guard mounting was held at sun-set, when the sun-set gun was fired, the object being to have fresh men on duty for the night, that being the time when we were in danger from an assault. Besides the regular guards, one third of the garrison was required to be all night on the parapet; one third were sheltered behind the parapet, and one third were allowed to remain in their quarters, but they were not only required to be dressed and under arms, but were expected to be awake. In other words night was turned into day, as they were allowed to sleep in their quarters during the day. The Negro laborers were divided into reliefs, some working during the day at points not in view to the enemy, the others repairing damages on the top and outside of the work under cover of darkness. They were well fed having the same rations and liquor as the soldiers, and I must say they did well. The permanent garrison consisting of myself, the Engineer Corps, my Staff Officers, including all the branches, such as Adjt, Aid, Commissary and Ordnance Officers, never went to bed until daylight every morning. The surgeon always had more to do at night than during the day, as the men were more exposed during the night. I took breakfast at 12 o'clock, dinner at sunset, and supper at 12 midnight, this was my rule for seven long months, during which time I never took off my clothing at night, and seldom in the day except to take a bath and put on clean clothes. As soon as dark set in the Chief Engineer and myself made an inspection of the damage done during the day, and gave the necessary orders for the repairs. The garrison was then like a hive until morning, boats arriving with Engineer supplies, consisting of sand in bags, lumber etc.; water boat and commissary boat- these had to be discharged in addition to our repairs, sometimes a portion of the garrison were employed in these duties, the laborers being too busy if the damages had been exceptionally heavy. About 10 o'clock at night the post-boat arrived, bringing official correspondences and small packages, also officers who had been on leave during the day and officers who were to relieve the surgeons and any other persons who had business at the fort. Upon the arrival of this boat, if my duties permitted, I went to the office and made up my reports for the day, answered my letters and attended to all necessary office work. The quartermaster boats, as soon as they were unloaded took the dead and wounded and started for the city, the post-boat remained until just before daylight, and took up my dispatches, reports etc., also the wounded who had been hurt after the quartermasters boats had left, and such officers to whom leave for the day had been granted, and officers who were relieved from duty. A very dangerous but important duty was in placing the obstructions on the parapets and slopes every night as soon as the darkness permitted, and removing them in the morning just at the last moment. These obstructions consisted of wooden "praises" and a lot of wire entanglement which were fastened to iron rods driven into the loose debris of the parapets. Many men were killed and wounded in the discharge of this duty, and I found it necessary to give my personal attention to it night and morning. The carpenters and blacksmiths had to repair these obstructions every day, as they were more or less damaged every night. The Ordnance Corps every night had to take up hand grenades and other missiles and place them at convenient places on the parapet, ready to be thrown down upon an assaulting force. Of course they were removed to a place of safety at daylight. All these duties were accomplished under fire, and the Officers were required to give their personal supervision to the work. I remember one morning a Company which had arrived during the night, on its first tour of duty at the Fort, was detailed to take in the obstructions from the gorge-wall. It was a splendid company of Regulars from my own Regiment and well officered, but knowing that they were "green" at the business I gave them my particular attention; the fire was very heavy and the danger great; they stood to it manfully and fortunately but few casualties occurred. After this work was done the Captain said to me"Has this thing to be done every morning?"I said "yes," and "Do you superintend it every morning?" "Yes, but I generally look after all the detachments, but as this was your first experience I gave you my particular attention, the others knowing more about it than you and your men." "Well," said he "It is a wonder you have not been killed before this". On account of the heat and dampness the shutters to the port holes were left unplaced, until an alarm was sounded, when they were quickly placed in position by men specially detailed for that duty; sand bags were then piled up against them, and it would have been a difficult matter for an enemy to force his way in. In like manner the iron door of the sally-port (then at the North-west angle) was closed and sand bags piled against it, and as a further precaution, a small field howitzer was loaded with grape and canister and placed in the passage leading there ready to rake the entrance if it should be forced. Every person in the garrison was expected to do his duty, even the Officers' servants had their allotted duties in case of an assault. The way an alarm was announced was as follows. At each post on the parapet the sentry had command of an ordinary jingle bell, this bell was in the quarters and every bell connected by wire with every other bell in the Fort. As soon as he perceived the approach of a suspicious looking craft or number of boats, he fired his musket, and rang his bell, which in turn sounded every other bell in the Fort. No questions were asked , no orders given, as the general orders were known to the entire garrison. Every man was expected to be on the parapet, except the detail to shut the portholes and sally-port, which being done, they were to defend. My own post was at the South east angle, considered the easiest assailed, at which point the Officer of the day and my Staff Officers reported to me to be in readiness to transmit any information I might desire to send to the neighboring forts and batteries. The main signal was three rockets-which meant that I was assaulted and the forts and batteries were expected to ricochet solid shot all around the fort to destroy the boats. In connection with this I recall to mind a visit paid me by Gen. Beauregard in October or November. He was on a special inspection tour ordered by the President. It was a beautiful calm night, and after taking him over the entire Fort and showing him everything we at last reached the South-East angle. He said he was very much pleased, but that in the present condition of the Fort the main danger was from an assault. I said yes that I felt that there lay the danger, but I believed if I could get my garrison on the parapet in time I could defeat ten times my strength, and as soon as Sullivan's Island and James Island opened with their shot around me every boat in addition that came to attack me would certainly run the risk of being swamped. Then he said it seems to me it is a matter of "who gets on the parapet first" "Yes" I said. "Well then what are your preparations for getting your men up in time to meet the enemy when they land?" In answer to this question I simply pulled my jingle bell, by which I was standing. Instantly every bell answered in the Fort, and in less time than I can relate it the entire garrison was on the parapet, the port-holes and sally-port secured and everything to the smallest detail ready to resist an attack. I then turned to the General and said I have answered your question in a practical manner. He was very much pleased, especially when my orderly came running up with my sword and pistol. I then explained to him all our arrangements for an assault, and leaving the garrison in position showed him how the lower parts of the Fort had been prepared, also the arrangements for handling the hand grenades etc. As soon as my appointment to the command of Sumter was known I was overwhelmed with letters of congratulations from friends in every direction, while making their congratulations they never failed to express the hope that my life would be spared, and many pious people volunteered to pray for me night and day. Among these valuable and highly appreciated letters came one from my old friend and preceptor at the Citadel, the Rev. P.F. Stevens, who had lately resigned his commission in the army to follow what he considered his calling. In reply to his letter, after thanking him for its kind language, I invited him to pay me a visit and if agreeable to him to preach to the garrison. No minister to my knowledge had even paid the Fort a visit since the siege. In reply he said he would come with pleasure, and as he happened to be in Charleston at the time, arrangements were made by which he could spend Saturday night on Sullivan's Island and I would send my own boat for him just before day on Sunday morning. Sure enough he arrived about daybreak. I explained to him that it was my hour for sleep, and turned him over to the care of the Officer of the Day with instructions to show him around as much as possible until breakfast time (12 o'clock) when I would then take charge of him. I had made arrangements for the service to be held soon after breakfast. I shall never forget the day, the scene, and the sermon. We were in the midst of the great sixty days bombardment, and the firing was exceedingly heavy, it seemed as if the Fort would actually tremble when the immense mortar shells would burst under the water in close proximity to the Fort. It was one incessant war, the wounded and killed were brought in to the hospital which adjoined my mess room next to the office and everything tended to make a scene of the most impressive nature. Mr. Stevens used the desk of the Adjutant as his reading desk and after reading the services as contained in the Episcopal Prayer Book he preached his sermon from the text contained in Romans Chap. 5 verses 1 &2. Never in the whole course of my life did I hear such a sermon, possibly the circumstances surrounding us might have added to his words, but they seemed inspired, and I have no doubt the occasion lent force to his thoughts and fire to his language. The soldiers crowded around and seemed to take a deep interest in the services. I myself am not ashamed to say that I could not restrain my tears. Naturally an able speaker he seemed to be at his best, and his vivid pictures and beautiful and convincing arguments were most lavishly given to us. It was truly a very impressive occasion. After the services were over, I escorted him around and showed him as much as the heavy fire would permit, and at night sent him back safely under the cover of darkness to Sullivan's Island. Sometimes amusing incidents would take place. I relate the following as an instance. One night a Company of the 1st S.C. Regt of the Regular Infantry came to take it's tour of duty. The Company was largely composed of Irishmen. It so happened that the fire the day previous had been very heavy and the garrison had to be called upon to help repair the damages. As this Company was fresh I ordered that they should be detailed during the night. The Ladies' Relief Association of Charleston sent down some watermelons, and as there was not enough to go around the whole garrison, I ordered that they should be distributed to the working parties on duty that night. At daylight these working parties were relieved and received their ration of whiskey and also received the watermelons. One of the Officers of the Company the next day overheard the following colloquy: "I say Pat, how do you like soldiering in Sumter?" The reply came immediately, "By Jabus! Who wouldn't soldier in Sumter, with melons and whiskey!" It