Kershaw County Confederate Soldier's Narrative

 

Rhame Family Members that Served During the Civil War

 

Although not all Rhame families were slave owners, the family had been southerners for over 100 years by the time the Civil War began.  Most were at least 3rd generation South Carolinians, descending from Jeremiah Rhame who came to South Carolina from Virginia in the 1740s.  At least 10 members of the extended Rhame family were slave owners, owning about 250 slaves amongst themselves.  Those that owned slaves can be broke into two geographical groups – the Charleston Rhame family and the Sumter/Clarendon County Rhame family.  It appears there was no wavering in the Rhame family as to which side to fight for – all ten of the South Carolina Rhame men that enlisted fought on the Confederate side, as did their distant cousins in North Carolina, Florida and Louisiana.  Of these ten men one lost his life in battle, and possibly two or three others who disappear from the records after the war.  Every Rhame man between the age of 15 and 45 that we have identified during our research fought during the war except for Dr. Obadiah C. Rhame of Charleston, who no doubt served in the local hospitals, and Zebulon A. Rhame who was in a lunatic asylum by 1860 (keep in mind that the feeble minded were often committed so he was not necessarily insane). 

 

Fighting along side many of our Rhame ancestors were their cousins by marriage – the Inabinet, Timmon, Rumph, Holladay, Ridgeway and many more families.  A few  of the Rhame men met the father or brother of their future wives during the war.  According to family stories, the Civil War and its aftermath were devastating times for many in the family. Like other plantation owners throughout the South the Rhame family found it a challenge to work their land without the benefit of slave labor. 

 

After the Civil War there is also a migration of Rhame family members within South Carolina.  Prior to the war the majority of the family lived in St James Goose Creek Parish (Charleston), Clarendon (Clarendon County) and Sumter (Sumter County).  After the war they can be found living in Calvary, Concord, Friendship, Manning and Sammy Swamp (Clarendon County); Lynchburg, Sumter and Rafting Creek (Sumter County) and St Johns, Berkley (Charleston County – but would become Berkley County). 

 

The majority of the slaves freed from the Rhame family Plantations that took the surname Rhame resided in Clarendon County, with two small pockets in Abbeville and Sumter County.  The 1870 census for South Carolina lists 65 blacks with the surname Rhame.  A few of the older blacks stayed with their former masters.  There were no men with the surname of Rhame serving with the US Colored Troops during the war

 

It wasn’t only the men away fighting that faced adversity and violence.  During the war Union troops under General Edward Potter moved through the Clarendon area, burning several plantations and conducted raids in Sumter, with a skirmish being fought at Dingle's Mill on April 9, 1865. 

 

Civil War Service Sgt. George W. Rhame

 

George W. Rhame was about 40 years old when the Civil War began, a pretty advanced age for a solider.  George was the son of Asa Benoni Rhame and Margaret Mims.  He had three older brothers, the eldest of which appears to have inherited the family plantation in St. James Goose Creek Parish, near Charleston.  George purchased a small amount of land in St Johns Berkley Parish (also near Charleston) and in 1860 he had five slaves, land valued at $1,000 and a $5,125 household value.  The 1860 census is the last time we see George mentioned in any records other than his Civil War service, so he probably dies during or just after the war, although cause is unknown.

 

George is listed as having served in three units during the war.  His first unit was probably Simons’ Company, SC Volunteers (Etiwan Rangers), a small home guard unit commanded by Captain Keating Simons’ and formed in early 1862.  The unit was raised in the Charleston District and tasked to protect Heyward’s Landing on James Island, SC.  George enlisted as a Private and held the rank of Sergeant when he mustered out.

 

His next unit was 6th (Manigualt’s) Battalion, SC Volunteers, a unit with a mixture of infantry, artillery and cavalry.  George was in Company A, St. James Santee Mounted Riflemen.  In 1863 this unit would become part of the 5th SC Cavalry Regiment (Ferguson’s).  After the reorganization George was in Company E.  For a time it served in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, then in March, 1864, moved to Virginia with 1,200 effectives. Assigned to Butler's Brigade, the regiment fought in The Wilderness Campaign, the battles about Cold Harbor, and south of the James River. Later it was active in the campaign of the Carolinas and attached to Logan's Brigade. The 5th Cavalry surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. Its commanding officers were Colonels Zimmerman Davis, John Donovant, and Samuel W. Ferguson; Lieutenant Colonels J.C. Edwards and Robert J. Jeffords; and Major Joseph H. Morgan.

