Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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Ciceronian roundness of periods and exuberance of lan-
guage, a rather too flowery profusion of ornament and the
suggestion of ideas not pursued.

Feb. 1860.

Ned Fishburne and I called on Miss Longstreet. But she
and the Judge's daughter, Mrs. Lamar, who are the young
people of the household, were out. However the Judge and
the old lady, who is a very pleasant old soul, entreated us to
stay and have a talk with them. So, we sat down, and the old
Judge got his pipe and fell to smoking, and we all chatted
together, until the arrival of another visitor. This was
Mr. Timrod, the young Charleston poet, quite a nice-looking
but a very little man. He behaved himself very well. During
the conversation he spoke of a peculiarly sweet and plaintive
Indian air, which he had heard that the Judge played, where-
upon that gentleman very obligingly got up and fetched his
flute (an elegant glass one) and played the air for us. It
was really beautiful. He then played some bugle notes upon
the flute, the imitation being perfect, and afterwards gave us
a number of the sweetest of the Scotch airs.

Fifth day of Oct. 1860

At our Rooms College.
Dear Sister:

******* Some beautiful decorations
have been added to the new State House, and when you come
up here, it will be one of the fine sights, which will really
give you pleasure. I have already mentioned in my letter
to Mother, that our Euphradian Hall has been elegantly
painted in fresco. The library room attached to it is also
painted, but in darker colours, very appropriate to the char-
acter of the room ; and they are both well worth seeing. Our
curtain hangings are of an exceedingly rich and tasty colour.


We owe the selection of the tints, which match admirably
throughout, to Professor Barnwell, who has taken great
interest in the fitting up of the Hall, and superintended every
part of the design with his usual enthusiasm. Our fine Hall,
therefore, will be another inducement to you all to make that
visit to Columbia, to which I look forward with so much
pleasure. I long for our atrocious Examination to be fairly
over. *******i would lay aside my letter about this time
and go to bed, were it not for the diabolical noise of a banjo
in the room overhead, which will effectually prevent my
sleeping for some time to come. In these "cloistered walls"
we suffer very frequently from the semi-developed musical
talents of those around us. Unfortunately, too, there are
many whom time and experience fail to convince that they
were not born to shine in that department; and the banjo-
performers are particularly assidous and enthusiastic in
their efforts, for what they want in musical endowments,
they eke out with much stamping and a kind of heathenish
chant by way of accompaniment. As I perceive a temporary
lull in the distracting sounds, of which I have spoken, it will
be well to take advantage of their cessation, and try to be
asleep before they begin again. So, good night.

Sixth of Oct. 1860.

College Campus.
Dear Father

I received this morning the very welcome supply contained
in your letter, had the order cashed at once, and immediately
paid in at the Library the one dollar required. We are
relieved by this time on the subject of cigars. By diligent
search, we have hit upon a shop, where we can obtain very
tolerable Americans, and are now supplied to our hearts'
content. I am in hopes, by steady study to get my diploma
without any great trouble. The Examination was much
more awful in anticipation, than it will be in reality.

From accounts given by students from the upper districts,
and from the excitement prevailing in Columbia, political
alarmists seem to be somewhat plentiful in the State; but


we of the graduating class are fortunately too busy to bother
our heads about such things.

Saturday, Oct. 1860.

So. Carolina College.
Dear Mother.

We are all so much excited here about the state of political
affairs, that many of us are making by no means diligent
preparation for the coming examination. Our men those
of my class, I mean are anxious to be at home, either to join
companies already organized, or to aid in organizing new

There ought to be a corps of mounted riflemen in Prince
William's for arms ought to be procured and drill com-
menced as soon as possible. I do not think it by any means
certain that we will have either Secession or War imme-
diately; but in the event of the Black Republicans being
defeated even, I am inclined to believe that the incipient
step towards Disunion will only be shifted from us to the
North. That fanatical party has now for the first time felt
the full measure of its strength and will not brook defeat.
The more moderate men among them will in vain attempt to
stem the torrent of their crusading zeal ; and the probability
is, that before the presidential inauguration takes place,
we will have an attempt at a general insurrection and a raid
into the border states much more general and much more
formidable than that of John Brown. If matters are likely
to take such a turn, and our Legislature proves so besotted
as to be satisfied with Breckenridge's election, it will be wise
for the sound Districts to arm volunteer companies at once
and be prepared for the sudden call which the State will then
make upon her citizens. In any event, if the State will not
act now of her free will, I believe that the day will ultimately
come, when she will be driven into not Secession, but
immediate War by armed hordes upon her frontiers. Nor
do the signs of the times bear us out in supposing that the
day will be a distant one. I therefore think that we, who are
not absolutely blind like those who assume to be our states-


men, ought to be getting ready at once ; and I hope somebody
will organize a volunteer troop in Prince William's, not
one of these trifling politico-military associations with no
definite object and a rascally liberal platform but a purely
military organization.