is needless to say that these "luxuries" were not obtainable at other posts in the harbor. The same Officer who made this report, was a day or two afterwards very much troubled by the following incident. The reserve supply of coffins were stowed in the same casemate in which he and some other Officers had their quarters. The pile of coffins was used as a sort of table and as he happened to be sitting near it and as some people will carelessly do, scribbled his name on one of them. He never was satisfied until that particular coffin was used, even going so far as to urge the Quartermaster to use it , without regard to its size for the occupant. When it was used in a day or two he was much relieved , saying he had been afraid it might be used for himself. All the interior entrances to the casemates that were left, the bombproofs, galleries etc. were provided with iron doors, with loop holes for musketry, the bombproofs also had loopholes. The idea of this was that in case the garrison was driven from the parapets they could take refuge in these covered places and with their rifles command the parade ground and the interior of the Fort; at the same time by concerted signals to the adjoining forts and batteries, they would pour into the interior of the Fort a shower of Mortar shells, thus rendering it impossible for the enemy to retain possession although we had been driven from the parapet. I did not then, nor do I now believe that with the garrisons I was fortunate to command that the enemy could land enough men upon the berms to drive us from the parapet. So long as we could hold the parapet the more men in boats they sent against us the greater would be their discomfiture; besides our own fire they would have been subjected to the fire from Sullivan's Island and James Island, whose guns were trained every evening at sunset to ricochet solid shot around Sumter, their shot would have been harmless to us and very destructive to the enemy. It should also be remembered that no assault could be made except at night, and that we made extraordinary preparations every night to meet an attack. Our ammunition was abundant, and if the courage of the garrison could be relied on, of which I had no fear, all would be well until daylight would compel their retreat. Another great advantage, I felt, was that we knew our ground every inch of it, every man knew his post and his duty when there. While the enemy in darkness would approach an unknown fortification in boats, and as it would be almost impossible to secure complete concert of action the least check would add to the uncertainty of the position, its obstructions and defenses and in the end entail upon them untold confusion, demoralization and great disaster. In fact with these views , which I impressed upon the Officers and the men to give them the same confidence as I had, nothing would have given me so much satisfaction as an assault- for a successful resistance on my part meant high honors and a certain promotion. During my time in command, several times demonstrations were made by boats, but they came to nothing, and tho' we were prepared for any emergency, yet I do not believe an assault during that time was seriously contemplated by the enemy, except the one proposed by Gen. Foster, but which never came to anything. Almost every night the picket boats of the enemy could be seen by us, between us and Morris Island and also in the direction of the Fleet, but these I think were only on observation, trying to find out the condition of the Fort and what we were doing. Up to this time everything went along smoothly at the Fort, it is true the damage was great every day, but as the enemy shifted his fire from one part of the fort to another we were then able to repair the damages almost as fast as they were made. This was due in a great measure to the gallant and untiring Chief of Engineers, Capt. Jno Johnson. His skill was fitly supplemented by his coolness and bravery, and his loss, the circumstances of which I am about to relate, was at the time almost overwhelming to me personally. From the time I had taken command I had relied upon him; his knowledge of the Fort in its various conditions, his long experience there and his eminent engineering abilities were guarantees that I could depend on him to sustain and support me in this trying responsibility, the command of the "Key of Charleston" while it was no longer an important defensive position; if in the possession of the enemy the port would be sealed , and no supplies could come in. On the night of July 28, only eight days after I was in command, I lost his services. It was a calm, hot starlit night, the firing from mortars very heavy, the force was busy at work repairing damages on the gorge and east face. Just before day, after the quartermaster boats had gone and the post boat had just left with our reports, Capt. Johnson and myself were in my office discussing the events of the day and other matters relating to the defense. I said to him that we were perfectly aware of the constant danger we were in, and that in case anything happened to me of course, the General would appoint my successor, but in the event of his being disabled I had no doubt but my wishes and suggestions would have more or less weight at HeadQtrs-- Under these circumstances I wished to ask him, who he would recommend as a proper person for me to suggest as his successor, as I felt sure his recommendation upon my request would be duly considered. He said he knew of no one who would be better qualified for the position than Lt. Edwin J. White of the Engineer Corps, then on duty at Sullivan's Island, as he was not only a capable officer, but had served already in the Fort and was familiar with its original condition and structure. Just about this time, when our conversation, which by the way, was more extended, had ceased, my "Game Rooster Dick" commenced to crow- his perch was just opposite my officer about ten feet distant- The circumstances which attended his being there were as follows. He was a favorite bird of mine, of the most pugnacious type, and had been named "Dick" after my former Colonel, who was known in the Army of Northern Virginia as"Fighting Dick Anderson". When I was ordered to Sumter he was left at Battery Marshall. A day or two afterwards my servant "Frank" came over to the Fort to bring my clothing and to resume his duties. Upon inquiry after affairs, he mentioned among other things, that the young Officers of the Regt. amused themselves by taking "Dick" over the island and fighting him daily. I at once ordered him on his return to bring the rooster to me. This was done and "Dick" was assigned his quarters. As I have said, the night was particularly calm and no sound could be heard in the harbor, except the report of the guns and the bursting of the shells. "Dick" continued crowing, as is usual with fowls at that time in the morning, and it suddenly occurred to me that if he was on the parapet the enemy could hear him. I at once made known my intention to take him up and let him crow. He was perfectly tame, and taking him under my arm I proceeded towards the south east angle. Capt. Johnson said he would go up by the circular stairway at the south west angle and inspect the work being done there, and along the gorge when he would join me. I reached the top of the parapet at the south east angle and placing "Dick" on the parapet he commenced to crow most vigorously. A few minutes afterwards the regular mortar shell was fired and exploded over the fort. Not dreaming of what had happened I remained there, by this time some of the Officers had joined me to enjoy the fun as we were satisfied, it was so calm, that the enemy could hear the crowing from Sumter's game-cock. In a few minutes an orderly rushed over to inform me that Capt. Johnson was killed. I had not been uneasy about his absence as I had not parted with him more than ten or fifteen minutes, and naturally supposed he was detained by his duties, upon which I knew he was engaged. Being informed at the same time, that he had been carried to the Hospital I hastened there to find him on the amputating table, undergoing examination by the Surgeons. Tho' he was not conscious I was much relieved to learn that while severely wounded in the head by a fragment of the mortar shell, it was not necessarily mortal. I at once ordered my own boat manned, and placed a mattress in the stern upon which I had him carefully laid, and ordered one of the surgeons and an Officer to take him without delay to the city, where he could have the best of attention. The surgeon was supplied with the necessary stimulants and every comfort that it was possible we furnished him. I afterwards learned that probably the only thing that saved his life was a thick hat made of palmetto leaves which he was wearing at the time. Under my instructions, my brave crew, who had been with me under many trying occasions, landed him safely in the city. Fortunately it was not light enough for the enemy to see the boat depart from the Fort. I was now thrown on my own resources, and for a day or so was engineer in chief as well as Commanding Officer. While the assistant engineers were zealous and brave they had never been placed upon their own responsibilities, had always followed instructions, but never created any new ideas. I at once telegraphed to Gen. Ripley that Capt. Johnson had been wounded and sent to the city, but requested him not to have his successor appointed until I could communicate by letter. The following night I sent up a special dispatch, giving the circumstances of Capt. Johnson being wounded and also stating in detail the conversation had with him in reference to his successor, and his recommendation which I heartily endorsed, as Lt. White was well known to me and highly esteemed by me, adding at the same time that I had taken charge personally of the Engineer Corps and would be responsible for its proper management in the interim. There was some little delay in the appointment, not from any objection on the part of the Chief Engineer of the Department, but because Lt. White could not leave Sullivan's Island until his place there was filled. In the meantime I had charge in addition to my other duties. Upon the arrival of Lt. White he assumed charge of the Engineers, and I desire here to express in most emphatic terms my high appreciation of his character and his abilities as an Engineer. He was brave, cool, intelligent and possessed great energy and perseverance in the discharge of his duties. His previous knowledge of the Fort was of great service to him as predicted by Capt. Johnson. I never served with Capt. Johnson again during the war, as after his recovery he was transferred to other duties. Since the war I have seen much of him and am glad to say my respect and esteem has augmented. We now settled down to the hard facts of the situation. There was no sign of diminution in the bombardment and the main question was first to repair the daily damages, and then if possible to make such improvements in the main strength of the Fort, looking also to the comfort of the garrison in the approaching winter, as it was possible. These matters were urged at Head Quarters and generous supplies of material furnished so far as the circumstances would permit. One of our difficulties was the handling of the engineer supplies upon their arrival upon our wharf of such limited space, and because to save them they had to be removed from sight before daylight. Up to this time the bags of sand, _____ and other materials of the kind had to be carried into the Fort upon the shoulders of the men through the long and narrow passageways, which hardly permitted the passage of two men at any one point. The lumber of all kinds had to be hoisted by ropes over the parapet at the North-west angle, and then transferred to wherever it was needed by the