The Wee Nee Volunteers of Williamsburg District. 179
I ascertained that we were going to Virginia, I got permission to march up to the city and wait there for transportation.
General Taliaferro, commanding on James Island, signified his desire to retain Colonel Simonton. It was represented to him that his promotion, which had been recommended, would now surely come. He was told that it would be reported to the War Depart- ment at Richmond that his services were so necessary that it was thought best to send his regiment to Virginia without him. The colonel consulted freely with me, and as it seemed that both his pro- motion and mine would probably be the result of his remaining, I concurred in opinion with him that it would be proper for him to consent to remain on detached duty.
May ist, 1864. The regiment took up the line of march and reached Charleston in the afternoon. We went into camp on the Citadel Green. After posting a camp guard, I allowed all the men, whose homes were in Charleston, to visit their families. Many of the officers, and a large number of the men, when night came on, started out with Chief Musician Muller and his band to serenade General Samuel Jones, who was then commanding in the city. Captain James M. Carson, of Company A, Lieutenant F. J. Lesesne, of Com- pany K, Assistant Surgeon A. J. Beale, and one or two others,, were the speakers at the general's quarters. After a merry time at head- quarters, the party went on a general serenading tour. Music and gaiety were the order of the night. I did not accompany them, but le.irned from the doctor upon their return that they had "a rousing good time." As it was certainly the last opportunity that many of the officers and men would ever have of enjoying the freedom of the dear old city which, for the last three years, they had so bravely defended, I thought that for one night there would be no impropriety in releasing them from the restraints of the rigid discipline to which they had learnt to submit without complaint or murmur. They had well earned such relaxation. I knew full well that when Galway, our bugler, sounded the assembly, pleasure seeking would be laid aside, and the men would be found in ranks. I also knew my brave men well enough to feel assured that they would do nothing to tarnish the fair fame of the Twenty-fifth. I had no cause to regret the liberty which was allowed them. [I think the breast of every surviving offi- cer must, as mine does, swell with pride when he thinks of the grand old regiment which we led out of Charleston. How sad the thought that so many of these heroes never again returned, but gave their lives for their country's liberties, a useless, precious sacrifice.]