Minutes of the Board of Visitors of The Citadel, 1865


Minutes of the Board of Visitors of The Citadel, 1865


Official minutes of the governing body of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.




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The Citadel Board of Visitor Meeting Minutes










Charleston (S.C.)

Date Valid


8 pages ; 32 cm


[Page 1]
Four members of the Board of Visitors of the South Carolina Military Academy, having to the profound regret of all the friends of the institution, resigned their position on the Board, the following named gentlemen were appointed in their stead by His Excellency Gov. Magrath – viz:

Hon. R. J. Davant, Chairman, vice Gen. James Jones Hon. J. W. Harrison, vice Hon. T.C. Perrin
Hon. A. P. Aldrich, vice Wm. Gilmore Simms, LLD Col. W. H. Evans, vice Col. I. D. Wilson

Feb. 4th 1865.

[Page 2]
Executive Office
Columbia, S.C.
Feb. 14, 1865.

A special meeting of the Board of Visitors was held at 7 o’clock P.M.

His Excellency Gov A. G. Magrath
Hon. R. J. Davant, Chairman
Hon. A. P. Aldrich, &
Gen. A. C. Garlington Adjt & Insp’r Genl.

The following resolutions were adopted.

Resolved, That the Chairman of the Board be requested to confer with Capt Thomas and to communicate to him the sense of the Board, that the duties of the Col of the Regt of Details, whereby the command of the State Cadets is relinquished, is not consistent with the duty which the Board owes to the State to secure for the Cadets, especially at a time like this, the presence of that officer who is represented to the State as the head of the Academy.

Resolved, That it is expedient, hereafter to arrange the fiscal concerns of the South Carolina Military Academy in Charleston & Columbia, so that all disbursements for the Academy shall pass through the office of the State Auditor: and for the supply of said Academy, the requisition of the Bursar or Commissary at each, shall be made directly upon the Quartermaster Gen’l & Commissary Gen’l of the State. The repayment for such supplies to be reimbursed to the Bursar of the Qr. Master Gen’l & Commissary Gen’l, from the appropriation by the Legislature & the funds of pay cadets to the Academy.

[Page 3]
Resolved, That all funds received for the Academy, whether from the Legislature or pay cadets, be paid over to the State Auditor and be entered on his books to the credit of the Academy.

Adjourned –

John B. Patrick

Executive Office, Greensville, S.C.
April 27th 1865.

At the request of the Chairman the Board of Visitors met today at 10 A.M.

His Excellency Gov. A. G. Magrath
Hon R. J. Davant, Chairman
Gen’l J. W. Harrison, Col A. P. Aldrich

The following resolutions were adopted.

Resolved, That in view of the present condition of the State, it is expedient to increase the number of Cadets in the two Military Academies to the largest amount capable of receiving instruction from the Professors of these Academies, that such admissions be made by the Chairman of the Board of Visitors: & that the Head Quarters of both of these Academies be established at such places as the Chairman, in consultation with the Governor may select.

Resolved, That it is expedient as soon as possible, so to arrange the camps of instruction for these commands, that the Academic exercises may be resumed.


John B. Patrick

[Page 4]
Columbia, S.C.
Nov. 30, 1865.

Board of V’s S.C.M.A. met.

Present Hon. R. J. Davant, Chairman.
Col. A. P. Aldrich
Col. W. H. Evans
Genl A. C. Garlington
Adj’t & Insp’r Gen’l S.C.

Minutes of last meeting read for information.

Col. Evans submitted the following resolutions which were reserved for consideration at next meeting.

That in view of the condition of the State as to its resources, and the condition of the Military Academy, it is inexpedient to attempt, for the present, to revive it.

Resolved 2nd
That the buildings now standing at the Arsenal and Citadel be rented out for the ensuing year, and the loose material, brick, etc. be sold for the benefit of the State.

Resolved 3rd
That the Gov. be authorized to appoint an agent for that purpose and to pay him suitable compensation for his services.

Board adjourned to meet tomorrow at 5 P.M.

(Signed) J.P. Thomas
Sec. Pro. Tem.

Columbia, S.C.
Dec. 1st 1865.

There was no meeting of the Board today, as there was not a quorum present.

John B. Patrick

[Page 5]
Annual Report.