men; this was not only very dangerous work, even under cover of night, but the fatigue was terrific. It was evident that some remedy must be found by which all this labor could be avoided, at least in part. Lt. White suggested that we should dig a tunnel through the debris at a point just opposite the sally-port at the north-west angle, and then build a tram-way across the old parade ground to the Eastern face which was in great need of repairs, in fact in some places not more than two feet thick. I approved of the plan, but it was impossible to put it in operation at that time as the fire of the enemy was then concentrated on that particular angle, the object being to take it in reverse and by cutting away the debris and what remained of the wall at that point to expose our wharf and thus prevent us from receiving supplies or reliefs. However all the material for shoring and casing of the tunnel was got in readiness, and sand in bags collected for a heavy traverse which was to be erected to protect the outlet of the tunnel at the point it was to open upon the parade. As was expected by us the enemy after a few days changed the direction of his fire, and we at once commenced operations which were continued night and day until our work was completed. We were thus enabled by this plan to discharge the Engineer supplies in much less time and with much less labor deliver them at their destination. The tunnel was perfectly straight as the strieks of lumber 12"x 12" and 20 ft. long admitted of no curves or angles. The bombardment still continued in all its fury, the heat in the casemates and bomb-proofs was intense and the labor of repairs constant. In the midst of this trying ordeal a greater one was presented to me- a Mutiny. It happened in this way. As before stated one third of the garrison, in addition to the regular guard detail, was always on the parapet, one third behind the parapet under temporary shelter and the other third in their quarters dressed and armed. I mean that this was the disposition from Sunset to daylight. One morning about four o'clock in making my usual rounds, when I visited the quarters in the south west angle, then occupied by a company of the 32nd Georgia Regt. I found to my surprise that the third of the Company who were entitled to be in their quarters were not dressed and armed as distinctly prescribed by orders, but were without clothing or arms and consequently could not be brought on the parapet in time to meet an assaulting force. I at once placed the Lieutenant in command under arrest and ordered that the non-commissioned officers and privates should be reported to me the next day for such punishment as I would deem proper. I went to bed as usual at daylight, and after breakfast had the non-commissioned officers and privates summoned before me. After a very careful and impartial investigation I determined that they should be punished for wilful disobedience of orders. In the meantime the Lieut. had been sent under arrest to Head Quarters. The sentence was that each non-commissioned officer and private should be required to carry a 32lb. ball in a bag on his shoulder for two hours, and while doing so walk up and down the passage way opposite the office situated in the western casemate. They readily yielded to my decision and commenced to perform the task imposed upon them. A few minutes after, as I was engaged in my office, a disturbance occurred in the passageway in front and upon looking up I found several soldiers taking the bags containing the balls from the prisoners shoulders. I immediately rushed into the passage and seized the ring-leader and jerked him into the office, where he was placed under charge of the Adjutant, Lt. Ogier, with a pistol at his head, the Adjutant being ordered to blow his brains out upon the slightest movement. I was enabled with the assistance of the few officers present to arrest two or three others, when the crowd of mutineers who were unarmed rushed up the stairs to get their guns and release their companions. This gave me a few minutes time, and I at once ordered all the iron doors to the various passages leading to other parts of the fort closed and locked, so as to cut off this particular Company engaged in the mutiny from the rest of the garrison who might have sympathized with them. Just next to my office was a Company of Regulars, my own Regiment upon whom I could depend, I had also possession of the long gallery under the north face which communicated with another Company of my own Regiment which was in charge of the North East casemate battery; the balance of the garrison belonged to the 32nd Ga. regiment, and I naturally supposed they would side with the mutineers of their own Regiment. In all I had two small companies of regulars against three large companies of volunteers. The precautions I had taken to position the doors, cut two of these companies off from the third, as under the terrible fire we were undergoing they did not dare to come to the assistance of their friends from the outside. While they were up on the second tier casemates in which were their quarters, getting their rifles I was not idle. The mountain howitzer which guarded the sally-port was charged with grape and canister, and wheeled into the passage which was now clear and through which they would have to advance to reach the prisoners in my office. A detail of the regular company had charge of the gun under command of Lt. Frank K. Huger who happened to be the Officer of the Day. The balance of this Company was in rear of the howitzer with their rifles. In less time than I can describe it the mutineers were seen descending the steps at the head of the passage, some forty determined and excited men. I was in the passage just opposite my office and a few feet in front of the howitzer. My orders were to Lt. Huger that as soon as I stepped out of the passage I would give the order to fire, which he would continue to keep up so long as a man remained in the passage. Slowly, but with cheers and maledictions upon my head the mutineers descended the stairway, the crisis was approaching, nothing seemed possible to divert it. Just at this moment Capt. Geo W Lamar, who was the Commissary and Quartermaster of the post, and whose office was just out of the passage at the foot of the stairway, upon his own motion, rushed to the foot of the stairway, and beseeched the men to pause; he appealed to them as brother Georgians to remember who they were and in what cause they were enlisted and under what circumstances they were surrounded; they were there he said in the post of honor, they were wrong, the orders of the Commanding Officer must be obeyed, and he had a right to enforce his orders. He made a most fervent appeal with the result that they wavered for a moment, then turning from his patriotic appeal he called their attention to the preparations I had made for their reception, and finally said I feel assured that from what I know of Capt. Huguenin not one man of you who enters that passage will leave it alive, he has been able to make his arrangements, and he is alive to the fact that either he or you must conquer. A pause and some talk, and gradually they retired to their quarters. Without relaxing my preparations, and leaving everything in readiness for instant defense, I determined at once to find out the temper and spirit of the other two companies, who were actually a majority of my garrison. Taking a guard of regulars with me I visited the eastern portion of the Fort and found the two companies very much excited as vague rumors had reached them as to what was going on in the west side of the Fort. Upon consultation with the officers, who I found faithful to me and to their duty, I had the men summoned in their quarters and explained to them the situation and the absolute necessity of discipline and obedience to orders. I explained to them that I fully appreciated that they were not hireling soldiers but were soldiers from entirely patriotic motives, but they could never succeed in obtaining the ends they had in view unless they submitted to the authority and direction of their superior officers. I was ably seconded in my appeal by the different officers, among whom I wish to call special attention to the brave Captain Hall 32nd Ga., who I presume is long since dead, as he was at least fifty years old at that time. Finding that I had my force completely in hand I now determined to make an example which would be remembered and would secure for me no further trouble of the kind. I telegraphed to Head Qtrs, asking that the Company should be relieved that night by another company. I then sent the Officer of the day up to their quarters and disarmed them. All this while the prisoners which had been captured were in the office under a strong guard. The blacksmiths of the fort were then ordered to iron them which was done in the presence of their comrades, and as soon as night set in they were sent in my boat to the city. During the night the Company was relieved, and later that night Gen. Ripley and some of his staff paid me a visit, when I related to him the whole occurrence. He approved very highly of my conduct and spoke in high terms to each of the officers who I mentioned as having been conspicuous in their behavior in aiding me to suppress the revolt. Three of the ring leaders were afterwards tried by Court Martial and shot, the rest being pardoned of my request. I look upon this affair as probably the most critical one in my life. Of course I could not tell what aid the mutinous company would receive from their friends in the other two companies, and while I was determined to maintain my authority and the discipline of the garrison I feared it would have been at a bloody cost. Having made my preparations I intended to hold my post even at the sacrifice of everyone who opposed me; I cheerfully say that if it had not have been for Capt. Lamar there would have been bloody work in that passage that afternoon, and as my rear was protected by the two companies of regulars, and my assailants could only approach me through the narrow passage in my front I had no fear of the final result. In justice to the 32nd Ga. I desire to say that it was as fine a body of men as I ever saw during the war- they were men of good social standing, most of then well educated and possessed of property- there was no discipline among them according to my views, this however was not the fault of Col. Harrison their Commander, who was a fine officer, but unfortunately at this time he was on detached duty, as he frequently was. Some of their Company officers were first rate men and tried to do their duty and make the men do theirs, notably Capt. Lewis the commander of this very Company, but who unfortunately was absent at the time of the mutiny, had he been present I do not believe it would have occurred. After his return to his command they served frequently with me at Sumter and I had no further trouble with them. Such was the mutiny at the fort. Under a heavy fire from the enemy, and the many responsibilities attending it- to have this internal trouble was a severe trial to me. The question was "who was to command the fort?" and I determined to answer it in my favor, and it has always been a source of great satisfaction to me that it was answered, by prompt and decisive action, without the shedding of blood which for awhile seemed impossible to avoid. Up to this time I had been very fortunate in not having received any hurt, it is true that one night shortly after I had taken command I was knocked down by a shower of brickbats from the parapet, but I received no injury except a few bruises. About the latter part of August however I had a narrow escape. It was a Sunday, after breakfast I walked over to the Northeastern casemate, and was about to return to my office, when the lookout called that a shell was coming, I waited