And Military Hall Festival,
October – November, 1877,
Together With A Brief Sketch Of The Company.
It has been well and truly said, that those who die in the sacred cause of liberty should be tenderly cared for, and their memories rescued from oblivion. In all ages and in most countries, every honor has been paid to slain heroes. They may have fallen in a cause which success dignified with the name of “Revolution”, or perished when their rightful effort, succumbing to overwhelming wrong, was stigmatized by the term “Rebellion”; and in either case the hand of affection would place upon their graves garlands of roses and immortelles, while the pure breath of the tender maiden and the tears of the matron impart a dewy freshness to every leaf and flower.
In the South nothing but our heroes graves, the brave survivors of the dread struggle, blighted hopes, sad and tearful memories, and the recollection of the valor of the men in grey, are left to remind us of the past. Our soldiers died in a “Lost Cause” ; and there may be, and doubtless are those who attribute our sighs and tears and other evidences of loving remembrance, to a desire to fan into life the smouldering embers of sectional strife; but we heed them not, for the good and the patriotic everywhere approve of our worthy sentiments, and praise and honor our filial devotion.
It is the earnest desire of the survivors of the IRISH VOLUNTEERS, and those who have associated themselves with the Company since the war, to perpetuate the fame and embalm the memory of their martyr comrades. A lofty column of Carolina granite will soon be erected to record their worth and commemorate their unflinching bravery.
The following pages eloquently and truthfully tell of the courage and devotion, the valor and self-sacrificing heroism of the two Companies of Irish Volunteers, In defence of a cause which they were among the very first to espouse; and to uphold which, In common with their noble comrades, they fought as men seldom fought before. Faithfully fearlessly they struggled; nobly and grandly they died!
The IRISH VOLUNTEERS were not bound to the State by birth; but when her liberties were imperiled, they promptly rallied to her standard; and how firmly and devotedly they guarded her honor, is silently but eloquently told in their long death roll.
THE SHAMROCK AND THE PALMETTO.
A TRIBUTE TO THE HEROIC DEAD OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS.
[From The News and Courier, October 10, 1877.]
The large and enthusiastic audience assembled at Hibernian Hall Tuesday night gave unmistakable evidence that the memory of our fallen heroes is still enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen. From all ranks of society the sons and daughters of Charleston had assembled, in answer to the call of the Irish Volunteers for a meeting to encourage and aid their noble effort to erect a monument to their martyred comrades of two wars. The inspiring strains of St. Patrick’s Helicon Band woke to a responsive thrill every patriotic chord in the breasts of the audience, and aroused an enthusiasm that found vent in repeated bursts of applause.
The meeting was called to order by the Hon. M. P. O’Connor, who invited to the chair the Hon. W. D. Porter, and announced the following list of vice-presidents:
Gen. B. H. Rutledge, Henry Gourdin, Hon.M. P. O’Connor, S. Y. Tupper, Maj. F. Melchers, Ed. Lafitte, Capt. F. W. Dawson, Maj. W. W. Sale, Gen. W. G. DeSaussure, Col. Ed. Magrath, A. Canale, Hon. C. H. Simonton, B. O’Neill, Capt. J. J. Grace, Dr. J. Ford Prioleau, Capt. C. C. White, Jas. Simons, Jr., Gen. Rudolph Siegling, Robert Adger, H. H. DeLeon, E. F. Sweegan, P. Moran, H. Bischoff, Col. R. B. Rhett, A. Simonds, W. K. Ryan, M. Storen, F. W. Wagener, Thomas Miller, Capt. Jacob Small, T. R. McGahan, J. H. Devereux, Alex. McLoy, Col. C. I. Walker, Capt. W. A. Kelly, R. J. Morris, Capt. Col. Wm. L. Trenholm, A. R. Taft, Capt. G. Follin, Col. P. C. Gaillard, Maj. G. Lamb Buist, Thomas McCrady, T. S. O’Brien, Wm. Hunt, Hugh Ferguson, Capt. Thos. P. Malloy, Wm. McBirnie, John Commins, A. O. Stone.
Mr. Porter assumed the chair, and a large number of vice-presidents assumed chairs in a semi-circle on the stage. At the right wing of the stage waved the historic flag of Gen. Maxcy Gregg’s Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers borne in the hands of Sergt. Dominick Spellman, the heroic spirit who had saved it from the dust on a score of bloody fields. The ground of the flag is of mazarine blue silk, and has on one side worked in white silk the words: “1st Regiment South Carolina Volunteers,” which inscription is encircled by a wreath of flowers and foliage also worked in white silk. On the reverse side is a palmetto tree worked in white silk and encircled by a white wreath of oak and laurel leaves. The flag was presented to the company by the ladies of Charleston, through the Hon. W. D. Porter, on the 22d of April, 1861, just prior to their departure for the battle fields of Virginia. On the left of the stage was borne aloft by Mr. John Egan the present company flag of the Irish Volunteers.
In opening the meeting Mr. Porter, as soon as the applause of the audience would allow him to be heard, spoke as follows:
Remarks of the Hon. W. D. Porter.
It is a personal gratification to me, as well as a distinguished honor, to be called to preside at this meeting. The object is to raise a monument to the martyr dead of that ancient and well-known military organization, the Irish Volunteers of Charleston. The movement has my heartiest support, because those who are in the lead of it have been my friends and associates from early days, and because what is proposed is a just and fitting tribute to brave men, who, although born on another soil, shed their blood and laid down their lives at the call and in the service of South Carolina. If it be honorable to die for one’s country, native or adopted, it is also honorable, and the bounden duty of any such country, to keep in fresh remembrance, and to illustrate with fitting honors, the names and memories of her martyred heroes. No country is fit to live or can have a future that forgets her great deeds or great men, or the men that have made the last sacrifice for her. Forget them! As well might the mother forget the son that died to save her honor. No such reproach as that will ever be laid at the door of our noble mother, South Carolina.
Apart from the claims of Irishmen upon Americans, who does not feel a deep sympathy and interest in the fortunes and fate of Ireland? Her history is most touching and fascinating; her aspirations, her struggles, her defeats, her persistent and undying hopes. Every pulsation in a true Irishman’s heart beats true to liberty; his most ardent longing is for free soil, free air and self-government or Home Rule.
That his beautiful island home, with its mountains, its lakes and its valleys may be as free as the air that breathes over it and the ocean that lashes around it, is the one dear, pervading and everlasting dream and hope of his soul. Not poverty, nor chains, nor exile, nothing but death can quench it; and then it is bequeathed from sire to son in never ending succession. Is it not strange that a people who so love liberty should not possess it? If genius, eloquence, poetry and valor could have redeemed Ireland, she would have been redeemed long ago. Her poets sing of it, her orators extol it, her patriots die for it, and her young men, from sheer desperation, self-exiled, seek in other lands, and under other flags, that freedom they are denied at home. She helps all others to secure that which she most desires but cannot have for herself. Brave, generous, self-sacrificing, unhappy Ireland! May the consummation which Emmett and Curran and Grattan and O’Connell longed for, but never saw, ere long crown your radiant brow with glory, and satisfy with fruition the fierce and ceaseless yearning for freedom that beats in the hearts of your noble sons.
The Irish soldier is proverbial, the world over, for daring and endurance. The “Irish Brigade” yields the place of danger and of honor to none; carries its colors where blows fall fastest and thickest, knows not how to turn its back on friend or foe, but fights on to the end, for victory or death. No better soldiers in the world than the Irish. Gallantry, bravery, is as natural to an Irishman as mother wit; and whoever encounters him in either is likely to come out second best.
Of such material was that brave old organization, the Irish Volunteers, composed. Its record is historical and thick-set with honors. In every exigency no native sons responded to the call of the State more promptly or heroically than the Irish Volunteers. Whether for Florida or Mexico, or the defence of the State in the late civil war, they rallied, with uncalculating devotion, to the standard of South Carolina, and bore themselves, among the best and bravest, to the bitter end. Forty years ago (I fear I have committed an indiscretion) it was my lot to see the Irish Volunteers arrive at St. Augustine, equipped for the Florida campaign. There were George Henry, Thomas Ryan, Edward Henry and A. G. Magrath, with a full company of as gallant and sturdy fellows, all “wearing the green,” as your eyes ever rested on. They went through that campaign and lost some lives in it. Two companies of Irish Volunteers enlisted in the Confederate service. One of them was in the splendid regiment commanded by the gallant Col. Maxcy Gregg, whose dying message to Governor Pickens has always seemed to me as chivalrously pathetic as any recorded in the best days of Greece or Rome: “If I am to die, I cheerfully give my life for the independence of South Carolina.” The Irish Volunteers, commanded by our friend, Capt. Edward McCrady, Jr., was the color company of that regiment.
And these colors are now in your presence, and the history of them as related by Capt. McCrady tells a story of such fearful vicissitudes, adventurous courage and self-devoting constancy as will thrill your hearts to their very depths. Without anticipating what he has to say, I will only add that if that flag and its story does not stir the hearts of our people to fitting honors in memory of the men, Carolinians and Irishmen, who with emulous valor defended it to the death, and some of whose blood still stains its folds, then not only did we lose our cause, but we have done worse, we have lost all sense of gratitude, of manhood and of honor.
I have the honor to introduce to you the Hon. A. G. Magrath, who knows by heart the history of the Irish Volunteers, who as their ensign in the Florida campaign, was made adjutant of Brisbane’s Regiment, who was then said to have been a “born adjutant,” but who has lived to adorn, with equal grace and success, the highest stations in the State, and who, as the oldest surviving captain of the Irish Volunteers, will, as their spokesman, present the claims of this enterprise to your cordial and generous support. At the conclusion of Mr. Porter’s remarks, which were frequently and loudly interrupted with applause, he introduced to the meeting the next speaker, the Hon. A. G. Magrath.
Speech of the Hon. A. G. Magrath.
I have been requested to tell to you what I know of the history of an organization which we propose now to restore to that condition of efficiency and usefulness, in which at one time it had no superior. The duty, however in every respect acceptable to me, has its difficulties. These would dissuade me from the effort I am now to make were it not that the accidents of life have left me, perhaps alone, to tell you of the things which you desire to hear. No living person will tell you of its traditions, trace so far back his connection with it, or who has, by circumstances, been for so many years associated with it.
Before I proceed with the story I shall tell, it may be permitted me that, standing as I do on the line which separates the future from the past—that shadowy, fleeting moment which we call the present—to revive the recollection of those who were, and are not; and who in their day discharged that duty which you wish now to undertake. When remember those who composed this organization as I first knew it; few, very few, so far as I know but two or three, now survive. You who now listen to me cannot understand what I feel, when now almost the last survivor of those who then upheld the name and fame of your association, I come here to speak to you of them, and of the traditions which were handed down to them from those who had preceded them. They were men who illustrated the highest qualities of personal friendship and political fidelity. Capable of self-sacrifice the most generous; of devotion to duty unswerving and unchanged; ready to give to the State in which they lived life and all they had when she asked it; at a moment’s warning hastening to the call of the Government of the Union when its foes assailed it; and for the perpetuation of the blessing of civil and religious liberty, bound together by that which was stronger than the oath registered in heaven. In it were men who in their native land had dared to resist the oppression of the British Government—men enrolled in the ranks of those engaged in the Rebellion of 1798, who had stood alongside of Emmet, Fitzgerald and Tone; who had been told that their love of country was treason; their defence of her meriting the penalty of death. Such men were not born to live in bondage, but in a land of equal laws; of freedom of thought; and here they had come, best prepared for the discharge of their whole duty to the land of their adoption, from the persecutions which had afflicted them in the land of their birth. There the relations which existed between the government and the governed were promotive of feelings which made him who had suffered keenly alive to the contrast presented here. The people of Ireland had not been governed as were the people of England and Scotland; but, in the language of one who spoke with authority as the new conquests in Scinde were governed; by bayonets, artillery and entrenched camps.
Well was it when he said: Of all the forms of tyranny the worst is that of a nation over a nation. And hackneyed as is the phrase, ever true is it, that history will repeat itself, and the tale of one age is told in another. We have lived to see how possible it is, that even in our own land no bitterness excelled that felt by populations locally intermingled, but politically estranged. We have felt how things, which elsewhere were associated with deliverance and national dignity; here were the evidences of bondage, ruin and degradation. But our suffering here comparatively was of short duration. There, in that land from which came the founders of your association, the suffering they endured was without measure in its cruelty or limit in its continuance. Here let us never forget that there has come to us, in a sense of justice, of equal rights, of respect for honest convictions, of conduct responsive to the conceptions of duty; that consideration which has taken away “bayonets, artillery and entrenched camps,” and restored to the citizen of South Carolina the rights and privileges of the citizen of Massachusetts or Ohio—rights never justly forfeited; rights withheld and denied; but rights “beyond all price:” and the restoration of which can only be appreciated by those who have enjoyed them, and from whom they have been taken. It well befits a people who have been so sorely tried to acknowledge with proper feeling their sense of the justice and right, recognized in their great deliverance. To those who lift themselves above the passions and prejudices which surround them, and refuse to party what was meant for their fellow men, the tribute should be given which justly belongs to all who do their duty. Few, are they who acquit themselves of an obligation so easily stated, so lightly considered, so great and rare in its performance. Had the like purpose, temper and courage which have marked the Chief Magistrate of these now United States, been entertained and exercised towards the people of Ireland by those who kept them in bondage, the clouds which shadowed that land would have rolled away, and sunshine made glad the waste fields and ruined cottages of her people. Believe what a brave people tell, and they will never deceive Trust to the honor of a generous people, and they will never betray. The man, than whom no one was more authorized or better able to speak for a people, of whom he was their chosen representative, has said in our behalf: Believe, and we have been believed; trust, and we have been trusted. Peace therefore is now supreme. And second only to him, who, by his valor, created the Union of these United States, is he who by his wisdom has saved it, and made it again what it was.
Under such influence as distempered times produce, the Irish immigrants, who were in most cases Irish exiles, sought refuge in the Colonies before they had become Independent States. Did they bring then and ever since the comprehension of what was meant by religious freedom? Had they not seen their teachers of religion, whom they regarded with confidence and affection, denounced and punished, because they taught what they believed? Did they truly understand what was meant by the impartial administration of just and equal laws? Had they not seen the false weights which were put into the scales of justice; juries packed and organized to convict; judges prostituting their exalted vocation; and basely using the highest of the functions committed to mortal hands to work out the ends of political hostility, or what is even worse, personal hate? Did they love political freedom? Bitterly had they learned what it costs to be of the class that, as has been said, were simply permitted to live; if to live, be to exist excluded from all trust, with the consciousness that you are degraded by the contumely, insult and wrong which an unrelenting hostility will mercilessly inflict, without the slightest power to resent.
It was not therefore matter for wonder that in the American revolution the heroism of the Irish character was developed to its highest point in the struggle of the Colonies for their political independence. High on the column that records the names of those who, favored by opportunity, were lifted above the heads of the eager combatants of that time, are the names of Montgomery and Jasper. And it has been the privilege of a portion of the citizen soldiery of our city and State to perpetuate the fame of the gallant soldier whose name is linked for all times with the gallant defence of Fort Moultrie. To that gallant soldier might be well applied the language used to one whose name and fame may be said to be immortal, that his modesty was equaled by his worth.
With the close of the struggle for the independence of these States, and in the early history of this State, no one represented in a higher degree the qualities of the Irish character than Aedanus Burke; who was then called to the high office of a judge; an office, it need not be said, the duties of which he discharged as they should be, without fear, favor or affection. He was a Democrat of the truest type. Whatever savored, however slightly, of monarchic style or taste, received from him scathing rebuke. And his written opinion and recorded protest against everything that bore even a remote similitude to a privileged order or class, attested the honesty of his character, however mistaken may have been the apprehensions he entertained.
Removed from the public gaze, pursuing the even tenor of their way, in different portions of the State, were they who were training their descendants for the discharge of the highest duties which society imposes on its members. In a remote settlement was the young Andrew Jackson, who was to preside over the destinies of the country, when years after it had reached a development, only not astounding when compared with what it is in our day. And in another portion of the State, he who became beyond all others of his day the favored, honored, trusted of all the children of the State, was then developing the high gift of statesmanship which shed its radiance over this Continent; and has made the name of John Caldwell Calhoun ever remembered by those who would understand the principles of Constitutional freedom.
From these names so illustrious let me turn you to the name of one, perhaps by few remembered, probably now by fewer repeated, yet who, in his day, well and faithfully discharged in his sphere his appropriate and important duties. A quiet, unpretending priest of the Roman Catholic Church, who to his clerical functions added those which belong to him who is the teacher of youth.
