The following is a brief history of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry. The unit served as part of the occupation forces in Cuba.
The 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service between May 14 and June 15, with additional men being mustered in between August 15 and August 23, 1898 at Columbia South Carolina. The Independent Battalion, South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was incorporated into the regiment on June 27, 1898, becoming the First Battalion of the regiment. In its final form, the unit consisted of 47 officers and 1,010 enlisted men. The unit spent the period of the war in the continental U.S. With the cessation of hostilities by armistice on August 13, 1898, the unit found itself still in the continental U.S.
The regiment departed Columbia, South Carolina on September 15, for Jacksonville, Florida's Camp Cuba Libre. On October 21, the regiment was transferred to Savannah, Georgia and was assigned to the Seventh Army Corp, becoming part of the Second Brigade of the First Division.
Though the war ended on December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, forces were needed occupy the conquered lands. Accordingly, the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was sent to Cuba as part of the occupation force. The unit left the U.S on board the transport ROUMANIAN on January 3, 1899, arriving in Cuba three days later. While in Cuba the regiment made an eighty mile march.
The 2nd South Carolina served in Cuba until late March. On March 22, Companies A and B boarded the OLIVETTE, arriving in Savannah, Georgia two days later. Companies C, D, E, F and G were placed on the transport YARMOUTH on March 23, 1899 arriving in Savannah on March 25. Company H, and the headquarters staff steamed for Savannah aboard the OLIVETTE arriving on March 28. Lastly, Companies I, K, L and M were placed on the transport YARMOUTH also arriving at Savannah on March 28.
The 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service on April 19, 1899 at Augusta, Georgia's Camp McKenzie. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 787 enlisted men.
During its term of service, lost 19 men to disease, three by court-martial,
and an incredible 51 to desertion!
By Colonel Wilie Jones
To General J.W. Floyd, Adjutant General, S.C.
Dear General: At your request I have written with much pleasure to me the following narrative of the Second South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, United States Army, in the Spanish-American War:
The formation of the Second South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was completed on August 23rd, 1898, by the swearing in on that day at Shandon Hill, near Columbia, South Carolina, of Wilie Jones as Colonel, and Ben A. Rogers as Captain of Company M. The Regiment consisting of 1,013 officers and men. In a short time the Regiment was ordered to report to General Lee at Jacksonville, Florida, and on the 15th of September we took the train for that place and reached there next day, September 16th, 1898. The Regiment was put in camp at Panama Park, four miles from Jacksonville, and just across the big road opposite the camp of the 1st South Carolina Regiment, then under command of that gallant and splendid soldier, Colonel J. K. Alston. The Regiment remained in camp at Panama Park till October 21st, when it was ordered to Savannah, Georgia. The camp at Panama Park proved to be a most horrible place, and was utterly unfit for a camp. The water was sulphur and it made almost all of the men sick. We had at one time 204 men sick. A committee came out from Washington to inspect the camp, and I said to them that it was unfit for a camp; that it was no fit place for an American soldier to camp; that I would not sleep in my tent for $100 a night, if I was not compelled to do so. As I was in the army, I had to sleep in the camp and could not help myself. The Committee was very much astonished when I said that. When my sick list reached 204, I became very much alarmed for the safety of my men, and had a consultation at once with my ever faithful, true and competent Surgeon, Dr. E. J. Wannamaker. He was as much alarmed as I was, and we concluded that we would at once telegraph Governor Ellerbe of the fearful condition of the health of our Regiment. We sent a private telegram to Governor Ellerbe asking him to have our Regiment moved to any place on earth, just so we left Panama Park. Governor Ellerbe afterwards told me he had telegraphed the Secretary of War, and in less than one week we received orders to go to Savannah, Georgia. My Regiment was the first Regiment of the 7th Army Corps to reach Savannah. We shall always feel grateful to Governor Ellerbe for what he did to get us out from Jacksonville. Eight of our men died at Panama Park. I am satisfied their deaths were caused by the bad climate and the horrible water we had to drink.