and after the explosion started again, the firing tho' heavy was steady and at such intervals that I thought I had time to cross the old parade and get under cover before the next shell, just as I got near the center of the parade the lookout gave warning again. I could not run as it was too far, and besides the men were looking out on the parade from the bomb-proofs, and it would never do for the Commanding Officer to run, however prudent. I saw the shell strike the top of the main bomb-proof in the center of the gorge wall and bound up into the air. I stood immovable and fortunately pressed my elbows close to my side. The last thing I remember was seeing the shell burst, when I came to myself I was laid out on the amputating table, with the surgeons and others around me. My left arm was apparently paralyzed, and my clothing having been cut away, examination was being made as to the extent of my injuries. In a short while it was found that no damage had been done except to the left arm. Upon investigation the surgeons concluded that a fragment of the shell had passed down my arm from the shoulder, scraping the skin until it reached the elbow, striking which it gave me such a fearful blow as to cause me to loose my senses. In a few minutes the arm was black and for many days it was of no use to me, and had to be carried in a sling. I learned afterwards that the men saw me stand still, heard the report, and saw me knocked down amid a shower of dirt, bricks etc. On rushing out they found me senseless and carried me to the hospital. The surgeons gave it as their opinion that I must have been struck by a piece of shell, the convex part being next to my arm, as if the rough or concave part had of been next to me, my arm would have been frightfully mangled and possibly the shell would have been diverted in its course so as to enter my body, which would have resulted in death. Under Providence, the only thing saved me was the position I took holding my arms close to my body. I was much gratified to see the sympathy shown me and the anxiety expressed by the entire garrison as soon as it was known I was wounded. The telegraph operator, without orders, sent the news to Charleston, and in a few minutes telegrams from Head Qtrs. came to learn the facts and my condition. I replied that while I was painfully hurt, there was no need for alarm as I would continue to do my duty. This did not satisfy them and a special surgeon was sent down that night to make an accurate report as to my injuries, which being favorable nothing more was done about it. The only result of this shock after the arm got well, was that my hearing was damaged in the left ear, which has gradually increased until I cannot hear in that ear now. The enemy was not satisfied with bombarding us from Morris Island and from the Monitors, but they thought they could shake the parapets down by exploding gun-powder rafts under the walls and also destroy our pontoon wharf at the North west angle, which they could not reach except by mortar shells, which was by no means reliable. Consequently on the night of the 28th of August, one of these rafts was prepared and towed to some point west of the Fort in the direction of Fort Johnson and on the ebb tide cast loose, the current set in the direction of the Fort and the chances were very good for the raft to strike the west face. About 10 or 11 P.M. the sentry on the south west angle gave the alarm and as usual the entire garrison rushed to the parapet. It was a dark night, on reaching my post at the South east angle I waited a few minutes, and thought it was a false alarm, but soon an Officer form the West parapet came over and reported that it was not small boats but appeared to be one large one or possibly several small ones lashed together. I ordered him to return and open fire upon whatever it was with the Mountain Howitzers stationed on the west parapet. I thought that this was only a feint, and that the real attack would be from the east and south east , and therefore determined to remain where I was deeming that post the most important. Hardly had the officer left me when an explosion occurred just off the west face. To us on the east side of the fort it appeared as if the whole west face was blown up, a mass of flame, smoke, mud etc. rose up into the air above the height of the parapet, and for a moment or so completely hid that portion of the fort. Not dreaming of a powder-raft I thought the explosion had taken place within the fort, which would have been very disastrous to us. In less time than I can tell it the smoke, mud, and water disappeared and to my joy the west face seemed at that distance intact. Cautioning the men to be extremely alert I ran over to the west parapet, and found no damage had been done except the men and the walls were liberally splattered with mud. The Officers explained that they saw this great flat as it appeared to them slowly drifting towards the Fort, and when a short distance off the explosion took place. Nothing more was ever seen of raft or anything else; the explosion was premature as from what the officers reported five minutes more and the raft would have grounded on the berm or struck the wharf. Another attempt was made some time after but it was very insignificant. The weary days and nights dragged on without anything occurring out of the general state of affairs until the afternoon of the 7th or 8th of Sept. when as the sunset gun was fired from the fort, the enemy suddenly ceased their fire. For sixty days and sixty nights the fire had been unremitting, sometimes a little more rapid than at other times but never ceasing. We could not understand how it was that there was no firing that night, and consequently expected an assault. Everything was put in readiness and with my great coat and surrounded by the entire garrison I watched all night on the parapet. No sign of the enemy, and the next day the firing was not resumed. It soon became apparent that they had given it up in despair, and thus ended the last and greatest of the bombardments to which the fort was subjected. It is true the enemy every now and again paid their compliments to us, but nothing like a steady bombardment for any length of time was undertaken. We now had a breathing spell which was much desired and the Engineer in charge and myself projected some much needed improvements to which our attention could now be turned, the repairs being soon completed. Our plans were submitted to Head Qtrs. and approved, and our requisitions for materials filled. The most important work contemplated was strengthening the East face which was very weak, and constantly exposed to the shells of the Monitors. Our plan contemplated a heavy crib-work filled with sand to back this face, which was commenced at once; after this was completed a splendid bomb-proof running the entire length of the East face was backed up against the crib-work. My recollection was that it could accommodate two hundred men; this was very much needed as the soldiers quarters up to this time were very scant and more room was necessary, not only for the comfort but the health of the garrison. At the South end of this bomb-proof a room was cut off for my private quarters from which a special stairway was built to enable me to reach the parapet in a moment. This was the first time since I had been in command that I had a place of any privacy, where I could wash and dress, or any place to sleep in that was not subject to constant interruption. It also gave me a place where I could read or write in some quiet. The enemy, as I have said, having ceased firing, our whole attention during the day was given to work inside the fort, at night outside work which was necessary was done, this outside work was at times considerable owing to the washing of the waves in stormy weather. Now was seen the benefit of our tunnel and the tramway. All the engineer supplies were landed at night on the wharf and on the berm at daylight this detail was relieved and another transported it by the tramway to the East face, thus clearing the way for the next night supplies. The carpenters and laborers all day were busy fitting and framing the crib-work and the big bomb-proof; it was a busy scene. The Chief Engineer like myself went to bed at daylight and rose at mid-day, his assistants worked in detail, so many hours off and on, as there was work in this department going on every hour day and night. Day by day I saw myself growing stronger, and thus being comparatively little danger to reach the fort at night I had frequent visits form my superior officers, who all expressed their satisfaction at the progress being made. Even under these circumstances life was in constant danger, without warning the enemy would send over a dozen shell in quick succession, especially at night I presume for the purpose of annoying our working parties and to interrupt the receipt of our supplies. I will give the following instance as an example. One night I had an oyster supper in my mess-room which was next to the Adjt's Office. Just as we were about to go to supper, a young officer by the name of Therrell of the 32nd Ga. came to the office where we were assembled. I saw him and asked him to join us at supper. He thanked me but said I have just received orders to take charge of a working party and have come for my orders, and begged to be excused, I said I was sorry, but I would have some oysters put up for him which he could get when he finished his work. He thanked me and went to his detail. We sat down to supper, I gave my servant orders to have some oysters for him when he returned. We had not finished our meal when I observed the ambulance corps bringing in some one to the Hospital which adjoined the mess-room to the south side as the office was on the north side. I sent to the Hospital to know what was the matter and to my horror word was brought that Lt. Therrell was killed. On reaching the Hospital I found that a fragment of shell had gone through his heart killing him instantly. I am sure it was not twenty minutes since my conversation with him. I deeply regretted his loss, having noticed his efficiency and cheerful discharge of his duty. I had frequently engaged him in conversation and found out that he was not only a good soldier but a Christian gentleman, and the only child of a widowed mother upon whom he doted. This same shell killed and wounded thirteen laborers who were working under Lt. Therrell's direction. It was a great shock to us as he had made himself quite a favorite, his courage and his modest earnest purpose in the discharge of his duty endeared him to all. These long nights were now spent by the officers in playing chess, cards, and various games, as all were required to be awake. Reading at night was out of the question the few good lights we had being in the hospital and the Adjutant's office where the official papers were being prepared ready to send off by day. I succeeded in getting some books through Mr. W. Porcher Miles from Congress, these were the printed official reports from the War Department, when the officers and men were not on duty during the day, they generally passed the time, after the night vigil, either in sleep or conversation, so very little reading was done. My permanent staff officers at this time were Lt. W. G. Ogier Adjutant, Lt. Edwin J. White Chief Engineer, Lt. Raif Izard and Jno. Houston assistant engineers, Capt. Geo W. Lamar Commissary and Quartermaster, Lt. T. P. Mikell A.D.C. and Sergt. Milton Leverett Ordnance Officer. The surgeons were relieved every ten days. In relation to the surgeons I desire without disrespect to them generally, for they were as a general rule faithful and attentive, to give an instance of my troubles- A day or so before Capt. Johnson was wounded, I had made a requisition for some fine whiskey or brandy to be used in just such an emergency, it