 

 

Civil War Service Sgt. George Sinkler Rhame

 

George Sinkler Rhame was the son of Joseph Rhame and Ellen Simbecker.  He was born 03 Sep 1835 and raised in Sumter, SC.  His father died when George was just five months old and his mother remarried in 1849 to Madison Monroe Francis.  George married Leonora Florella Bradley about 1859 and had already started a family by the time the Civil War broke out.  He was not a slave owner but owned a small farm with a property value of $500 in 1860 (his household value was $6,000).

 

George joined the CSA during the winter of 1861-1862 when recruitment for the 20th Infantry Regiment (Kershaw’s Brigade) was being held in Sumter, Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties.  Although George mustered into Company G as a Private, he eventually held the rank of 3rd Lieutenant.

 

For some time the unit served in the Charleston area attached to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In the spring of 1864 it moved to Virginia and was assigned to General Kershaw's, Kennedy's, and Conner's Brigade. The 20th participated in the Battle of Cold Harbor, saw action in the Shenandoah Valley with Early, and ended the war in North Carolina. On Morris Island from July 10 to September 6, 1863, it lost 9 killed and 24 wounded. During this time, on August 29, the regiment reported 24 officers and 283 men present for duty. At the Battle of Bentonville it sustained 7 casualties and on March 23, 1865, totaled 243 effectives. They surrendered on April 26. The field officers were Colonels Stephen M. Boykin, Laurence M. Keitt, Lieutenant Colonels Olin M. Dantzler and Paul A. McMichael, and Majors Mimms and John M. Partlow.

 

Also serving in the 20th Regiment was  PVT Thomas B. Rhame, 1st cousin to George.  On a side note, George would name his second son Boykin Wilson Rhame in 1879, indicating that he Colonel Stephen M Boykin had earned his respect. 

 

After the Civil War George returned home and for a time the family lived in Bradford Springs, Sumter County, near his wife’s family.  In 1870 George lists his household and real estate property value as $480.00.  He is once again farming.  In 1880 George, Laura and their growing brood are living in DeKalb, Kershaw County, South Carolina.  George is still a farmer and eldest son, Joseph Sumter, is a store clerk. By 1900 Leonora has passed away and George, with 5 of his children, is living in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. There is no occupation listed for George (who is 64) but his three sons, John, Boykin and George A. are all store clerks. George dies in 1905 and is buried in the Quaker Cemetery near Camden.

 

 

Civil War Service Pvt. Thomas Benjamin Rhame and Sgt. Joseph Francis Rhame

 

Joseph and Thomas B. were the sons of John Coleman Rhame, Sr. and Martha Barlett Saunders.  They were born and raised in Sumter.  Both Joseph and Thomas served in at least three different units during the war, two of which they both belonged to.  They had four younger brothers, none of whom served during the war.

 

It is not known what dates the brothers were in each unit, but both survived the war. After the war Joseph married Eugenia Hodges and moved to Manning, Clarendon County.  Joseph and Eugenia remained childless and died about 1910 in Manning.

 

Thomas possibly met his future bride during the war while stationed in Florida.  Catherine (Kate) Harley was the daughter of Edmund A Harley, formerly of South Carolina, and Rachael Rouse of Alabama.  Edmund moved to Florida in the 1830s and had a large plantation in Leon County, Florida.  A few years after the war ended Thomas married Catherine in Florida where they lived until about 1888 when Catherine died.  Thomas then moved back to Lynchburg, Sumter County, SC and marries for the second time to a lady named Carrie.  Thomas and Carrie both die between 1910-1920 in Sumter.