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, in General Assembly met:

The Act of Assembly to convert the Arsenal at Columbia, and the Citadel and Magazine in and near Charleston, into Military schools, passed in Dec. 1842, requires that the Board of Visitors shall make a report of the condition and management of the schools to the Governor, to be by him laid before the Legislature. A quorum of the Board failed to attend on the day of the annual meeting and upon several other occasions appointed for the adoption of the report: and therefore a minority of the Board respectfully report.

That as early as November in the last years, the Governor as Commander in Chief ordered the Battalion of State Cadets into the field. The Arsenal Cadets returned to Columbia, but the Citadel Cadets were kept on duty in the State until the evacuation of Charleston in February of this year, when they were attached to General Elliott’s Brigade and left South Carolina with General Hardee’s Corps. – when between Fayetteville & Raleigh North Carolina, they were recalled by Governor Magrath, and in obedience to orders reported to him at Spartanburg. They were then stationed at Greenville, where they remained until about the time of General Johnston’s surrender, when both officers and cadets were furloughed by the Governor until further orders. The only information of the Military operations of these cadets is contained in the report made to the Adjutant General of the State in April last,

[Page 6]
which is at Spartanburg with other papers sent to that place for safety, and is inaccessible. Major White has been required by the Chairman of the Board of Visitors to furnish to His Excellency Governor Orr, as well as a copy of the report as a report of the Military operations of the whole Battalion in the field in November and December of the year 1864, to be filed and preserved with the report.

On the night of the sixteenth of February last, the Arsenal officers and cadets retired from the Arsenal under Governor Magrath’s orders, and reported to General Garlington who commanded the State Troops at Columbia (for information, in detail, reference is asked to Captain Thomas’ report, which is herewith submitted) they too reported to the Governor at Spartanburg and were sent to Greenville, when the officers proceeded to establish them in log huts; but the approach of General Stoneman on the first day of May, made it necessary to withdraw them, first, to Ninety-Six; and, afterwards, to Newberry, when on the ninth of May, the Commandant received from Governor Magrath, orders to furlough the Cadets for sixty days, to re-assemble at the expiration of that time, for Academic purposes, at a point which was thereafter to have been designated. Amidst the rapidly occurring causes of excitement at this period, it is not remarkable that all Academic exercises were deferred, nor that since the surrender of General Johnston, no effort has been made to re-organize the Academy.

The buildings connected with the Arsenal at Columbia have been consumed by the torch of the Federal Forces; except the Officers Quarters detached from the main building and several out buildings. These quarters and one of their out buildings have been possessed and occupied, to the present time, by persons who have no connection with the Academy, to the exclusion of some of the Officers of the Academy

[Page 7]
who deserved and were entitled to the possession. These intruders should be ejected and the buildings made profitable to the State. The fencing which enclosed the grounds was destroyed; and on the grounds, in an exposed condition, is a large quantity of brick and some stone which may be sold to advantage.

The buildings connected with the Citadel at Charleston were not materially injured by the Bombardment of the city; but when the Federal troops entered, they took, and still retain them as a Military post.

The personal property of the Citadel Academy consisting of Room, Mess-Hall, Office and Section Room Furniture; records, text books, astronomical and surveying instruments; chemical and philosophical apparatus, cabinet of minerals and library, consisting of about eight thousand (8000) volumes, had been removed to Columbia for safety, and were with all similar property belonging to the Arsenal, consumed in the conflagration of the city.

This circumstance prevents the exhibition of any account of the finances. The salaries of most of the Arsenal Officers were paid to the first day of April last. The Officers of the Citadel, although paid for the first quarter of the present of the present year, appear not to have been paid for the last quarter of the year 1864. There appear to be other sums due to other persons; but the retirement of the State Auditor (through whom the Board had determined to manage all the finances of the Academy) and the destruction or absence of papers baffle every effort to obtain information.

At the time of the surrender, there were in

[Page 8]
the Battalion about 265 Cadets; and on the docket 305 applicants for admission.

In the present financial condition of the State, it is deemed impossible to re-establish the Academy upon any other than a self-sustaining basis. It is supposed, however, that this can be done in the course of the ensuing year, with a small appropriation by the State; and it is suggested that the Board of Visitors be authorized to take the proper steps to accomplish that object.

Respectfully submitted,
(Signed) R. J. Davant
A. C. Garlington
A. P. Aldrich


Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, “Minutes of the Board of Visitors of The Citadel, 1865,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/380.