was sent down, and I turned it over to the hospital with instructions that it was not to be used except for some officer who might be wounded, the liquor ordinarily furnished the fort being common corn whiskey. When I reached Capt. Johnson one of the asst. surgeons was about to give him some stimulant, I saw at a glance that it was corn whiskey and not what I had procured for such an event, I asked where was the other whiskey, and was informed that it had been all used. As soon as Capt. Johnson was sent to the city I made an investigation, as I knew no officer had been wounded since the whiskey had come. I found out that the Chief Surgeon and one of his assistants had used it, they were both placed under arrest and that night sent to the city, in the mean time I telegraphed for two others who came that night. Nov 18th 1864 was my twenty-fifth birthday. We had a fine dinner and enjoyed ourselves as far as circumstances would permit. From now on to the close our lot was much more easy, it is true the labor of strengthening the fort continued day and night, but the danger was much less, and by the addition of the new bomb-proof the quarters were much more comfortable. For an account of the sinking of the P_____ by a torpedo see an interview of mine published in the News and Courier, a copy of which is in my desk. We had several "flags of truce" for the exchange of prisoners and during their existence many visitors from the city, including some ladies, visited us, to see for themselves. Among the visitors was Gen. J.C. Pemberton who came in an official capacity by order of the Sec. of War. He spent a night and a day with me. Fortunately there was no firing and I had an opportunity to show him the exact condition of the Fort, and explain all our preparations to meet an assault. He expressed himself as very much pleased and was astonished at our strength and the work we had done under such disadvantages. About this time an amusing report was circulated in some of the Northern papers to the effect that the Fort was gradually sinking and we had to resort to constant pumping. The facts were these; on amount of the great loss of material which had been knocked off the Fort, and the wash of the waves, and the inability to supply this loss as rapidly as necessary from the city, we were compelled to dig up the parade ground and use this material on the parapet, consequently the parade ground was several feet below high-water mark. When it rained the parade became a basin which held a large quantity of brackish water, this would soon have a green scum over it, and as it endangered the health of the garrison we were compelled to have details pump it continually. Of course no military man of any ability would believe any such rumor as the fort was built on a magnificent foundation. After the war my mother told me that when she was a girl running on the beach on Sullivan's Island she used to see cargo after cargo of stone carried there for the foundation and added, "Little did I think then that a son of mine would one day command that Fort." Winter had set in and we suffered much from cold as it was almost impossible with our crippled transportation to furnish us with wood even to cook with. It is true our cooking did not amount to much as all our fresh bread was baked in the city, and when from any course it did not reach us we fell back on "hard-tack". We had fresh beef three or four times during the week, and as the men did not remain long at a time, they could do without vegetables, which were freshly supplied. I used to send my boat to Sullivan's Island once a week, and got my clean clothes, at the same time the crew was required to bring a load of oysters, which were placed in the water until wanted to be used. My friends in the country sent me boxes of country produce, and as I had good servants we lived very comfortably. Nothing of importance occurred that I remember until the order came for the final evacuation of the fort made necessary by the approach of the enemy under Gen. Sherman in our rear. This was very hard to accept- the fort was stronger and in better condition to resist a bombardment or an assault than ever before, the garrison was under perfect discipline and would have fought for the fort to the last extremity, in fact they were entranced with the idea that Sumter should never be captured. The orders reached me on the night of the 15th of Febry. 1865 and without making them known I made the necessary preparations. The Negro laborers were sent off on the night of the 16th and all shore baggage together with the sick and wounded. Among other things sent off that night were the two flags which had floated over the fort during the great sixty-day bombardment, these flags together with my personal effects were placed in charge of my servant Frank, with instructions to deliver them to Mrs Mikell the wife of my ____ at Sumter _____ which duty he faithfully performed . The next morning the 17th a new flag was raised, which was never fired upon, and the garrison were informed that we were ordered to evacuate the fort on that night. At sunset the evening gun was fired and all the preparations for an assault were made as usual. About nine or ten o'clock two small steamers came to the fort and the troops were marched by detachments aboard. When all had been embarked except the guard I personally with the Adjt. and Chief Engineer relieved them and ordered them to embark. It was now near 12 o'clock, but singular to say the enemy tho' firing heavily on Sullivan's Island did not fire a single shot at us. Under orders received, no public property of any description was destroyed except some whiskey which I had emptied into the water for fear the men might get hold of it during the retreat and create a disturbance. My own library of valuable military works I burnt up in the fireplace of my quarters, the official records were sewed up in a pair of my drawers, and carried along with us. After visiting every portion of the Fort, with a heavy heart I reached the wharf, no one was left behind but many a heart clung to those sacred and battle scarred ramparts, I cannot describe my emotions. I felt as if every tie held dear to me was about to be severed; the pride and glory of Sumter was there and now in the gloom of darkness we were to abandon her, for whom every one of us would have shed the last drop of his blood. Oh ! The irony of fate, to give up that heroic spot without one last struggle in its defense. With a sad heart I walked upon the wharf and asked Lieu.t Swinton who was in charge of the boats, if all were aboard, on his replying in the affirmative I assisted him in casting off the lines and was the last Confederate to leave grand old Sumter. It may well be imagined the "grief" that I was in . For over seven months I had held the command of the most honorable post in Charleston Harbor, the defense of which is ranked among the greatest achievements in modern warfare. The appointment came to me without solicitation and very unexpectedly. I was a young man and a junior officer in my own grade, when I reached the Fort the prospect was gloomy indeed, for sixty days I was subjected to a continuous bombardment; The fort was in the eyes of my superiors in a very precarious condition, and now after triumphing over all difficulties to be necessitated to give up that historic spot on account of outside causes was hard indeed. It was hard to do, but I bowed to the inevitable. Our orders were on leaving the fort to proceed to Strawberry Ferry on Cooper River, land the troops who would join their respective commands. One of the steamers succeeded in doing so, but the one I was in broke down and we had to make fast at a place called "Red Bank". I landed the men and after setting fire to the steamer , which was Confederate property , proceeded by land to Strawberry Ferry where I joined my Brigade. We waited there a day and Gen. Hardee's command being up we started on our march to the northward. The men in our Brigade suffered terribly from sore feet, having been in garrison duty for so long a time, marching was very trying, especially as it was raining most of the time and the roads were more or less under water. At St. Stephens we took the railroad and went as far as Kingstree, and from there proceeded to Cheraw. When we got there our Brigade was placed in position north of the town, and the other troops were disposed of in other positions while the baggage etc. was taken across the river on the bridge leading out of the town across the PeeDee. I had not been dry since we left Kingstree, and the bad fare brought on a violent attack of dysentery. I was in camp suffering and feeling as if I could do nothing, when news was brought that the pickets of our Brigade were attacked by the enemy. I at once went to the front and joined my Company and fell back with them through the town and across the bridge. By the time we were safely across and the enemy had driven our cavalry across it was dark, and Major Adams of my regiment was ordered to take six companies back to the river bank and picket it during the night. In the mean time the bridge had been burnt by our people. My Company was one of the six ordered to go on picket, when we got in about 100 yds of the river Gen. M. C. Butler who had charge of the rear guard ordered Maj. Adams to leave two companies in the road, as a reserve; and to take the other four and post them on the river bank. As I was the senior Captain my Company was selected to remain in the reserve with the other one. In about an hours time I saw some soldiers supporting an officer on horseback approaching from the direction of the river, and upon inquiry found out that it was Maj. Adams who was wounded. Being the next officer in rank I turned over the command of my Company to my first Lieut., and went to the river and took command of the picket line. There we remained until daylight when we were withdrawn by orders and joining our command continued the retreat towards the North Carolina line. All this time it was raining constantly, and I was suffering so severely from dysentery that I could hardly sit on my horse. I was then acting as Major of my regiment on account of Maj. Adams wound who had been sent to the hospital in advance. Our march was through the most desolate looking country I ever saw, nothing but pine trees, and hardly a house to be seen. When we reached Fayetteville our Brigade was in the rear on the road we were marching, and halted outside of the limits of the town. The enemy were pressing very closely upon us, and some of our officers who rode out to a farm house to procure some milk etc. were captured. We had hardly halted before I received orders to take a portion of my regiment back, drive off the enemy pickets and take possession of a small stream upon which was located a mill on the side of the road. I did so and after the exchange of a few shots drove the enemy across the stream and took possession. This was my first experience in an infantry fight. My own horse was lame and I had borrowed a horse from the Quartermaster, a most ungainly animal of great size, in fact a perfect elephant. I towered above the men in line so that I was a target for every sharp-shooter. I could not dismount, and fervently prayed that the old horse would either be killed or fall down and break its neck. I was fortunate enough to escape injury tho' I expected it every moment. Just across the stream some of the Union officers on horse-back were in observation, we opened fire upon them, when they quickly retired. During the night we were relieved and ordered to join the command, this I succeeded in doing during the forenoon. Our troops were defiling across the bridge, and I was ordered to take four companies and hold the bridge until all the infantry and artillery had passed, when I would be relieved by the Cavalry rear guard. I did this and