Reprinted from "The News and Courier'' of Dec. 19, 1901.


The year 1860 will ever be indelibly impressed upon the
political history of the American Republic. Its violent dis-
cussions, its intense excitements, the frightfully cruel war
that followed, and the death, waste and destruction that
resulted as a consequence will ever form a chapter of intense
interest for future generations. That a South Carolinian
of the old school, who had been taught by proud, high-toned,
chivalric forefathers to guard with jealous care his civil and
political rights, who looked upon his liberty with more con-
cern than his life, should hurry to take steps to withdraw
his connections from what he knew to be vital encroachments
by the General Government upon his inherited belief in the
sovereign rights of his State was not to be wondered at.
The sequel has shown how more than sixty thousand South
Carolina soldiers, more than the voting population of the
State, hurried to the battlefield, to defend the principles
they had been taught to respect, and for which they were
willing to offer their lives.

South Carolina was the leader in the cause for Southern
rights. During the entire year of 1860 her statesmen were
foremost in asserting advanced Southern doctrine during the
political contest for President of the United States. At first
the excitement was greater within the borders than in other
States of the South and probably the discussions more
violent. Upon Columbia, the Capital of the State, and sig-
nificantly bearing the name of the original great discoverer


of our free Western Hemisphere, fell the heaviest shock of
the fearful political storm. During the year political con-
ventions were held. The State seceded from the National
Union on the 20th of December. The Ordinance of Secession
was actually passed in the city of Charleston, but the con-
vention first assembled in Columbia and passed a prelimi-
nary resolution to the same purpose. The streets of
Columbia were at times filled with excited audiences, and
speakers from the balconies and porches of the hotels hurled
back at Northern fanatics threats of resistance against any
efforts or action looking to coercion. In the meanwhile the
bonfires were lighted and torchlight processions were fre-
quent, and the beautiful patriotic girls of the glorious old
city made palmetto cockades and tied them with blue ribbon
and presented them with a "God-speed" to the cause of
liberty. How could the gallant young men of the South
Carolina College fail to be impressed with the patriotic
fever now raging over the land? It is not surprising that
they hurried to reorganize the College company in the fall
of 1860. There had been in former days a company in the
College known as the South Carolina College Cadets, but
this older organization was disbanded by order of the Gov-
ernor in 1856. The students got into trouble with the police
of Columbia during that year, and good order in the College
was threatened, and the authorities had the guns returned
to the arsenal and the company disbanded. B. J. Wither-
spoon, of Lancaster, was the last Captain of that older com-
pany. The following newspaper account of the old College
company, which took part in the parade on the occasion of
Gen. Lafayette's visit to South Carolina in 1824, will be
interesting: "In line were the South Carolina Cadets. There
were 40 or 50 of these young men, commanded by Cadet
Capt. Saxon. They had a striking uniform, a dark grey,
swallow-tail coat and white trousers. The head dress was
the peculiarly shaped cap or chapeau of that day. The white
duck trousers were gathered at the knee by a band of black
velvet ribbon an inch wide, with streamers hanging down
the outer seam and falling to the ankle. Long trousers,


known as 'Lafayette pants/ had then supplanted the knicker-
bockers which Lafayette wore when an American soldier.
The cadets wore powdered queues of the colonial style."

The organization which was inspired by the revolutionary
events of 1860 was formed in the fall of that year. A com-
plete list of the names of its members has luckily been pre-
served by Mr. R. F. Fleming, a student of the College, a
member of the company, and now a highly respected citizen
of Greenwood County. We add the list as follows :


John H. Gary, Captain.