We reached Savannah on the morning of October 22nd, 1898, and went at once into camp on Dale Avenue, near Thunderbolt. This camp proved to be the finest that we had occupied during our entire term of service, and the water was the best I ever drank. We had not been in camp at Savannah but a very short time before our men commenced to get well and soon we had not a dozen men in the hospital. The people of Savannah treated the Regiment splendidly, they could not do too much for us and we will never forget them for it. On Thanksgiving Day the whole 7th Army Corps was treated to a fine dinner by the good people of Savannah. There were nearly 100 ladies to come to our Regiment, and each company had about eight ladies assigned to it, and they set the tables, put on table cloths, and when all was ready, waited on the men. I do not believe that there was ever an army treated so well before, and I have never heard of or read of such magnificent treatment any where. I shall always love the good people of Savannah, and so does every member of the Regiment and of the 7th Army Corps. I heard that the people of several of the States were fixing to send car loads of turkeys for their Regiments for their Christmas dinner, and as I had not heard that the good people of South Carolina were making arrangements to send a car load of turkeys to the 2nd Regiment for theirs, I concluded I would treat the Regiment to turkeys at my own expense. So I requested Lieutenant Culler, of Company E, to go up to Savannah and purchase enough turkeys for the Regiment, and he came back and reported to me that he had purchased 130 turkeys, which he thought would be enough for the entire Regiment. I went home on that day to take dinner with my family; when I returned to camp the next day, the boys told me they had a splendid dinner, and all seemed very grateful to me for thinking of them. It was a great pleasure to me to treat the boys of my Regiment, as they had all been so very faithful to me. We had a great deal of trouble in getting lumber in Savannah to fix up floors for our tents, but after repeated demands by our Quartermaster, Capt. G.C Sullivan, we at last succeeded. At the request of our Chaplain, Capt. P.A. Murray, I made a requisition for 3,000 feet of lumber to fix up the Y.M.C.A. tent, and General Douglass returned it disapproved. We were very much put out about it, but could not help ourselves. It did not make very much difference, because we left for Cuba very soon after that.
On January 1st, 1899, we received orders to go to Havana, Cuba, on the transport "Roumanian". On January 3rd, 1899, I marched the Regiment through the city of Savannah, 840 strong, counting officers, enlisted men and teamsters. We had 24 wagons and 132 horses and mules. While in Savannah a friend of mine said to me that the anxiety in the Regiment about the yellow fever in Cuba was so great that when we received the order to go to Cuba he thought that hundreds would desert. I told him I had the greatest confidence in my South Carolina boys, practically all of whom were sons of Confederate Veterans, and I thought he was mistaken. I am proud to say that I marched the Regiment on board the boat 840 strong and not a single man deserted. No Regiment in the world can show a better record than that, and I shall always be proud of it.
The Regiment marched through the city of Savannah flying a banner, on which was inscribed the following: "Hurrah for the good people of Savannah, we will never forget them for their kindness to us." One of the men in the 3rd Battalion had a little dog leading him with a string, and had a white cotton cloth cover on him, and had marked on it in black letters the following: "Hurrah for Savannah, to hell with Jacksonville." The people of Savannah were very much pleased with what they read on the banner and on the little dog, and cheered us greatly as we marched through the city.
We reached Havana without accident, on the morning of January 6th, 1899. Very soon after the ship sailed from the wharf in Savannah, the Quartermaster in charge came to me and said I was in command of the ship, as I was the ranking officer on board. He wished to know what orders I had to give; I said to him that I had but one order to give, and that was that no liquor should be sold on the ship. This order was carried out and we had no trouble at all with our men, they behaved splendidly.
As our transport entered the harbor of Havana, Major Eaves and Captain Wannamaker held our flags on the bridge, and as we passed Morro Castle we were greeted with cheers from the garrison in charge. A great many of the men had sea-sickness very badly, but got well as soon as we reached our camp near Havana. The 1st Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel H. T. Thompson, was unloaded at once and went straight to their camp. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions could not be gotten off that day, so had to remain over on the boat till the next day. When we reached San Jose wharf, Havana, no one of the Regiment was allowed to go off but the Quartermaster of the ship and myself. I left the boat with him, and left Lieutenant Colonel Thompson in command.
