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Doc. 4.-Christening the “Palmetto State.”

Richmond Whig account.

Richmond, Oct. 17, 1862.
on Saturday last the gunboat “Palmetto State,” built at Charleston, mainly through the efforts and offerings of the women of South-Carolina, was formally named and dedicated. We copy from our exchanges the following account of the proceedings:

All places affording a view of the boat and of the site of the ceremonial were thronged at an early hour, and a large proportion of the spectators were of the fair sex.

At an early stage of the proceedings General Beauregard and staff, and Brig.-General Gist and staff, arrived and took position on the upper deck, which, being elevated some distance above the surrounding wharves, formed the rostrum for the occasion. As the hero of Sumter, Manassas and Shiloh stepped upon the gangway and came within view of the assembled throng, he was welcomed with hearty and long continued cheers.

At the appointed hour, the exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Smith, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church.

the oration.--Colonel Richard Yeadon (attired in the full uniform of the Wellington Rangers) then delivered an oration, of which the following is a synopsis:

He congratulated them on the completion of the first iron-clad ram built for the defence of Charleston Harbor — The Palmetto State. The name was one redolent of victory; and this noble craft, constructed, as she had been, under the direction of the distinguished hero of the Koszta exploit, and commanded by the lineal descendant of the illustrious Governor and dictator of South-Carolina, John Rutledge, would, he trusted, prove herself not unworthy of that glorious name. He then recounted the stirring story of the twenty-eighth of June, ‘76, and showed how hard-won was the unequal fight which first gave to South-Carolina her proud sobriquet, “the Palmetto State.” As the victory over the British fleet at Fort Moultrie had given an impulse to the cause of independence, in an early stage of the revolutionary struggle, so the reduction of Fort Sumter gave us the prestige of victory in the very inception of the present contest, and was attended with an éclat which inspired confidence and gave an accelerated impulse to our holy cause. It conferred name and fame, too, on Beauregard and Ripley, inspiring confidence in them as our leaders, and it proved the grave of the reputation of the renegade Kentuckian, Anderson, who soiled the honors of a gallant defence by persistent treason to his native State and section.

Addressing himself, then, to the matrons and maidens of the Palmetto State, the orator referred in graceful terms to the debt which our city owed them for this auspicious event. He alluded to the inaction of the government in the construction of naval defences, and showed how the suggestion and example of one patriotic lady had stirred in the bosoms of the daughters of South-Carolina the project of building these very boats, over the completion of which they were rejoicing to-day. The ladies, in every part of the State, enthusiastically embraced the scheme, and came forward, in large and cheering numbers, with votive offerings at the shrine of patriotism — their free — will oblations on the altar of their country. Donations in money, plate, jewelry, works of art and ingenuity, family relics, tokens of affection, the widow's mite, and even bridal gifts, were poured forth as from an exhaustless fountain, to arm Charleston with the means of naval defence. The result was a gunboat fund exceeding thirty thousand dollars. This spirited action of our women had roused the governments, State and confederate, from their torpor, to the construction of these two noble iron-clad steamers. The proposition that the Ladies' Gunboat Fund should be paid over to the government, for the privilege of naming the iron-clad steamer, then in course of construction by Messrs. Marsh & Son, the “Palmetto State,” had proved agreeable to the fair contributors, and it was now the speaker's duty to fulfil the contract. Here the orator handed a check for thirty thousand dollars to Captain Ingraham, and then proceeded to perform the baptism.

The oration was interrupted by frequent applause.

the baptism.--As the young lady (Miss Sue Gelzer) who was the first contributor to the gunboat broke over the head of the iron-sheathed monster a bottle of choice old wine, Col. Yeadon pronounced the following words:

With all solemnity and reverence, and invoking on thee the blessing of Almighty God, noble [16] boat Palmetto State, I baptize thee, in the name of the patriotic ladies of South-Carolina. Amen.

closing address.--He then addressed, in succession, Captain Ingraham, Captain Rutledge, and General Beauregard:

Captain Ingraham: As commander of this naval station, the movements of the iron-clad steamers assigned to the defence of our harbor will be under your direction, and we rely confidently on your skill and experience to render those movements effectual and crown them with victory. Although not born to the sea, yet from early boyhood you were bred to the sea — in tender years you were among those “who go down to the sea in ships and do business in the great waters.” At the age of nine years you received a midshipman's warrant in the navy of the United States, and, young as you then were, you served in the war of 1812, under Commodore Chauncey, chasing and skirmishing with the British fleet on Lake Ontario. Passing through all the grades of the service, you became a post-captain, and in that capacity you bravely humbled the haughty Austrian in his attempt, in a foreign port, to oppress an embryo citizen of your country; and then and otherwise, during your prolonged career, you proved your fidelity to the once glorious, but now degraded, flag of Stars and Stripes, as long as it was an honor to serve under it. We look, sir, to your wise and veteran counsels and plans and gallant deeds to humble the pride and insolence of the vandal Yankee, should he dare to enter our harbor with the purpose of subjugation or spoliation; and we know that you will prove your fidelity even to the death, to the glorious Stars and Bars, under which, true to the State and to the city of your birth and your affections, you now patriotically serve.

Captain Rutledge: In the event of an assault by the foe, it will be your lot and your duty to conduct this ship of war through the perils and the blood of battle, and we have every confidence that the descendant of John Rutledge will fight her well, and like his great ancestor, sooner cut off his right hand than give an order for her surrender — and we augur for you in our harbor a success equal and even superior to that of the intrepid Buchanan, with the old Merrimac, in the waters of Virginia. From your vessel and her consort, the Chicora, under the gallant Tucker, of Virginia, and the brave Warley, of South-Carolina, we look for a harbor defence that will both give safety to our city and immortality to her defenders.

General Beauregard: Your wise strategy in the successful bombardment of Fort Sumter, and your heroism on the bloody and victorious fields of Manassas and Shiloh, make us hope and trust that, in your wisdom and energy, we will find a bulwark of safety and we feel a cheering assurance that, with you as the leader and director of our land forces, and with our numerous formidable forts and batteries, aided by our steam rams and by the soldierly and accomplished Col. Colquitt and his brave Georgians, Charleston will achieve a Saragossa defence, and you a fame equal, if not superior, to that of the chivalrous Palafox.

Noble boat! you now bear a name which is at once a badge and incentive to victory ; you are armed and equipped to do battle in a righteous war, against an unprincipled enemy; and, relying on the justice of our cause, let us hopefully and reverently commit your destiny to Him, with whom are the issues of life and death — of defeat and victory.

the Chicora--A Goodly Sight--Just as the ceremony had been concluded, the other gunboat, the Chicora, came steaming up from the lower wharves, and, with colors flying fore and aft, saluted her consort. As the grim and invulnerable craft glided noiselessly, but in all the majesty of conscious might, up the stream, the admiration of the assembled multitude broke forth in loud and prolonged cheers for the Chicora and her energetic builder, Mr. Eason, who, with a large number of citizens, could be seen upon her upper deck.

The pleasing ceremonial being over, the ladies were invited into the workshops of the Messrs. Marsh, where they partook of a bountiful collation. The whole affair passed off without any accident calculated to mar the pleasure of those present, excepting, perhaps, a light shower, which came down quite suddenly, and created some consternation for a while.

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John Rutledge (4)
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