when the Cavalry arrived, which was about dark, after a ____ skirmish in the street of Fayetteville, in which Gen. Hampton, as usual, distinguished himself. I was ordered by Gen. Hampton to withdraw my men and join my command. This was impossible to do that night, as my men were very tired and a long way behind. After marching a few miles I determined to bivouac for the night. It was a cheerless place, the low ground was partly covered with rain water, and we had to pick out spots to lie down. With nothing to eat we threw ourselves upon the wet ground and exhausted as we were fell asleep almost instantly. I confess that I enjoyed the sleep as much as if I had been in a comfortable bed, so tired I was, and the next morning tho' very stiff and wet I started on our march. Fortunately for us our Brigade had been halted on the high land a few miles ahead of us, and we were able to get some food. The march being resumed we soon reached a place called Averyboro, we were halted about a mile from the village and ordered to throw up breastworks, as Gen. Hardee proposed to make a stand and check the advance of the enemy. Our position was east of the Cape Fear River, our right resting on it, and our left extending across the road rested on some dense woods. In our right front was a large field in which was located "the Smith" farm house and out buildings, surrounded by an orchard which was enclosed by the ordinary country fence. For the better understanding of the situation which was to be the scene of a desperate battle on the morrow I have prepared the following rude sketch---What follows for the remainder of the page is the sketch Thomas A. Huguenin drew to better explain the battle. Our force consisted of Hardee's Corps, composed of McLaw's veterans division, and Taliferro's division composed of Rhett's Brigade of Regulars, and Elliott's Brigade of Volunteers. Taliaferro's division were troops that had served up to the evacuation of Charleston in the forts guarding the harbor, were mainly Artillerists, and had seen no service as Infantry, tho' they had been drilled in that arm of the service. Gen. Shermans forces, as stated by him were two Corps and Kilpatrick's Cavalry. We also had some Cavalry. By reference to the sketch it will be seen that our forces were in three lines, McLaw's in the rear, Elliott next, and Rhett occupied the front line. As before stated we were halted and ordered to throw up temporary breastworks; this was about 10 A.M. Some three companies of Rhett's command were sent forward as a skirmish line to hold the ravine in our front. It was raining all day tho' not hard; about 2 P.M. while engaged in building our breastwork I received an order from Col. Rhett to ride forward and take command of the skirmish line, I protested against this to my Col. Butler, because I had performed this duty on every occasion since the retreat commenced, and I thought some one else from the Brigade should take his turn, while we were talking a courier rode up and informed us that the skirmishers were being driven in and he came with orders for three more companies to support them. I hesitated no longer and rode forward carrying the three companies with me at the double quick. On reaching the southern boundary of the Smith field I found the skirmishers had been driven from the line of the ravine back to that point. Col. Rhett explained the situation to me and ordered me to retake the ravine and hold it until further orders. I deployed the three companies I had brought up to the right and left of the road, and ordered the whole line forward. After a brisk fire of about thirty minutes, the enemy fell back and we retook our position along the ravine. I then rode back to where Col. Rhett was in the road, reported that I had possession of the ravine, and would hold it. The enemy formed a line just across the ravine, and a desultory fire was kept up until dark. After telling me to keep him informed of events, he told me that there was some Cavalry on my right to protect my flank and he would return to the main lines and ask to have some sent to support my left. He rode off with his courier in the direction of the Smith farm, and when he reached the spot marked "x" he met some fifteen or twenty cavalry men, after a parlay he rode with them towards my extreme right. I presumed they were a portion of the cavalry, who he said were on my right, I left the road and rode down my lines and saw that everything was right, and gave the necessary orders. This occupied some time, and upon my return to the road which was about the center of my line, I was informed by a courier that Col. Rhett had been captured, I was greatly surprised, the men he met in the field were a party of the enemy who had worked their way around my right where our cavalry ought to have been; it is true that I noticed they had on blue overcoats, but as for that matter Wheeler's Cavalry who were supporting us had the same which they had captured. I relate this instance in justice to a brave man, now dead, who has been harshly criticized by his enemies. I have never attached any blame to him , as under the circumstances it might have happened to anyone else. Just before dark Gens. Hardee and Taliaferro rode forward to where I was stationed, and after learning the situation gave me my orders. I was informed that I would be attacked early in the morning, but that I must hold my position as long as possible, and then fall back slowly upon the main line, contending every foot of ground. The rain was still falling and having ridden up and down the line to see that all was right I returned to my position in the road. Night came and it was dreary enough. Soon after dark my orderly came up and brought me a tin can containing some corn bread and bacon. As the can had no top the contents were saturated with rain water, and tho' very hungry I was unable to eat, I ordered him to give it to Lt. MacBeth who was on the line just to my left. On his return I made him hold my horse and coiled myself up on a wagon trough which was by the side of the road, as I wanted to get some sleep. He was instructed to arouse me upon the slightest disturbance. The night passed away quietly and I got a good sleep considering the circumstances. Just before day he called me, and I found that the rain had ceased. On the other side of the ravine the camp-fires of the enemy could be seen and we could hear the bands of music; on our side, all was darkness and not a sound could be heard. I dismissed my courier, and told him to go back to the lines, but in case I was killed or wounded he must try and find my body. As soon as the light was sufficient the sentry in the road reported to me that he could see men coming around the bend in the road towards our line, knowing that we had no friends in that direction I ordered him to fire upon them which he did. In a few minutes the fire became general along our whole front, and was continued for more than an hour, when it was reported to me that the enemy had overlapped my left and had turned that flank. I then gave orders for the line to retire as skirmishers, keeping up their fire. This was done in beautiful style for troops that had never been placed under such conditions, slowly and deliberately they retired, rank by rank, loading and firing all the time. The distance from my line and the main line was not more than a quarter of a mile, but we kept them at bay for at least an hour, and to show how persistently these gallant soldiers held their ground, that upon reaching the main line I found that many men there had been killed, among them being the Lt. Col. of my Regiment. When Col. Rhett was captured the afternoon before, the command of the brigade devolved upon Co.l Wm Butler of my regiment, consequently upon arriving at our line, the Lt. Col. being killed, I as senior Captain took command, it will be remembered that Maj. Adams was absent wounded. Our Brigade was formed as follows "A" 1st S.C. Regular Artillery, acting as infantry; 2 pieces of Le Gardener's Battery,("B") in the road; "C" Lucas' Battalion of regulars, and "D" 1st S.C. Regular Infantry, the left of which rested on a pond of water circled with thick bushes. Hardly had we reached the line and the skirmishers had rejoined the respective companies, when the enemy in great force charged the line, they were repulsed with heavy loss, our little improvised breastworks being of great service in sheltering our men. Again and again they returned to the charge but our regulars never flinched, and hurled them back. The enemy finding so stubborn a resistance prepared to flank us on our extreme left where I commanded, I sent for reinforcements and two companies of the 1st Artillery was sent me, these were stationed on my left beyond the pond. In the mean time the enemy relaxed his efforts against my front and prepared to outflank us on the right where the 1st Artillery was stationed. After the preparations were completed a general charge upon our whole front was made, the right was outflanked and my left was soon turned. We then were ordered to fall back upon the second line and help Elliott's Brigade hold it, to our surprise when we got there Elliott's Brigade was gone. We took possession of the line but succeeded in holding it but a short time, as in our weakened condition we had not enough men to hold the front and could not guard the flanks. The enemy drove us out of this line and we fell back in rear of McLaw's Division, where we were reformed and the Brigade, that is what was left us, got in condition to be of some more service. By this time it was nearly night, and McLaws held his line until after night when the general retreat was resumed. Our little Brigade had held its ground from daylight until after one o'clock, but our losses were terrible. In my regiment out of twenty-five officers carried in I had seven left including myself that night, the rest of the Brigade suffered just as severely. Le Gardener's section of artillery, had every man either killed or wounded, and both guns and caissons were so much disabled that they were left on the field, almost every horse belonging to the section was killed. All night long we continued the retreat, but the enemy had been taught a lesson and they did not follow us, but turned to the right in the direction of Wilmington. About sunrise the next morning we halted and got food and were allowed to rest until near dark, when we were ordered to march to Bentonville to join Gen. Joseph E. Johnson who intended to attack at that point. We marched until about midnight, when we halted, and bivouacked alongside of the road until daylight and then resumed the march. By sunrise we could hear the artillery, and we were hurried on and crossing a bridge marched through the little village of Bentonville towards the battlefield a few miles south. Worn down with our long march and the great strain of the battle of Averyboro, we were not the same troops of a few days previous. As we approached the battlefield the wounded were brought by in great numbers, this showed what hot work was going on and tended to depress our men. On reaching a point in the road behind the lines an officer met us and we were ordered to file to the right and take position on the extreme right, the intention was to turn the enemy's left. This time Elliott's Brigade was in front and ours in line about 300 yds in his rear. I do not know whose fault it was but the attacking column was not put in far enough to our right, and instead of striking the enemy's train we were marched up against a battery of six field pieces well supported by infantry. These were stationed in an open field. Elliott's Brigade led the charge and as they emerged from the woods and got into the field it was received by a storm of grape and canister, together with the infantry fire. This Brigade broke in a few minutes and poured over our little brigade like an