As I came down the long rope ladder alone, the Regiment were all looking at me, and when I put my feet on Cuban soil, a cheer from a thousand throats went up - it seemed loud enough to shake the old boat. I was very proud to be the first man on the boat to step on Cuban soil. I went straight to the telegraph office and sent a telegram to my wife and to Governor Ellerbe, telling them of our safe arrival. I had a good deal of trouble to find the telegraph office, as I could speak little Spanish; but I went up the street saying to the people I met, "Telegrafo," and they pointed with their fingers to the building in which the office was. I telegraphed my wife the word "Safe," and it cost me $2.40. The telegram I sent to Governor Ellerbe, I made the Government pay for, so I made it quite long. The weather was so warm when we reached Cuba that we could with difficulty wear, our heavy winter clothes. As we marched through the beautiful city of Havana we were cheered on all sides by the people, and the beautiful Cuban senoritas, dressed in white muslin dresses, with black mantillas on their heads, waved United States and Cuban flags at us, and would smile most beautifully. Often we would see a small child standing on a piazza with a Cuban flag in one hand and an American flag in the other, waving them at us and cheering us as we marched along. I told my men that they could bow to all the pretty Cuban girls they saw, but that they must keep in ranks. But, of course, soldiers will be soldiers, and they often fell out to speak to a good looking girl and get a drink of cool water. My Regiment behaved splendidly in marching through Havana and gave me no trouble at all. The first night we camped in Cuba, there was an awful rain and little sleeping was done. But after that we were not troubled much with rain, and in fact it was very dry all the time. We were soon very comfortably fixed in our Cuban camp, called Camp Columbia, situated on the Havana and Marianao Railroad, just five miles from the city and half a mile from General Lee's headquarters at Buena Vista. We had the most beautiful camp in Havana I ever saw - it was as clean as a parlor. This was due to the great precautions taken by all the officers to keep things clean, and they had the earnest assistance of the enlisted men in this. Soon after we reached Cuba, General Lee ordered that an officer should be appointed for each Regiment to look after the sanitary condition of the camp, and to be excused from all other duty. I appointed to perform this very important duty Major J.J. Wagener, of the 3d Battalion. Major Wagener kept the camp as neat as a pin and was untiring in his efforts to keep down disease, and he was successful, for we lost only three men in Cuba. I am satisfied our small death rate in Cuba was due to the cleanliness of the camp through the zeal of Major Wagener and the skill of our surgeons. When we left Cuba our entire camp was covered with lime. We were unable to get lumber, so had to sleep on the ground, but each man in the Regiment had a cot furnished by the Government, and said to have been presented to the troops in Cuba by Miss Helen Gould. After being in camp about one month, we were supplied with lumber, and each tent had a nice floor. We found the Cubans very kind and friendly to us. We had little to do with the Spaniards; but those we met were quite polite, and treated us all right. The climate is very delightful at night, quite warm in the day. The average temperature while we were there was about 85. I slept under a blanket every night I was in Cuba. When we first reached Cuba; the orders were so strict that no officer or enlisted man could go to Havana without a pass, approved by our Major General; we had to apply for a pass one day and send it up the next, and you were required to state in your request for the pass your business and how long you wished to stay. In my first request for a pass, I stated that I wished to go to the theatre Saturday night, make some necessary purchases, and go to church Sunday morning, and return at 12 o'clock. We received orders to go on a ten days march on February 19th, and early that morning I had the Regiment ready to move, in marching order. We had a wagon train of 25 wagons, and had to carry barrels of water and wood with which to cook. Wood is very scarce in Cuba, and we did not know what kind of water we would find on the roadside. But we found the water good and healthy. Our Brigade was commanded by General H. T. Douglass, of Baltimore, and was composed of the 9th and 4th Illinois and the 2nd South Carolina. The men of these two western regiments were very friendly, and especially were we friendly with the 9th Illinois. This Regiment and our Regiment never passed each other without a cheer or a salute. The first day's march was very hard on the men, owing to the heat, and not being used to long marches. The General told me after the first day's march that the men of the 2nd had straggled too much that day, and that we must try to do better hereafter. I was much mortified at this gentle rebuke from the General, and next morning when the Regiment was drawn up in column of fours in the big road ready to march, I rode to the first Battalion and made them a short speech, telling them what the General had said, and that they must remember that they were from South Carolina, and that I hoped and knew that they would do better; I rode to the other two Battalions and made the same talk to them, and they cheered me and said they would do it, and I never had any more trouble. We marched as far as Guines, about fifty miles from Havana, and went in camp on a beautiful little river, and remained there about three days, and then returned to Havana. Th heat was very severe on this march and many of our men were made sick by it. I am satisfied we lost one man, R. N. McKay, from the effect of that march, as he was taken sick on the march and died about four weeks after we came back.
As we marched through Cuba the people treated us with the greatest consideration, and whenever we passed the Cuban soldiers, they always gave us a salute, which we returned. The day set for the march to begin happened to be Sunday. I went to my commanding General and reminded him that we had been ordered to move on Sunday, and suggested to him in a very gentle manner that I hoped he would postpone the march till next day, Monday, as I did not see the great importance of moving that day, and I had always been taught not to do anything on Sunday that was not necessary. He laughed at the idea and said it made no difference, and off we went on Sunday. Soon after we arrived in Cuba, several of the Captains in my Regiment reported to me that they had lost their boxes of meat on the boat in going over, and that their men would have no meat for at least a week, the next ration day. I said to the Captains that I would see that they had meat at once, if I had to go to General Lee. I got on my horse and rode up to the headquarters of my Brigadier General, and reported the facts to him. He said he had no authority at all to issue extra rations, that the Captains should be held responsible for the loss of the meat. I said to him that unless rations were at once issued to these Companies that my men would suffer, and he still refused me. I then felt very much hurt about the way he treated us, and asked the General if he could tell me where I could buy some meat for my men, and that I had the money in my pocket to pay for it, and would do so rather than see my men suffer. He told me where I could buy the meat, and I rode back to camp and sent for my Commissary, Lieutenant A. C. Davis, and told him to go and buy the meat needed, and that I would pay for it. He went off, and soon reported to me that he had seen the Brigade Commissary, and in some way or another he got the meat without having to pay for it. I am sure the General does not know to this day that we got that meat without paying for it.