 

Units that the brothers served with are:

 

v      3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion)

(Thomas served in Companies G & K, while Joseph served in Companies E, G & K) 3rd Artillery Battalion, known at the Palmetto Battalion, was organized in December, 1861. Its members were from the counties of Allendale, Richland, Charleston, Georgetown, and Kershaw. For some time the unit served in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but the companies were frequently detached. Companies A, D, E, G, H, I, and K took part in the battles in and around Charleston. A, G, H, I, and K were included in the surrender of the Army of Tennessee, and D, E, and F disbanded after the evacuation of Charleston. Company B served in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana and the Army of Tennessee, fought at Jackson, saw action in the Atlanta, Tennessee, and North Carolina Campaigns. It surrendered on April 26, 1865. Company C was assigned to the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, Army of Tennessee, and the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. It fought at Charleston, Jackson, and Chickamauga, then served at Mobile and surrendered in May, 1865. The field officers were Colonel Edward B. White and Lieutenant Colonel William H. Campbell.

v      Company C, Manigault's Battalion, South Carolina Artillery

 

(Joseph and Thomas both served in this company. Joseph was the Company Quartermaster Sergeant.) 18th Heavy Artillery Battalion [often called the Siege Train Artillery Battalion] was organized during the spring of 1862 with three companies. Many of the men were from Charleston. It was assigned to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and fought at Fort Sumter, Grimball's Landing, Battery Wagner, James Island, and John's Island. In June, 1864, Company C was transferred to Pegram's Battalion of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia and was active in the Petersburg siege. That December it returned to the battalion which later served as infantry in the Army of Tennessee. It surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Majors Charles Alston, Jr. and Edward Manigault.

 

v      Company D, 2nd Regiment, SC Infantry (Palmetto Regiment)

(Joseph served as Private, Musician in this unit) 2nd Infantry Regiment [also called 2nd Palmetto Regiment] completed its organization near Richmond, Virginia, in May, 1861. The men were from Columbia, Camden, and Charleston, and the counties of Sumter, Richland, Greenville, Kershaw, and Lancaster. After fighting in Bonham's Brigade at First Manassas, the unit served under Generals Toombs, Kershaw, Kennedy, and Conner. It participated in many conflicts of the army from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor except when it was detached with Longstreet at Chickamauga and Knoxville. The 2nd was active in Early's Shenandoah Valley operations and ended the war in North Carolina. It reported 5 killed and 43 wounded at First Manassas, and lost eighteen percent of the 338 at Savage's Station, twenty percent of the 203 at Malvern Hill, thirty-seven percent of the 253 at Sharpsburg, and forty-one percent of the 412 at Gettysburg. The regiment sustained 10 casualties at Bentonville and totaled 184 men on March 23, 1865. It surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. The field officers were Colonels Ervine P. Jones, John D. Kennedy, and Joseph B. Kershaw; Lieutenant Colonels Franklin Gaillard, A.D. Goodwyn, and William Wallace; and Major Benjamin R. Clyburn.

v      Company G, 20th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (Company G)

 

(Thomas served in this unit) Commanded by Captain A. Moseley and later Captain R.L. Herriott, the men of Company G came from Sumter.  The 20th South Carolina was organized on January 11, 1862 in response to the call for an additional 12,000 troops from South Carolina. Ten companies were formed in the central part of the state and elected officers. The regiment departed for Charleston on January 13th. Unlike many units that were rushed to the front, this unit remained in camp drilling for several months. While many units fought themselves out in the middle years of the war, the 20th South Carolina lost more of their men in relatively obscure battles in the last year of the war. Morris Island, First Deep Bottom, Hupp's Hill, Cedar Creek, and Bentonville are not on the agenda of modern tourists who flock to the battlefield parks.


On March 4, 1862 the unit moved to James Island near Secessionville and served on guard and picket duty. At an unknown date they relocated on Sullivan's Island and four companies manned the siege guns on Battery Marshall. On April 7, 1863 they under went bombardment from Union ironclads. By October 20, 1863 their headquarters was at Mt. Pleasant.


During the long period of fighting on Morris Island that summer, they would take their turn at picket duty, coming over by steamer after dark and returning the next moming. On July 14, they lost 4 killed and 8 wounded. On the night of August 30 while returning from Morris Island, the steamer was forced into the main shipping channel because of low water. The ship was mistaken for an enemy ironclad and came under heavy bombardment from the Confederate batteries. Many of the panic stricken men leaped off the steamer as the captain tried to beach it. Luckily, the water was shallow enough that most of the jumpers could touch bottom and waded to shore. The regiment lost 16 killed, either injured by the shells or drowned. Between the 31st and August 7, they lost 1 killed and 6 wounded and between the 15th and 23rd they lost another 2 killed and 11 wounded.

