قراءة كتاب History of Kershaw's Brigade With Complete Roll of Companies, Biographical Sketches, Incidents, Anecdotes, etc.
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History of Kershaw's Brigade With Complete Roll of Companies, Biographical Sketches, Incidents, Anecdotes, etc.
existed open resistance to laws in one State and quiet obedience in another; where servile insurrections were being threatened continuously; where the slaves were aided and abetted by whites at the North in the butcheries of their families; or secede and fight. These were the alternatives on the one part, or a severance from the Union and its consequences on the other. From the very formation of the government, two constructions were put upon this constitution—the South not viewing this compact with that fiery zeal, or fanatical adulation, as they did at the North. The South looked  upon it more as a confederation of States for mutual protection in times of danger, and a general advancement of those interests where the whole were concerned. Then, again, the vast accumulation of wealth in the Southern States, caused by the the overshadowing of all other commodities of commerce—cotton—created a jealousy at the North that nothing but the prostration of the South, the shattering of her commerce, the destruction of her homes, and the freedom of her slaves, could answer. The wealth of the South had become a proverb The "Wealthy Southern Planter" had become an eyesore to the North, and to humble her haughty pride, as the North saw it, was to free her slaves. As one of the first statesmen of the South has truly said, "The seeds of the Civil War were sown fifty years before they were born who fought her battles."
A convention was called to meet in Columbia, in December, 1860, to frame a new constitution, and to take such steps as were best suited to meet the new order of things that would be brought about by this fanatical party soon to be at the head of the government. Feeling ran high—people were excited—everywhere the voice of the people was for secession. The women of the South, who would naturally be the first sufferers if the programme of the "Agitators" were carried out, were loud in their cries for separation. Some few people were in favor of the South moving in a body, and a feeble opposition ticket for the delegates to the convention was put in the field. These were called "Co-operationists," i.e., in favor of secession, but to await a union with the other Southern States. These were dubbed by the most fiery zealots of secession, "Submissionists" in derision. The negroes, too, scented freedom from afar. The old cooks, mammas, house servants, and negro eavesdroppers gathered enough of "freedom of slaves," "war," "secession," to cause the negroes to think that a great measure was on foot somewhere, that had a direct bearing on their long looked for Messiah—"Freedom." Vigilance committees sprung up all over the South, to watch parties of Northern sentiment, or sympathy, and exercise a more guarded scrutiny over the acts of the negroes. Companies were organized in towns and cities, who styled themselves "Minute Men," and rosettes, or the letters "M.M.," adorned the lapels of the coats worn  by those in favor of secession. The convention met in Columbia, but for some local cause it was removed to Charleston. After careful deliberation, a new constitution was framed and the ordinance of secession was passed without a dissenting voice, on the 20th of December, 1860, setting forth the State's grievances and acting upon her rights, declaring South Carolina's connection with the Union at an end. It has been truly said, that this body of men who passed the ordinance of secession was one of the most deliberate, representative, and talented that had ever assembled in the State of South Carolina. When the news flashed over the wires the people were in a frenzy of delight and excitement—bells tolled, cannons boomed, great parades took place, and orators from street corners and hotel balconies harangued the people. The ladies wore palmetto upon their hats or dresses, and showed by every way possible their earnestness in the great drama that was soon to be enacted upon the stage events. Drums beat, men marched through the streets, banners waved and dipped, ladies from the windows and from the housetops waved handkerchiefs or flags to the enthusiastic throng moving below. The bells from historic old St. Michael's, in Charleston, were never so musical to the ears of the people as when they pealed out the chimes that told of secession. The war was on.
Still with all this enthusiasm, the sober-headed, patriotic element of the South regretted the necessity of this dissolution. They, too, loved the Union their ancestors had helped to make—they loved the name, the glory, and the prestige won by their forefathers upon the bloody field of the revolution. While they did not view this Union as indispensable to their existence, they loved and reverenced the flag of their country. As a people, they loved the North; as a nation, they gloried in her past and future possibilities. The dust of their ancestors mingled in imperishable fame with those of the North. In the peaceful "Godsacre" or on the fields of carnage they were ever willing to share with them their greatness, and equally enjoyed those of their own, but denied to them the rights to infringe upon the South's possessions or rights of statehood. We all loved the Union, but we loved it as it was formed and made a compact by the blood of our  ancestors. Not as contorted and misconstrued by demagogueism and fanaticism. We almost deified the flag of the Union, under whose folds it was made immortal by the Huguenots, the Roundheads, the Cavaliers, and men of every faith and conviction in the crowning days of the revolution. The deeds of her great men, the history of the past, were an equal heritage of all—we felt bound together by natural bonds equal to the ties of blood or kindred. We loved her towering mountains, her rolling prairies, her fertile fields, her enchanting scenery, her institutions, her literature and arts, all; all were equally the South's as well as the North's. Not for one moment would the South pluck a rose from the flowery wreath of our goddess of liberty and place it upon the brow of our Southland alone. The Mississippi, rising among the hills and lakes of the far North, flowing through the fertile valleys of the South, was to all our "Mother Nile." The great Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada chained our Western border together from Oregon to the Rio Grande. The Cumberland, the Allegheny, and the Blue Ridge, lifting their heads up from among the verdant fields of Vermont, stretching southward, until from their southern summit at "Lookout" could be viewed the borderland of the gulf. In the sceneries of these mountains, their legends and traditions, they were to all the people of the Union what Olympus was to the ancients. Where the Olympus was the haunts, the wooing places of the gods of the ancient Greeks, the Appalachian was the reveling grounds for the muses of song and story of the North and South alike. And while the glories of the virtues of Greece and Rome, the birthplace of republicanism and liberty, may have slept for centuries, or died out entirely, that spirit of national liberty and personal freedom was transplanted to the shores of the New World, and nowhere was the spirit of freedom more cherished and fostered than in the bright and sunny lands of the South. The flickering torch of freedom, borne by those sturdy sons of the old world to the new, nowhere took such strong and rapid growth as did that planted by the Huguenots on the soil of South Carolina. Is it any wonder, then, that a people with such high ideals, such lofty spirits, such love of freedom, would tamely submit to a Union where such ideals and spirits were so lightly  considered as by those who were now in charge of the government—where our women and children were to be at the mercies of a brutal race, with all of their passions aroused for rapine and bloodshed; where we would be continually threatened or subjected to a racial war, one of supremacy; where promises were