Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/138

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

Hart's South Carolina Battery—Its War Guidon—Addresses by Major Hart and Governor Hampton.

We had the privilege of attending the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Washington artillery of Charleston, South Carolina, on the 22d of February last, and of hearing General McGowan's splendid oration and the other speeches of the occasion. We had intended publishing at the time the following report of the speeches of Major Hart and Governor Hampton, but were prevented from doing so by circumstances over which we had no control. We give the report now, and are quite sure that it will give pleasure to friends of the Confederacy everywhere and especially to those who "wore the gray."

At the close of General McGowan's oration, and as soon as the thunders of applause which followed its completion had subsided, Captain Ellison A. Smyth announced that the dearly-cherished and historic guidon of Hart's battery, tattered and torn and stained with the shot and shell and smoke of an hundred battles, would be transferred to the keeping of the Washington artillery, and that it would be received in behalf of the Washington artillery by Governor Hampton.




He then introduced Major Hart, the commander of the old battery which bore his name, who, in coming forward, was received with a welcome that must have stirred his heart to the very core. Major Hart said:

Captain Smyth and Gentlemen of the Washington Artillery: Seventeen years ago occurred in this hall a circumstance connected with your corps which to-day finds a sequel. Near seventeen years ago, after Fort Sumter had fallen, many of the younger members of your famous old corps, believing that the war cloud which for a time had threatened your coasts was about to break in all its fury upon the frontiers of Virginia, sought the opportunity of being foremost among her defenders. They formed from your ranks the nucleus of a light battery, to which were added gallant spirits from many parts of the interior, forming altogether a complement of some of the best manhood of the State.

In June, 1861, this battery was accepted into the Hampton legion, then organizing at Columbia, South Carolina.

On the 14th of June of that year, on the eve of its departure, its tents being struck for the march, it assembled in this hall to receive through the hands of one of your members a handsome guidon—