Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/46
Southern Historical Society Papers.
volunteer regiment, numbering about one thousand men, from Barnwell, Colleton, Beaufort and Charleston districts; officers and privates were largely property owners and representative citizens of the tide-water section of the State; their simple creed was: "Love South Carolina."
Colonel Colcock had lived all his life in this region, and was personally known in every parish from the Ashley to the Savannah, and so it was that when war came to these peaceful and refined homes. Colonel Colcock was called upon to lead this well-equipped and devoted volunteer force!
An incident of the battle of Honey Hill properly belongs to this memoir, and should be related here.
Colonel Colcock was in command of the 3d military district, in which the battle was fought. Of course when Major-General Gustavus W. Smith, with the small force of Georgia infantry, arrived on the field the question of command was definitely settled, but they graduate gentlemen as well as soldiers at West Point. General Smith, as a soldier, knew that Colonel Colcock was very familiar with the locality, that he must depend on him for information of the field; he, therefore, with rare courtesy, requested him to remain in command of the battle line, and made his headquarters a little in the rear of that line, so that he could be readily consulted in case of need.
Colonel Colcock promptly assigned that gallant gentleman and devoted soldier, Major John Jenkins, to the left, with all of the 3d cavalry on the field, about 250 men with rifles, and a howitzer from Earle's Battery, under Lieutenant J. P. Scruggs; the Georgia infantry to the centre; while he took position with the artillery on the right, at the head of the Grahamville road, and placed Captain H. M. Stuart, of the Beaufort Artillery, in command of the guns.
The writer, in an official interview with General Smith the morning after the victory, congratulated him on his timely arrival with the Georgia troops, and the decisive success of the day before. Pointing to Colonel Colcock, General Smith replied: "Captain! congratulate that gentleman; he was the active commander on the field, placed the troops and is entitled to the honors he has won."
Colonel Colcock, in reply to General Smith, paid a glowing tribute to the Georgians and Carolinians, who had held their ground all day.
General Smith was surely a man of noble impulses and high character to have waived the command to a junior officer, and then awarded him high praise for such a splendid victory.In the four months succeeding the victory of Honey Hill Colonel