avalanche, threatening to carry us along with them. Our Brigade was halted under cover of the woods, and Gen. Taliaferro ordered us to charge. We reached the field, but the fire was so severe and our numbers so small, that we were unable to carry the battery; we fell back in the woods and lay down not a hundred yards from the field, the enemy did not pursue, but supposing us to be in retreat continued firing over us. A second charge was ordered with the like result, and we once more lay down expecting the enemy to follow us when we would get our revenge. This they did not do. Gen. Hardee now rode up and after making a reconnaissance ordered us to move by the left flank and join our left to Gen. Bates right when another charge of Bates and our Brigade would be made. By the time this was done it was near dark, but when the charge was ordered it was handsomely accomplished for about a half mile, the enemy retreating in great haste to their main line. When we struck the main line we were unable to carry it as they must have outnumbered us five to one, and after a desperate attempt we were forced to relinquish any further attack. Our Regiment was severely handled again, my entire color guard was killed, and I brought the regimental colors out of the battle with my own hands, taking it out of the hands of Sergt. Long, the color Sergt., who was killed within less than a hundred yards of the enemy's line. After the battle of Averyboro on account of the lack of Officers, I had consolidated the ten companies in the regiment into five, giving one officer to each two companies, the sixth officer acted as Adjutant and I was the seventh. We took position for the night just in rear of the position from which the last charge was made. Up to this time we had heard nothing of Elliott's Brigade since they broke in the beginning of the battle, I gathered the few officers I had left, and disposed the men as well as I could in the darkness. I had nothing to eat since the morning of the day before, as my orderly had taken my horse to the rear (we were ordered to dismount) as we were going into action, and what little I had went with the orderly. My friend Capt. King had a small piece of raw bacon and a piece of cornbread in his haversack, which he kindly shared with me, I think that raw bacon and corn bread were the sweetest morsels I ever remember to have eaten. About midnight Gen. Elliott came along our line and stopped to chat with me, he was suffering from his wound received at the crater in front of Petersburgh, and was very much depressed. I had known him ever since I was a boy and he conversed very freely with me, he expressed great regret and chagrin at the conduct of his Brigade and said he had asked for a sick leave on account of his wound, and would leave for home in the morning. The Brigade was organized after the evacuation of Charleston, Gen. Elliott assigned to it. He had no time to get it in shape and was not responsible for its conduct. On parting with him I gave him a knife that was made in Fort Sumter for me by the blacksmith, it was rough, but very creditable for the tools he had at his command. I never saw him again. The next morning the enemy made no demonstration in our immediate front but the battle was renewed towards our left. About 3 or 4 P.M. we were hastily summoned to support our left near Bentonville, as the enemy was endeavoring to turn our left flank and get possession of the bridge, upon our arrival, we found the enemy had been completely repulsed, and we held our position until the next day; when we crossed the bridge and commenced our retreat towards Raleigh; the enemy having drawn off towards Wilmington. I forgot to mention that before being ordered to support the left flank the day before my faithful orderly Jno. Beck rode up to our lines with an old gander and about a half bushel of dried apples, which he had succeeded in obtaining from a farm house. We dug a hole in the ground, and using an iron ramrod as a spit roasted the old gander, and regaled ourselves on gander and apples, he was very tough but under the circumstances we worried him down as probably we would have done anything else in the shape of food. Our march proceeded until we reached a place called Smithfield, when Gen. Johnson reorganized his command and had a large review. It was the largest I ever saw except one in the suburbs of Paris in 1860. Our Brigade was assigned to Maj. Gen. Patton Anderson, under whose command we remained until the final surrender. From Smithfield we continued the retreat to Raleigh but when we got there we heard of the surrender of Gen. Lee. The next day we marched on towards Greensboro. We were very much depressed and desertions were frequent. When we got to the "Haw" River, we found the stream so high as to require the passage of our trains across the railroad bridge. Our Brigade was in the rear of all the infantry and only the cavalry between us and the enemy. Just before our arrival several teams had fallen over the bridge, which was a very high structure, and I was ordered to move the trains with my regiment by hand across the bridge, the animals were swam across. The rest of the Brigade went on, and I prepared for work. This was about 10 A.M. We worked steadily from this time until near daylight the next morning and succeeded in transporting McLaw's and Anderson's Divisions' trains across the bridge. The rest of the army had crossed by another route, at daylight the work was all done and I reported to Gen. Anderson, who kindly allowed me to take charge of a freight train and transport my wearied men to join their command, then about 20 miles ahead of us. When we reached Greensboro, we were paroled and started for our homes. The country was filled with bush-whackers and robbers, deserters from both armies who attacked all unarmed persons. We had some arms given us and with two wagons to carry our supplies the troops from our Brigade were placed under my charge to carry them back home. I marched in the direction of Cheraw, and when I got there commenced to disband them. The question then arose what was I to do with the two wagons and eight mules. I had no right to take them for myself as I considered they were furnished for the benefit of the entire party. How to divide them seemed a question of great moment, when at least 150 men had to be cared for. Fortunately Col. Cash, who lived in the neighborhood, had succeeded in hiding two twenty-five lb. shot bags of silver; for Sherman's Army stole everything they could lay their hands on, often taking things of no value to them and thrown away the next day on the march. Col. Cash heard that I wished to sell my teams, and came to Cheraw and offered me the two bags of silver, most of it in 25 cts pieces. I accepted the offer, as I saw no other solution, and divided the money out among the command, every one sharing alike from the Cmdg. Officer to the humblest private. The next day we proceeded to make our way to Charleston dropping the men along as we came near their homes. We had much difficulty in crossing the Santee River, the water was very high and we had to swim our horses through parts of the swamp. When about 5 miles from the city we met the first pickets of the enemy, we showed our paroles and then escorted by a guard we were taken to the Provost Marshals Office in the old Fraser house at the lower end of King St. After registering our names we were dismissed and ordered to report twice a week. I had two horses of my own but no money to feed myself or them. I left them at a livery stable in Meeting St. opposite the Artesian well, and went to my cousins Mrs. Moodie's in Cannon St. She had recently died but her children took me in and shared the little they had with me. I sold my horses in a day or two, procured some citizen's clothes and some provisions. I remained with them for about a month and then worked my way to Spartanburg where my mother and family were living. I spent the balance of the summer with them and in the fall returned to Charleston for the purpose of making arrangements for planting my place on Bull's Island, I borrowed some money from a Boston man and started work early in January with some white labor I got from New York. These soon deserted me as my agent who hired them deceived them and they were very dissatisfied. This was quite a loss, as I did not succeed in getting any Negroes to work until late in March. In the mean time had put the buildings in order and replaced some that had been burned by the enemy. My expenses were very heavy as the fields had all grown up in bushes, but I succeeded in planting a fair crop, and made a good yield. At that time cotton was selling at $1.50 and upwards a pound, but imagine my feelings when I could get but 65 cts. for mine owing to the poor quality of the seed. I do not blame the party from whom I bought as I am satisfied he was deceived himself, nevertheless it was a great loss to me. I could not pay back the money I had borrowed, and the mortgage was foreclosed. Under this circumstance I could not get any advances to continue planting. I had no money to pay for labor, and I was virtually ruined. The Negroes left the Island, and I stayed there the greater part of the year by myself as a protection to my animals and buildings. The island was sold and it brought barely enough to pay the balance of the mortgage. I then moved over to my plantation on the mainland, and with some money I succeeded in raising by the sale of the small plantation I owned on ____, I made another effort. All the buildings on my plantation "Belvedere" had been burnt and consequently I had to start from the beginning. I had plenty of labor and had a fine crop, when the caterpillars came and ruined it; at that time the use of "Paris-green" was unknown. I was completely discouraged, so far as planting was concerned, and determined to take the few hundred dollars I had left and try cattle raising, which was very profitable at this time. Three years of the prime of my life had been spent,' 66, '67, and '68 with hardly anything left. However I struggled on, in the hopes of better times. My stock farm was fairly under way and things looking a little more encouraging. I got married on the 11th of March 1869 to Miss Freeman a lady of 18 years who lived with her uncle at Mount Pleasant, her father having been dead a long time. This was a fortunate step for me, as I now had a definite object in view; previously no one was dependent on me and I felt that it was small matter whether I sunk or swim. My wife soon proved herself a help-mate to me, having been raised in the country, she was willing to live there, and was able and willing to turn her attention to domestic affairs. I also commenced surveying and this business helped to support me, in a short while I had all the business in this section of country embracing Christ Church, St. James and St. Thomas Parishes. I could have extended the business, but could not leave my wife alone in the country to go any great distance. On the 12th of March 1870 my eldest child was born and I named him Robert Press, after my friend Dr. R. Press Smith. He died Aug 5th 1872 at Charleston. This was a terrible blow to us, and even to this day it pains us to think of him. During this summer I was employed as Asst. Engineer in building the Enterprise Rail-road in Charleston. When I would be compelled to leave my stock farm to survey, my cattle were stolen by Negroes, tho' I had a white man to look after them. Consequently what I made by a survey was frequently offset by the loss in cattle. Again my residence in the country was so isolated, no schools, or society for my wife; the nearest doctor being 21 miles away, that I determined to sell out my stock and enter the truck farming business near Mount Pleasant. This I did to advantage and commenced to farm on Goblet's farm adjoining Hilliamville, which I leased for 5 years. I was reasonably successful, and tho' constantly engaged my wife and myself lived comfortably on the farm all the year round, with hardly any sickness. When we went to the farm we had two sons and when we left four sons. In 1878 I was elected county commissioner for Charleston County. Having made enough at farming to buy a home in Mount Pleasant and receiving a fair salary from my office I gave up my lease and ceased to be a farmer. In 1880 I was elected Supt. of Streets in Charleston which office I continued to hold for 14 years, when I was turned out by the Tillmanites who got in power. During this term of office my business required me to live in the city. I therefore bought a house and lived here ever since. In March 1894 a month after I had lost my situation with the city government I received the appointment as Boarding Officer in the Custom House.
