Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/37
Heroes of the old Camden District, S. C. 31
directed immediate retaliation, and is reported as having delivered himself of these heroic sentiments: *
" We have a perfect right to the products of the country we over- run, and may collect them by forage or otherwise. Let the people know that the war is now against them, because their army flees be- fore us and do not defend the country as they should. It is monstrous for Wheeler and Beauregard and such vain heroes to talk of war- ring against women and children. If they claim to be men they should defend their women and children and prevent us reaching their homes."
Was there ever anything more false, more atrocious, and meaner than this pitiful excuse by Sherman of his barbarity ? Taunting our men because they were not there to defend their women and children, when Grant himself had just declared that we were " robbing the cradle and the grave" to fill our ranks against him, but which ranks, my comrades, of old men and children though they were, he had not yet been able to break !
As we have seen, Fairfield district sent into the service five compa- nies of the Sixth, two companies of the Twelfth, two companies of the Seventeenth, one company of the First, and one company of Rion's battalion, one of James' battalion, and two of cavalry. The late General Manigault, who, as adjutant-general, did so much for the preservation of the history of the troops of this State by his faithful and zealous work under the act to provide for the preparation of the rolls of troops furnished by the State to the army of the Con- federate States, estimated that each company from this State averaged one hundred and twenty-five men during the war. This would make 1,750 men furnished by Fairfield to the line, add to these the quota of staff officers and men in other commands, and we have no doubt Fairfield alone furnished 2,000 men. By the census of 1860 there were but 3,241 white males of all ages in this district, and but 1,578 between the ages of fifteen and fifty; so that the whole arms-bear- ing population of the county was in the army. And yet Sherman attempts to cover his brutality by the falsehood and sneer, that these men would not fight.
Need those who had chased this same redoubtable hero from the first battlefield of the war desire his encomiums upon their courage ? Need they boast that they were men who had fought and defeated McClellan and Pope, and Burnside and Hooker and Rosencranz ;
- Harper's Pictorial History of the Rebellion, Vol. II, p. 119.