About the 20th of March, 1899 (the day Senator Tillman, Congressmen Norton and Latimer and others visited our camp), I received orders from General Lee to prepare my Regiment to go home. I heard the night before by a telegram from Major J. G. Evans in Havana, that these gentlemen would visit us the next day, and I left camp early next morning to go to Havana to meet them. Before leaving camp I requested Major Wagener to have a stand erected in front of my tent from which they might speak. They came as expected, and spoke to us. Most of the men of the 9th Illinois had come over to hear the speaking, and we had a great time. The men did not know that I had the order to go home in my pocket, and when the speaking was all over, I stepped on the platform and said to my men that I had something better to tell them than any of the speakers that had spoken, and I then drew out of my pocket the order from General Lee to go home, and there was the greatest excitement and joy at the idea of going back to America. After reading the order I ordered the Regiment formed at once, as a compliment to our visiting Congressmen and their wives. I gave my horse to Senator Tillman and he reviewed the Regiment. The night before we left Havana, the 9th Illinois Regiment came to our camp in a body with their Band and serenaded us. Officers of both Regiments made speeches, and the two Regiments parted great friends. It certainly will be a great pleasure to us to meet those soldiers in the future. The wives of four of our officers, Mrs. Major Eaves, Mrs. Captain Gonzales, Mrs. Captain McCaughrin, and Mrs. Lieutenant Dowling, came to our camp just after we reached Cuba. Their husbands put up a nice settlement of tents and they went regularly to housekeeping. The dining room was made of bamboo wood, and they called the settlement Bamboo Lodge. It was just about three hundred yards from our camp, on a hill. I boarded with them, and certainly enjoyed the fare they gave us very much. I did not have a headache while I was in Cuba, and I am sure the good fare these excellent ladies gave me was the cause of it. We were so much pleased when the ladies came to camp that I ordered the Band to go over and serenade them.
The movements of the Regiment was as follows:
September 15th, 1898, left Columbia; arrived at Jacksonville September 16th.
October 21st, 1898, left Jacksonville; arrived at Savannah October 22nd.
January 3rd, 1899, left Savannah; arrived at Havana January 6th.
February 19th, 1899, left Havana; arrived at Guines February 21st.
February 23rd, 1899, left Guines, Cuba; arrived at Havana February 27th.
The Regiment left Havana in four sections for America as follows:
March 22nd, 1899, Cos. A and B, Lt. Co1. Thompson commanding; arrived in Augusta March 26th
March 23rd, 1899, Cos. C, D, E, F, and G, Major Eaves commanding; arrived Augusta March 27
March 25th, 1899, Cos. H and Band, Co1onel Jones commanding; arrived in Augusta March 28th
March 26th, 1899, Cos. I, K, L, and M, Major Wagener commanding; arrived in Augusta March 29th
Co1onel Jones and Lieutenant Co1onel Thompson went on the "Olivette". The others went on the "Warmouth" ["Yarmouth]"
The following is a correct list of the members of the 2d Regiment who died:As soon as we reached camp in Augusta, Georgia, the Regiment was ordered to prepare to be mustered out, and we dropped all drilling and dress parades and went to work with a will. I had intended to have a parade through the city before we were disbanded, but a few days after reaching Augusta the Band instruments were taken from us, and, of course, the parade was abandoned. The people of Augusta were very kind to us all, and we were reminded of the generous treatment we had received from the people of Savannah. We were in Augusta nearly a month and did not lose a single man from death. When we left Savannah for Cuba, a boy 15 years old, named Bertie Eastman, followed us, and on January 16th, 1899, he rode a mule into the little river near our camp, and not being able to swim was drowned. As he was not an enlisted man, we had no means of telling his parents, and do not know who they are to this day. He is buried in the United States military graveyard near Marianao, Cuba. Every effort has been made to find his parents without success so far.
September, 1898, Arthur Epton, Company K., at Columbia, S.C.
October 21st, 1898, M.T. Mooney, Company G, at Panama Park, Fla.
October 22nd, 1898, Robert Covington, Company C, at Panama Park, Fla.
October 25th, 1898, Albert Smith, Company F, at Panama Park, Fla.
October 26th, 1898, J.W. Bluer, Company E, at Panama Park, Fla.
October 28th, 1898, Meek Lyles, Company L, at Panama Park, Fla.
October 30th, 1898, E.A. Hopkins, Company E, at Panama Park, Fla.
November 3rd, 1898, R.L. Ward, Company L, at Panama Park, Fla.
November 7th, 1898, E.W. Metze, Company M, at Savannah, Ga.
