Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/58
Southern Histoi'ical Society Papers.
Twenty-fitth South Carolina volunteers had been raised and organ- ized. The conscription laws of the Confederacy caused all further proceedings under the call to be suspended. Lamar had died, and Colonel Frederick had succeeded him in command of the artillery regiment. Some demagogue in the Legislature of the State, with his eye on that regiment, introduced and got a bill through which provided for an election of field officers in the regiments organized under the call of the Executive Council. No particular regiment was mentioned in the bill, and it applied as much to the Twenty-fifth regi- ment as to the artillery. It would be very remarkable if in a whole regiment there were no aspirants for office, and the Twenty-fifth was not an exception to an assemblage of about one thousand average citizens. There soon sprung up in the regiment considerable discus- sion over the proposed election. There were those found in the com- mand who were willing to take the places now filled by the field offi- cers. The Adjutant-General of the State had the indiscretion to issue the orders for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the statute, apparently forgetting that the State had lost all power and right to control troops in the Confederate service. This action of the Adjutant- General had the effect of increasing the ardor of the candidates, and give a fresh impulse to electioneering. Before the day fixed for the election the aspirants had pretty generally canvassed the regiment, and ascertained that the field officers were so well established in the regards of the men that it was useless to oppose them. No election was held. General Beauregard put a stop to the whole thing by pub- lishing an order in which he said that the act of the Legislature did rrot apply to the artillery or the Twenty-fifth, because, said the order, " the State of South Carolina could never have intended to control the Confederate army. The law must have been designed to apply to some other troops." The agitation resulted in a benefit to the regiment, for it was ascertained that the men stood ready to endorse the field officers. The 15th of May was the day named by the order of the Adjutant- General for the election. Colonel Simonton was not in command of the regiment, and the Major and the Lieutenant-Colonel were both on leave of absence — the former on sick leave, and the lat- ter on account of the illness and death of his father. The absence of the field officers made the many favorable expressions of opinion which reached their ears still more agreeable.
About this time the Twenty-fourth and Sixteenth South Carolina Volunteers, Forty-sixth Georgia, and the Eighth Georgia Battalion and Fergerson's Light Battery were organized into a brigade and took