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[494] many people came down from the city in all kinds of craft to witness the evacuation and occupation.

We who had now been in service nearly four months were looked upon as veterans by the new regiments just called out. We were in a condition to enjoy the fun made by the mistakes and awkwardness of the fresh troops just from the country. The officers were very zealous and the men vied with each other in learning and properly discharging all of the duties of soldiers. The sentinels of one of these new regiments were one night posted on the beach inside of high water mark. It was very natural that an up-countryman should not make proper allowances for the rise and fall of the tide. A sentinel of this regiment was instructed not to allow any person to pass without the countersign, and was particularly instructed not to leave his post on any consideration whatever till regularly relieved or withdrawn by a duly authorized officer. Before the relief guard came the tide had risen and the sentinel was waist-deep in water. Upon the approach of the officer with the relief the sentinel went through with his part of the formula in a manner that would have done credit to one of Napoleon's Old Guard. When it came to the officer's turn to advance and give the countersign, he said:

‘Come out, sentinel, and I will give you the countersign.’

‘Advance and give the countersign,’ said the sentinel.

‘Come out of the water,’ said the officer.

‘Advance and give the countersign,’ said the sentinel, ‘and you had better do it quick; I have orders to fire on everybody attempting to pass my post without the countersign, and I shall be obliged to shoot you.’

The officer seeing that he had ‘a strict constructionist’ to deal with, thought it best to comply with the sentinel's orders, and plunged into the surf regardless of damage to his shining uniform, and gave the countersign. The sentinel was then marched out and relieved in true military style. It is likely that the next time this officer posted a sentinel on the beach, he instructed him that old Neptune, as well as a properly accredited Confederate officer, might require a change of his beat.

The term of service of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers was for six months. The regiment had been organized under a resolution of the State Convention, and was peculiarly a creation of that body. The siege of Sumter and the defence of South Carolina, pending the formation of the Southern Confederacy, was the emergency for which the regiment had been called together.

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