A classical scholar, reputed as possessing marked erudition in that department of knowledge, to an acquaintance with which he lent to the young of his time the great advantages which his thorough knowledge enabled him to impart. Of those who went with him in his walks, learned from him what he knew, loved him for his real worth, and, after they had passed from his guardianship in after life, never forgot the kindly fostering treatment they received, when toiling to reach the ascent where knowledge is enthroned and there receives the homage of its votaries; none, no not one, I believe, survives. And yet his name survives; and with some the recollection lives brightly of all that was told of the virtues and the learning of old Father Gallagher.
These types of Irish character were well and deeply impressed on all who came from their native land, and bound themselves indissolubly to this the land of their adoption. And in the early part of the present century that organization was formed, the name of which you have assumed, and the fame of which is inherited by you. It was born of a deep sympathy with the troubles of 1798; and banded together by the recollection of that ill-fated year of the trials and sufferings of an immatured rebellion. In that day all knew well the story of that uprising; all knew the cause that provoked it; all knew the martyr-like devotion with which the leaders met the fate that awaited them. And few were the places wherein the Irishman of that day did not have, so conspicuous, that at once it arrested attention, the likeness of Robert Emmet, and and the inscription of his memorable legacy: “When my country takes its place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.” His epitah was already inscribed on the hearts of his countrymen, and they will forget their fathers who forget the patriot whom their fathers honored as a willing victim for the unsuccessful effort of his fellow-men to worship God according to their sense of duty.
At the southeast corner of Meeting and Queen streets was the house of one whose love it was to give comfort and aid to those who had sought, in this land, a new home. And there, after the work of the day, would they gather who met to unite in a common grief for the past; and wish for the bright future of the land of their birth. Among them were some who had been in prisons for their participation in the Rebellion; who had escaped, or been allowed to live if they would leave their country. And graphically has been the description given of him who owned that house, as at evening he would sit surrounded by those who gathered there; giving them aid if they needed it; counsel if they required it; and took an interest in their welfare that never abated. Old Major Phelan! He long since has gone to his rest, and lightly and softly rests the sod upon the remains of as true and honest a man as ever lived. His name is associated Avith the earliest history of the Irish Volunteers of Charleston, and, long after his death, was his memory pleasantly connected with the anecdotes of his military career.
But the Irish Volunteers became more prominently known under the command of one, of whom the story was told that while captain of the company he visited the theatre in Dublin, and chose to go in his uniform. His appearance there provoked the mirth and insolent comment of some; to whom the response of the captain was so immediate and unmistakable, that an explanation soon after the break of day the ensuing morning prevented the repetition of any such jest.
As part of the citizen-soldiery of the country this company bore its full share of the service during the war of 1812, allotted to that portion of the population. It was then, as it has been since, and as I hope it ever will be, that its highest duty will take it always with the foremost of those who are ready to render all the service that the peril of their country may require.
When hostilities ceased and peace reigned supreme in the land, this organization was preserved and maintained in the most efficient manner. In periods of anticipated domestic violence, along with the other organized militia force of the State, it bore its full share of whatever privation or toil the exigency of the occasion required.
It was in 1829 there arose the occasion which subsequently gave a more marked position to this company than it had previously occupied. It was then that the political agitation of the question of the tariff threatened the convulsion of the whole country; and events forebode the approach of the time when armed interference of the government in the enforcement of the revenue laws would be met with determined resistance by the government of the State. It was a period of fearfully intense interest. The call was made for citizens of the State to volunteer in its defence; to arm for its service. The vessels of the Government of the United States lay at anchor in our harbor. But the scene, as it were, outside of our limits, faded into nothingness compared with that which was exhibited within the limits of our State-within each home and around each hearth. Public opinion was fearfully divided.
A majority had resolved what the State should do; a powerful minority stood in silent, determined opposition. If conflict came, it was here between citizens of the same State-between those who had been in closest friendship with each other-between members of the same household-between those who stood towards each other in ties of the closest relationship. These were to be the combatants they were to grapple with each other-to shed each other’s blood. That majority, pursuing the conduct it deemed right, and placing the State in a position it thought it should occupy, had no word of insult for that minority to which it so decidedly opposed the command of the State. For that minority contained in its list the names of those who had added lustre to the State in wiiich they were born; and no word of reproach could’ be spoken to those whose motives were as high and noble as ever inspired men in the conduct they should adopt. No more need be said than that obedience to a sense of duty, of high duty-of that duty which, when it demands sacrifice, must have it-was the right of the minority as much as it was of the majority.
No one who remembers that division of public opinion, the intensity of feeling that then prevailed-the storm-power which, in its course, was approaching with a forpe which would sweep away the affections, the memories, the strongest ties which bind men to each other-could ever wish again to see that separation of our people-that preparation for conflict with each other.
And when so hurriedly I endeavor to bring before you a picture, as it was then painted in living colors, I do so that you may see reflected upon those who then composed this corps, the feelings which excited this community and stirred it to its deepest depths, With them the same question was agitated and discussed which elsewhere, and with all men, was agitated and discussed. It was not only what associated bodies of men should do, but what each individual man should do.
With those who constituted the minority of the people of the State was one of whom I will hereafter speak in terms which, as nearly as they can, express the affection I had for him when he lived, the reverence I have for his memory. The counsels of John England, Bishop of Charleston, never fell unheeded by those to whom they were addressed; and on that occasion they were given with an earnestness never surpassed. The scene and all its surroundings can never be forgotten. The voice so potent to sway fell upon ears accustomed to listen to it, and never willing to disregard its utterance. But there came with it and combating it that which never before and never afterwards made contest with the counsels of that gifted man. It was the appeal to manhood; the appeal of the State in which they lived; the appeal of their homes, of the graves of their dead, of their children; the appeal to them of resistance to oppression; of protection of the soil upon which they stood from invasion; the appeal of the honest, who were weak, against those who were strong. When that appeal was made, no man of mortal mould, no power exercised by human form, could withstand the determined purpose of the Irish Volunteers to stand by the State; with her “to live or die, sink or swim, survive or perish.” And no muster roll handed in to the Governor of the State preceded that of the Irish Volunteers.
The events to which I allude have passed away; the chief actors in them have played their part in life’s great drama; and the curtain which time lets fall and shuts them from our view, too often shuts them also from our memories. But although not forgot en, still tliere is one to whom now I would have you turn and behold him, as I esteem him, near to the likeness of a perfect man. For it would be scarcely just or proper, in the matter of this address, not to make mention of John England, Bishop of Charleston. It is not my purpose to present him to you as one who, while he lived, enjoyed the respect of men of all classes; nor is it my purpose to present him to you as a scholar of ripe and rare attainments; nor yet in the relation of teacher and pupil; a relation the benefits of which were shared with many and by whom in return was made contribution of deep affection and earnest gratitude for his assistance in their efforts for improvement. Pleasant as it would be to dwell on these and other matters which relate to him, they are not pertinent to that, in which he illustrated that sentiment of nationality, to which I have referred as a corner-stone of this organization. I mean the illustration at all times in his conduct, of his devotion to the great cause of political and religious freedom. He needed no wall to shut him from the public view, that he might enjoy undisturbed the opinions he had formed. He was content that his opinions, like himself, might be seen at all times and in all places. His powerful reason was the only protection he sought or would have against any who questioned the correctness of his conclusions. His every thought was brought into the clear light of the day, and never would he have for it the cover of the darkness which the night would give. He was a warrior, but a warrior of the Cross. His courage was not surpassed by that of living man, and he was as kind and generous and tolerant as he was bold. To paraphrase a quotation somewhat hackneyed, would be to say of him, that man as he was, there was no one in the form of man whom he held separated from him. His enlarged conception of the duties of life led him to consider all men who make up the constituents of a political society, as bound in the bonds of a common brotherhood, however they might differ in regard to matters which affected mere belief. He regarded all men who swore allegiance to an adopted nationality, or were born with that allegiance inherited from their fathers, bound by a common obligation to unite themselves in all measures which relate to the common weal in a common council. And he who in his daily intercourse intermingled freely with all classes of men, tolerant of all differences, and by his practice taught all, whether these were of his church or not, that men should, as is their duty, pray in secret, but counsel for the public weal in common with all others like themselves interested in it, in his life time impressed his example so deeply on those over whom his spiritual functions were exercised, that none better understood what was their duty, and none could more perfectly have discharged it.
Not less could I say for this learned prelate and patriot citizen, than whom his adopted country had no citizen more devoted, nor they who were born with him on a foreign soil and of whom the Irish Volunteers have been the recognized representatives; one whose example it would be better to follow, or whose counsel it would be wiser to adopt.
It does not require more than a passing notice to the next public services rendered by the Irish Volunteers. It was in 1834-35, when the atrocities of Indian warfare in the State of Florida called for the active suppression by the forces of the United States of the excited passions of the savages who had vented them upon the defenceless population of that State. With other portions of the citizen soldiery of our State the Irish Volunteers promptly offered their services; were accepted and enrolled in the service of the United States; and continued in that necessarily perilous, and yet not glorious war, until the levies of the general government were completed and the regular forces of the army took the field. The period of service ended, they returned to their homes, and resumed their accustomed duties of life, until the next and last great appeal summoned them to respond to the call of their State.
In December, 1860, the State of South Carolina, by an ordinance of a convention of the people of the State, declared that the union between the State of South Carolina and other States, under a Constitution; and forming the United States of America; was dissolved. The laws of the United States were declared no longer of force, and the obedience to those laws previously required of the citizens of the State was no longer enjoined or permitted. The bond was severed; the State had, so far as its will could so do, terminated its connection with the States which continued to acknowledge the government of the United States. What then would follow?
Few, very few in the great excitement of the hour, had pondered the answer to that question. The answer was only found at the end of four years, marked by the most gigantic civil strife of which there is record in history.
In the enthusiasm of that time; in the ready response to the call of the State; in persistent devotion to the cause that State espoused; in all of the suffering to be endured; the privations to be borne; the perils to be met; the members of the Irish Volunteers were not behind others. Wherever floated the banner of the State, when first it was unfurled with war in the distance; until the moment when its color was given to it by the smoke of battle, and it was riven and torn into tatters; still proudly and boldly borne; among those who clung to its staff and fought, bled and died in its defence, were the gallant men who born in Ireland or descended from them, had here sworn fidelity to the State. It was no spasmodic effort in which the men were engaged, who bore the heat and burden of that conflict. More than four long, weary, exhaustive years, tested as never had been tested the courage, endurance and fidelity of the soldier. Elsewhere conflict has been as long continued, privations as great borne, perils as imminent braved, but nowhere else have these been endured, when by the will of the common soldier, they could have been at any time ended. The State had called on her sons, native and adopted, to submit to suffering, privation and peril, to the last extremity; and it was for that State to say when these should have an end. Far from them were their homes; if humble, still these were their homes. Were their homes still standing? Too distant from them were their wives and children to hear the cry of suffering or sorrow. Was there suffering and sorrow with them? They could only hope that all was well with those so left behind them; to trust to the mercy of God to protect them; to gird up their loins for the battle that was at hand; to rush into the contest; to escape perhaps the thousand dangers that environed them; to meet the soldier’s fate; to fall, to die, to be quickly buried; wrapped in their blanket, the only winding sheet; and forgotten in the wild storm of human passions, when men slay each other without mercy, and the slaughter is called-War.
Forgotten? No, not forgotten; never to be forgotten. Not only in this military organization, but in every other of the city, and of the State, is there a record, it would not be profane to call it sacred, which has the name of each who gave his life, at the call of his State, for sacrifice when the State required it.
In this brief and imperfect sketch of the connection, close and long continued, between the Irish Volunteers and the State of South Carolina, it has been agreeable to me at this time to show you the political and social principles which underlie and have created and sustained that connection. With us, saving the years under which we endured the presence of what was to us a foreign domination, the suffering that they undergo who achieve political freedom had become a mere tradition-a tale that while it interested was little removed from the narrative to which imagination had lent its most attractive coloring. To the adopted citizen who had fled from persecution at home, who had suffered persecution, who had known what oppression was oppression for the sake of opinion-because of belief-the land to which he came and where belief was free, opinion unquestioned-excited an admiration and devotion which he could only fully understand. And when here free to worship God as he believed proper for him, free to have his opinions not only unchallenged but approved when they were the result of his uubought, unbiased convictions, his devotion to the land where these high privileges were enjoyed seemed only not to have reached their greatest reach, when for those he had left behind him there came from the gifted and eloquent of this land expressions of sympathy and appeals for the mitigation of their sufferings, in eloquence unsurpassed. With high and noble emotion, with deep-seated and heart inspiring sympathy, the distinguished sons of this State have ever raised their voices in behalf of the rights and for the redress of the wrongs of the people of Ireland. The day came when the exiles from Ireland testified how well remembered that justice done to their native land. The Irish immigrant sealed with his life’s blood the covenant between his people and the land in which he lived, and for which he died. The highest and last pledge which could be given has been given, and been accepted. No living man can pledge devotion to the State equal to that which he offered, who gave his life for her defence. It was all, the most that man can give; and reverently may we and should we pause to render tribute to those who save that last and best and highest proof of devotion to the State in which they lived.
To commemorate the virtues of the dead has been the accepted duty of those who have survived. To have an enduring record of their moral courage who died for their religious faith has been the reward which the martyr knew would be the immortal eulogy given to him when the torture or the stake had done for him its murderous work. But to make hallowed the grave of those who died for their country has ever been the most grateful office for those who survived. And what men ever deserved more than they, who battled for their State and died in her cause, a monument erected to their memory. They did their duty, their whole duty, even to the last sacrifice it required. Shall we not do our duty to them although far short of what they did for us? Whatever we can do for them, do it as we may; we cannot do it as they deserved to have it done. High as the monument may be raised, and eloquent as may be its inscriptions, their eyes will not behold its polished shaft-would that they could; their ears will not hear the tribute which, admiring hearts will utter-would that they did. Their life has been the example; their death will point the moral. But the living will see what is done, hear what is said, for those who die in defence of their country. And the monument raised to that dead will be the altar before which the young will reverently bow; and make there a vow to emulate the valor and equal the fidelity of the dead,when to them the summons may come. Go and do likewise.
After the echoes of applause elicited by the burning words of Judge Magrath had subsided, the chairman introduced to the meeting Col. Edward McCrady, Jr., the first captain and the first colonel of the Irish Volunteers of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, who had gone through the whole war, and could, he said, narrate with justice and enthusiasm their deeds of heroic daring and enthusiasm.
Col. McCrady came forward amidst thunders of applause and vociferous cheering, and spoke as follows:
Speech of Col. Edward McCrady, Jr.
Captain and Gentlemen of the Irish Volunteers:
On receiving the colors sent to the company in Virginia by the “Sister of our Lady of Mercy,” in reply to Col. Gregg, who presented them, I used this language:
“I know, sir, it is somewhat usual upon like occasions to make pledges as to our conduct upon the battle-field, but for myself and these brave men for whom I speak I have no words of boastfulness to utter. Such may do for the holiday orator, but would scarcely become soldiers in the presence of their enemies. We prefer, sir, to await the hour of trial and your report of our conduct, hoping that in that hour you will not find us wanting, nor any stains disgrace these beautiful folds.”
From the time the fighting really began until Gen. Gregg’s death at Fredericksburg there was no time for the making of reports by any one, and thus the company was deprived of the testimony which they would so much have prized. At your request I shall endeavor, in some small degree, to supply the pages of their history which they would so much preferred to have been given by him in his reports of the operation of his brigade. In doing this I shall not attempt to describe the battles in which they were engaged, for that would be but to write the history of the Army of Northern Virginia. I shall rather content myself with giving you a brief account of the organization of the company, and confine my reminiscences of the battles to such incidents as were peculiarly connected with its members. I have often thought that one of the most remarkable features of the war has been passed over in silence by all its historians. I allude to the gathering together of the army of the Confederacy, and its organization under the very guns of the enemy. The United States government had at least a strong nucleus of an army around which to form its volunteers. It had, I think, twelve regiments of infantry, four of cavalry, and four of artillery, and what was of more consequence still, the skeleton of an organized staff. In addition to these, it had the New York and other city troops, some of which in drill, discipline and general organization were scarcely inferior to the regular army. On our side we had only a few militia companies of the cities, which had never been properly organized into regiments, but from which was to grow the Army of Northern Virginia, described by a foreign military writer as the greatest body of infantry the world has ever seen. But to none is the growth and organization of that body more remarkable than to those who now recall the struggles it required to enter its ranks. The history of this company is a fair illustration.
