A Trip South.[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Augusta, Ga., June 13, 1863.Since my last I have been rambling a little more in the Palmetto State, and have spent a few days in Georgia, well deserving to be called the Empire State of the South. I was delighted with Anderson and Greenville, in the upper part of South Carolina. They are truly towns of groves and flowers. The latter specially, commanding a view of the distant mountains, and with a river dashing over its rocky bed across the principal streets, struck me as unusually romantic in its situation. But Greenville is interesting to many of your readers as the seat of the recently established "Theological Seminary," under the auspices of the Baptist denomination, of which Doctors Manly and Broadus, from Virginia, are Professors. This institution is not now in session, most of the former students being in one way or another connected with the army. Although an effort was made to induce Congress to except theological students from military service, I, as a friend of religion and of such seminaries, rejoice that such exemption was not granted. It would have put a premium on hypocrisy, and would have filled seminary halls with young men who would neither reflect credit on their Alma Mater nor do good to the cause of religion. But though the institution is not in session, the faculty are by no means idle. Dr. Boyce, the Chairman, has been serving in the Legislature and as Financial Agent of the Confederate Government. He is now importuned to serve in Congress. Dr. Manly has been spending his leisure in preparing juvenile text books specially for Sabbath Schools. Some of these will probably be shortly published by the Sunday School Board, lately created by the Southern Baptist Convention, and located in Greenville. Dr. Manly is President of this Board. Dr. John A. Broadus, Professor New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics, I am permitted to say, is devoting himself to the preparation of a Commentary on the New Testament, which, it is hoped, will supply a felt necessity in the Confederate States. This work, completed, need hardly be expected for several years, but when it does come, it will be likely by its intrinsic merit and adaptation to popular need to supercede similar productions from Yankee pens now in use. Many a soldier in the army of Northern Virginia will be pleased to hear that Dr. B. proposes to spend the summer as Army Evangelist in the employ of the Virginia Baptist Sunday School and Colportage Board. En routs from Greenville to this place. I laid over a day at Graniteville, S. C., on the South Carolina railroad, about 10 miles from the Savannah river, which divides that State from Georgia. This village is now an object of peculiar interest from its extensive cotton mills, and is resorted to by scores and hundreds from all parts of the Confederacy for cotton cloth and cotton yarn. You may well judge that, though the present capacity is 14,000 yards per day, the demand cannot be supplied. But, at any time, I should regard Graniteville well worthy of a visit from one who wishes to see for himself the objects of interest in the Confederate States. The population is 800, being entirely composed of operatives and their families. All the houses are owned by the company, and none but moral, respectable people are employed or allowed to reside in the village, while tenants are not only required to observe certain rules as to neatness, but are encouraged to improve their lots by the cultivation of ornamental shrubbery and fruit. Intoxicating liquors are not allowed to be brought within the precincts of the village. The company has erected three handsome houses of worship, and has established a free school, which now has three teachers, 150 scholars, and an endowment of $32,000, besides an annual allowance from the State. There is also a fund to secure ministerial services. The mill is a substantial and handsome edifice of granite, several hundred feet long; but it is not to be compared, as an object of interest, with the handsome grounds which environ it, adorned with trees, and shrubs, and flowers, and well rolled walks. Indeed, these grounds sugggest not so much a mill as a millionaires. Well, I presume that mill has made some of its proprietors millionaires. I wish all knew how to use their money with as much public-spirited munificence as at least one of the owners of Graniteville. From what I have said, you will not be surprised to hear that the population of this village seem unusually intelligent and respectable. I was struck with the neat and happy appearance of the girls and youth, as they left their work at the sound of the bell. I wish more mills were conducted on the principle of this one. Additional buildings are in process of creation which will, perhaps, double the capacity of the mill. It is a great pity that while the company, by law, cannot sell their cloth for over some 40 cents per yard, this does little good to the people, as it is generally five times that price before it gets to them. I would like to write you of the powder mill and other objects of interest in this city, but my limits forbid. I enjoyed much a ride over Summerville, a pleasant suburban village on the hills, about two miles from the city. It reminds me more than anything I have seen in the South of Roxbury, Cambridge, Jamaica Plains, and those other transcendently beautiful rural villages which environ Boston.