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The following pages have grown into the proportions of a book, without much design on the part of the author. His purpose, at first, was merely to transcribe the journal of his “ jail experience,” at the request of some particular friends. This, he found, would be unsatisfactory, without some account of the condition of things in Laurens County, at the time of his
But the state of things in Laurens was anomalous, resulting from causes which affected the whole State alike. A resume of Reconstruction in South Carolina, therefore, seemed necessary; and thus, step by step, he was led back to the deluge of Secession.
The narrative was begun in 1874, and continued, from time to time, till the beginning of 1876. The writer then closed with the twelfth chapter ; and made efforts to publish in that centennial year. As all these efforts failed, the MS. was still on hand, when the wonderful campaign of “ Hampton and Home Rule,” brought about another Revolution. This rendered two additional chapters necessary, to come down to the date of the regeneration of the State.
The author now sends forth these di sjecta membra with many misgivings. No one can see the defects of the work more plainly than he does himself ; but the remedy would be to re-write the whole, and such a reconstruction might prove as complete a failure and wreck as the one he has attempted to describe.
Begging indulgence for this, his first attempt at authorship, he earnestly requests a patient perusal of all the facts herein recorded, with the assurance that there is
"Nothing extenuate, Nor aught set down in malice."
Escape from Riot, Counting the Ballots. Retreat from Laurens.