Upon the secession of the State there were three Irish companies in the city: 1. The old Irish Volunteers, then commanded by Capt. Edward Magrath, and to whose history, by Judge Magrath, you have just listened. 2. The Montgomery Guards, then commanded by the distinguished gentleman who is now the attorney general of the State, Gen. James Conner; and, 3. The Meagher Guards, to the command of which I had then just been called. The two first belonged to the Seventeenth Regiment, S. C. M., and the third to the Regiment of Rifles. All were preparing for the strife which it was believed was inevitable. Col. Pettigrew had ordered a drill of the Regiment of Rifles on the 20th December, (1860) and so it happened that the Ordinance of Secession was read at the head of the regiment, upon the Magnolia Parade Ground, within an hour after its passage. Returning to the city, we were reviewed by his Excellency, the Governor, and dismissed, soon to be summoned into actual service.
It happened that, among the masons whom Maj. Anderson then had at work upon the defences of Fort Moultrie, which he was vigorously engaged in strengthening, there was a member of the Meagher Guards, (Mr. John Kenny) whose reports of what was going on there were regularly forwarded through me to Col. Pettigrew, and from him to the Governor. Early on the morning of the 27th December Mr. Kenny rushed into my office, and informed me of the evacuation of Fort Moultrie and the occupation of Fort Sumter the night before. He had just reached the city, Maj. Anderson having, before he left, seized all the boats on the Island. I took Mr. Kenny at once to Col. Pettigrew, and with them went to Governor Pickens, with whom I left Col. Pettigrew and Mr. Kenny, and at once made preparations for the assembling of the Meagher Guards, as I was confident the company would be selected among the first for actual service. You thus see how intimately connected the Irish Volunteers were with the very inception of the war. Orders were soon received for the assembling of the Washington Light Infantry, Capt. C. H. Simonton, the Carolina Light Infantry, Capt. B. G. Pinckney, and our company for service under Col. Pettigrew, and when formed on the Citadel Square and our holiday arms exchanged for the old smooth bore musket and bayonet, and buck and ball had been issued and fairly rammed home, we felt that the war had indeed nearly commenced. As the occupation of Fort Sumter became known the city was filled with the wildest rumors, which were greatly increased by the assembly of the troops. The Citadel Square was soon filled with anxious men and crying women crowding around the forming troops. It was believed that the detachment was at once to be sent to storm Fort Sumter, and it was indeed a solemn moment as it moved through the pressing throng with no music but that of the rattle of the side arms and its own steady tread, interrupted only by the sobs of the mothers and wives who had followed our citizen soldiery to their first rendezvous.
The object of the expedition and its accomplishment are now well known, and the humorous story of the capture of Castle Pinckney by Col. Armstrong is familiar to you all; but however we may now laugh over it, I hesitate not to say that old soldiers could scarcely have been got to have undertaken to do what that detachment believed they were doing as the Nina ran alongside the pier and the Meagher Guards charged up the stone walk and climbed over the walls of Castle Pinckney.
In this the feet of Irish Volunteers were the first to tread the forbidden ground of United States territory.
The detachment under Col. Pettigrew garrisoned Castle Pinckney from the 27th December until the firing into the “Star of the West” on the 9th January, when it was transferred to Morris Island, and the Meagher Guards stationed at Cummins’ Point, where it protected and assisted in the erection of the batteries against Fort Sumter from that position. Here this company felt its first hard service, a service in some respects as hard as I any during the war. From Morris Island the detachment, which had been joined by the other companies of the Regiment of Rifles, was again transferred to Secessionville, and from that place, which was afterwards the field of a great battle and victory, in which the old Irish Volunteers and Montgomery Guards took part, the regiment was sent to Sullivan’s Island and stationed on the eastern end to guard the point which during the war of the Revolution had been so effectually defended by Col. Thompson’s Rifles. We were thus inactive spectators of the bombardment of Fort Sumter on the 12th and 13th April, 1861.
Did time permit it would be both interesting and instructive to recall and dwell upon the history of these first months of service. I attribute to this period much greater importance than has generally been allowed in the history of the war, for I claim that it was in this service that the nucleus of the grand Army of Northern Virginia was really formed.
The fall of Fort Sumter released the volunteers of the City of Charleston who had been called upon in the first emergency, and who had stood guard while the Constitutional Convention and the Legislature were organizing forces of a more permanent character. The first of these was the regiment organized by Gen. Gregg, under an ordinance of the convention, and designated as the First South Carolina Volunteers, of which body the Irish Volunteers afterwards became a prominent part. Let me here, then, say a word about its early history. This regiment, we must observe, was organized under an ordinance of the convention which had just passed the ordinance of secession. It is necessary to bear this in mind to distinguish it from the other First South Carolina Volunteers of which Gen. Hagood was the first Colonel and which was one of the ten regiments raised by act of the Legislature. Gen. Gregg’s regiment was at first composed of volunteer companies outside of the City of Charleston, who were only second to our city troops in getting into the field, because of their remoteness from the scene of action. But coming from a distance they came prepared to stay in the service for a given period-six months-whereas the Charleston troops had gone into the field at a moment’s warning, and without time to arrange with the State for the length of the term. It thus happened that when the city troops were relieved, after the fall of Fort Sumter, that Gregg’s regiment, which had then been on duty for three months, still had three months more to serve.
Upon the fall of Fort Sumter, as you recollect, Mr. Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to make war upon the seceded States, and this determined the course of Virginia, and that State seceded, and laid herself open, all unprepared as she was, to receive the first shock of the war. But South Carolina had no intention to leave Virginia to fight her battles alone, and Governor Pickens at once determined to send two regiments to that State, around which her own troops might gather. The Regiment of Rifles, under Col. Pettigrew, and 1st South Carolina Volunteers, under Col. Gregg, were selected for the purpose. But as we have seen the Regiment of Rifles was composed of citizen soldiery, who at the first call for duty had left their business unsettled and their families unprovided,and its members generally were not prepared for this new extended service until they could return home and arrange their affairs. But while this is the fullest explanation of the fact that the Rifle Regiment did not go with the 1st South Carolina Volunteers to Virginia, it but adds to the honor of the Meagher Guards to say that that company, on the 20th April, unanimously volunteered at once to do so. But as Col. Pettigrew could take no other of the companies, the 2d Regiment S. C. V., under Col. Kershaw, was sent in its place.
Col. Gregg left with his regiment on the 22d April, and arrived in Richmond on the 25th. At the railroad depot, just as the regiment was starting, these old colors, of which the Irish Volunteers were destined to be the color company in every battle in which they were unfurled, were, in behalf of the ladies, presented to the regiment in a graceful and eloquent address, by the gentleman who presides over this assembly. When we remember all that those colors have since gone through, how gloriously carried, the address of Col. Gregg in receiving them sounds now almost tame from its modesty. But that gallant officer was too true a soldier to make boasts for himself or his men. He fell at last near, very near them, and these bloodstains and tatters, as we now look upon them, tell how nobly the color company and the regiment redeemed the promises he would not utter.
When Col. Gregg’s regiment reached Richmond there were no organized troops in the field. Jackson had just arrived from the Military Institute at Lexington, and was engaged in drilling the companies in the Fair Ground as they came in; but the veterans from Fort Sumter, as they were called, were the only regiment ready for the field, and thus it may be said the Army of Northern Virginia was gathered around these old colors that now hang before you.
Immediately upon our relief from duty, Capt. Parker, Capt. Armstrong and myself commenced the reorganization of the company for a regiment which was to have been commanded by Col. Pettigrew, and at once reported its ranks full and ready for muster. But delay occurred in the organization of the regiment, and in the meantime the Second Regiment, under Col. Kershaw, was sent to Virginia, and other troops refused permission to follow. Then commenced the struggle through which all who desired to get into the army had to go. It would really be amusing, if we did not know the sad result, to recall the difficulties which were interposed in the way of those who asked only to be allowed to fight for their country. In our case, it required me to visit first Montgomery, and then Richmond. To get an opportunity of offering his life in the cause, one had to wait for days his turn to be heard; and when he was heard he was pretty sure to find the Confederate government interposing every difficulty to prevent the patriotic desire. At last, however, after waiting and begging, the Confederate government graciously agreed to accept our company for the war provided we could faviiish ourselves with arms. This, of course, threw us back upon the State for our arms, and I am almost afraid now to tell you how we got them at last, for fear those of us who survive may yet be arrested for larceny in taking them. But we did, at last, succeed in getting one hundred muskets, and I soon was able to report one full company of Irish volunteers ready for the war, and that we could raise a battalion. Indeed, another company was organized and was actually in camp at Hampstead; and a third started, with the offer of a fourth from the county. I went again to Richmond, offered the battalion, and received from the secretary of war the same conditional acceptance, viz: we to arm ourselves. We soon received an order from Gov. Pickens forbidding the organization of anything more than a company. The camp at Hampstead was broken up, and the men who, in June, 1861, were refused admittance into the army were conscripted in February, 1862. Another controversy then sprung up as to what was to be done with us. One wanted us in one regiment, and one in another.
About this time an act was passed by the Congress permitting single companies to be mustered into the Confederate service, and as we were more anxious to get to Virginia than concerned in what organization we should be put, I applied to the secretary of war and obtained an order for muster, and accordingly, on the 27th of June, 1861, the Irish Volunteers for the war were mustered into the Confederate service by Capt. S. D. Lee, afterwards the distinguished lieutenant-general.
I ask especial attention to the name we assumed on entering the service-Irish Volunteers or the war-for we claim without fear of contradiction that this company was the first organization to enlist for the war- that is, for the whole war. The old First South Carolina Volunteers, as originally organized, was for six months, and the Ten Regiments, raised under the act of the Legislature, enlisted, I think, for three years or the war; that is to be discharged in case the war ended before the three years; but the Irish Volunteers were the first to enlist for the war, whether long or short. This we claim is in itself a fact of honor to the corps. On the 19th July we received orders to proceed at once to Richmond. It was intended that we should reach there in time for the battle that was then so soon to be fought, but, owing to delays in transportation, we did not get to Virginia in time to take part in the first Manassas. Gregg’s Regiment, as I have mentioned, had enlisted but for six months, and as the members had done this only upon a little longer notice than the Charleston troops had had, at the expiration of the six months, that is, on the 1st July, they had been mustered out of service. Col. Gregg, by order of the secretary of war, was, however, authorized to reorganize the regiment, retaining its name and colors. On our arrival at Richmond just after the great victory at Manassas we were detained there.
At the time Gen. R. E. Lee was in charge at the Capital of the general organization of the army, and by him our company was allowed the selection of one or two South Carolina regiments to which to be attached. Col. Gregg’s old First was chosen by us, and we were ordered to the Rockets to form a camp of reorganization for the regiment. In the latter part of August we had a full regiment again, and were ordered to Suffolk, Va., in Gen. Huger’s department, where we remained during the winter.
On reaching Richmond the Irish Volunteers had been greatly complimented at the war department for their drill and discipline, but Col. Gregg was now determined not only to bring the rest of the regiment up to the mark, but to raise this company with the rest of it to a still higher standard. In doing this he was indefatigable, and before he was taken from its command by promotion he had established the old First upon a basis in drill, discipline and organization second to no regiment of regulars in the field. Let me here say that in the organization of his regiment Gen. Gregg refuted the common theory that volunteers cannot be brought to the same state of discipline and order as regulars. No regiment was superior to Gregg’s First in its composition; in none were all the formal observances between officers and men so rigidly enforced, and yet in none, I venture to say, did kinder or more cordial relations exist between the humblest private and highest officer; and so it was that foreign officers were sent to its camp to show to what efficiency volunteers could be brought.
Next to Gen. Gregg’s ability in perseverance in organization, I claim it that the standard of his regiment was in a great measure owing to the high proficiency of the Irish Volunteers, around which he formed and disciplined the other companies. This indeed was practically acknowledged by the regiment, for from all the excellent companies which composed it this by common consent was made the color company. While I had the honor to command the company it held position on the right of the regiment, by reason of my seniority of commission as captain; but upon ray promotion, Capt. Parker becoming the junior captain, it would have entirely lost its position but from its recognized steadiness. Though lettered as company K, it was made the color company, and retained that position throughout the war without the usual change in line, which under the regulations should have followed the changes by casualties in the date of commission of the captains.
Whilst at Suffolk an incident occurred so creditable to the company, that as it is my fortune that I may speak of, as well as for them, I must not omit to tell of it. When the company was offered to the Confederate government you recollect that it was accepted on the condition that we should find arms, but not only so, we were also expected to clothe ourselves while fighting. To help us do this the Hibernian Society had contributed a sum, and our friends at home had obtained the benefit of a theatrical performance, the proceeds of which, like that contributed by the Hibernian Society, was in the hands of a gentleman in the city who kindly attended to the financial affairs of the company.*
* William McBurney, Esq.
The uniforms, the company had gone to Virginia with, were threadbare and worn, the winter severe, and the company were just looking for new warm clothing from this fund, when we heard of the dreadful fire in Charleston. With characteristic generosity the company at once resolved to give the whole fund to the sufferers. Let me read you a letter of the Rt, Rev. Bishop Lynch upon the subject, which will be better than anything I can say:
Charleston, S. C, December 26, 1861.
EDWARD MCCRADY, Jr., Captain, First Regiment S. C. V.:
Dear Captain-Our friend, Mr. McBurney, has just handed to me the sum of $231, and to Mr. Sass the sum of $200, so handsomely contributed by the Irish Volunteers from Charleston, to the Sisters of Mercy and to the general relief fund for the sufferers by the late disastrous conflagration. There are certain things that make our nerves thrill and our hearts, as it were, stop beating for a moment, and excite feelings which no words can express. Of that class your donation has been, perhaps, the strongest instance before the general committee, and I feel unable to express, in their name, the gratitude with which they receive this donation, which they consider, under the circumstances, as the most liberal one yet entrusted to their charge. If anything were needed to nerve them to the earnest discharge of what is a duty onerous and sorrowful under some respects, as it is pleasing under others, it would be the example of heroic self-sacrifice which your company has set them, surrendering their own, I had almost said necessaries, to aid in providing for the stricken ones at home. Be pleased to accept for yourself and to convey to your company the assurance of our gratitude for the sum so liberally sent, and of the confidence we all feel that the Irish Volunteers of Charleston will well sustain the fair name of this city, not alone as brave soldiers in battle, but equally well in that kindness and loftiness of character, which ever distinguish the Christian and the patriot. And for the Sisters of Mercy and their orphans now driven from their home, shattered though thank God not destroyed by the fire, what shall I say? That they thank you? That would be cold and less than the truth. They will pray to Heaven for you morning and night, that God may bless and protect you, in battle, on the march, and in camp, in quiet or in danger, and especially that He may be with those whom the fate of war may call away. And the prayers of those innocent and pure hearts will not be unavailing. May God protect you, grant you success, and bring you to the homes you are defending with undiminished numbers. Thanking you, my dear Captain, for the very kind manner in which you have been pleased to forward the donation, I have the honor to be.
Very respectfully. Your obedient servant and friend,
P. N. LYNCH, D. D., B. C.
During the summer of ’61, the “Sisters of our Lady of Mercy” prepared two beautiful standards of colors, one for the Irish Volunteers in South Carolina and the other for the Irish Volunteers for the war in Virginia. Mr. Armstrong, the father of Col. Armstrong, brought on those of the latter to us at Suffolk, and I recollect that in a letter to the Courier, describing their presentation, he said that no doubt, if the occasion occurred, the flag would find its Jasper in the ranks to which it was committed. No such occasion occurred to that flag, for with the other company colors, upon the commencement of hostilities in the spring of 1862, it was sent to the depot of the regiment in Richmond, and was there burned in the conflagration upon the evacuation of that city; but the company furnished at least two “Jaspers” for the regimental colors.
At Cold Harbor the whole color guard fell around them. Taylor, Hayne, Pickney, Gregg, Holmes, Cotchett, all had fallen, and it seemed death to touch them, when Private Dominick Spellman seized and carried them through the terrific battle. For which he was made color sergeant of the regiment; and on many another hard fought field bore them with equal gallantry. At Gettysburg, when in absence of Sergt. Spellman from wounds, Sergt. Larkin, who was worthily bearing them, was shot down as the regiment was crossing: the stone wall in front of the town, Capt. Armstrong lifted and holding them aloft charged with them at the head of the regiment. Led by Gens. Pender and Perrin the regiment pressed on, and these old colors, which had come from Fort Sumter, were planted in the centre of the town of Gettysburg, and there aligned on them was the color company-Company K, the Irish Volunteers.