On May 25, 1864, the regiment departed for Richmond to join Kershaw's Brigade. They arrived on the lines on the 30th. The regiment was so big, at least a 1,000 soldiers, that the men called it the "Twentieth Army Corps." After the bloodiest three weeks of the war, many regiments in Lee's army had around 100 men left. Although he had no previous combat experience, Lawrence M. Keitt as colonel of the 20th South Carolina took command of the brigade.


On the next evening, May 31st, Yankee cavalry captured the important crossroads at Cold Harbor. Lee ordered General Robert Hoke's Division to cooperate with Kershaw's Brigade in recapturing the intersection, a seemingly easy task for infantry against cavalry. But these Federal horseman stood behind trenches with repeating rifles and Hoke failed to cooperate. The inexperienced Keitt, "like a knight old" led the brigade forward with the equally inexperienced 20th South Carolina in front. Almost immediately, Keitt mortally wounded and the 20th South Carolina broke. As the panic stricken Carolinians ran to the rear, it forced Kershaw's veterans to also give way. It was not a good start. The regiment lost 10 killed, 44 wounded and 6 missing - their worst losses of the war. By the 4th of June, 2 more had been killed and 8 wounded.

Lieutenant Stephen Madison
Boykin was promoted to colonel and took command of the regiment. After spending two weeks in the trenches at Cold Harbor, the army shifted to Petersburg. The arrival of Kershaw's Brigade on June 19th helped save the day for the Confederacy. Between June 5 and 24, they lost 7 killed and 18 wounded. On July 27-29, they were again heavily engaged at Deep Bottom north of the James River losing 5 killed, 46 wounded, and 11 missing. In early August the brigade was shifted to the Shenandoah Valley where they were only slightly engaged, but lost several key officers. The bloodiest week of the war occurred between October 13 and 19. At Hupp's Hill on the 13th they lost 14 killed and 55 wounded. Six days later at Cedar Creek, after an initial Southern success, the Union counterattacked. Outflanked, the Confederates began to fall back. The retreat soon became a rout with Federal cavalry in hot pursuit. Colonel Boykin and Lieutenant Colonel Paul A. McMichael of the 20th South Carolina were among the captured. They lost 11 killed, 76 wounded (many of them captured) and 59 Missing (captured).


In early December the brigade returned to the Richmond area and a month later had the honor of being sent to defend their native state against Sherman. For the rest of January and most of February the brigade alternated between the front lines along the Salkehatchie River and Charleston. Sherman cleverly turried the Salkehatchie line and then forced the Southerners to abandon Charleston. After a brief stand near Cheraw, the brigade was engaged at Averasboro and Bentonville where the depleted ranks of the 20th South Carolina lost seven men. They were part of General Joe Johnston's surrender at the Bennett House near Durham, North Carolina on April 26, 1865. On May 2nd the survivors received their paroles at Greensboro and returned home.

 

 

Civil War Service 1st Lieutenant John Boyd Rhame

 

John was born in Sumter about 1839 to Abel Davis Rhame, Sr. and Dorcas M. Boyd.  He was raised on the family plantation and his father owned between 30-40 slaves.  His father died in 1851 and John took over running the family plantation.

 

John is the only Rhame family member who’s death while serving during the war is confirmed. His name appears on the Sumter District Monument to the Confederate Dead.  The exact date of his death is unknown, but the general location is not.  John died near Culpepper, Virginia and is buried in a mass grave of Confederate dead.  From the beginning of the war a Confederate Cemetery was established in Culpepper on the old Jameson estate.  All the graves were marked with wooden boards giving the name, company, regiment and state of the dead.  In all there were 357 soldiers interred in the cemetery.  In 1880 all the bodies were removed to the Citizen’s Cemetery, West of Culpepper, and interred in one mound, which was marked with a beautiful granite shaft that was simply marked with the words “In Memory of Our Confederate Dead”.

