Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/138

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132 Southern Historical Society Papers.

berton had never had command. Some of our generals did us more harm than if they had been with our enemies.

The expiration of the term for which Company E had enlisted had now almost arrived. I heard from some of my faithful friends at Battery Island that efforts were being made by some ambitious spirits in the company to re enlist the Wee Nees and elect a different set of officers. I do not blame these aspirants. They now knew some- thing of the art of war, and, very naturally, desired promotion. They did me no harm in causing the company to declare their preference for me above all others.

My friends were more alarmed than I was. Their devotion and confidence fully compensated for any hardships which I had endured in the line of duty. I sent an urgent application to General Pern- berton to be relieved from further service on the court, so that I might return to Fort Pickens and re-enlist my company. This re- quest could have been granted by the general without the slightest injury to the service, as all of the other members of the court were present and there was a quorum for business without me. If he deemed it necessary to have a full court, my place could have been filled by an officer whose presence with his command was not so necessary. My application was refused. No other course was left me but to return to my post on Saturday afternoon after the court adjourned for the day, and attend to the re enlistment of the men on Sunday. Mr. Gale, the carriage merchant and maker, kindly loaned me his pony for the trip. No other means of transportation could be procured. All opposition melted away upon my arrival. The matter of re-enlistment was talked over during the day, and the men were assembled that night, the 6th of April, in their barracks, and all who desired to re-enlist for the war under my command were called upon to come forward. Almost the whole company responded promptly, and I had once more very gratifying proof of the regard of the men whom I had learnt to love. The necessary papers were signed, an election was held, John G. Pressley was declared elected captain, and Thomas J. China, Calhoun Logan, and Henry Mont- gomery, Jr., lieutenants. The Wee Nee Volunteers were now in the service of the Confederate States for the war, unconditionally. The next morning I returned to the city and resumed my place on the court-martial, which finished its business and adjourned before the end of the week.

The Government had called on the State of South Carolina for addi- tional troops. The Governor and Council had extended the call,