I must tell you of another instance of Sergeant Spellman’s conduct. Some of you may know he was an excellent shot; he might be now, but that he is a little unsteady with a ball in his leg and sabre cut over his shoulder. He had been carrying the colors all day at the second Manassas, and the rest of the regiment thought that the way he had borne them was enough for the share of one man in that fight. But in the evening, as the regiment was lying down under a heavy fire of sharpshooters, who had possession of a wood in our front, Spellman caught a glimpse of some of the enemy’s sharpshooters in the bushes, and turning over the colors to the corporal next him and seizing his musket he quietly walked out in front of the line and deliberately taking aim he fired, and, turning io his regiment, called out, “I dropped that one,” and, to the astonishment of his comrades, proceeded to reload his musket, standing in full view of the sharpshooters, who soon turned their entire attention to him. Again he fired, and again called that he had hit his man. The men called to him to return, but quietly he reloaded his piece and took it up to fire; but the sharpshooters on the other side, having recovered their surprise, with one ball shot away the butt of the musket from his face, and with another brought him down. I see here to-night another Irish Volunteer, into whose brave and kindly face many a wounded and dying man has looked with blessings upon his lips, as, regardless of his own life. Private Duffy bore him from the field. To each regiment there was a detail, called an infirmary corps, composed of men selected for their coolness and steadiness in danger, to whom was committed the duty of removing the wounded, no others being allowed to leave the ranks for the purpose. This company furnished the officer in command of that detail,* and Corpl. Brerton and Private Duffy. Of the officer, it only becomes me to say that he was twice wounded in the discharge of his duties. Of the other two of the detail I have just named, I cheerfully bear witness to their courage and gentleness in this most dangerous and painful service.
* Lieut. Thomas McCrady.
It was my pleasure, when in command of the regiment, to have to report Sergt. Matthews and Privates Holeran and Carrol for gallant conduct in action, and many others deserved to be mentioned for their bravery.
Of Col. Armstrong, whose services I rejoice that his Excellency, the Governor, has recognized by calling him to his staff, it is not necessary for me to say much before this assembly, but let me remind you of some remarkable facts in his career. He was with the very first troops that took the field on the 27th December, 1860, and was wounded and captured in the very last fight of the war, and was the last Confederate soldier discharged from the Federal hospital in Washington. He was four times severely wounded, and has given to the Irish Volunteers the honor of having furnished the man who was the first in, and the last out of the war.
But there is another, of whom I must yet speak, who did much to cause the name of the Irish Volunteers to be honored. I allude to Capt. M. P. Parker, who, twice wounded, died soon after the war from the effects. Capt. Parker was an architect and mechanic by trade, but had acquired an education beyond his circumstances. He was an able mathematician, and an excellent writer, recollect that these qualities, his strict attention to duties, and his exact reports attracted the attention of Col. Pettigrew, who greatly relied upon him as an officer. In the camp he was a strict disciplinarian, and in the field there were none braver. He was wounded at Manassas, but did not leave the field. But at Sharpsburg, again he was wounded this time dreadfully. From this second wound he never recovered, but was retired, and for the last year or two of the war was provost marshal of Augusta, the duties of which he was just able to perform. He was a true friend and a brave man. His name should have a prominent place in any memorial to the Irish dead.
The Irish Volunteers for the war went to Virginia one hundred strong. Each of its officers was twice wounded-Capt. Armstrong four times. It is known that thirty- five of them were killed in battle, and that two died of disease. How many more of the missing were killed or died of wounds we do not know. From the condition of the country the survivors were scattered after the war, and but few of us now remain in this city, but those few are here to-night to thank you. Captain, and gentlemen of the Irish Volunteers, for undertaking to raise a monument to commemorate the valor of our fallen comrades.
There are those both at the North and at the South who in the absorbing appreciation of the present bid us forget the past, and call upon us to let the dead of the late war bury its dead. Some amongst ourselves seem to think that by forgetting we can remedy the consequences of the great convulsion through which we have passed, while some at the North, condemning the bitterness with which we of the South have been pursued, would seek too in oblivion the peace they desire. It was in this spirit that Mr, Sumner moved his famous resolutions in the Senate to remove from the colors of the regiments of the United States army the names of the battles of our war in which they were engaged. We recognize and appreciate his motive, and life long opponent though he was, we honor his magnanimity. But Confederate soldiers ask not that the gallant men of the North should be deprived of the honors they won on many a hard fought field. Because our banners, all stained with the blood of our people, and consecrated to us by valued lives spent beneath their folds, were furled forever at Appomattox, we grudge not the honor and glory of the Northern troops in displaying theirs. Nay! in commemorating the field of victory or defeat the Federal soldier alike honors the Confederate.
We hold that it would be unwise, if we could, on either side, to forget the war and its lessons, and that as it is impossible to do so, it is worse than folly to attempt it.
Forget the past! For us to forget Bee and Johnson, our first sacrifices in the cause we were reared to believe holy and just! Forget Gladden, who, after leading the Palmetto Regiment in Mexico, fell at Shiloh! Forget Smith, McCreary, Shooter, Alston and the Rhetts, and the boys whose blood you still see upon the old banner all rent and torn and riddled with balls! Forget our seven colonels who fell at Manassas! Forget Gregg and his message to the Governor, that he died for his State! Forget Jenkins and the Hamptons, the Perrins and Seabrook, the Wardlaws and Cuthbert and Barksdale! Forget DeSaussure and the Haskels, and Cheves and Simkins, the Pringles and Wagner, Harleston, Gist and Porcher, and Elliott! For us to forget Pettigrew, Parker, Mitchel and Ryan, and Allemong, and Hagerty, too, as in the first battle he fell by this old flag!
Forget all our old comrades whose bones whiten the fields where they fell beside us! Forget the time when the whole world looked on in admiration of our conduct, though disapproving because not understanding our cause! Forget the purest moments of our own lives! Forget the State for which we once so freely offered our lives! If we can-then pray God let us forget ourselves as unworthy what we once were.
Forget all, and, with bowed heads, let us walk these streets; for what remains, and what is gone, will alike remind us of that we have resolved to forget. We must not see the mason at work, nor cross our waste places, for then, perchance, we would recollect what has occurred. And when old St. Michael’s bells-all the rest hushed-rings to the house of God, let us hurry in, for if we tarry among our tombs we may be again reminded how some young friend spent his fresh life for the cause he had been taught to believe his country’s.
No! my friends, we cannot forget the past if we would, and thank God we cannot. For filled as it is in our family histories with gallant deeds upon the field, and heroic endurance at home, though sad and sorrowful, it is rich to us as a people.
But because we cannot and will not forget the noblest, purest years of our lives, are we the less good citizens of the government God has seen fit firmly to establish over us?
I glory in the history of our people of this State in the late war, and challenge its comparison with that of any other people of any time. With a voting population of less than 68,000, we gave 44,000 volunteers during the first eighteen months of the war, and during the whole war at least one soldier for every vote cast for secession, and 12,000 of these laid down their lives, as they believed, for the good of their country. Nor were our people prodigal only of life. They gave as freely of their wealth and of their substance.
No people, I venture to believe, ever spent more freely of blood and treasure for anv cause. And yet if I had to write their history I should dwell with equal satisfaction upon their conduct since the war.
Bereaved, despoiled, persecuted, with the same fire burning within them with which they had charged at Manassas, at Chancellorsville, at Chicamauga-with the same fortitude with which they had held the lines at Petersburg and fought Fort Sumter to the water’s edge-with the same refined tastes with which they had embellished their society, and which had given a relish to their luxury, without murmuring they turned each one from his vision of glory, his high aspirations for political fame, to commence life anew and to rebuild his scattered fortunes, each one accepting whatever honest work he could find to do, however humble or menial. Statesmen who had but reached the prime of life when, with experience and attainments just balanced, their usefulness seemed but to have commenced, and generals who had just given evidence of genius, found themselves without occupation or employment. Fortunes, the accumulations of lives of labor and self- denial, those who builded saw scattered to the winds just as they were about to enjoy them. But without complaint the statesman, the soldier, the merchant and the planter, commenced life anew, asking only the opportunity of honest toil.
And this was denied them. Seeing the quiet determination with which they went to work to rebuild their ruined homes and to restore their loved State, the party then in power, fearing their influence if heard again in the councils of the nation, added yet this more-the greatest injury of all. It retook the government from our people, and placed over them their former slaves, and thieves, adventurers and outcasts. It filled our Legislative halls with a motley crew, composed mostly of a servile race who could neither read nor write, together with some of our own scarcely better educated-and few more honest-crowd so monstrous that those who put them there came to look at them as at a menagerie. With the strong arm of the general government the party in power guarded the doors of the State-House that ignorance might riot there, and that knaves might rob and steal in safety.
And all this men who had shown their bravery upon a hundred fields, who would gladly have given their lives to redeem their State, with greater courage still endured. They waited with fortitude the hour to rise. And it came at last. And to-night, my comrades, we stand here beneath these old folds once more a free people.
Is it not meet, then, as we once again breathe the air of freedom, that we should remember our fallen comrades who died that we might enjoy it? Raise high, then, the monument that will tell that we did not forget them, and in remembering and honoring them we shall honor ourselves.
At the conclusion of Col. McCrady’s thrilling words upon which the audience hung with bated breath the chairman announced that the next speaker on the programme was Capt. John Burke, but owing to Indisposition he had been unable to attend, and had sent a letter which he desired that Capt. B. F. McCabe would read to the meeting.
Words of Cheer from Capt. Burke.
Capt. McCabe after appropriately announcing the regret entertained in consequence of Capt. Burke’s absence proceeded to read his letter, as follows:
Charleston, October 9, 1877,
TO THE COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS OF THE MEMORIAL MEETING:
Gentlemen-The high and distinguished honor you have conferred upon me, in requesting that I should speak in praise of the old Irish Volunteers, has awakened the deepest and most grateful emotions of my heart, I had hoped to have been with you to-night, to mingle my voice with the others who will tell you how true the Irish Volunteers were to the home of their adoption how bravely they fought and how gallantly they fell in the cause of Southern independence but a most severe attack of sickness precludes the possibility of my doing so. This is to me a source of great regret, for I should esteem it a privilege to speak of my former comrades and devoted friends, than whom no braver men ever struggled or bled. Their love for Carolina was equaled only by their devotion to their native land. Among the very first to take up arms in defence of the State, they were faithful as long as there was hope, and remained at their post even when hope had passed away.
On Morris Island, James Island, Virginia and North Carolina they stood in the front rank of battle. Mustered into Confederate service in February, 1862, as a portion of the Charleston Battalion, commanded by that gallant soldier and patriot. Col. P. C. Gaillard, they were assigned to duty on Morris Island. The first engagement in which they participated was that at Legare’s Point, where commenced their brilliant record of brave deeds and heroic actions. There they captured the first prisoners that were taken on the coast. In this action the invincible courage of Private Whalen saved the life Of his intrepid commander, Capt. W. H. Ryan. At Secessionville this record was continued, and another gallant deed performed. Capt. Reid, of Lamar’s Battery, and his men, having been killed at their guns, the Irish Volunteers, led by Capt. Ryan, volunteered and fought the guns during the balance of the engagement.
During the long and and sanguinary struggle at Battery Wagner, the company performed most valiant service, and in which Capt. Ryan offered his life as a willing sacrifice on the altar of his country. Sent to Fort Sumter, they formed part of that noble band of heroes who there won undying fame.
In 1864 they went to Virginia, and at Walthal Junction, Drury’s Bluff, the series of battles near Petersburg and around Richmond, they displayed conspicuous courage, as on all other battle plains. Capt. Mulvaney, Lieuts. Allemong and Preston, Thomas and Patrick Hogan, Edward Whalen and other noble spirits immortalized themselves, and their actions live in history. At the battle of Fort Fisher the Volunteers made a desperate and gallant stand, and retired only when almost surrounded by the foe. These are but a few of the gallant deeds of the Irish Volunteers, and would that I could render a fitting tribute to the memory of our dead heroes who sleep the “soldier’s death” on so many battlefields from Sumter to the James.
Believe me in heart and sympathy with you, gentlemen, in this meeting, and may the precious memories of the gallant sacrifices of our fallen dead ever remain green in our memories.
This letter from one of Carolina’s bravest adopted sons was received with marked enthusiasm. The chairman then said: The next speaker needs no words of introduction from me. You knew him before and you have heard of him to-night. His name is his best eulogy. I introduce to you Col. James Armstrong.
It would be impossible to describe the enthusiasm with which the audience received Col. Armstrong as he advanced towards the front of the stage, and it was many minutes before his voice could be heard. As soon as quiet could be restored. Col. Armstrong spoke in the following terms:
Speech of Col. James Armstrong.
Mr. President: The chaste and beautiful eulogiums so eloquently pronounced by the distinguished gentlemen who have preceded me have thrilled my breast to its very centre, and caused it to vibrate with mingled emotions of pride and sorrow. I am powerless, and feel myself almost wordless, in attempting to offer a feeble tribute to the memory of the heroic dead of the Irish Volunteers, in speaking of the patriotism, valor and self-sacrificing heroism of the men who now sleep in their battle- shrouds, and whose fame is as dear to me tonight as are the stirring recollections and hallowed memories of the cause for which they fought, and in struggling to uphold which they died deaths sublime.
It was my proud privilege to be associated with one of the companies of the Irish Volunteers from the commencement of the war until its disastrous close. They were among the truest, the bravest and the best of that noble old Army of Northern Virginia whose brilliant achievements over-arch the broad firmament of our nation’s glory, and whose martial deeds and almost matchless daring will be remembered and treasured until the end of time. The greatest wealth of words would not suffice to tell of the hardships the Irish Volunteers encountered, the privations they endured on the march to danger and to death; of the valiant feats they performed, how fearlessly they faced the red carnage and deadly fury of the fight,
“Each stepping where hiss comrade stood the instant that he fell.”
Patiently, unswervingly they went down beneath the leaden hail of battle-their final heart-beats throbbing with love for Carolina. No friends were near to take a dying message to parents and kindred in their dear island home. Far, far away from the grand and beautiful scenes of motherland, which rose before their fast fading vision, recalling the golden hours of sunshine passed along the verdant slopes of the Foyle-the Liffey-the Lee and the Shannon-they laid down the starry Southern cross to take up the martyr crown. The Mother of States gathered their lifeless forms to her crushed and bleeding breast. We left them beneath the silent watches of the sentinel stars, mingling our tears of sorrow with heaven’s dewdrops. Though not a line marks their shroudless and coffinless graves, the rich verdure of spring, as green as the loved shamrock of Erin, blooms above their pulseless breasts, and the gentle winds sigh in mournful cadence where our dreamless heroes sleep.
The company, commanded first by Col. Edward McCrady, Jr., and which formed part of Col. Maxcy Gregg’s Regiment, was organized in May, 1861, and went to Virginia in July of the same year, although most of its members had served in other commands from the taking of Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie until after the capitulation of Fort Sumter. They were assigned to the honorable and greatly coveted position of color company, which they worthily held from that bright and victorious June day at Gaines’s Mill until the flag, that so many of them died to protect, was shrouded and furled away in the gloom at Appomattox. On the long and weary march their spirits were as light and buoyant as the winds of their native mountains; their voices as cheerful as the sparkling streamlets of their native glens. Though brave, they were kind and tender-hearted, and even when rations were short and scant they have been known to give their last morsel of bread to a hungry comrade, sometimes to a wounded foe. During long and dreary nights, when the cheerful bivouac fires lit up their bronzed and manly faces, it was pleasant to watch the mirth and pride that shone in their eyes and brightened their cheeks as they enchained the attention of gallant companions from other commands with entertaining stories drawn from the rich legendary lore of Ireland, or as they told of the historic battle sites they saw in early boyhood.
From their lips, expressed in simple but touching language, I have listened to many a rich lesson in patriotism. Some of them had long passed the meridian of life when they entered Confederate service, and their furrowed brows and whitened locks formed a striking contrast to the ruddy cheeks and beaming eyes of their younger and stronger comrades. But the frosts of relentless time had failed to chill the crimson current that warmed and nerved their hearts, and they withstood the heat of summer, the rigor of winter, and braved the dangers of battle equal to any in the army. At times you could trace along the road drops of blood oozing from their swollen shoeless feet, and yet a murmur never escaped their lips. The brilliant pages of the historian, the immortal verse of the poet and the glowing canvas of the artist praise Spartan courage and portray Roman fortitude. They were grand, but not more so than the heroic virtues exhibited by the poorly clad, half fed, devoted followers of Lee, Johnston and Beauregard, who accomplished all that valor and self-sacrificing heroism could, and whose fame is as enduring as the hills-as imperishable as the blue skies that bend above us.