 

John served in two units during the war.  His first enlistment was with Christopher’s Company (Parish Mounted Rangers) where he served as a 1st Lieutenant with Captain John Christopher.  This unit fell under the 1st (Martin’s) SC Mounted Militia Regiment.  The company was mustered in November 1861 and moved from Goose Creek to a fortification on Charleston Neck in January 1862.  The company was relieved from duty on 13 February 1862 and John then joined Company C (Manning Guards, most members from Sumter) of Hampton’s Legion.  Hampton’s Legion initially boasted a large number of South Carolina's leading citizens, including future generals J. Johnston Pettigrew, Stephen Dill Lee, Martin W. Gary, and Matthew C. Butler. Originally, the Legion was comprised of six companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and one of light artillery. The infantry and cavalry fought in the First Battle of Manassas, where Colonel Hampton suffered the first of several wounds during the war.

 

The various elements of the Legion fought in most of the major Eastern operations of 1862, including the Peninsula, Northern Virginia, and Maryland campaigns, suffering substantial losses. Battered at Antietam, the much depleted Legion infantry was sent to the rear and performed garrison duty for months while refitting and recruiting. It did not participate actively in the early part of the Gettysburg Campaign (unlike the cavalry and artillery elements, which played a major role in several battles during the campaign). It fought a minor rear-guard action at Boonsboro, Maryland, during the army's retreat from Gettysburg. It returned to action in the fall of 1863 in Longstreet's Corps during the Battle of Chickamauga and the subsequent Chattanooga campaign. The Legion infantry later returned to Virginia and rejoined Robert E. Lee's army. In March 1864, it was converted to mounted infantry and reassigned to Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry brigade. It harassed Federal supply depots throughout northern Virginia, and fought in several actions during the lengthy Siege of Petersburg.

 

What was left of the Hampton Legion infantry surrendered with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in early April 1865. The South Carolina cavalry regiment and the horse artillery (by then renamed as Halsey's Battery after Hart's wounding) participated in the Carolinas Campaign with General Hampton and surrendered at Bennett Place in North Carolina along with the rest of General Joseph E. Johnston's forces on April 26.

 

 

Civil War Service Private James O. Rhame

 

James O. Rhame was the son of Warren and Mary Ann Rhame.  He was born about 1815 in Sumter County.  The family plantation was located in the Sumter area and in 1850 had 22 slaves working the land.  It is not clear if Warren and Mary Ann relocate to Clarendon County sometime between 1860-1806, or if counties boundaries were changed, but they are listed  as living in Clarendon County on the 1860 census and only own 1 slave.  Warren dies during the Civil War years and in 1870 only Mary Ann, along with her 70 year old mother-in-law are living in Clarendon County.  There is no record of James O. after the Civil War; he either died during the war or shortly thereafter.

 

James, like his first cousin once removed, James Boyd Rhame, also serves in Company C of Hampton’s Legion. (See the section on James Boyd Rhame for details on the units history.)

 

 

Civil War Service Private James Edward Rhame and Private William Francis Rhame

 

Once again we have a pair of Sumter brothers that both served.  James and William were the only sons of Bryant Francis Rhame and Argent Barrett.  Although their father was a school teacher, he also farmed and the family owned five slaves in 1850.  Bryant valued education and in 1860 all three of his children were attending college.  John was studying medicine.  It is possible that John was a casualty of the war as no record of him can be found after his joining up.  William did survive the war and returned to Sumter to marry Catherine Hortensa Dupre on 30 Nov 1865.  In 1880 William was working as the School Commissioner and in 1900 he worked at a bank.

 

William, like his cousins James O. and James Boyd Rhame, joins Hampton’s Legion, serving in Company B (Cavalry).  On August 22, 1862, the cavalry Battalion was assigned to 2nd Regiment of South Carolina Cavalry. Brother James Edward also joins the 2nd Regiment.  William serves in Company K and John in Company A.

