Meanwhile rumors were rife respecting the conduct and attitude of Chamberlain
It was asserted that the feud between him and Patterson
was to be healed over and certain tamperings with the funds of the State
effected for their joint benefit.
To this rumor Chamberlain
gave an indignant denial.
He said that no terms of reconciliation had been offered, and that he would regard any settlement of dissensions in the Republican party in the State
which compromised the cause of reform as worse than defeat.
It was by such declarations as these that he continued to preserve the good will with which he was regarded by many of the Conservatives.
They saw in him the one man in whom they could hope for any mitigation of radical misrule, and though he often showed deplorable weakness, they would not desert him. They clung to him as their anchor of hope.
They saw no alternative but to take him with all his imperfectness, and a desperate struggle against fearful odds, in which defeat was certain destruction.
Then came the celebration in Charleston
of June 28th.
This day, peculiarly the day of Charleston
and of Carolina
, has always been celebrated by some of the military companies of the city.
On this occasion the Rifle Club
, known as the Palmetto Club
, had determined to expose to view a monument which they had erected in White Point
Garden to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the battle of Fort Moultrie
All the rifle clubs in the city took part in the celebration, together with several companies from Georgia
, and detachments from companies in New York and Boston
, which had come to assist in the pageant.
The command for the day was conferred on Gen. Wade Hampton
, the chief of the cavalry of the Confederate army.
The Governor was invited to partake of the festivities and cheerfully accepted the invitation.
It must be remembered that the rifle clubs were bodies without legal organization, which had sprung into existence at the conduct of Governor Scott
, when he refused to reorganize any white militia, and lavishly bestowed arms and ammunition upon the negroes, whom he had organized throughout the State
They were bodies organized under the great law of self-preservation, when it seemed to be the object of the Governor
to put the whites entirely at the mercy of the negroes.
reflected upon the unlawfulness of these organizations he kept his thoughts to himself, and seemed to enter into the spirit of the celebration