The emotions welling up in my breast deny to me the power of utterance-weird-like mist oppresses me. It is the mist of memory, through the dim vista of which, methinks. I see the sluggish courses of the Chickahominy, with its frowning battlements and hosts of armed men, marshaled “in battle’s magnificently stern array.” The ear of fancy again catches the familiar sound of the measured tread of contending forces. How proudly Lee’s veterans advance to the enemy’s guns. The thundering of cannon-the continuous rattle of musketry, ploughing and cutting through their ranks, are unheeded. On-on, they rush through the current of Mars’ red deluge. Banners wave and leaders cheer. In Lee’s hands are the destinies of Richmond. The ever-faithful Jackson the gray “Stonewall,” that no foe could surmount, appears upon the scene. That old Roman, Maxcy Gregg, orders his brigade to charge, and, with a yell that awakes the slumbering echoes of meadow and stream,they press irresistibly along. The chivalrous Col. A. M. Smith falls mortally wounded, and the blue flag of South Carolina, which he told his men to die by, but never let it trail, wavers, for the boy-hero, Jimmie Taylor, who bore it, has had his breast fatally pierced by a bullet. It is but for a moment, for the daring young Shubrick Hayne takes it from his dying grasp, and again it floats on high. Alas! he, too, falls to the earth to rise no more. It is now in the hands of the youthful, but fearless Alfred Pinckney; but soon it droops in his nerveless grasp. It does not touch the earth, for another hero rushes from the ranks of the color-company, takes the falling standard, dashes in front of the line, cheering it on, and again the Palmetto rustles in the breeze, upheld by the stalwart arms of the bold, lion-hearted Dominick Spellman-by whose side is the valorous Tom Hagerty, Ah, there was a hero; a stranger to fear; who courted death, and died with a shout of defiance on his lips, John O’Rourke, Thomas Gascons, Michael Knowles, William Tobin perish beneath the withering flame. The column moves victoriously on, and after a most stubborn and bloody resistance the enemy retreat, and the danger that menaced the Capital of the Confederacy disappears with the setting of the sun.
Would that I had the force and brilliancy to fittingly describe the other fights near Richmond-the valiant doings at Manassas, where Col. McCrady bravely led the First Regiment into action how the brigade stood like a wall of adamant, as division after division was hurled against it. Here the brave Lieut. Thomas McCrady and seven others of the company fell wounded, and Daniel Callaghan and Daniel Coffee were instantly killed to lead you in imagination to Ox Hill, to Harper’s Ferry, Sharpsburg, where A. P. Hill’s light division saved the army, and the gallant Capt. M. P. Parker distinguished himself to Botteler’s Ford that December day at Fredericksburg, when Maxcy Gregg fell, and the Irish Volunteers lost fifteen in killed and wounded-to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristow Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, where Nicholas Kane, D. P. Cameron and M. Cunningham were instantly killed in scaling the Federal earthworks-Jericho Ford, Deep Bottom, Fuzzels Mill. I would trace the army back to the second Cold Harbor, to Jones’s Farm, Riddle’s Shops, Boydton Plankroad, Weldon Railroad, Ream’s Station, White Oak Road, Sutherland Station, the marches and skirmishes during those four memorable years. Suffice it to say that the Irish Volunteers went to Virginia with 106 men and afterwards received over twenty recruits, and when the scattered remnants of our great and glorious army emerged from the consuming flames of battle, and saw trailed in the gore-stained dust of defeat the banner whose cross guided them through a hundred fights, and whose bright stars reflected back the light of many a victory, but seven of its members were left to answer to roll call on the fateful morning of the surrender.
I would be doing injustice to the few survivors of the company, one of whom, gallant William Tracy, who never missed a fight or a skirmish in which his comrades were engaged, as well as to my own feelings, if I failed to state that the credit of organizing, drilling and bringing it to a state of perfection is mainly due to Col. Edward McCrady, Jr., or if I omitted to mention that he watched over them with parental care, supplied their wants, and saw that they had every comfort that a soldier could have. What he was unable to obtain from the government was obtained from the members of his family, who throughout the war were devoted to the company’s welfare.
Of the treasured history of the old Irish Volunteers, whose services are closely interwoven with the martial renown of Carolina for three-quarters of a century, it is not for me to speak; their praises have already been sounded with the most exquisite tenderness and in language the very soul of eloquence itself. Yet I trust that I may be permitted to take one flower, however pale and odorless it may be, and intertwine it with the beautiful wreath of rare and fragrant roses and immortelles that has to-night been placed on their still radiant brows. I recur with feelings of pride to their brilliant record in defence of Southern liberty; to the intrepid Capt. Wm. H. Ryan, who fell in front of the works of Battery Wagener; to the gentle, gallant Lieut. Alexander Allemong, Christian soldier and patriot, who received his death wound at Petersburg; to the true and undaunted Irish nationalist, Capt. James M. Mulvaney, who raised that inspiring “rebel cheer” on the crest of the enemy’s fortification; to my schoolmate and companion, the warm hearted, generous and brave Lieut. John F. Preston, faithful and devoted to the last; to the courageous Edward Whalen, Thomas L. and Patrick Hogan, J, Carroll, M. Twohill, and others of the rank and file who illustrated the martial renown of Ireland, and nobly died for Carolina.
I am deeply indebted to the committee for the privilege accorded me to speak here this evening. All honor to the company who so worthily bears the grand old name of the Irish Volunteers, who are true td the memory of our martyr dead, and whose noble ambition it is to erect a memorial to Irish virtue, Irish valor and Irish patriotism. The effect of these words upon the audience was manifested by the wildest enthusiasm, and during their delivery the orator’s voice was drowned a score of times in the applause of the admiring assemblage. At the request of the chairman, Capt. Jas. F. Redding, the secretary of the meeting, read the following letters and telegrams in response to invitations to be present:
OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER-GENERAL,
COLUMBIA, S. C, September 29, 1877.
To the Committee Memorial Meeting:
Gentlemen-It would give me much pleasure to attend the meeting in relation to erecting a monument to the Irish Volunteers, if I were not under engagements already made that preclude.
That portion of the Irish Volunteers who served with me were a very gallant body of men, and with their captain, Mulvaney, as much deserve such a tribute as any whowore the grey.
It will give me much pleasure to aid in your commendable purpose. Please present my acknowledgments to the committee, and believe me very truly and respectfully,
COLUMBIA, S. C, October 1, 1877.
To the Commitee Memorial Meeting L V.:
Gentlemen-Your letter of recent date was received just as I was unexpectedly leaving Columbia on business, my answer being thereby unavoidably delayed.
I regret to say that I will not be able to attend your meeting in Charleston on 9th instant. It would be an honor to take any part in the erection of a monument to the dead of the noble race which has distinguished itself in defence of freedom on every battle plain of the modern world. And certainly it would be to myself a special honor and pleasure to appear at your meeting in connection with the Irish Volunteer Company, whose veterans are the men who stood next the colors of the old First Regiment, in which I had the honor, with you, to be a soldier under Maxcy Gregg. But on this occasion it is impossible for me to attend.
My best wishes are with you for the success of this laudable effort, which has for its purpose to show honor to the men who came from another land and died for Southern liberty.
Remember me most kindly to my fellow soldiers, and believe me to be, with much personal regard to yourselves.
Very truly yours,
A. C. HASKELL.
COLUMBIA, S. C, October 9, 1877.
To Col. James Armstrong for the Memorial Committee:
Regret greatly my inability to participate. Am in full sympathy, and wish you all success.
These communications were received with flattering demonstrations of applause. The chair then introduced the last speaker for the evening, Capt. Wm. A. Courtenay of the W. L. I., who, as he came to the front, was received with a greeting that was as genuine as it was flattering. Capt. Courtenay, who had been specially requested to prepare resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the meeting, spoke as follows:
Remarks of Capt. Wm. A. Courtenay.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Many of those assembled this evening in this familiar hall were actors in eventful days—twelve or sixteen years ago. Here and there is one with brow frosted by time, who forty-one years ago, when the startling news of the massacre of Maj. Dade’s command reached Charleston, volunteered to meet the fierce Seminole in the everglades of Florida. In both calls to danger and to duty South Carolina had a generous and prompt response from “Irish volunteers.” The hardships and privations in Florida were great indeed, but they pale before the fearful sacrifices of 1861-65! How instinctly we shrink from the contemplation of those years of desolating battles! The agonies of the wounded, the groans of the dying still ring in our ears,and the pale faces of our dead are ever vividly before us. The streams ran red, waving crops were dyed the all-pervading hue, and “many a wild flower, formed by the Almighty hand to be a perfumed goblet for the dew, had its enameled cup filled high with blood, and withering fell.” Yes! we turn away, but the fatal shadows from those scenes of woe walk by us still, hover over our lives, and oppress us with their continuing sadness; but despite such depressing thoughts memory, with generous impulse, recalls the heroic deeds of “the martyrs of the fight.”
The seasons in their course are obliterating the landmarks of both conflicts; crops are sown and harvested; the once crimsoned stream now turns with its bright and sparkling flow the wheels of industry; kind and manly utterances are spoken in place of once bitter words. It is under such surroundings, with the sunburst of our political restoration shining brightly, that we come together this evening, to revive the recollections of brave men and true, and to resolve that we will rescue from the oblivion with which the unceasing work of time enshrouds all things, the story of the self-sacrificing services of those who, while claiming Ireland for their birthplace, made quick response to the call of their adopted home.
Mindful of the public obligation to the men of the Irish Volunteers, who, in the hammocks around Tampa and on the hundred battle-fields of the Confederacy, made the last human sacrifice, our citizens, five years ago, made their corner-stone contribution. To-night they come together again to encourage the survivors and successors of the historic Irish Volunteers to undertake the superstructure. No extravagant programme is contemplated-a simple shaft of native granite, thirty feet in height, will transmit to posterity the heroic record of the “unreturning brave.”
This memorial of the respect in which our community holds the public services of this command should be speedily reared. Do we risk anything in saying the means shall not be wanting when the call is made? We think we can predict what response the old city will give, for we know this tribute will enlist the sympathy and co-operation of all our people. Yes, all-for the women stand ready to do their part, and the men will not be indifferent. Let us then forthwith devote ourselves to this good work, co-operate with our gallant Irish Volunteers in their plans, and when, in the process of the seasons, another festival day of Ireland’s patron saint shall come to us in that beautiful spring time when
“The jasmine burns
Its fragrant lamps, and turns
Into a Royal Court with green festoons
The banks of dark lagoons,”
Our people with one accord, and in grateful homage, will congregate in yonder city of the dead, and in enduring bronze and granite commit to posterity the story of Ryan, Parker, Dougherty, Mulvaney, Allemong, Haggerty, Bateman, O’Rourke, Knowles, Callagnan, Preston, Whalen, Fitzpatrick, Twohill, Carroll, Lee, Manion, Hartley, and the hundred others who, side by side with the youth of Carolina, bravely fell.
May those who inherit the name of Irish Volunteers, and who are to preserve its fame, emulate the public spirit and valor of their predecessors, and live up to their high standard of public duty.
I submit for your approval the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the purpose announced by the Irish Volunteers of erecting a worthy memorial to their dead of two wars, meets with the hearty approbation of the citizens of Charleston.
Resolved, That we recommend to the officers and members of the Irish Volunteers to organize some public entertainment, in which all our people can participate, the proceeds to be applied to the proposed monument.
Resolved, That to the completion of this patriotic work we pledge our best efforts, and invite the co-operation of the ladies of Charleston, who, ever ready to honor the brave, have in this the opportunity to show their appreciation of the old Irish Volunteers.
These resolutions were seconded by Gen. Rudolph Siegling, and were unanimously adopted by the meeting amid much enthusiasm. Upon motion the meeting then adjourned.
MILITARY HALL FESTIVAL
AUSPICIOUS RE-OPENING OF MILITARY HALL.
MAGNIFICENT DECORATIONS OF THE HALL-BRILLIANT ASSEMBLAGE OF THE GAY AND FAIR-DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AND DASHING OFFICERS.
[From The News and Courier, November 6, 1877.]
Military Hall blazed with light last night from door, window and loophole, and presented inside a most beautiful appearance. Over the main door stood a large transparency, bearing the words “Cead mille falthe” (ten hundred thousand welcomes). And right royally was the sentiment supported by the beaming faces and outstretched hands within. The ladies had been at work for days on the decorations, and they could hardly have been improved upon. Evergreens and flowers were clustered in artistic confusion about the entrance, hall and stairways, and in the main hall the roof, stage and walls were one mass of wreaths, mottoes, festoons, chains and devices constructed of moss, evergreen and flowers. The decorations, while blending together,were so arranged as to have an airy, graceful effect altogether indescribable, and wholly beautiful.
At 8 o’clock the guests began to arrive, and from that time onward they continued to come in a steady stream. Many of the members and officers of the militia companies attended in full uniform, which greatly enhanced the brilliancy of the scene on the floor. At 9 o’clock about three hundred ladies and gentlemen had arrived. The garrison band, which was stationed on the stage, played several airs with their usual skill and sweetness, and then Capt. B. F. McCabe, in a few eloquent and appropriate remarks, introduced to the audience Gen. Rudolph Siegling, who was greeted with great applause. Gen, Siegling said:
It is my privilege, as commander of the Fourth Brigade, to announce the restoration of this stately building to the uses for which it was founded, and to consecrate it anew as the head-quarters of the representatives of the martial fame of Charleston. Its history is the record of the valor and endurance of the citizen soldier. As the old rendezvous of the heroic spirits whose prowess contributed to make the name of South Carolina illustrious, it recalls the highest associations of patriotism. Here was wont to assemble the historic corps whose existence antedates the National Independence, and the story of whose struggle, against the encroachments of royal power, lives forever in the annals of the American Republic, Here, too, were gathered together the veterans who had penetrated the everglades of Florida, and wrested that Land of Flowers from the red man’s grasp. From yonder portal, within your own memory, in obedience to the sentiment of State loyalty, the children of Carolina, native and adopted, went forth to lay down their lives for every Southern Commonwealth upon every Southern battlefield. And now that peace has consummated her perfect work, we meet again in our old home, with our old brigade reorganized, united in an honorable effort to rescue from oblivion, and perpetuate in grateful remembrance, the services of the men who recognized the call of the State to arms, as the foremost duty of manhood and citizenship. To us, therefore, the occasion is one of peculiar interest. It marks the most unselfish acts in noblest lives, and calls to memory the distinguished Charlestonians who have shaped Charleston’s character, and made her name illustrious.
In 1821 John Geddes succeeded John Rutledge as the commanding officer of the Fourth Brigade. In 1839 the eloquent Hayne led the marching columns. In 1831 R. W. Vanderhorst, and in 1834 James Hamilton, afterwards Governor of South Carolina, succeeded to the command. They were followed in turn by A. H. Brisbaine in 1838, by Edward H. Edwards in 1839, by John Sehnierle in 1841, by S. Cruickshanks in 1844, by James Simons in 1860, by W. G, DeSaussure in 1861, and by Jno. A. Wagener in 1866. Their names, familiar in our mouths as household words, are indissolubly connected with the career of the Fourth Brigade.
The policy of the Government of the United States at the South practically prevented the reorganization of the white militia of South Carolina, and to them, for twelve long years, these halls were closed. As a legitimate consequence of that policy, these turreted walls, which had borne the impress of the honorable enthusiasm of youth, became the silent witnesses of the humiliation of the State our soldiers loved, and of the people those soldiers yearned to serve. The period when spoliation and corruption met their appropriate condemnation, and education and character their just reward, came at last, and so this public restoration of Military Hall to its ancient purposes, under its old proprietors, blots out the last trace of the sorrows of the past.
And here, let us pause, in honor of the great chieftain, who, by the inherent power of his own perfect purity, brought peace and order and redemption to this people! They will long remember the cheerful voice of him who bade them hope, when all seemed hopeless. They will long remember the Christian forbearance, with which wrong was endured, that right might prevail. They will long remember when he brought back to them their peerless State, purified and regenerate, he bestowed on them a guerdon, which, to use his own immortal words, was won, “not by compromise, but by the great power of right and truth.” They will remember, too, that in the hour of victory, he who achieved could also reconcile.
Above all else will they cherish that great heart which ever throbs with an affectionate solicitude for every man, woman and child in South Carolina. Long may he live to receive the blessings of the people whose liberties he has restored, and to whose homes he has brought an enduring peace!
Inspired, ladies and gentlemen, by a present full of cheer and a future full of promise, and in the honored name of the Irish Volunteers, we greet you here to-night. The history of that gallant corps, so recently told, is evidence of the zeal with which, in every emergency and at any cost, they made answer to the call of public duty. Their officers and men, in peace and in war, in civic life and upon countless blood-stained fields, have attested their devotion to the State. To commemorate the honorable sacrifices of the men who fell in obedience to an undoubting conviction of duty is the precious privilege of the living. And it is peculiarly appropriate that with the reopening of this hall should be connected an effort which cannot fail to preserve the names of the warrior-dead, so that the living, inspired by their example, shall emulate their fidelity. This brilliant assemblage, in which are gathered together grace and beauty, wisdom and refinement, is a noble response to the sentiment that the duties of life well performed are never forgotten by a grateful people.
