4 Southern Historical Society Papers.
mer and fall of 1865. Many found their families elsewhere, and did not return to the city. Those who finally did so, saw it desolate and uninviting, grass growing in its deserted streets; conflagrations had destroyed large sections of the city; shot and shell had done much dsmage to property. To many it seemed that
" On the tomb of Hope interred, Stood the spectre of Despair."
These were the conditions which the W. L. I. survivors had to face in their former happy and well-appointed homes; poverty was on every hand; the currency of the country had dropped out of sight and use. Of course no military organization was permissible. The first thought was an organization of W. L. I. survivors to help the destitute families of the " unreturning brave."
With the coming in of the new year, on January n, 1866, a meet- ing of W. L. I. survivors was held in the parlors of the Charleston Hotel. Captain James M. Carson presided, and Sergeant W. M. Muckinfuss acted as secretary. The object of the meeting was an- nounced by Captain Carson to be the organization of the " W. L. I. Charitable Association," to assist the families of those W. L. I.'s who had fallen or were disabled in the late struggle. This was voted unanimously, and the following committee elected to prepare the necessary papers, draft of constitution, &c. : Captain J. M. Carson, Colonel C. H. Simonton, Lieutenant H. B. Olney, William E. Holmes and W T illiam E. Proctor.
This committee reported to a meeting held at the Masonic Hall on 22d February, 1866, and proceeded to organize "The W. L. I. Charitable Association," and elected the following officers:
1866 J. M. Carson, President; C. H. Simonton, Senior Warden, H. B. Olney, Junior Warden; J. L. Honour, Secretary and Treas- urer.
In the subsequent years the following officers were annually elected:
1867 J. M. Carson, President; H. B. Olney, Senior Warden; Samuel J. Burger, Junior Warden; J. L. Honour, Secretary and Treasurer.
!868 J. M. Carson, President; H. B. Olney, Senior Warden; H. I. Greer, Junior Warden; J. L. Honour, Secretary and Treasurer.