 

The unit served under the command of Generals Hampton, M.C. Butler, P.M.B. Young, and Gary. It fought with the Army of Northern Virginia at Second Manassas, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, Second Winchester, Upperville, Gettysburg, Bristoe, Mine Run, Todd's Tavern, The Wilderness, Ground Squirrel Church, and Brooks' Church. In May, 1864, the Infantry Battalion of Hampton's South Carolina Legion was mounted and united with the 2nd Cavalry. It was then redesignated the Hampton South Carolina Cavalry Legion. After fighting at Cold Harbor, it participated in numerous conflicts south and north of the James River and the Appomattox operations. This unit contained 220 effectives at Brandy Station, took 186 to Gettysburg, and surrendered 14 officers and 225 men. Its commanders were Colonels Matthew C. Butler and Thomas J. Lipscomb, and Lieutenant Colonels W.K. Easley, Frank Hampton, and Thomas E. Screven.

 

 

 

Civil War Service Private Thomas A. Rhame

 

At this time the father of Thomas A. Rhame is unknown, but he was born about 1815, probably in Sumter County.  His mothers name was Sarah and she was born about 1783 in North Carolina.  In 1850 the family is living in Sumter, and in 1860 the family is living in Clarendon (could have just been a county boundary change).  Thomas A. served with:

 

v      Company A, 14th Cavalry Battalion [also called 1st or 2nd Battalion] was organized early in 1862 with four companies. Many of its members were recruited in the western counties of the state. Serving in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, the unit fought at Pocotaligo and Coosewhatchie where it lost 2 killed, 13 wounded, and 13 missing. During January, 1863, it merged into the 5th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment. Major Joseph H. Morgan was in command.

 

v      Company H, 5th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Ferguson's) was organized in January, 1863, by consolidating the 14th and 17th Battalions South Carolina Cavalry. For a time it served in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, then in March, 1864, moved to Virginia with 1,200 effectives. Assigned to Butler's Brigade, the regiment fought in The Wilderness Campaign, the battles about Cold Harbor, and south of the James River. Later it was active in the campaign of the Carolinas and attached to Logan's Brigade. The 5th Cavalry surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. Its commanding officers were Colonels Zimmerman Davis, John Donovant, and Samuel W. Ferguson; Lieutenant Colonels J.C. Edwards and Robert J. Jeffords; and Major Joseph H. Morgan.

 

 

Civil War Service for 2nd LT Francis (Franklin) M. Rhame

 

FM Rhame was born 1841 in Clarendon County, South Carolina to Abel Davis Rhame, Sr. and Dorcas M. Boyd.  (Rhame Lineage:  Francis M./Abel Davis/Abel/ Jeremiah II/Rev Jeremiah I/ John Remy, I/William Bryon Remy, Sr./Jacob Remy, Sr.)  His father owned a plantation of over 600 acres in the Sammy Creek area (land valued at $3,500 in 1860).  On the 1850 census his father owned 31 slaves and after Abel’s death in 1851, his wife, with the help of her sons, continued running the plantation.  On the 1860 census the family owned 49 slaves and “Frank’s” occupation is listed as clerk.  It appears his older brother John B. dealt with the running of the plantation until the brothers both joined up.  (See write up on John Boyd Rhame for details of his brothers service and death.)

 

2LT Rhame was severely wounded at the Battle of Monocacy in 1864, but recovered.  If judged by its consequences rather than its size, the Battle of Monocacy ranks among the important battles of the American Civil War. Here, July 9, 1864, on a checkerboard of gold wheatfields and green cornfields just outside Frederick, Maryland, Confederate forces under General Jubal Early defeated Union forces under General Lew Wallace. The battle cost Early a day's march and his chance to capture Washington, DC. Thwarted in the attempt to take the capital, the Confederates turned back to Virginia, ending their last campaign to carry the war into the North.

 

After the war (about 1865) Francis marries Abigail (Abby) Keckler from Charleston. They have five known children, three daughters and two sons.  Francis dies in 1877 but Abby lives a long life, dieing in 1902.

The company that Francis joined was raised in Sumter and Clarendon Districts in December 1861 and January 1862, by Captain William Nettles (1810-1875) of Privateer Twp, Sumter District, and was originally Co. A, 2d Bn, later 14th Battalion, SC Cavalry. After June 1862, Nettles was mostly absent from the company due to ill health, and was subsequently discharged from the service in November 1862. The company was then commanded by Captain Richard M. Skinner of Paxville until his death at Nance's Shop, VA, on 24 June 1864, and thereafter by Captain Edward M. Bradham.  Battalion commanders were Major Paul Stroman Felder of Orangeburg District until its reorganization in May 1862, after which it was commanded by Major Joseph H. Morgan.