November 9th, 1898, Golphin Barton, Company E, at Panama Park, Fla.
November 29th, 1898, William Finley, Company H, at Savannah, Ga.
December 10th, 1898, Matthew Kitchen, Company I, at Savannah, Ga.
February 19th, 1899, J.A. Epting, Company L, at Havana, Cuba.
February 20th, 1899, Thomas S. Trivette, Company F, at Havana, Cuba.
March 30th, 1899, R.N. McKay, Company L, at Havana, Cuba.
April 16th, 1899, Walter Griffin, Hospital Steward, at Savannah, Ga.
While we were in camp in Cuba, Major J. J. Wagener, commanding the 3rd Battalion, and Captain John L. Perrin, commanding Company H, were presented with beautiful swords by their respective commands, as a token of the high esteem and affection in which they both were held. Senator Tillman happened to be in camp that day, and he presented the sword to Major Wagener and made a very appropriate speech. Lieutenant Colonel Thompson presented the sword to Captain Perrin on a previous occasion, on behalf of his Company, in a neat and graceful speech. Just two days before the Regiment was mustered out in Augusta, the enlisted men of the Regiment presented me with a most magnificent sword. The presentation was made by Sergeant Major F. W. Frederick, the ranking non-commissioned officer in the Regiment, in a most creditable manner. I shall keep this sword as long as I live, and appreciate it more than anything ever presented to me.
The pay of an enlisted man in time of peace in the U. S. Army is $13.00 a month, in time of war it is $15.60 a month. Those soldiers who went to Cuba were allowed two months extra pay as a bonus. The treaty of peace between the United States and Spain was signed on the 10th day of April, 1899 [December 10, 1898, actually -editor]. The 2nd S.C. Regiment was mustered out April 19th, 1899. The Paymaster in Augusta received orders that our Regiment must be paid on peace footing after April 10th, and also that the two months bonus for going to Cuba must be calculated at $13.00 a month instead of $15.60 a month. I calculated the amount to be paid to the Regiment and found that this outrageous and unfair order from the War Department would cut our Regiment out of at least $6,000. It did not affect the commissioned officers at all, only the enlisted men. I was very much put out about it, and went at once to see the Paymaster, who said that he was very sorry to say that he had gotten orders to that effect. He did not think it was right and fair, but he had to obey orders. I at once concluded that I must have the matter corrected, and I sent a telegram to Senator B. R. Tillman, telling him of the great injustice about to befall the 2nd South Carolina. In less than an hour I heard from Senator Tillman, saying that he had telegraphed the Secretary of War. The next morning the muster out officer came to my tent smiling, and said he had just received orders from Washington to pay on a war footing and not on the basis of $13.00 a month. Had it not been for this prompt action on the part of Senator Tillman, the enlisted men of the Regiment would have lost $6,000 at least.
The members of the 2nd S.C. Regiment should always have the kindest feelings to all our Representatives in Congress. They did all they could for us. Senator Tillman and Mrs. Tillman, Congressman Norton and Mrs. Norton, and Congressman Latimer paid us the compliment to come to Cuba while we were there. They all did what they could to have deserving men with families at home honorably discharged. I made it a rule to approve of the honorable discharge of every married man in the Regiment who applied for it, and when we went to Cuba we had very few married men with us. I thought it better to go to Cuba with a small Regiment than to be taking men away from their wives and children against their will, and I am satisfied I acted right and to the best interest of the Government. Senator McLaurin went twice to Washington with Lieutenant Colonel Thompson and myself when we were organizing the Regiment, and we would have had a great deal of trouble to have accomplished what we did without his assistance.
I was in constant correspondence with Senator McLaurin, and he did all he could to see that the Regiment was sent to Cuba. I was so anxious, and so were all of the officers and enlisted men, to go to Cuba after we were sent to Savannah, that I wrote to him often on the subject, and he always said he was working to have us sent. I wrote him a letter urging that we be sent to Cuba just one week before we sailed.
The principal amusement in the Regiment was horse racing in the afternoons, in the Main street of the camp. General Lee came over one evening and witnessed the race, and was very much pleased. A few days before we sailed from Havana, I called on the General and asked him please to give us a good ship to go home on, as we had such an awful old ship to carry us there. He smiled, and said he would write to the Secretary of War to send the largest and longest ship to be had for the use of the 2nd South Carolina, so that they could race their horses as they crossed over to Florida. I was riding on horseback with General Lee one afternoon through our camp on an inspecting tour, and I said to him that there was a barroom near our camp that I wished he would have closed, as the boys were drinking there, and that when South Carolina boys got under the influence of whiskey, they would fight a circular saw. The General turned to me and said, "South Carolina boys will fight a circular saw, or any thing else at any time and under any circumstances." He had been in the Confederate Army with the fathers of these boys, and he knew what they would do. A member of our Band heard that his sister was very sick at home, and he came to me to approve an application to go home, which I did. The application for the furlough came back disapproved from Brigade Headquarters. The father of this young man was in the Confederate Cavalry during the Civil War. It was suggested to him to go right up to General Lee's Headquarters and to tell him about his father being under him in Virginia during the Civil War. He went, and he came back with an order to me from Gen. Lee to let him go.
