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[185] love for our own section, let us cultivate it above all others, and so love it that we shall keep it worthy of the confederation of which it is a part. Let us not be afraid then, to-night, to rekindle the flames of 1861. Let us light them again if we can, and take into our common country the undying love for the land for which we fought.

In this spirit, let us talk to-night then, my comrades, of our grand old army, which, as a distinguished military writer has said, was the world's wonder for three years—let us talk of its formation, its organization, its equipment, its discipline, its personnel, and its characteristics.

The two great armies of the Confederacy may be said to have had the commencement of their organizations in a few militia companies. The Army of Northern Virginia in Charleston harbor around Fort Sumter, and the army of the West at Pensacola before Fort Pickens. When South Carolina seceded, and Major Anderson made the first move of the war, on the 27th December, 1860, abandoning and burning Fort Moultrie, and taking possession of Fort Sumter, the State of South Carolina had but the volunteer companies of the city of Charleston available for seizing and occupying the other strategic points around Charleston harbor. So, too, the volunteer companies from Mobile, New Orleans and Savannah hastened to Fort Pickens and Pensacola, and there formed the nucleus of the army so long commanded by General Bragg, who may be said to have organized them there.

The volunteer companies of the Fourth brigade, South Carolina militia, that is the Charleston volunteer companies, on the 27th December, 1860, seized Castle Pinckney, Fort Moultrie, Morris Island, Fort Johnson and the arsenal in the city. They thus took the field without an hour's notice, and held these points until relieved by other troops raised by the State; and indeed were on duty with but little intermission until the fall of Fort Sumter on the 13th April, 1861.

The first organization of troops for actual service and for a definite period, was made under a resolution of the Convention of South Carolina, which passed the ordinance of secession. The General Assembly of the State, which was in session at the same time, had, on the 17th December, 1860, passed an act providing for an armed military force to be organized into a division of two or more brigades; but as it was deemed necessary to raise a smaller body of troops at once, on the 31st December, four days after the Charleston volunteer companies had taken possession of the forts in the harbor, the Convention passed a resolution authorizing the governor to cause

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