May the occasion of the dedication of this hall stimulate and encourage the whole people! Beneath its Gothic arches may all animosities be effaced, and may there henceforth be no contention amongst us, save an honorable emulation in the service of the common country. May it ever stand as an incentive to good and patriotic works, so that each, from hour to hour, and year to year, shall say to his comrade in the strife: “Let all the ends thou aimst at be thy Country’s, thy God’s, and Truth’s.”
The speaker was several times interrupted by applause from ladies and gentlemen. While his remarks were being made fresh accessions to the crowd had continued to arrive. The band struck up, and a grand promenade began. The scene just then was one calculated to remind the beholder of the palmiest days of the South. Round and round the procession moved, presenting a continual succession of studies of different styles of beauty and grace, while those who were not promenading were scattered about the floor in groups, chatting, laughing and exchanging congratulations and compliments.
A number of distinguished gentlemen and officers of the militia were present, among whom were Gen, B, H, Rutledge, ex-Governor Magrath, Maj. C. I. Walker, of the Carolina Rifle Battalion; Lieut-Col. James Armstrong, Maj. W. J. Gayer, Maj. A. T. Smythe, Capt. R. S. Cathgart, Capt, Philip Fogarty, Lieut. Chas. Siegling, Capt. James J. Grace, Adjutant Dennis O’Neill, ex-Capt. John Burke, Capt. A. C. Hammett, of the Butler Guard; Lieut. F. W. Miller, of the Hampton Riflemen; Capt. G. W. Bell, Capt. F. von Santen, Capt. James Simons, Lieut. Mantoue, of the Lafayette Artillery; Capt. Follin, Lieut. James F. Redding, Capt. A. G, Magrath, Jr., Capt. F. W. Wagener, Lieut, and ex-Alderman Cosgrove, Capt. S. G. Horsey, Capt. Chas. Scanlon, Lieut. D. W. Erwin, Capt. Stephen Thomas, Capt. W. A. Courtenay, Capt. Hugh Ferguson, Capt. H. Z. Laurey, Capt. W, G. Mood, Jr., Lieut. C. W. Stiles, Major A. H. Mowry, Major C. Kerrison, Jr., Dr. H. W. DeSaussure, Jr., surgeon of the First Brigade; Lieut. L. Cavanaugh, Major T. S. O’Brien, W. G. Eason, Esq., P. P. Toale, Esq., Judge Thompson H. Cooke, T. Barker Jones, Esq., T. G. Simons, Esq., Major L. DuBos, ex-Alderman John O’Mara, John Kenny, Esq., Col. James Simons, Jr., Capt. L. M. Beebe, Capt. F. L. O’Neill, chief of the Fire Department ; Hon. M. P. O’Connor, Rev. C. B. Northrop, Rev. D. J. Quigley, Capt. Mocler, of the Bark Condor, and Mr. H. Conklin, of New York.
Down stairs the supper table was loaded with a splendid repast, prepared and furnished by Henry Carroll, who had certainly excelled himself. Dancing was commenced at 11 o’clock, and continued until a late hour, with an intermission at 12 o’clock for supper, and occasional raids by detached parties on the refreshment tables spread below stairs.
SKETCH OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS.
More than a century back, driven from home by the heavy hand of tyranny and oppression; seeking in the free land of America a protecting home, where they could worship God and educate their children in accordance with the dictates of their consciences; paying tythes and taxes, in the levying of which they had themselves a voice-there landed in Charleston, S. C., from time to time, bands of Irish emigrants.
A cordial welcome there greeted them, and they soon became a valuable and influential element in the home of their adoption. With that characteristic love of the right of freemen, the “right to bear arms,” and as an evidence of their devotion to the “land of liberty,” these earnest Irishmen assembled, and, in 1801, organized and equipped a military company under the flag of the United States, assuming the name of the Irish Volunteers; that name under which, from 1782 to 1798, in the “Dear Green Isle” of their birth, they had braved and dared British soldiers and British bayonets.
When the muttering thunders of public sentiment in the United States threatening a war with England the oppressor and hereditary enemy of Ireland finally, in 1812, burst into open hostilities, the Irish Volunteers, already then a splendid military company, were with the first to tender their services to their adopted country; and, during the war of 1812, the Irish Volunteers were ever ready to do duty in defence of the soil and rights of the United States.
From 1812 to the present day, the Irish Volunteers have been with the foremost in their duty to their country; and their brilliant record of the Florida war, Nullification times, and the Lost Cause, is one to which every Irishman can point with just pride. In the Florida war they were among the very first to tender their volunteer services, and in the everglades, as on the coast, were ever at their post of duty, and ready for orders. The promptness and willingness thus so early evidenced in the history of the Irish Volunteers, had even before the eventful days of Nullification, placed them high up on the honored roll of South Carolina’s patriotic citizen soldiery; but in 1831 their past promptness to respond to the call of South Carolina was even excelled, and their readiness to defend their State was most strikingly and forcibly shown. Notwithstanding the great division in public sentiment-a division marked with violent dissension and even though urged by one whom they loved and admired with the fullness and fervor of their warm and generous hearts, the Irish Volunteers, in their meeting hall over old Miles Dempsey’s restaurant, on East Bay, unanimously passed that resolution which made them the first to tender the service of their strong arms and brave hearts in defence of the rights of South Carolina. And these adopted sons of the Palmetto State stood side by side with her native sons, ready to resist force by force, should the authorities in Washington endeavor to enforce the obnoxious tariff act.
This indelibly stamped their influence on their fellow-citizens, both of the City and the State; and from then until the war cloud again settled upon their adopted State, the Irish Volunteers, in the works of peace, vied with the best, and proved their material worth as citizens. Ever ready to respond to the call of duty, whether in war or peace, their history was that of true, devoted, sincere, earnest men.
But it was in the war of the “Lost Cause” that the Irish Volunteers sealed with the best blood of “heroic dead,” their devotion to the cause of their country. No portion of the community more earnestly and feelingly watched the course of political events during the soul-stirring times that immediately preceded the act of Secession. No element of the population of our State more fully and freely endorsed the sentiments of the majority. The Irish Volunteers felt and believed that only through Secession, and if need be by force of arms, could the rights of their State be maintained. With them, feeling and belief meant action; and when, to them. Secession became inevitable, they, on the 16th day of November, 1860, near ONE MONTH before the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, passed the following resolutions:
1. Resolved, That the Irish Volunteers of Charleston, although part of a regular organization, bound at all times to discharge the duties of citizen soldiers, nevertheless feel it a duty at this time to declare that, acknowledging no superior in order and loyalty of affection for the home of their choice and the birth place of their children, they are ready to stand by the State through every peril that may threaten her.
2. Resolved, That the present juncture of affairs serves only to draw more closely the cords that bind us in warmest sympathy with our State; and that in defence of her Rights, her Honor, and her Liberty, we will do our devoir as true and faithful sons.
3. Resolved, That our Captain be requested to communicate the sentiments of our corps to his Excellency, the Governor of the State, with a tender of our prompt services in any emergency.
Again placing themselves in the front rank of prompt “volunteers” to the service of their State. How well they kept that promise, “that in defence of her Rights, her Honor, and her Liberty, we will do our devoir as true and faithful sons,” the unmarked graves of hundreds of brave patriots hushed in the “cold, still sleep of death,” scattered from the Potomac to the Savannah, with their unwritten epitaph “Killed on the Field of Battle,” silently and solemnly prove. How well they performed their “devoir” is attested by the unflinching gallantry and dashing courage of the two companies sent by them into that gigantic struggle for the rights of the South. To write the history of the Irish Volunteers, Co. K, First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, and of the Irish Volunteers, first Co. C, Charleston Battalion, afterwards Co. H, Twenty-seventh Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, would be to write the history of the war in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Every Carolinian, yea! every Southerner, cannot fail, in perusing the records of “Our Lost Cause,” to be soul-stirred in hearing of the conduct of Gregg’s Regiment, the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers. Enough it is to say that the Irish Volunteers were the Color Company of that Regiment from the beginning to the end, and their COLORS WERE NEVER SURRENDERED; but to-day are in the possession of that gallant soldier. Col. Edward McCrady, Jr. The glowing words of eloquence and patriotism from McCrady and Armstrong, fervently portray the gallantry of that company upon the many blood-stained battle fields upon which fought the “Army of Northern Virginia.” Glorious as were the actions of this company, unexcelled in coolness and desperate courage, their deeds were even equaled by the “Old Mother Company” upon the coast. Early after the passing of the resolutions of the 16th November, 1860, they were received by Gov. Pickens; and, upon the Secession of the State, the tendered services of the Irish Volunteers were at once accepted.
During the momentous times just preceding the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the Irish Volunteers, under the command of their gallant Captain Edward Magrath, a company of one hundred stalwart men, as part of the Seventeenth Regiment South Carolina Militia, shared with their fellow-volunteers the duties of preparation which were being actively pushed under that model soldier. Gen. G. T. Beauregard. Moved from point to point, exposed to hardships even more trying than the “march” or “battle,” their cheerful obedience and vigilant patience made them the favorites of officers and men. Many little incidents evidenced their activity and zeal during those days of “war’s beginning;” little incidents which were the “indices” of their future record. It was an Irish Volunteer who first gave information of the Federal soldiers, under Major Anderson, having evacuated Fort Moultrie, and of their occupation of Fort Sumter. Again, an Irish Volunteer first sighted the Star of the West; and, in that first fight of the war between the States-the bombardment of Fort Sumter-the Irish Volunteers, shoulder to shoulder with their comrades in arms, shared with them the glory of the first victory of the South.
From then until April, 1862, the Irish Volunteers were under arms as State Militia, performing all duty assigned to them with: cheerfulness and alacrity. On the 5th of April, 1862, that fine Battalion of South Carolina Volunteers, the “Charleston Battalion,” was organized under their gallant Lieut.-Col, P. C. Gaillard. The Irish Volunteers, Co. C, were one of this Battalion. Very early after the mustering in of the Charleston Battalion as Confederate Volunteers for the war, active operations commenced on the coast. The Irish Volunteers were stationed near Legare’s Point; and, on the 3d of June, 1862, participated in that first skirmish which made them the captors of the first prisoners of war captured on the coast. In this, their first Infantry light, the Irish Volunteers behaved with marked coolness and courage. Conspicuous among these gallant men on that day was Capt. W. H. Ryan, to whose dash and firmness victory was principally due. Crowned with their first chaplet of laurels, their joy was “leavened” with sorrow, for the life- blood of the lamented Thomas Bresnan was shed in defence of his adopted home ; and Michael Hartnett and Edward Lee were, bleeding and wounded, carried from the field. Instances of self-sacrificing devotion to trusted leaders, were constantly arising in the Irish Volunteers; and on this day one of those exhibitions of unselfishness and devotion was brilliantly shown in the saving of Capt. Ryan’s life by the intrepid Whelen.
When it was known that the enemy had effected a landing, the Charleston Battalion was ordered to the front to feel their position, and, if possible, drive them to their gunboats. The Irish Volunteers, on the right, discovered that they had taken a very strong position, about one and a half miles from the landing, sheltered by the gardens and surroundings of Legare’s house. The command was given to “charge,” and right gallantly was it obeyed with a brilliant bayonet charge, Ryan in the lead. The enemy broke, leaving a Captain and some thirty men, who sought protection in the house. The Irish Volunteers overtook them, Ryan, seizing their commander by the throat, with sword above his head, demanded “surrender.” Quickly a strapping Pennsylvanian turned about and rushed upon Capt. Ryan with “ bayonet charged.” A moment lost and Ryan’s body would have been pierced to the heart. But that moment was not lost; for the intrepid Rody Whelen, with a bound, locked bayonets with his Captain’s assailant. Fierce and hot was the hand-to-hand conflict between the two, well matched in strength and activity; the bayonets twisted like wire, when, by a quick twist of the wrist elevating the guns, Whelen, with an Irishman’s trip of the foot, laid his opponent sprawling upon the ground-saving his Captain’s life, and placing his name on the Roll of Heroes.
For his gallantry on this occasion, Capt. W. H. Ryan was presented with a handsome sword by that liberal hearted and public spirited citizen of Charleston, Theodore D. Wagner, Esq.
On the 16th of June, 1862, was fought at Secessionville, one of the hardest contested and unequal engagements on the coast. The Irish Volunteers, with their comrades of the Charleston and Smith’s Battalions, had for weeks been constantly engaged working in the trenches and erecting new batteries, subjected to a constant shelling by the enemy, and, almost exhausted with loss of sleep and fatigue, the men were nearly worn out with hard work, watching, and hard fare. On that day the enemy advanced in force; and so impetuous and persistent was their assault, that at one time they were actually on the crest of the fortifications. Here a desperate and bloody contest was for a while waged, resulting in the driving back of the enemy, and their final repulse. The gallant Capt. Reed, of Lamar’s Battery, with his men, being killed at their guns. Col. Thos. Wagner called for volunteers to man the gun. Capt. Ryan, with his Irish Volunteers, promptly responded; and, with William Shelton as gunner, fought the gun until the enemy was driven back in confusion. Here Daniel Howard made the last human sacrifice to duty, and laid down his life on the “altar of liberty;” John May staggered severely wounded to the rear, and Lieut. Burke and Private Fitzgerald received honorable scars in the cause they believed to be right.
The following extracts are from the Charleston Courier on June 18th, 1862:
“The individual instances of courage and resolution are almost beyond commendation. The ammunition immediately in and around the battery giving out, the officers themselves repaired to the wagons and brought the cartridges in their hands to their respective commands, through a most severe and galling fire of musketry and falling shell, Lieut. A. E. Allemong several times passing in this way with ammunition in his arms, received special commendation from the officers in command. Lieut. Brown, of the Union Light Infantry was wounded while in this service. In fact when it is stated that more than half of the ofiicers of the Charleston Battalion are to be found in the list of the killed and wounded it will be seen how faithfully they did their duty.”
“Sergeant R. J. Henery, who, under orders of the gallant officer of the guard of that day (Lieut. Mulvaney, Irish Volunteers,) had rallied the guard and held the enemy at bay until the Battalion arrived from their tents lay dead upon the field, having fallen in the discharge of his duty.”
The 18th of July, 1863, marked the most desperate and the bloodiest engagement on the coast, and one of the hardest contested of the war. For nine successive days the fiercest of bombardments had hurled an iron hail on Battery Wagner. Confident that the terrible fire they had so long been subjected to had demoralized the devoted garrison, and under cover of their powerful fleet, the United States forces attempted to take the battery by storm. Line after line of their splendidly equipped soldiers, under a murderous fire, were hurled against the poorly garrisoned sand battery. Mowed down by artillery and infantry, with undaunted bravery they, at a double quick, moved forward, scaling the inclined sides of the battery, mounted evento the parapet. With desperate courage the invincible garrison contended, driving them in disorder to their boats, and turning that which at one time seemed defeat, into a glorious victory. The Irish Volunteers again were in the hottest and deadliest of the fight. When the enemy had obtained foothold upon the parapets of the battery, and were delivering a scathing fire upon the garrison from their elevated position, the veteran Gen. Toliaferro (one of “Jackson’s Lieutenants,”) who was in command in person, called for volunteers to dislodge the foe. Capt. Ryan, with the Irish Volunteers, immediately answered, and led the charge himself. The enemy were driven from the ramparts, but the “heroic Ryan ” had died the death of a soldier on the field of battle.
In the death of this gallant and lamented young Irish officer, stricken downin the very prime of life, the Irish Volunteers sustained an irreparable loss. No more dashing and courageous knight ever drew sword in defence of country, or died in her service. Brave as a lion-true as steel-his endowments had endeared him to all. Amiable in disposition, gentle in manner, graced with the finest sensibilities and social virtues, as talented and educated as popular he was unflinching in performance of duty, and positive in action. Quick of decision, yet not rash- firm without obstinacy-he combined those rare virtues which together make the noble man. With their Captain, on that carnage day fell two humble, yet not the less honored brave patriots-Michael Toole and Tames Gallagher. Their epitaph-“Died at their posts, driving back the enemy.” While Sergeant John Preston, Privates Patrick Lee, Reynolds, Hill, and Hogan, were wounded.
The Charleston Courier, of July 29th, 1863, in describing the storming of Battery Wagner, says:
“At half-past three the flag of Battery Wagner was shot away a second time, and then it was in imitation of Sergeant Jasper, of Revolutionary fame, that Major David Ramsav, of the Charleston Battalion, assisted bv Sergeant Flynn, of Capt. Lord’s Company and Sergeant Shelton, of Capt. Ryan’s Company, lashed the bunting to a mast, and in the face of a fearful fire from sharp-shooters and heavy guns, planted the Confederate banner once more in sight of the foe; in the meantime Lieut. Roddick, of the Sixty-third Georgia, had mounted the parapet and fastened there the ‘Battle Flag.’”