The 7th Army Corps in Cuba consisted
of the following:
1st N.C. Volunteer InfantryOur Regiment had scarcely gotten settled in their Camp at Panama Park before I was very much pressed by different persons to allow them to open a canteen for the Regiment, giving them the right to sell beer, etc. Nearly all the Regiments in the army had canteens. I positively refused to allow a canteen opened in the Regiment, because I was satisfied it would work great harm to our men - I did not think it was right to have such temptation placed in their way; I said that if a canteen was forced on me, I would resign at once and go home. There was no Regiment in the 7th Army Corps more orderly than ours, and I am satisfied not having beer sold within our lines had a great deal to do with it.
2nd S.C. Volunteer Infantry
2nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry
9th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
161st Indiana Volunteer Infantry
4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry
49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry
6th Missouri Volunteer Infantry
1st Texas Volunteer Infantry
2d Louisiana Volunteer Infantry
3d Nebraska Volunteer Infantry
4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
1st Maine Volunteer Artillery
8th U.S. Infantry
10th U.S. Infantry
8 Troops, 7th U.S. Cavalry
2 Batteries, 2nd U.S. Artillery
1 Battalion, 2nd U.S. Volunteer Engineers
Ex-Governor and Mrs. Thompson, the parents of our Lieutenant Colonel, came to Savannah to visit their son while we were camped there, and stopped at Thunderbolt. I at once carried the Band over and gave them a serenade. The Governor had prepared a most elegant oyster supper for us, and we certainly enjoyed it. A few days afterwards, the Governor invited all of the officers of the Regiment to dine with him, and we went and enjoyed it very much. I gave the Governor my spirited horse, Dixie, one afternoon, and he reviewed the Regiment on dress parade, and he sat the horse like an Indian warrior. Colonel W. J. Bryan's Regiment was camped just across the road from us in Savannah, and I saw him often and formed a great attachment for him. I do not wonder that so many people in this country want him to be elected President. He is as gentle and kind as a woman, and should be elected President on account of his lovable character if for no other reason.
We were certainly very fortunate in being placed under the command of General Lee. He was as kind as he could be to us, and I do not believe there was ever a General who looked after the welfare of his men more closely than he did. He thought a great deal of the 2nd South Carolina, and when he came to our camp we would give him a cheer.
I have not words to express what we all thought of dear old General J. Warren Keifer, of Ohio, our Division Commander. We all loved him because he was so good and kind to us. He was without doubt, after General Lee, the most popular officer in the Corps. He is a man of great ability and a splendid officer. There were two men in our Regiment whose names I will not mention, who would have been disgraced and ruined for life, but for the big heart and the kindness of General Keifer. I went to him and explained their cases, and begged for mercy for them, and he granted it, and they are both all right now and I am glad of it. The mothers of these young men will never forget General Keifer for his kindness. I have never voted a Republican ticket in my life and never expect to, but if I were a citizen of Ohio, and General Keifer, who is a Republican, was running for an office, I do not see how I could resist the temptation to vote for him on personal grounds. The 2nd South Carolina will never forget General Keifer, and will always have the greatest respect and affection for him. With such magnificent American citizens as General Lee, of Virginia, and General Keifer, of Ohio, standing shoulder to shoulder in time of war, the people of this grand American Republic need never have any fear of the safety of their country from foreign foes.
All honor to the American Volunteer Soldiers, they have proven themselves the equals, if not the superiors, of the regulars, and they can always be relied upon when the command forward is given!
For a short time while in Savannah, we had the honor of being commanded by that courtly gentleman and gallant officer, General Wheaton, who was a Colonel in the United States Army during the Civil War. He told me he had been in the Army nearly forty years. He is now gallantly fighting in the Philippine Islands.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the officers and enlisted men of the Regiment for their many acts of kindness and courtesy to me while I had the honor to command them. To assure them that I shall never forget them in the future, and to assure them further that I consider my appointment as Colonel of the Regiment the greatest honor ever conferred on me. I do not think there ever was a better Regiment than the 2nd S.C.V.I. On my return from Cuba, Governor Ellerbe said to me in his yard that he congratulated the Regiment on the splendid record it had made, and that he was very proud of it. The only regret I have is that the Regiment did not get into a battle. When we consider that this Regiment was composed of the sons of Confederate Veterans almost entirely, I am sure no one will doubt for a moment that they would not have done their whole duty in a fight I know they would have done it. The Regiment obeyed every order given it promptly and cheerfully, and what more could they have done?
