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Address to the Officers of the Fourth Brigade, Giving the Grounds of His Resignation, Respectfully Submitted to Them by James Simons, July, 1861 (Classic Reprint)

Address to the Officers of the Fourth Brigade, Giving the Grounds of His Resignation, Respectfully Submitted to Them by James Simons, July, 1861 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Address to the Officers of the Fourth Brigade, Giving the Grounds of His Resignation, Respectfully Submitted to Them by James Simons, July, 1861

It is, of course, known to you that I have lately handed, to my superior officer, my resignation as brigadier-general. For near twenty-eight years I have had the honor of holding a commission in the militia of South Carolina, having risen from a lieutenancy, through all the grades, to the rank from which I have lately felt myself constrained to withdraw.

To leave any post of labor or responsibility in the present condition of public affairs, naturally prompts inquiry; but when such is, besides, a military post affording some prospect of honorable distinction in the performance of public duty, it ought to excite much surprise.

I believe that I have, hitherto, discharged my duties in such way as to command the approval of all who have had an opportunity of forming a judgment. Earnestly desiring to retain the good Opinion of those who have been so lately sub jcet to my command, I h'ope you will not regard it as intrusive that I should put before you, as far as considerations of deli cacy and propriety allow, the views and reasons which have governed me in the step just taken. I: ordinary times, a decent regard to the personal consideration due to an official post may fairly be allowed to in?uence us in such questions; but, on occasions of public peril, everything should, in my View, give way to the single consideration of the public service, and it is only when this is involved with considerations of self respect that the latter should be at all regarded.

My conduct, in the present instance, has been determined exclusively with reference to this guide. It was only when, according to my solemn convictions, I could no longer expect to be able to discharge, efficiently, the important duties sup posed to devolve upon me in my official capacity, that I felt myself at liberty to consult my own feelings of self-respect, and withdraw from it.

However reluctantly brought thus to the conclusion, notonly that I could not continue in office, consistently with my own self-respect, and that I had no guarantee that I should be in command of my tr00ps when called into the field, but that from my relations to the Governor and his views of my duties, my efficiency would be materially abridged, if not wholly destroyed - setting aside all personal views and feelings, it did not appear to me that I could have any alternative.

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