During the long and glorious defence of Fort Sumter, under the unassuming yet dauntless Major Elliot, the Irish Volunteers were a part of the garrison, sharing the dangers and hardships of that historic siege. When the detailed account of this defence is written, (if ever it is,) then only will be known the sufferings and trials of those true soldiers wdio, day after day, week after week, month after month, in a fort almost battered to pieces, patiently, determinedly, and successfully held that much coveted and hardly striven for prize which the combined fleet, batteries and forces of the United States could never obtain, until evacuated by orders. When that history is written, and not till then, will be known the unswerving devotion of those defenders of the Southern Cross then only will be known the condition and situation of the men who, upon the loth of September, sent reeling back to their barges the confident enemy, who, assured of success both from the fact that the fort was dismantled and almost destroyed, and of their overwhelming numbers, undertook to carry it by storm.
Dahlgren’s assault upon Fort Sumter was repulsed by men “the equal of which are seldom seen;” and the Irish Volunteers aided in counting the one hundred and fifteen prisoners captured that night. The defence of Fort Sumter, from its evacuation by Anderson to the evacuation of Charleston, will be preserved in history, and her defenders honored wherever brave men exist.
In October, 1863, the Twenty-seventh Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers was organized from the Charleston Battalion, Col. P. C. Gaillard in command, and as Company H, of that Regiment, the Irish Volunteers served to the end of the war.
In the Spring of 1864, the Irish Volunteers were ordered to Virginia, and from then till the final surrender at Appomatox, their history was that of the Army of Northern Virginia. First halting at Wilmington awaiting orders, on the 5th of May, they were ordered to the front; and on the 6th reached Richmond just in time, by a forced march, to participate in the action at Walthal Junction. Here Thomas Egan was wounded.
Fight after fight now followed in rapid succession, and the roll of dead and wounded was increased in sorrowful length. In all of these the Irish Volunteers bore their honorable part.
Only a partial account can be given of the Virginia campaign, and but a meagre list of the killed and wounded. Drury’s Bluff added Edward Whelan, Edward Ryan, Thomas Deary, Rody Whelan and William Dinan, to the roll of killed; and Edward Lee and John Conroy to the wounded. Swift Creek, Bermuda Hundreds, and Cold Harbor, followed quickly upon each other. In all the Irish Volunteers were engaged. Their losses are not known, though the names of Patrick Manning and W. L. Lipscombe are remembered as wounded at Bermuda Hundreds.
After Cold Harbor, the Irish Volunteers were next in front of Petersburg, and were of that devoted band of heroes who there so desperately and stubbornly contended against overwhelming odds. The fighting around Petersburg was the fiercest of the war. Line after line of the enemy were slaughtered and driven back to be reinforced, and again advance to the assault.
The splendid fighting done by that “little band” of Confederate soldiers around Petersburg, is unexcelled in the annals of war.
Of the many Irish Volunteers who fell in front of Petersburg, were Lieut. Allemong, Thomas L. Hogan, Wm. Harrington, James Carroll, Edward Flannigan, Patrick Hogan, Christopher Warren, John Warren, James R. Todd, John Maher, Thomas Fowler, Thomas McDonald, and Henry Wiley. Of the wounded the names of William Shelton, P. Manning, and James Martin, are recalled. At the Weldon Road fight, on the 21st of August, the Irish Volunteers were of the unfortunate command that were surrounded by the enemy; and though, by a desperate dash, a few broke through the lines, many brave Irish Volunteers were forced to surrender.
New Market Road, Fort Harrison, Newtown Cut, Fort Fisher, and Fort Anderson, followed close after Weldon Road. In all the Irish Volunteers, or rather what was left of them, (for their ranks were now reduced to but a few,) were engaged, losing at Fort Fisher, where they were again surrounded, nearly the entire “remnant,” about enough to form a corporal’s guard, escaping only to a short time afterwards lay down their arms, and surrender with their beloved leader, that unequaled General Robert E. Lee.
In the North Carolina campaign the Irish Volunteers suffered serious loss in killed and wounded, whose names have not been preserved. The name of Peter Kenny is remembered as one of the killed.
The above is but an out-lined sketch of the Irish Volunteers, written that so much at least as is to-day remembered of their gallant deeds and patient suffering, in the cause of their State, for over three-quarters of a century, may be cherished and preserved by their descendants-that the example of their actions may be imitated and emulated by the young men of to-day. In Peace, good Citizens-in War, good Soldiers; the record of the past should be the hand-book of the present.
Throughout this period of over three- quarters of a century, the Irish Volunteers have been peculiarly the representative organization of the Irish element in Charleston. Organized by the truest and best of that “true and tried class,” it has ever been heartily sustained and supported by a characteristic, generous liberality of sentiment and means; and to-day can turn back the pages of their history, and there read in glowing words of commendation, the noble, brilliant, and worthy deeds performed in the forum, on the field, and in the walks of every day life, by their long roll of honored names, whom, as Jurist, Clergy, Statesmen, Merchants, Citizens, and Soldiers, are eminent in the history of the State. To us has been handed down, as their posterity, these precious treasures of noble deeds and worthy trusts performed. This honored roll, and these cherished records and memories of the past, are now the sacred heirlooms of the Irish Volunteers of to-day. With the example before us of their actions in the past for our emulation, let every effort of heart and hand be now exercised that we may prove worthy “Sons of our Sires.”
The Irish Volunteers of the past were a splendid military company, as well as an Irish representative organization. Such was the pride in their company, that by constant drill and discipline they became, if not the best, at least the equal of the best drilled company in the State; they felt themselves in fact, the representatives of the Irish in every respect, and their history proves how worthily they merited that distinction. Let us bear in mind at all times and in all things, that the Irish Volunteers of to-day have to preserve the records of the past, and follow in the footsteps of our “Fathers” in every particular.
By making the history of the Irish Volunteers the “Text Book” and “Guide” to our actions, we can at least imitate, if not accomplish, the achievements of the past. Setting up then before us the past as our duty, let the earnest, untiring, unceasing work of every member of the Company, old and young, be to labor to preserve these glorious records of the past, and to build up the Irish Volunteers of to-day to such a splendid military company and Irish representative organization, as served their adopted country in every emergency and on every occasion, from 1782 to 1878.
BANNER PRESENTATION TO THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS.
[From the Charleston Courier, September 17, 1861.]
The ceremonies of presentation of the beautiful banner gotten up by the Sisters of Mercy, for the Irish Volunteers, Capt. Edward Magrath, took place yesterday afternoon, at the Cathedral, in Broad Street.
The Irish Volunteers were escorted from their rendezvous by the Montgomery Guards, Lieut. Fogarty Commanding, to the Cathedral, where every seat and all the available space, with the exception of the middle aisle, was already occupied by the audience.
After the military entered the church, and grounded arms, the Bishop, in liis full robes, entered the Sanctuary, attended by the Rev. Dr. Corcoran and the Rev. L. P. O’Connell, as Assistant Deacons, with the Rev. Dr. Moore as Master of Ceremonies. The banner was brought in by the Rev. L. Fillion, Chaplain of the Irish Volunteers, After an anthem by the Choir, the banner, borne by the Rev. Mr. Fillion, was solemnly blessed by the Bishop, according to the forms of the Pontifical for such occasions.
The Bishop then advanced, and addressed the Volunteers in substance as follows:
Captain and Soldiers of the Irish Volunteers:
However strange it may seem, perhaps to some, that a banner of warfare should be blessed and delivered, by a minister of the Prince of Peace, to you, I am sure, this is nothing strange or unnatural.
For twenty-five years and more, you have marched under the folds of a banner that, like this, was blessed. It was blessed by the eloquent and never to be forgotten first Bishop of Charleston; at his liands you received it. You bore it to that scene of conflict whither your duty then called. You bore it amid toils, marches and dangers, with success; you brought it back with honor, and in triumph; and it has been dear to you ever since, from those associations, as well of religion as of a military character.
Peace is a blessing-a blessing for which we all pray to Heaven. Yet it is not always granted. When granted, we return sincere and heartfelt thanks for it. When it is withheld, we bow to the will of Heaven, and strive to do our duty. In the changing vicissitudes of men, owing to the surging and swaying of human passions, and the varyings of human minds, war does fall to the lot of nations as, alas! it has fallen to us; and in it we do our duty to God, to our country, to ourselves, and to our fellow-men. In war religion has her place. Not that she gloats on carnage-no; far from it. Not that she loves to look upon the spilling of blood-no; she deprecates it. Not that she revels in the horrors of the battle field; she weeps over them, and .she knows that the soldier is not less a citizen or the less a christian; that in becoming a soldier he loses not his duty to his country-he is fulfilling it.
In becoming a soldier he does not withdraw himself from the power of God. The eye of God is still on him; the hand of God is still over him; the law of God still binds him. Religion recognizes this truth,therefore stands by his side to teach him his duty, to admonish him and control his passions, to guide him, to teach him to be faithful to his God-faithful to his country-not to become a slave to his passions or to revenge; and teaching him how to seek to maintain the principle of right without doing iniquity-to defend his own without entrenching on that of others; how to uphold and protect the rights of his country without violating the law of God.
The spirit of religion has been seen even in war. It was seen most manifested in the chivalrous character, ever to be honored, of those brave knights of ages past by, who tauglit the world to rise from the fury of savage barbarism, and how to unite the valor of the lion in combat with the care and tenderness of a woman when the combat is over. It is seen in all the ameliorations and modifications in the usages that have characterized the modern warfare of civilized nations, telling the warrior that women and children are not objects of his blood-thirsty sword and spear; that the cabin of the peasant is not to be fired; the field of the husbandman not to be desolated; and that the captive who sues for mercy, to him life and mercy must be given. It is to the christian religion that the world owes this union or this infusion of mercy with humanity amid the horrors of war; and I trust the influence of religion may never fail. I know that in your hand, should you ever be called to the scene of battle, they will never fail. Religion will teach you your duty to God-to your officers-to your comrades. It will teach you to be brave on the field and lenient after battle. In the daily marches and in those many hours of labor that fall to the lot of the soldier, it will teach you to be patient and industrious; not to do aught that is vicious, depraving or off’ensive to God, so that the power of God and the blessing of God may be with you in the strife, on every field of battle.
You come of a race that has ever made brave, valiant, and chivalrous soldiers-one that has given distinguished men to every civilized nation, that have won imperishable honors and military glory on many a well fought field; and your corps will never allow those laurels to fade.
The banner I present to-day is the work of fair hands of innocence. It gives to the breeze and the light of the sun the emblems of Erin-the Shamrock and the Harp-with the Palmetto of Carolina and Stars of our Southern Confederacy. You will recollect all those lessons of religion and innocence that have been taught you.
This banner will tell you of the glory entrusted to your keeping, and admonish you never to fall short of your duty. To fly from the enemy-that I know you will never do. But there are many other occasions when you must prove yourselves true and faithful christian soldiers, in your avoidance of sin-of those dissipations which too frequently demoralize and waste the energies of the soldiers. May those evils ever be far from you.
This banner I present, in the name of those young ladies whom, and whose home, you will protect, to the Irish Volunteers, Your corps may well receive it. It is, I believe, the second oldest in the City-founded immediately on the close of the Revolutionary war. Not a few of its first members have seen service under Marion, Lee, and Sumter. The brave spirit of patriotism they brought with them in the ranks, you have not suffered to die out. Whenever the country seemed to have need of strong hearts and stalwart arms you have ever been ready. In 1797, when iminent warfare threatened the country, and Washington was called forth from the retreat of old age to command the forces of the country, you were already prepared to take your place. That storm passed by. In the war of 1812 you were ready to do your duty with the other patriot troops of the State. When the Seminole war came you went forth as one man, with a consecrated banner, and nobly did the corps perform its duty.
In the struggle now on us you have been called. From the beginning you were placed on guard at the arsenal, then given the momentous task of guarding the harbor; and it was your vigilant eye that first discovered the Star of the West. It was your vigilance that detected her true character, however masked by darkness and the arts of concealment. It was you that gave the signal that led to her repulse. In doing this, though in fact no harm came, yet it should not be forgotten it was at no small risk. For had the conflict occurred, you in your frail boat would have found yourselves between the two fires of friend and foe, and perchance fired on by Fort Sumter; and in all the other duties of the Winter you had your share, and more than your share, on the Islands. To you was given an important post, of no small danger and risk, had the enemy attempted a landing.
To you, then, I commit this banner. In your hands I know it will never be stained by cowardice, or by any act that will disgrace you as a body of gallant christian soldiery. Receive it then-rally around it. Let it teach you of God-of Erin-of Carolina. Let it teach you your duty in this life as soldiers and as christians, so that fighting the good fight of christians you may receive the reward of eternal victory from the King of Kings.
Captain Magrath responded as follows:
Bishop-In behalf, sir, of the Company-the ancient Company which I have the honor to command I beg leave to return our thanks to the young ladies of the Institution of the Sisters of our Lady of Mercy, for this beautiful present at their hands. It is indeed a most beautiful standard; and one which any command might justly be proud to receive and bear. Rich and rare and costly are the materials; chaste and beautiful the device; and the workmanship beyond all praise.
For these considerations justly do we prize its value; but above and beyond these considerations do we prize and value it-for the delicate sentiment and compliment which it conveys. It tells us that those fair young ladies have deemed our old Company worthy of their regard and notice; that they have thought our corps, in the royalty of the affection they bear to their State, are ready to stand by her at this period of her trial and difficulty; and are prepared to discharge their duties as soldiers and freemen. Beyond this, it teaches us that those fair bosoms are animated by the sentiment which animates the bosoms, not only of our own State, but of all the Confederate States. Aye, emulating the ardor and enthusiasm evinced by the sterner sex, there is no sacrifice, no privation, which they are not ready, willing, and anxious to incur. Cheerfully are they ready and willing to sacrifice the tender relations of life. Wife has cheerfully parted with the partner of her bosom; the fond and affectionate sister, although almost with bursting heart, has parted with a brother; and the fond and affectionate mother has clasped her boy soldier to her bosom, fastened on his armor with her blessing and her prayer to Heaven in his behalf; and sent him forth to battle, to fight, aye, to die, if need be, in defence of his country, her rights, and her honor.
Sir, this sentiment is one that should commend them to the highest admiration. Look from the beginning of our difficulties. With a zeal, a devotion, and industry, which knows no fatigue, they have contributed to the comforts and necessities of those who were to risk their lives on the battle field of their country. Not satisfied with a devotion like this, they are ready, if need be, each and every one of them, to unsex herself, and, rivaling their mothers of the Revolution, they are prepared, if need be, to take up arms in defence of their country; and, emulating those heroines in history, they are prepared to stand in their places nice Saragossa’s maid-
“Her lover falls, she sheds no ill timed tear;
Her chief is slain, she fills his fatal post.”
This is the sentiment which animates the fair women of our land-this the spirit with which they come and offer the tribute of their hearts on the altar of their country.
The cause which enlists in its behalf so generally, so universally, a sentiment of enthusiasm, cannot but eventually be a success. When the old and the young, the rich and the poor; when the strong man and the tender maiden, all enter upon a generous rivalry as to who should serve the most zealously in the cause of their country, I say, sir, such a cause cannot but prosper, and meet with the favorable consideration of Heaven.
“God prosper the cause; It cannot but thrive
While the pulse of one patriot heart is alive,
Its devotion to feel, its right to maintain.”
And now, sir, let me reiterate the sincere and profound thanks of our old Company for this kind manifestation of the partiality on the part of these young ladies. Be assured, sir, that at any post of danger to which we may be called, this beautiful banner shall be cherished, and shall be preserved from stain or dishonor. Let them be assured that we hold it beyond all praise, and if our fortune shall determine that we do cross bayonets with a foe in defence of the home, of the birthplace of our children, that this beautiful standard shall have a prominent place in the picture.
And when the conflict shall be over, we shall come back with this banner, either in honor and in glory, or, sir, we come not at all. But, sir, if it should occur, in the dispensations of Providence, that these fair young ladies should have occasion for any service at our hands, I am sure I speak the sentiments of every man in my corps, when I say every one will spring forth, a ready and willing champion of their cause, and splinter a lance in their defence against all comers.
Capt. Magrath then formed his Company into line before the Altar, and addressed them, reminding them by whom this magnificent banner had been presented, and which he had solemnly vowed, on their behalf, should never be dishonored. It was for them to make good that vow, and show themselves worthy of the approbation and esteem of the donors, and the State of their adoption.