E. Dawkins Rogers, First Lieutenant.
Iredell Jones, Second Lieutenant.

L. H. Watts, Third Lieutenant.

T. S. Dupont, Ensign.

J. Petigru Mellard, Quartermaster.

S. M. Richardson, First Sergeant.

J. C. Habersham, Second Sergeant.

J. M. Ivy, Third Sergeant.

W. T. Gary, Fourth Sergeant.

F. K. Oliver, Fifth Sergeant.

R. W. B. Elliott, First Corporal.

R. DeTreville Lawrence, Second Corporal.

R. M. Anderson, Third Corporal.

J. J. Fripp, Fourth Corporal.

J. G. McCall, Fifth Corporal.

James Watts, Sixth Corporal.

Privates D. Ancrum, W. A. Ancrum, F. M. Bailey, J. M.
Bell, S. Boykin, Landon Dowie, J. W. Brearly, J. F. Byrd,
J. C. Calhoun, M. A. Carlisle, R. K. Charles, W. T. Charles,
W. A. Clark, C. W. Coker, H. C. Cunningham, J. B. Cureton,
F. B. Davis, J. E. Davis, S. P. Dendy, W. P. DuBose, B. C.
Dupont, J. B. Elliott, A. A. Faust, Augustus Fielding, R. F.
Fleming, C. B. Foster, J. H. Fowles, I. N. Fowles, A. C.
Fraser, W. H. Geiger, Weston Gibson, Leslie Glover, A. T.
Goodwyn, C. E. Gregg, T. C. Grey, J. N. Guerard, P. Gullatt,
A. H. Hamilton, R. A. Harllee, John C. Haskell, P. L. Henry,


I. K. Heyward, J. M. Hill, Edward Houston, Joseph C.
Haskell, J. H. Heuitt, H. P. Jennings, Wm. Kirk, J. M.
McCarley, G. H. McCutcheon, R. G. McCutcheon, S.
McGowan, T. B. McLaurin, F. H. Macleod, J. G. Marshall,
J. Poinsett Mellard, C. G. Memminger, Jr., T. J. Moore,
A. P. Nicholson, F. S. Parker, Jr., T. S. Rhett, H. W.
Rice, Jr., Arthur Robinson, P. H. Robertson, W. J. Rook,
D. T. Smith, E. C. Smith, R. H. Smith, A. T. Smythe, D. P.
Sojourner, J. T. C. Spann, J. P. Spratt, H. W. Stevenson,
G. M. Stoney, C. P. Storres, E. R. Stuart, H. M. Stuart,
J. H. Townsend, W. W. Trapier, W. J. Trezevant, J. C.
Vance, J. T. Walker, Ernest Walworth, A. H. Watson, J. B.
Watson, Bentley Weston, W. Whitaker, J. S. White, J. A.
Wilson, W. A. Youmans.

This company was first drilled and instructed by Capt.
H. S. Thompson, of the Arsenal, afterwards Governor
Thompson, and was furnished with arms and accoutrements
by the State. The members provided themselves with a
pretty gray uniform, and were delighted to parade the streets
of the city and perform various military evolutions accord-
ing to Hardee's Tactics in the presence of an admiring public.
There could not have been a greater "esprit de corps" mani-
fested in any similar organization. Drifted together from all
parts of the same State, inspired by a common purpose, that
of education, being friends and class-mates, and socially
upon an equality, they had pride in themselves, in the College
and a fervent love for the mother State, which burned
brighter in their young hearts as the threatened dangers to
their State grew greater. They cheered every sentiment
that honored South Carolina ; they welcomed every one who
was as a friend to the cause of Southern rights. When old
Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia, made his appearance within tne
walls of the College they gave him a grand reception, called
for a speech, waved the Palmetto flag over his head and did
honor to the long, silver grey locks that fell over his
shoulders. If the writer remembers correctly, our present
distinguished citizen, Judge A. C. Haskell, was the young
man who held aloft the Palmetto flag over the old man's