Co. A, 2d/14th Battalion SC Cavalry Location and Engagement History

 

This company was engaged in the fight at Old Pocotaligo on the 29 of May. Twenty men under Command of Lieut. Skinner posted on the left of the Gardners Corner road & behind the bank of the Canal which crosses the road & near the bridge which was partially destroyed. Guarded the bridge & checked a strong force of the enemy for three hours sustaining meanwhile a close & rapid fire. Lieut. Skinner received a wound in the leg. Private H. J. McLeod was slightly wounded in the retreat. Five others of the Company had been previously detailed under Lieut. Bethune of this company to meet in advance and report the progress of the enemy & returned in time to destroy the bridge before the fight commenced. The remainder of the Company were employed as Horse Holders.

Co. A, 2d/14th Battalion SC Cavalry was reorganized on 18 Jan 1863 and became Co. H, 5th SC Cavalry.  Battalion commanders were Lieutenant Colonel Samuel W. Ferguson of the 28th MS Cavalry, who was then at home in Charleston recuperating from injuries received in a fall from his horse.    However, Ferguson never joined the regiment, and chose instead to return to the western theater, where he was later promoted to brigadier general.    Consequently, Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Jeffords served as acting commander until 28 July 1863, when Colonel John Dunovant was given permanent command.

Although officially designated a regiment, the companies of the 5th SC Cavalry continued to serve as detached commands assigned to coast defense duties at various locations in the Carolinas until March 1864.   At that time, they were ordered to Virginia where the regiment assembled in April and along with the 4th and 6th SC Cavalry Regiments formed Butler's Brigade, Hampton's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.    For the remainder of that year, the regiment was actively engaged as mounted infantry in various actions associated with the defense of Richmond/Petersburg and the vital railroad lines that supplied the Army of Northern Virginia.    Colonel Dunovant retained command until 22 August 1864, when he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of Butler's Brigade.    Lieutenant Colonel Jeffords then commanded the regiment until he was killed at Burgess' Mill on 27 October 1864.    For the remainder of the war, the 5th SC Cavalry was commanded by Captain Zimmerman Davis of Charleston, who was unofficially promoted to colonel on 15 March 1865.

In January 1865, the 5th SC Cavalry was reassigned to Wheeler' s Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee, CSA, and returned to Columbia, South Carolina, under Lieutenant General Wade Hampton to check the advance of Major General William T. Sherman's troops from Georgia.    Thereafter, it was involved in continuous skirmishing with numerically superior Federal forces as they moved inexorably north from Columbia, then across northeastern South Carolina, and finally into central North Carolina.    The 5th SC Cavalry participated in the final battle of the Carolinas Campaign at Bentonville, North Carolina, and provided the escort for General Joseph E. Johnston when he met to discuss surrender terms with General Sherman at the William Bennett House near Durham Station, North Carolina, on 17 April 1865.    The regiment was included in the surrender of cavalry troops at Hillsboro, North Carolina, on 27 April 1865, and its remnants were officially disbanded at Greensboro on 2-3 May 1865.

Available records show that some 1,750 men served in the 5th SC Cavalry and its predecessors during the period 1861-1865.    Of this total, 165 (9.4%) died in service, 125 (7.1%) were wounded, 258 (14.7%) were lost through discharge, desertion, capture, resignation or retirement, and 135 (7.7%) transferred to other units.    The average age at enlistment was 26.8 years

Co. H, 5th SC Cavalry Locations and Engagements:

Other officers in the unit:

 

2d/14th Bn                                  5th Cav

Names                                         Co. A                Co. H           Disposition

Nettles, William                          CPT                                       Dropped, 14 Nov 1862.

Skinner, Richard M.                   2LT/1LT/CPT   CPT              Killed, 24 Jun 1864.

Bradham, Edward Manly           1LT                   1LT/CPT

Bethune, John C.                        2LT                   2LT/1LT

Colclough, J. Henry                    2LT                                        Not reelected, 13 May 1862

Rhame, Francis M.                     2LT                   2LT

Skinner, James D.                       2LT

Williams, M.D., David R.                                    A. A. Surg. Contract Surgeon.