On the one side, he said, they would observe the Harp of old Ireland, encircled by a mingled wreath of Shamrock, Oak, and Palmetto. Dear Harp of their country! what associations does the sight not give rise to in the bosoms of Irishmen.
“The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul had fled.”
“No light of joy hath o’er thee broken:
But, like those Harps whose heavenly skill
Of slavery dark as thine has spoken,
Thou hang’st upon the willow still.”
True, the sons of Ireland are scattered every where. Yes, like the children of Israel, they had sent forth a prayer for a blessing on the land of their birth; and often have spoken that beautiful sentiment of affection-“Oh, Jerusalem! if I forget thee let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”
“Remember thee; yes, whilst there is life in this heart.
It shall never forget thee, all lorn as thou art:
Wert thou all that I wish thee-great, glorious and free.
First flower of the field, and brightest gem of the sea,
I might hail thee with prouder, with loftier air;
But, oh, could I love thee more dearly than now.”
The reverse discloses the emblem of our State our noble old Palmetto, with the Crescent in the corner, surmounted by the superscription, “Et Presidium, et Dulcecus Deus,” in delicate but expressive allusion to the Palmetto, at once our safeguard and our glory. Extended along our whole coast the ocean breeze, as it sighs through its foliage, will furnish forth in fancy no inapt accompaniment for the genius of the place, as he chants that beautiful hymn-
“Take, Freedom, take thy radiant round;
When dimmed revive, when gone return;
‘Till not a shrine through Earth be found
On which thy glories shall not burn.”
The pressure on our columns prevents our giving the eloquent reply in full.
At the conclusion, the flag was placed in the hands of Sergeant F. L. O’Neil, as Standard bearer, with a few brief words from the Captain.
The flag was raised and waived aloft, the Company presented arms, one burst of martial music pealed through the Church, the choir chanted the hallelujah chorus, and the Company marched under the same escort through Broad, Bay and Queen Streets, to Hibernian Hall.
A VISIT TO COL. GREGG’S REGIMENT-THE FLAG OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS.
[Correspondence of the Charleston Courier.]
Suffolk, Va., September 25, 1861.
I have just enjoyed a visit by invitation to Camp Huger, the station of Col. Gregg’s noble Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, about half a mile from this place.
It was my good fortune to be there a spectator of a regimental parade and of the presentation of the beautiful flag prepared by the pure and pious hands of the “Sisters of Mercy” of your city, for the Irish Volunteers, Captain McCrady.
This company, number 100, able and apt for anything that good soldiers are required to do, holds the right of the regiment, and is in drill a model. I regretted only to observe that their uniforms are considerably worse for wear, and even if new are not the stuff suitable for the weather which will soon be on them. I learn on enquiry that many of them are wearing the same dresses which they used for some time in the service on Sullivan’s Island previous to their departure.
I feel assured that the warm-hearted Irish citizens of Charleston, countrymen and co-patriots of Jasper, only need to be informed of this fact to provide promptly a good supply of winter clothing and a suitable uniform.
My own observations and the cordial and eloquent acknowledgments of many of the “Volunteers,” with whom I have conversed, assure me that Captain McCrady and his officers have done and are doing all in their power for the welfare and comfort of their command. Captain McCrady, by the way, has designed or invented a contrivance which the men have called the “McCrady Kitchen.” It is simple and easily made, although not portable, as it is dug out of or into the ground, and with an arrangement of flues or draught which not only serve to set a dozen pots boiling with a few sticks of wood, but communicate comfortable warmth for a large number of persons around.
The presentation of the flag was witnessed by many visitors from this place. The gentleman who was entrusted with the delivery of the flag, at the proper time, transferred it to Colonel Gregg, with the following words:
Colonel Gregg:-On behalf of the “Sisters of our Lady of Mercy,” of Charleston, I have the pleasure of handing you this flag. It was entrusted to my care for this purpose nearly two weeks since, in their own chapel, at morning prayer, and before a large number of their fair pupils and friends, who joined devoutly in the prayers offered by the Rev. Dr. Corcoran for the safety and honorable, victorious return of those for whom it is designed-the Irish Volunteers, under command of Captain McCrady.
Colonel Gregg, as many of your readers know, is a man of few words. On receiving the flag he presented it as follows:
Captain:-On behalf of the good “Sisters of Mercy of Charleston” I have the honor to present to your command this beautiful flag. It is right and just that in a war like the one in which we are now engaged, that pious women should give encouragement to those who have left their homes to shield and protect them. I know that in presenting this standard to your command, I am placing it in the hands of brave men, who will ever cherish it as a token of confidence from those they have left at home, who will be proud of their valor in the field ; and I am confident its honor will be upheld.
Captain McCrady replied as follows:
I know not. Colonel, how to express the feelings of my Company, in receiving at your hands this beautiful banner-a gift from the meek and gentle to the brave and strong-a token to strengthen their hands against the invading foe, but to soften their hearts to the vanquished-to nerve them in the hour of battle, but to remind them of mercy in the hour of victory. Surely, in looking upon its folds with its warlike symbols, all enwrought by delicate hands, more used to smoothing the pillow of suffering, they cannot but gather new courage for the trials and dangers before them.
It reminds us of those for whose sake we have left homes and firesides, to battle in this distant land. It reminds us of that dear old city, the home of their adoption, whose scenes are yet so fresh in our minds, which, after bearing the first shock of this unfortunate war, now for the time lies in peaceful repose-a repose which we have left her to preserve. It recalls the familiar faces of friends who crowd her streets and who look anxiously to us for their protection.
I know, sir, it is somewhat usual upon like occasions to make pledges as to our conduct upon the battle field, but for myself and these brave men for whom I speak, I have no words of boastfulness to utter. Such may do for the holiday orator, but would scarcely become soldiers in the presence of their enemies. We prefer, sir, to await the hour of trial and your report of our conduct, hoping that in that hour you will not find us wanting, nor any stains disgrace these beautiful folds. But while I will make no vain boast, it is my peculiar privilege that I may speak of my men, as well as for them. A native of South Carolina myself, and of Charleston, I feel sure that her own are not more jealous of her honor than her adopted sons.
For myself, sir, when I think who they are who lead and who will follow me-in the language of one of our own poets,
“I will not count the chances-sure that all
A prudent foresight asks, we shall not want;
And all that bold and patient hearts can do.
We will not leave undone. The rest Is God’s!”
Fellow-soldiers, this beautiful flag has been sent you by the “Sisters of our Lady of Mercy,” and you have just heard the eloquent manner in which it has been presented to you on their behalf by your Colonel, I can add but little to his address, save bid you remember it, and be worthy of those for whom he has spoken. You have heard me make no pledges for you-for pledges are, at best, but empty words. But into your keeping I have received this banner, and with it a sacred trust-a trust of which you must prove yourselves worthy, not only upon the battle field, but in the camp; not only by being valorous, but by being virtuous.
Courage is but the second quality of the soldier; obedience and endurance the first. Privation and want are his school. Let me, then, in the presence of your fellow-soldiers, appeal to you to honor this banner by the exercise of these qualities, without which, however courageous, you will still be wanting in the essentials of good soldiers. Be patient under your hardships; be temperate, for then alone can you endure the trials through which we must all go before we return in peace and honor, carrying with us this banner, its untarnished folds the proof of our virtue and valor.
Sergeant McDermott:-Into your hands I commit it for safe keeping.
That flag will find its JASPER and its LEONARD again and again, among the brave men who now rally under it, if occasions demand. Seldom, if ever, have I seen the presentation of a flag attended with such deep emotions and heartfelt demonstrations from the recipients,
ROLL OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS
THAT VOLUNTEERED THEIR SERVICES TO THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, SEPTEMBER 16th, 1860.
Edward Magrath, Captain. W. H. Ryan, First Lieutenant. James M. Mulvaney, Second Lieutenant. B. O’Neil, Third Lieutenant. John Burke, First Sergeant. D. F. Twohill, Second Sergeant. Phillip Boylan, Third Sergeant. A. A. Allemong, Fourth Sergeant. John Burke, Fifth Sergeant. Michael Quinn, First Corporal. James Morgan, Second Corporal. Daniel Quinn, Third Corporal. Patrick Brady, Fourth Corporal. John Noonan, Fifth Corporal. Buckley, James Burns, Garrett Bannon, Patrick Barry, James Byrns, Patrick Bradly, Bernard Casey, James Casey, William Cahil, John Cosgrove, James Coughlin, Dennis Carew, Thomas Cuiliton, Nicholas Cochran, James Carmody, John Carroll, James Corcoran, John Coyne, Thomas Carrigan, P. M, Kennedy, John Kennedy, Nicholas Kennedy, James Leonard, James Lee, Edward Lee, William Lannigan, Edward Maguire, John Monahan, Timothy Molony, John Moore, James Manning, Martin Moran, William Moran, John Muldoon, James Murray, James A. Molony, James Murphy, James Molony, Thomas Conroy, John Cummings, James Doyle, John Doherty, John Doran, William Day, Edward Doran, Patrick Dumpray, Michael Dumpray, Thomas Doolan, James Earley, Barnard A. Fleming, Richard Fleming, Peter Flynn, Patrick Feehan, John Graltan, Michael Gleason, Patrick Gould, A, Harvey, Patrick Hancock, John Hennysey, Michael Hennysey, Thomas Hogan, Patrick Hogan, Michael Hogan, Thomas L. Hogan, Thomas E. Hogan, Daniel Hogan, Edward E. Hunt, James Harlow, Michael Harrington, William Hickey, James Kearnan, Patrick Malone, Michael McSwiney, Eugene McGrath, David McGrath, John McKay, Peter McAllen, Michael McManus, M. Nowlan, Thomas O’Brien, William O’Keefe, David O’Neill, Michael O’Connor, Wm. McC. O’Connor, Michael O’Niel, Dennis Preston, John F. Quinn, Daniel Quale, James Quinlivin, Morris Ryan, Thomas P. Ryan, Michael Ryan, David Reedy, James Riley, William M. Redman, John Spann, John Skehan, Patrick Strain, James Todd, James Tobin, John Weldon, John Welch, Anthony Ward, William Warren, Christopher
ROLL OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS,
COMPANY “K,” FIRST REGIMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
† Edward McCrady, Jr., Captain-Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel.
M. P. Parker, First Lieutenant-Promoted Captain-Disabled at Battle of Sharpsburg. Thomas P. Ryan, Second Lieutenant, Resigned.
† James Armstrong, Jr., Second Lieutenant-Promoted Captain.
† Thomas McCrady, Second Lieutenant-Promoted First Lieutenant.
† John Sweeney, First Sergeant-Promoted Second Lieutenant.
Alex. O’Donnell, Second Sergeant-Promoted First Sergeant.
* M. McDermott, Third Sergeant.
† R. Mathews, Fourth Sergeant.
* Peter McKeon, Fifth Sergeant.
† Daniel Miller, Corporal-Promoted Sergeant.
† M. M. Dunn, Corporal.
* John Kilroy, Corporal.
† William Fox, Corporal-Promoted Sergeant.
John Bateman, Corporal-Promoted Sergeant.
* Allen, G. W.
† Brerton, Daniel, promoted Corporal.
† Brown, James.
* Burns, James.
† Burns, Robert.
† Byrd, Michael.
† Callahan, Owen.
* Callaghan, Daniel.
‡ Carroll, John J., promoted Sergeant.
† Carten, Charles J., promoted Sergeant.
† Conway, Michael.
* Cameron, D. P.
* Crabtree, George.
† Kelly, Patrick.
† Kennedy, Edward.
† Kennifick, John.
‡ Looney, Denis.
* Lally, M.
* Motes, J. B.
* Manion, Francis.
‡ Mahony, Michael.
‡ McDonald, Jas.
‡ McGill, Jas.
‡ McGuire, Thos.
‡ McNabb, John.
* McNabb, Joseph.
* Mitchell, Michael.
† Curran, John.
* Cunningham, M.
* Casey, John.
‡ Carroll, John.
‡ Clancy, J.
* Cummings, Patrick.
* Coffee, Daniel.
Daly, T., discharged, physical disability.
† Dillon, Edward.
* Donnelly, Joseph.
‡ Donohoe, Henry.
Dunn, J. M.
† Duffy, Michael.
‡ Dougherty, J., promoted Sergeant.
† Ellis, W. J.
† Farrell, Michael.
† Feeney, Michael.
* Fitzpatrick, John.
* Fleming, John.
* Gallman, L. B.
* Gleaton, D. B.
* Gascons, Thomas.
‡ Gully, Michael.
‡ Hartley, Richard.
Hickey, Paul, transferred to Navy.
‡ Holleran, Patrick.
‡ Hagan, J.
Jones, D., discharged, physical disability.
* Kane, Nicholas J,
* Kelly, James.
‡ Kiley, James.
† Morris, Patrick.
† McGuire, Michael.
* Nowles, Michael.
‡ O’Brien, James.
* O’Connell, Stephen.
* O’Rourke, John.
* Quintin, James.
‡ Ryan, Thomas.
Rivett, B. J., promoted Corporal.
* Reilly, James.
† Reilly, Jeremiah.
‡ Reilly, Michael.
‡ Reilly, G. S.
† Roach, Patrick.
† Spellman, Dominick, promoted to Color Sergeant.
‡ Sullivan, Dennis.
† Spoon, William.
* Sullivan, Michael.
* Shaw, C. M.
‡ Sweeney, James.
‡ Sinott, Arthur.
* Tobin, William.
Tracy, W., promoted Sergeant, (participated in every engagement)
‡ Whipple, E, Welch.
Maurice C, promoted Commissary Sergeant.
‡ Wilson, John.
Wright, Jas. M.
‡ Died from wounds, or disease contracted in service.
ROLL OF THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS,
MUSTERED INTO CONFEDERATE SERVICE,
AS COMPANY “C,” CHARLESTON BATALLION.
W. H Ryan, Captain-Killed July 18, 1863, at Battery Wagner.
James M. Mulvaney, First Lieutenant.
A. A. Allemong, Second Lieutenant-Killed at Petersburg, Va.
John Burke, Third Lieutenant.
F. L. O’Neil, First Sergeant.
P. R. Hogan, Second Sergeant.
Edward Lee, Third Sergeant.
Lawrence Madigan, Fourth Sergeant.
Michael Moran, Fifth Sergeant.
John Conroy, First Corporal.
Patrick Culleton, Second Corporal.
Thomas L. Hogan, Third Corporal-Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Wm. Harrington, Fourth Corporal-Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Daniel Ward, Fifth Corporal.
Bresnan, T., Killed at Legare’s Point, S.C.
Carroll, James, Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Gallagher, Jas., Killed at Battery Wagner, S.C.
Deary, Thos., Killed at Drury’s Bluff,Va.
Dinan, Wm., Killed at Drury’s Bluff, Va.
Lipscombe, W. L.
Murphy, J. P.
Maher, John, Killed at Petersburg, Va.
McDonald, T., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Preston, John F.
Flanigan, E., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Fowler, Thos., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Hogan, P., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Howard, D., Killed at Secessionville, S. C.
Holcombe Jager, J.
Kenney, Peter, Killed in North Carolina.
Ryan, Edward, Killed at Drury’s Bluff, Va.
Toole, Michael, Killed at Battery Wagner, S. C.
Todd, Jas. R., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Warren, Chris., Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Warren, John, Killed at Petersburg, Va.
Whelan, E., Killed at Drury’s Bluff, Va.
Whelan, Rody, Killed at Drury’s Bluff, Va.
Wiley, Henry, Killed at Petersburg, Va.
The names marked “Killed” in the above Roll, are but those names now known; many who were reported “Missing,” and many supposed to have been captured at the Weldon Road and Fort Fisher, have never since been heard of, being either killed or having died in prison. The Roll is not complete, being only from memory.
TO THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS.
Air-“The Soldier’s Joy.”
Since the valiant Oscar, now two thousand years ago,
The race of brave Milesus was a terror to the foe,
The Red Branch Knights,
Through bloody fights,
Oft rent the air with cheers.
When vict’ry was the wonted right
Of the Irish Volunteers!
From the battle field of Gawra, the gay Feinne fierce and true,
Their banner flaunted proudly down the road to Eighty-two.
‘Neath Grattan’s law,
The Feinne without fears,
As the breeze swept past the green flag Of the Irish Volunteers!
To-day we see the prototype of Eireann’s ancient fame-
The Irish bosom swells with joy at mention of the name.
Tho’ exile’s chill,
He feels yet still.
He hails the name with cheers-
These men of muscle, heart and will-
Our Irish Volunteers!
When country calls to arms, they are ever in the van;
In fealty to that calling you yield not to natal son.
Your banner’s green,
As plainly seen,
Portrayed the strife of years-
Monumental honors to the dead
Of the Irish Volunteers!
Source: College of Charleston Library