Confederate Officer & Politician James Simons Archive of Documents

Lot of 14 legal documents secretarially signed Simons & Simons, the law firm of James Simons and James Simons, Jr. Most appear to refer to debt judgments; a couple are receipts for payment. Dates from 1868 to 1875.

James Simons (1813-1879) of Charleston, SC, was a lawyer, legislator and militia officer. He served as a brigadier general in the South Carolina militia. He was speaker of the SC house when the War began.

In March, Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was appointed the first general officer of the CSA by Jefferson Davis, and shortly thereafter he took control of South Carolina forces in Charleston, but the main force on duty in the harbor appears to have been state militia. The Confederacy was seizing all Federal assets within its borders, and it was assumed that eventually Fort Sumter would be evacuated. However, since Maj. Robert Anderson had not received orders to do so, he stayed at the newly-constructed fort at the mouth of the harbor to which he had moved his troops from Fort Moultrie the day after Christmas (1860).

After ongoing, and very gentlemanly, negotiations, bombardment of Fort Sumter began on April 12. At some point, a shell hit the flagpole at the fort, and a fire began in the officers' quarters. General James Simons sent Colonel Wigfall, one of Beauregard's aides who was on duty on Morris Island, and private Gourdin Young to the fort to ascertain whether Major Anderson was surrendering, which, of course, he eventually did. In Beauregard's report to headquarters dated 27 April 1861, he acknowledges General Simons and his troops on Morris Island several times.

James Simons, Jr. (1839-1919) attended South Carolina College and the University of Leipzig, returning to South Carolina in 1860. When war began, he served as captain and colonel in the Confederate Army. After the war, he and his father set up their law practice. He also served the state legislature and was speaker of the House from 1882-1891. He was also active in the Society of Cincinnatus, being president of the state society in 1898 and vice president of the national organization in 1902.

Condition:Variable, overall with expected folds, toning and soiling.

Estimate: $600 - $800


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