Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 86

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Page 86

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 86
rifles, and twenty-five cannon, mostly brass. The
State may therefore be regarded as prepared to arm,
at any moment, nearly or quite one-half of her whole
militia force, and to furnish them with ammunition for
perhaps a campaign, without incurring any new ex-
pense ; while the men she can bring into the field are
probably better qualified to render efficient service
than any citizen soldiery in the world. And it will
cost nothing but your firm adherence to the present
military system to maintain her in this position for the
future.
In fact, the military expenses of the State might, I
think, be materially reduced, and the benefits of one
valuable branch of the present system greatly ex-
tended, by a change which can be readily effected.
There are no good reasons why there should be two
Arsenals in the State, or that they should be placed
at the two most expensive points in it--Charleston
and Columbia. A few hundred stands of arms, given
in charge to the City Councils of these places, would
be all that could be required, if, indeed, they would
be necessary for their protection in an emergency ;
while in such an event the arsenals containing all our
military stores, unprovided as they are with a guard
capable of affording the slightest protection to them,
must necessarily fall into the hands of any active foe.
VI Prudence, therefore, dictates that the arsenals should
be removed from locations where they may be sub-
jected to surprises, and established at some spot in the
interior, less accessible, and at the same time cheaper
and more healthy. Such a spot might be found on
one or the other branch of the rail-road, which now
affords such facilities for transportation that a position