From the foregoing it will be readily seen that what is written is not for publication, but was written at the request of my family for their individual information. The narrative is an account of my personal life more than an official statement. However there are incidents mentioned which are of public interest and they may be considered of such importance hereafter as to warrant their publication. Of course after a lapse of so many years I could not enter into many details which may be interesting to my family, and therefore I have only given a general outline of my life, but in doing so I have not stated a single fact that I am not morally sure is correctly true. I have endeavored not to criticize my opponents, and have cheerfully given credit whenever it was due. In looking back upon my life I can now see where grave errors were made by me, but I honestly think that I acted on all occasions according to the best information, at the time, in my possession. "To err is human" and these mistakes were but my share of the common lot of humanity. From my infancy the germs of honor, truth, and courage were instilled into my heart, by those who I loved and honored; these germs were carefully cultured and fostered by tradition and example, and as I grew to know their importance and feel their effect. I soon found myself in that condition to desire nothing better than to leave behind me a fair name and a spotless record. How well I succeeded in doing so, time alone can give the verdict and charity with her broad mantle will cover up such shortcomings as resulted from the incompetency of the head and not the faults of the heart.
Many versions of the following perilous trip to Fort Sumter having been made I deem it proper to give the correct account. During the winter of 1864, while in command of Battery Beauregard on Sullivan's Island. I gave a dinner party to some of the officers of my Regiment. After dinner, among other subjects under discussion, the fact of the great danger to be encountered by anyone who attempted to go to Sumter during the day time was freely commented upon. Finally my friend Capt. Burnett ventured the remark that no boat could reach the Fort from Battery Beauregard during the day time. I said I thought it could be done, tho' hazardous. One word led to another until Burnett said "I am willing to bet any amount". I agreed to the bet, and proposed to make the attempt at once. I sent for my coxswain "Old Paddy Lee", many of my friends will no doubt recollect him if this amount ever reaches them, and told him to launch my boat from the front beach as I was going to Sumter. He looked at me in astonishment , but simply said "Yes-sir", and turned on his heel and proceeded to execute the order. Some of my brother officers endeavored to persuade me not to run the risk, as there was nothing to be gained, and in all probability destruction awaited me. At that time however, there was no one dependent on me, I was full of daring and having accepted the wager I was determined not to back out no matter what were the consequences. The boat was reported ready and I proceeded to the beach. It was very rough, the wind blowing strong from the North-east and a strong flood tide. At one glance I saw that these two factors were in my favor, and I made up my mind how to act. I determined upon the following ruse to deceive the enemy as to my intentions as long as possible and then when they (my intentions) could no longer be concealed to take the chances of their artillery fire and dash boldly for the Fort. At this moment while standing on the beach making my plans, Lt. R.Y. Dwight, volunteered to go with me, I stated the risk but he persisted and I consented, I determined to steer the boat myself and therefore dismissed one of the crew and ordered Paddy Lee to take the stoke oar. All being ready I got into the boat and we shoved off. To give a better idea of the ruse that I had planned I give below a rude sketch of the locality, which will help to explain the situation. Following these words, T. A. Huguenin has drawn a map of the Charleston Harbor, showing Sullivan's Island, Fort Sumter, Morris Island, and James Island, with markings for the flood tide. My plan was to steer directly for Battery Gregg, as indicated by the dotted blue line, thus conveying the impression that I wished to communicate with the Federal authorities at that point, and to gain that much on my way to Sumter, before taking a direct course for the fort. Of course I did not have a "flag of truce" as that could not be used without the authority of the Comd'g General, and besides would have invalidated the wager. I hoped that the enemy would think I was on a peace mission, and had forgotten the flag. I knew that the flood tide and east wind would constantly bear me towards the Fort, as indicated in the dotted red line up to the point marked "A"; but all the while I kept my bow directed up on Gregg, appearing anxious to reach that point. The enemy apparently were deceived, as they left their batteries and assembled in numbers on the beach to receive my communication, this was exactly what I had hoped for, as every minute brought me that much nearer Sumter. By this time the shore of Sullivan's Island was lined with spectators, also the walls of Sumter, all wondering what was the object at which I was directed. On nearing the point marked "A" , I said to my crew that the critical moment was at hand, and that while I had piloted them safely so far and would continue my efforts to land them safely; now was the time I had to depend on them. Under no circumstances must they loose their self possession, and to stick to their oars no matter what happened. No one was to say a word but myself, and my orders were to be explicitly obeyed. On reaching the point marked "A", I said now men do your best and pull with a will, wind and tide are in our favor, keep a stout heart and leave the rest to me. "Yes sir" old Paddy replied, and I suddenly changed my course for Sumter. Up to this time the men had been pulling an easy stroke but now they gave way in earnest, the oars fairly buckled and the gallant boat fairly sped through the water. The enemy for a moment stood bewildered on the beach, when all of a sudden they seemed to realize the situation, and with a wild cheer rushed for their guns. In the mean time my crew were bending to their work and we gained rapidly on the Fort. A minute or so came the first gun which passed harmlessly over our heads, then another and another in quick succession, but still we were not hit and my men took even greater courage and seemed to enjoy the sport, so much so, that I stood up in the stern and waved my cap. A few shots more, and when nearly under cover of the north face of the fort, a shell burst in the air about one hundred feet short of the boat, and one of the fragments flying forward struck the boat just under my seat and went through and through. In a second there came a rush of water the size of my arm, and the boat filled rapidly. I cried to the men to stand to their oars, all would be well, we had but a short distance to go, and the boat would only sink to the gunwales. That gallant crew never hesitated, not a stroke was lost, not a word was spoken, every man seemed to know that the least mistake, an instant of delay under that increasing fire, for now all the batteries that could bear upon us were opened, would be fatal for us. In a few minutes more and amid a rain of shells and the cheers of our friends on Sumter and Sullivan's Island we landed on the north berm of the fort, in about five feet of water, we jumped out and hauled the boat ashore. I thus won the wager, tho' by a narrow margin. Had I attempted the passage in a direct course from Battery Beauregard I believe we would have been sunk before going half the distance, but the course pursued threw the enemy completely off their guard and the result was that my journey was half accomplished before they found out what was going on.
On another occasion while in command of the Fort on returning from the city where I had gone on business, an oar was cut out of the hands of one of my crew. At no time, day or night, was it safe to approach the fort. It is true I did frequently come and go as business required, but I was fully aware of the danger and always felt grateful and thankful when the trip was ended in safety.
"The Arlington Riot"
As much criticism, pro and con, has been indulged in regarding my action on this occasion, it may be as well for me to state the case from my standpoint. On the night in question I received a telegram from Gov. Tillman about 10:30, asking for troops to go to Arlington. I at once summoned my staff and after consultation with them ordered the Captains of the command to meet me at my residence that night, which was not accomplished until about 2 A.M. They all reported that they could not say whether their commands could go ,as it was hard for them to get leave from their employers, and all but one Captain was personally opposed to going. I stated that in the mean time I had placed myself in communication with Mayor Dargan, who had informed me by telegram that all trouble was over, the constables were gone and the citizens had returned to their homes. Under these circumstances I telegraphed the Gov. that I did not think the troops would go. The next morning about 7 A.M. Gen. Farley arrived at my house, and I informed him that there was great reluctance on the part of the soldiers to go, and I had no means of compelling them to go as they were volunteers and not enlisted troops. I however invited him to meet my officers at 10 A.M., when I would be in condition to give him a more definite reply. At that meeting the officers reported unanimously that the men were not only unable to go but were unwilling to imbue their hands in the blood of their fellow citizens, which was apparently the object of the Governor they should do. I telegraphed this condition of affairs to Gov. Tillman, and awaited his reply. About 2 P.M. I received an order from him by telegraph to send the Brigade. This order I declined to issue, and notified him that the "Troops would not go". In the first place Gov. Tillman never ordered me to go in person to Arlington, I was therefore unwilling to send my men, totally inexperienced in such a crisis, to take their chances in such a conflict against what odds I knew not. Again by this time reliable information had been received that the presence of troops would tend to aggravate matters, and the constables had escaped. This information was verified by the fact that when the troops from Columbia did reach Arlington all the constables had escaped and the citizens, upon the assurance of the Comd'g Officer that no violence would be offered them, received them and treated them in a hospitable manner, the bone of contention having been removed some twelve hours previously. There never was a necessity to send troops to Arlington, it was simply a political trick on the part of the Governor and his supporters.