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ing to save something from the general wreck they saw impending, — only to find in the end that they are scarcely richer than those who invested everything in Confederate bonds. It would seem that it is not clearly understood how thoroughly Sherman's army destroyed everything in its line of march, – destroyed it without questioning who suffered by the action. That this wholesale destruction was often without orders, and often against most positive orders, does not change the fact of destruction. The Rebel leaders were, too, in their way, even more wanton, and just as thorough as our army in destroying property. They did not burn houses and barns and fences as we did; but, dur
ing the last three months of the war, they burned immense
quantities of cotton and rosin.
The action of the two armies put it out of the power of
men to pay their debts. The values and the bases of value were nearly all destroyed. Money lost about everything it had saved. Thousands of men who were honest in purpose have lost everything but honor. The cotton with which they meant to pay their debts has been burned, and they are without other means. What is the part of wisdom in respect to such men? It certainly cannot be to strip them of the last remnant. Many of them will pay in whole or in part, if proper consideration be shown them. It is no question of favor to any one as a favor, but a pure guestion of business, -- how shall the commercial relations of the two sections be re-established In determining it, the actual and exceptional condition of the State with respect to property should be constantly borne in mind. Yet when all this is said in favor of one class of merchants, it must, in good conscience, be added, that by far a larger class is showing itself unworthy of anything but stringent measures. “How do you find the feeling 2" said I to a gentleman of national reputation, who is now here settling the affairs of a very large New York house. “Well, there are a good many merchants who don’t mean to pay anything more than they are obliged to,” said he in reply. I asked of one of the leading merchants this morning, “Are your people generally disposed to settle their accounts?” His answer was, “Those who expect to continue business must of course do so.” “How about the others?” I queried. “I’m afraid there is n’t so much commercial honor as there should be,” he replied. I am told of one firm which represented itself entirely ruined, when subsequent investigation showed that it had five thousand pounds sterling to its credit in Liverpool; and of another which offered only thirty cents on the dollar, when its property in New York alone will cover over seventy cents on the dollar of its entire indebtedness. t That Rebellion sapped the foundations of commercial integrity in the State is beyond question. That much of the Northern indebtedness will never be paid is also beyond question. What is desirable is, that creditors should become cognizant of all the facts in the case before fixing terms. For the rascal there is but one set of terms; for the honest man there should be every possible consideration. The city is under thorough military rule; but the iron hand rests very lightly. Soldiers do police duty, and there is some nine-o'clock regulation; but, so far as I can learn, anybody goes anywhere at all hours of the night without molestation. “There never was such good order here before,” said an old colored man to me. The main street is swept twice a week, and all garbage is removed at sunrise. “If the Yankees was to stay here always and keep the city so clean, I don't reckon we’d have ‘yellow jack’ here any more,” was a remark I overheard on the street. “Now is de fust time sence I can 'mem'er when brack men was safe in de street af’er nightfall,” stated the negro tailor in whose shop I sat an hour yesterday.
On the surface, Charleston is quiet and well behaved ; and I do not doubt that the more intelligent citizens are wholly sincere in their expressions of a desire for peace and reunion. The city has been humbled as no other city has been ; and I can’t see how any man, after spending a few days here, can desire that it shall be further humiliated merely for revenge. Whether it has been humiliated enough for health is another thing. Said one of the Charlestonians on the boat, “You won’t see the real sentiment of our people, for we are under military rule; we are whipped, and we are going to make the best of things; but we hate Massachusetts as much as we ever did.” This idea of making the best of things is one I have heard from scores of persons. I find very few who hesitate to frankly own that the South has been beaten. “We made the best fight we could, but you were too strong for us, and now we are only anxious to get back into the old Union and live as happily as we can,” said a large cotton factor. I find very few who make any special profession of Unionism; but they are almost unanimous in declaring that they have no desire but to live as good and quiet citizens under the laws.
For the first two months of our occupancy of the city scarcely a white woman but those of the poorer classes was seen on the street, and very few were even seen at the windows and doors of the residences. That order of things is now, happily, changed. There does n’t yet appear to be as much freedom of appearance as would be natural ; but very many of what are called the “first ladies” are to be seen shopping in the morning and promenading in the evening. They, much more than the men, have contemptuous motions for the negro soldiers; and scorn for Northern men is frequently apparent in the swing of their skirts when passing on the sidewalk.
One does n’t observe so much pleasantness and cheerful
ness as would be agreeable; but the general demeanor is quite consonant with the general mourning costume. A stroller at sunset sees not a few pale and pensive-faced young women of exquisite beauty; and a rambler during the evening not unfrequently hears a strain of touching melody from the darkened parlor of some roomy old mansion, with now and then one of the ringing, passionate airs with which the Southern heart has been fired during the war.
Mothers yet teach their children hate of the North, I judge; for when I asked a bright-eyed girl of half a dozen years, with whom I walked on a back street for a block or two, whose girl she was, she promptly answered, “A Rebel mother's girl.” Patience, good people who love liberty, patience; this petty woman's spite will bite itself to death in time.
Down in the churchyard of St. Philip's, one of the richest and most aristocratic of churches in this proud city, is a grave which every stranger is curious to see. There are only the four plain panelled brick walls about three feet high, and on them a mottled white marble slab, some nine feet by four in size. At the head of the grave is a single sickly ten-foothigh magnolia tree. At each corner of the foot is a sprawling and tangled damask rose-bush, and about midway on the right there is also a small white rose-bush. All around the little plat is a border of myrtle, sweet in its rich greenness, but untrimmed and broken and goat-eaten. It is the grave of the father of the Rebellion, and on the marble slab there is cut the one word, –
This churchyard symbolizes the city of Charleston. Children and goats crawl through a convenient hole in the front wall, and play at will among the sunken graves and broken tombstones. There is everywhere a wealth of offal and garbage and beef-bones. A mangy cur was slinking among the stones, and I found a hole three feet deep which he had dug at the foot of one of the graves. Children were quarrelling
* the more recent mounds. The whole * * * **weeds and brush, and the place is deso*** "P" 'it well can be; more desolate because late and dreary * broken away the corners of the great * * *Salhoun, – for mementos, I suppose. Time marble slab of Ç
WaS when sout, ruin with her chief city. When Northern Now it lies it
o Hild and revivify that city, let us pray it may life shall reble and simple beauty around this grave ; for also set *need to wish the brave but bad spirit of Calhoun there is no
Hishment than it must have in seeing the woe and
** Po' mourning which the war has brought the region waste and . so well. he loved it t II.
| MERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE INTERIOR OF SOUTH *} CAROLINA.
- ORANGEBURG C. H., September 7, 1865. AROM Charleston to Orangeburg Court House is seventy" seven miles. Route, South Carolina Railroad. Time, even and a half hours. Fare, five dollars. There is one *train per day each way. Our train consisted of five freightcars, the baggage-car, a box freight-car with seats for negroes, and one passenger-coach. The down train, which we met at Branchville, – where Sherman's army was to find its doom, - consisted of seven freight-cars, four of which were filled with troops on the way to Charleston and home, the baggage-car, and two passenger-coaches. Our one car was uncomfortably full when we started; but only eleven of the passengers came through. “What sort of accommodations can I get at Orangeburg?” I asked of a friend in Charleston.
'h Carolina guarded this grave as a holy spot.