After spending a very pleasant time in Augusta, Ga., and being treated most kindly by the good people of that city, the Regiment was paid off and disbanded, April 19th, 1899. I went to Orangeburg with Companies C, E, and L, and we were met at the depot by a great crowd of people and two military companies, and escorted to the Opera House for supper. After the banquet was over, we met in the Opera House and listened to the speeches of welcome. After the speaking, we went to the Ball and met the beautiful ladies of Orangeburg. We certainly had a grand reception, and appreciated it very much indeed. I was entertained at the home of Judge Izlar, and was most royally treated by Mrs. Izlar and Miss Marie - the Judge was away. Next morning, those of us living in the up country took the train for Columbia. There was but one thing for me to do then, and that was to turn over to the Adjutant General our flags, which I did in a short time afterwards.
Thus ends the narrative you have requested me to write of the reminiscences of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment in the SpanishAmerican War. In my own plain style it has been to me a pleasant task, because in pursuing the work I have lived over again those pleasant associations and stirring scenes that marked its career and my connection as Colonel of that grand and noble body of men many of them, perhaps, I will never meet again in this life. But whatever the future may bring, my prayers and wishes will always be for the happiness, prosperity and success of each and every member of my old command.
Colonel 2nd S.C. Vol. Infantry, 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Army Corps,
U.S. Army, Gen. Fitzhugh Lee commanding.
Itinerary 2nd S.C.V.I.
Additional Company Information:
Company A, "Darlington Guards":
“The Darlington Guards” were organized under the first call of the President of the United States, and was mustered into service by Captain Ezra B. Fuller, on May 14th, 1898, and assigned to duty as Company A of the Independent Battalion; was afterwards recruited to the maximum strength of 106 men. On August 23rd, 1898, the enlisted strength was reduced to 80 men, per telegraphic instructions from Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C., and was reassigned to the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment when the Independent Battalion was increased to a Regiment. On September 15th, 1898, the Company moved from Columbia, South Carolina, by rail to Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, and was assigned to duty with the remainder of the Regiment to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 7th Army Corps. The movements of this company afterwards conformed to the movements of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, of which it was a part until April 19th, 1899, when it was mustered out at Augusta, Georgia, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company B, 2nd S.CV.I. was organized at Greenville, South Carolina, and mus¬tered into service at Columbia, South Carolina, June 15th, 1898, by Captain Ezra B. Fuller, 7th United States Cavalry. Through recruiting service was increased to maximum strength. By telegraphic instructions the company was reduced to minimum strength, August 23rd, 1898, by transferring to new companies of 2nd S.C.V.I. Remained at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, until September 15th, 1898, and moved by rail to Camp Cuba Libre, Florida. Moved by rail to Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898, and was there equipped with magazine rifles, cal. 30, November 25th, 1898. Left Savannah, Georgia, for Havana, Cuba, on transport ROUMANIAN, January 3rd, 1899. Left Havana, Cuba, for Augusta, Georgia, on March 22nd, 1899, on steamship OLIVETTE, and was mustered out of service at Augusta, Georgia, April 19th, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th Cavalry.
Company C, "Edisto Rifles":
The “Edisto Rifles” were organized at Orangeburg, South Carolina, and mustered into service May 20th, 1898, at Columbia, South Carolina, by Captain Ezra B. Fuller, 7th United States Cavalry, as Company C of the Independent Battalion, S.C. Volunteer Troops. This company was afterwards placed as Company C, 2nd S.C.V.I., under the second call of the President. Remained in camp at Columbia, South Carolina, until September 15th, 1898; at Jacksonville, Florida, until October 21st, 1898; at Savannah, Georgia, until January 3rd, 1899; at Havana, Cuba, until March 23rd, 1899, when the company sailed for Augusta, Georgia, and was there mustered out of the service of the United States April 19th, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry, at Camp McKenzie.
Company D, 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was organized at Manning, South Carolina, and was mustered into service May 21st, 1898; completing the Independent Battalion. Was under the second call of the President, assigned to duty with the 2nd S.C.V.I.. Left Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, for Camp Cuba Libre, September I5th, 1898, and was there assigned to duty with the 7th Army Corps, under General Lee. Left Camp Cuba Libre for Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898. Left Savannah, Georgia, for Havana, Cuba, January 3rd, 1899, and remained at Camp Columbia, Cuba, until March 23rd, 1899, when the regiment was ordered to Augusta, Georgia, for muster-out. Was mustered out of service at Augusta, Georgia, April 19th, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry, mustering officer.