head. Time passes and the eventful year of 1861 is ushered
in. This company continues its drills and makes prepara-
tion with the burning thought that they were following the
motto of their State: "Animis opibusque parati!" They
did not dream probably of the frightful havoc, distress and
destruction that has since been experienced by our people,
but they were impressed then with all the patriotic motives
which made the Confederate soldier famous, and induces the
desire on the part of the Daughters of the Confederacy to
know the part performed by the cadets of the College in the
War Between the States. If they exulted in their hand-
some uniforms, the martial step and inspiring drum beat,
their inmost thoughts struck deeper and a more serious
chord, when the threatened hostilities at last broke out. The
first gun that was fired on Fort Sumter sounded the call
to arms. For days and weeks before the signal the students
had watched the reports of the rapidly occurring events in
Charleston and the company was eager to go to the front,
but the more conservative Faculty vigorously opposed the
idea of disrupting the College and exerted all their influence
to prevent the boys from tendering their services to the
Governor, but without avail. On the morning of the 12th
of April, they marched in a body to the South Carolina
depot, where they boarded the train for Charleston, paying
their own way. Capt. Gary had made application to the
President of the College asking permission to go, and the
Faculty were holding their meeting on the morning of the
12th of April while the boys were hurrying away. On this
point the recollections of Mr. R. K. Charles (a member of
the company), of Darlington, are so very clear and explicit
that the writer will insert extracts from his letters, as
follows :

"When the firing began in Fort Sumter the company tele-
graphed the tender of its services to Governor Pickens in
Charleston and requested orders to come down immediately.
The Governor accepted the company as a part of the militia
in service, and ordered it to hold itself in readiness and
remain in Columbia until further orders. This was looked


upon by the students, as, no doubt it was, as a plan to keep
them out of the fight, and they were greatly dissatisfied and
began to devise modes of circumventing the Governor's
plans. At last it was determined to disband the company
which had been tendered and immediately form another
company and go to Charleston without asking for orders,
and this was done. They could not take their guns with
them, as they had promised to use the guns only with the
consent of the Faculty, so the guns were stacked in the
usual place in the library. The new company had only a
short time to prepare to take the train, which left at 6 o'clock.
Just before the train started the Captain telegraphed to
Governor Pickens that a new company was on its way to
Charleston. President Longstreet, seeing the impossibility
of restraining the boys, came down to the train and gave
them a pleasant farewell and God-speed."

As the train speeded on to Charleston the reports of the
heavy artillery firing on Fort Sumter could be heard and no
words can picture the patriotic feelings of the young men as
they went to the front to take part in the active hostilities.
As the train drew up at the depot in Charleston the rain
poured down in torrents. Some might imagine that the
ardor of this patriotic and enthusiastic corps would have
been cooled off, but, undismayed and undaunted, they fell
into ranks while the rain poured down on their pretty new
uniforms and kept step down the streets of Charleston to
the Hibernian Hall, which was provided for their quarters.
But there was no rest. After taking supper at the old
Pavilion Hotel the boys scattered about, some to the Battery
to listen to the firing going on in the harbor, others to learn
the news and find out possibly what part of Fort Sumter it
was designed that they should assail! Lieut. L. H. Watts
was dispatched to Beauregard's headquarters for orders,
and finally we received instructions to be prepared to embark
for Sullivan's Island at daylight next morning. In the
meantime they were furnished with guns and ammunition
at the State Armory and the four officers were each pre-
sented by the Governor with a Colt's navy revolver. We


boarded the tug boat early in the morning of the 13th and
steamed away across the harbor to the Island. We touched
at Mount Pleasant wharf on account of the heavy firing and
waited for some time until the firing slackened and then
proceeded to the Island. Before arriving we observed Fort
Sumter on fire and the bombarding ceased. Major Anderson
had saluted us with several shots, which fell in the water
short of the mark. The boys had been ordered to keep below
deck to be concealed from view, but, urged by their enthu-
siastic curiosity, they held their heads above deck until one
of Major Anderson's solid shot ricochetted over the boat,
then their curiosity was suddenly satisfied and they obeyed
orders! Arriving at Sullivan's Island we were marched to
that elegant hotel, the old Moultrie House, beyond Fort
Moultrie, and were eye-witnesses to all the thrilling and
now historical events which occurred on the ever-memora-
ble 13th of April, 1861. We witnessed the heavy volumes
of smoke rising in Fort Sumter; we saw the small boat,
known as the Wigfall boat, proceed toward the burning fort
and we saw the United States flag hauled down and the
Palmetto flag take its place on the flag staff. The cadets
were quartered for several days at the Moultrie House,
when they were sent to a private summer house nearer and
below Fort Moultrie, where our principal duties consisted
of drilling on the beach and enjoying every moment of our
new and novel situation. The only real service performed
by the cadets during their stay on Sullivan's Island was to
guard the beach, apprehending the enemy might make a land
attack on Sullivan's Island. This duty they performed most
faithfully, and a few of these conscientious, enthusiastic
mid-night sentinels (for only a few are left) will remember
the countersigns "White Oak" and "Myrtle." At the end
of three weeks or more we received orders to return to
Columbia. On landing in Charleston on the return trip we
were escorted by Muller's Band, and as the company passed
the Mercury office the flag of the office was lowered and the
salute returned. When we reached the Mills House, Gov-
ernor Pickens came down the steps and made a short speech


