War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0914 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Resolved further, That as soon as a sufficient number of companies shall be enlisted, officered, properly drilled, they be employed to relieve the volunteers now in possession of the forts of this State.

On the 28th day of January, 1861, the Legislature took up the subject, developed the idea, and passed an act entitled "An act for creating a military establishment for the State of South Carolina, and for other purposes. " This act provides in detail for a regular military force, for the appointment for a brigadier, for colonels and other officers, for a battalion of artillery, a regiment of infantry, and a squadron of cavalry, &c., and by the ninth section provides" that all officers created by the provisions of this act shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, but should vacancies occur or remain unfilled during the recess of the Legislature the Governor shall have power to fill the vacancy by commission to extend until the close of the next session of the Legislature. " In the thirteenth section it is enacted "that the officers and soldiers which have been appointed and enlisted under the provisions of resolutions and acts already in force shall be considered as a part of the force authorized and organized by this act," &c.

The foregoing resolutions of convention and act of the Legislature were passed, after secession and while the State was independent and unconnected with any other in confederate bonds.

In March, 1861, after confederation with other States, the convention having reasembled, among other things passed the following resolution:

Resolved, That it is proper that the regular troops which have been enlisted in the service of the State should be transferred for the remainder of their enlistment to the service of the Confederate States, but that in doing so justice requires that all the officers should receive commissions of the same grade for at least the period of enlistment of the troops, and that the Governor of the State be authorized to make arrangements accordingly for such transfer with the President of the Confederate States and to endeavor to preserve, if practicable, the rank of all the officers.

By this resolution it evidently appears that it was the intention of the convention to transfer the troops as regulars, and if the transfer should be thus accepted to negotiate for the retention of the same officers, with new commissions to be given by the President. In scanning all the evidence which we are able to obtain, it manifestly appears that the purpose of the convention was not effected; that the troops were not received as regulars in the service of the Confederate States, and that the officers were not commissioned by the President.

General Jamison was sent to Montgomery to negotiate with the Confederate Government the terms of the transfer as directed by the State authority. In a communication from him, which is now before me, he says:

In my negotiation with him (the Secretary of War, Mr. Walker) about the troops, I proposed to turn over all the forces enlisted in the service of South Carolina, so that they should form the nucleus of the Regular Army of the Confederate States, and I made no reservation but that the forces so turned over should be retained to keep up the garrisons in Charleston Harbor during the continuance of the war.

In the same communication he states also that he could not get the Secretary of War to take definite action on the subject, except to consent to the appointment of Captain C. H. Simonton ave the troops, &c. Mr. Simonton informs me that he did not act in this matter, but that the troops were mustered into Confederate service by General D. R. Jones, who was then assistant adjutant-general of the Provisional Army. Another source of evidence is