Company E, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized at Orangeburg;. S., C, and mustered into service at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, August. 15th, 1898; and moved from thence by rail for Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, September 15th, 1898, and was there assigned to duty with 7th Army Corps, under General Lee. Left Florida for Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898, and there remained in camp until January 3rd, 1899, when it embarked for Havana, Cuba. Returned from Cuba to the United States on March 24th, 1899, and arrived at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, March 27th, 1899, and was there mustered out of service on April 19th, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company F, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized at Chester, South Carolina, and mustered into service at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, on August 17th, 1898. Moved by rail with the regiment to Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, September 15th, 1898, and was there attached to the 7th Army Corps, under General Lee. Left Florida with 7th Army Corps for Savannah, Georgia, on October 21st, 1898, and there remained at Camp Onward until January 3rd, 1899, when the corps embarked for Havana, Cuba. Left Havana, Cuba, for the United States, March 23rd, 1899; arrived at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, on March 26th, 1899, and was mustered out of service on April 19th, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company G, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized at Newberry, South Carolina, and mustered into service at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, August 19th, 1898, by Captain Ezra B. Fuller, 7th United States Cavalry. Moved by rail to Jacksonville, Florida, September 15th, 1898, and was assigned to duty with the 7th Army Corps. Moved by rail to Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898, and from thence by water to Havana, Cuba, on U. S. transport ROUMANIAN, January 3rd, 1899. Left Havana, Cuba, for the United States March 23rd, 1899, and was encamped at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, until April 19th, 1899, when the company was mustered out of service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry,
Company H, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized and mustered into service August 19th, 1898, at Columbia, South Carolina. Remained at Columbia in camp until September 15th, 1898. Moved by rail to Panama Park, Florida, arriving there September 16th, 1898. Moved by rail to Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898. Left Camp Onward on U.S. transportROUMANIAN for Havana, Cuba, January 3rd, 1899. Left Havana, Cuba, March 25th, 1899, for the United States, and arrived at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, March 27th, 1899; Remained at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, until April 19th, 1899, when mustered out of service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company I, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized at Columbia, South Carolina, and mustered into service at Camp Lee, August 23rd, 1898. Moved by rail with regiment for Jacksonville, Florida, September 15th, 1898, and was assigned to 7th Army Corps, under General Lee. Left Florida for Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, October 21st, 1898, and there remained in Camp until January 3rd, 1899, when the regiment sailed for Havana, Cuba, on the U.S. transportROUMANIAN, and arrived January 6th, 1899. Left Havana, Cuba, for the United States on steamship YARMOUTH, March 24th, 1899, and arrived at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, March 28th, 1899, after delay by quarantine. Regiment was there mustered out of service on the 19th of April, 1899, by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company K, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized and mustered into service at Columbia, South Carolina, August 23rd, 1898. Left by rail September 15th, 1898, per orders Adjutant Generals Office, for Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, to join 7th Army Corps, under command of General Lee. Remained at Camp Cuba Libre until October 22nd, 1898, and moved by rail to Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia Left Savannah, Georgia, January 3rd, 1899, for Havana, Cuba, on U.S. transport ROUMANIAN. Remained at Camp Columbia, Cuba, until March 25th, 1899, when it sailed for the United States for muster-out. Arrived at Augusta, Georgia, Camp McKenzie, March 27th, 1899, and was there mustered out of service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry.
Company L, 2nd S.C.V.I., was organized and mustered into service at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina, August 23rd, 1898. Left Columbia, South Carolina, with regiment by rail for Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, September 15th, 1898. Removed from Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, October 21st, 1898, for Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, as a part of 7th Army Corps, under General Lee. Left Camp Onward for Havana, Cuba, January 3rd, 1899, on U.S. transport ROUMANIAN. Left Havana, Cuba, for Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, March 25th, 1899, for muster out. Arrived at Camp McKenzie March 28th, 1899, and was there mustered out of service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry on April 19th, 1899.
Company M, 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was organized and mustered into service on August 23rd, 1898, at Camp Lee, Columbia, South Carolina. Moved by rail to Camp Cuba Libre, Florida, on September 15th, 1898, and there joined the 7th Army Corps, under General Fitzhugh Lee. Left Florida for Camp Onward, Savannah, Georgia, on October 21st, 1898, and there remained until January 3rd, 1899, when the Regiment sailed for Havana, Cuba, on the U.S. transportROUMANIAN. Left Cuba for the United States on March 26th, 1899, for mustering out, and arrived at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, Georgia, on March 30th, 1899. The Company remained at Camp McKenzie where it was mustered out of service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th United States Cavalry, mustering officer, on April 19th, 1899.
Floyd, Joseph W. Historical Roster and Itinerary of South Carolina Volunteer Troops who served in the late war between the United States and Spain, 1898, coupled with Brief Sketches of their movements from the Beginning to the Ending of the Conflict. (Columbia, S.C., The R. L. Bryan Company, 1901).
Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).