complimenting the company and presented it with the arms
and accoutrements it had received at the State Arsenal on
arrival in Charleston, and ordered it to take quarters at the
Charleston Hotel and proceed next day to Columbia. The
Mayor (old Dr. Goodwyn) and the City Council received
it at the depot and escorted it to the City Hall, where refresh-
ments were served in the good old South Carolina style.
We did not then appreciate the great, far-reaching, momen-
tous act! We could not raise the veil that obscured the
future and see in the near distance that deadly, bloody, dis-
astrous and cruel war, which made desolate the homes of a
continent and buried for a time, at least, to the bottomless
pits of oblivion the proud hopes of a brave, honorable, law-
abiding and liberty-loving people! We looked upon the
scene and rejoiced. We saw with delight "The Star Spangled
Banner" hauled down, for we then looked upon it as the
emblem of oppression and the living sign of the violation
of the covenant, while tear-drops moistened our eyes as the
emblem of liberty was flaunted to the breeze, and we hur-
rahed for "The Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star!"
The return of the cadets to Columbia meant the reopening
of the South Carolina College and the continuation of the
class exercises. During the absence of the students the pro-
fessors had lectured to empty benches, at the same time they
remained at their posts ready for their duties. The College
exercises were kept up in some shape until the close of the
term, the latter part of June. There was, however, no peace
outside the College walls and none within. Active steps
were taken at once to go to Virginia, then becoming the seat
of war, and one by one the boys began to leave College to
join the various commands then forming throughout the
State. The excitement was so great there could be no study,
and while the Faculty lectured and passed resolutions and
urged the students to remain at their books, they were busy
preparing for the field of battle. During the latter part of
June, 1861, another company was formed, which tendered its
services to Governor Pickens to go to Virginia. A committee
was appointed to wait on the Governor at his residence at


Edgefield and was composed, according to the writer's recol-
lection, of S. M. Richardson and H. W. Rice. The Governor
received them very cordially and seemed willing to accept
the company for the vacation of three months, but con-
ditioned upon the consent of the Faculty. During the inter-
view the Governor said:

"The war would be of short duration and that the Gov-
ernment needed statesmen more than soldiers." The Gov-
ernor expressed the thought also that in his opinion the
young men would be of more service scattered about in dif-
ferent organizations than in one compact body. The Faculty
passed resolutions declining to assume any control over the
students during vacation, so accordingly when the com-
mittee^ report was received the cadets disbanded, some
going off at once to war, and others remaining until the
session ended, the last of June. The company was composed
as follows:


Prof. Charles S. Venable, Captain.
Iredell Jones, First Lieutenant.
H. M. Stewart, Second Lieutenant.
S. M. Richardson, Third Lieutenant.


H. W. Rice, First Sergeant.
J. M. Ivy, Second Sergeant.
T. K. Oliver, Third Sergeant.
R. M. Anderson, Fourth Sergeant.
E. Houston, Fifth Sergeant.
J. G. Marshall, First Corporal.
J. G. McCall, Second Corporal.
G. M. Stoney, Third Corporal.
J. M. McCarley, Fourth Corporal.
B. Weston, Fifth Corporal.
R. DeTreville Lawrence, Sixth Corporal.
Privates A. K. Boyce, J. W. Brearley, J. C. Calhoun,
R. K. Charles, C. W. Coker, S. B. Bendy, E. Dennis, W. P.

24 H. U.


DuBose, L. S. Dupont, A. B. Elmore, J. B. Elliott, C. B.
Foster, A. Fielding, J. H. Fowles, Weston Gibson, Leslie
Glover, P. Guillot, T. C. Grey, J. N. Guerard, A. T. Goodwyn,
J. C. Haskell, A. H. Hamilton, H. P. Jennings, S. S.
McAliley, G. H. McCutchen, R. T. McCutchen, J. A. Mills,

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 30 of 38)