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[174] of Reconstruction, and even this story, which I propose to give, must be curtailed of many, very many, of its details.

When the war came to an end, the people of this State, regarding the cause as lost, accepted the situation and determined to live honestly and faithfully in conformity with it. They had tried the issue of arms, and had failed; they had lost their fortunes; more than half of her best sons had laid down their lives for the cause; the cause was lost, but they still might exercise their manliness and seek their fortunes under the changed aspect of affairs. A convention, which had been called by Mr. Perry, the Provisional Governor of the State, met and reorganized the State, and under its provisions General Orr was elected the Governor, and Senators and Representatives were elected to represent the State in Congress. But, though it had been all along asserted that the acts of secession were nullities, when the Representatives-elect went to take their seats, it was ascertained that the acts were not nullities, and that South Carolina could have no representation until a new constitution should be made for her, which the sitting members of the Congress should approve. To bring about this desirable state of things, the Southern States were divided into several military districts, over each of which an officer was appointed, with all the powers of a Persian Satrap, excepting that he could not take away the life of a citizen, except by due form of law. The Satrap appointed over this State was General Sickles, who had made himself infamous by the assassination of Mr. Key, of Washington, for improper intimacy with his wife, and afterwards condoning her infidelity. Of his official acts I have no special recollection; he was always ostentatiously showing his vulgar and brutal person, which was made more conspicuous by his being always arrayed in his uniform. In this respect he was a striking contrast to his successor, who seemed always to wish to disguise his questionable dignity of a Satrap of a military despotism, under the modest garb and demeanor of a gentleman.

The first step towards reconstruction, after the appointment of these Satraps, was the calling of a convention. For this purpose all the males were registered as voters, those only excepted who had, in virtue of any office held before the war, taken the oath of fidelity towards the Constitution of the United States. This, of course, excluded most of those who had been the best citizens. It was then ordered that the registered voters should vote for members of the convention, and that it should be held, provided a majority of the registered votes should be given for members of the convention. As

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