Here’s Lawrence Houston Scruggs in a photograph taken in October 1862 after he’d been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment, the 4th Alabama Infantry.

He enlisted as a Private in his hometown of Huntsville in May 1861, and was successively promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain by September of that year. He commanded the regiment in combat at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 as senior officer still standing until he was wounded there in the East Woods about 8 am.

Very shortly afterward, on 30 September, he was promoted to Major and just two days later, Lieutenant Colonel. He was afterward in command of the 4th Alabama to their surrender at Appomattox in April 1865.

His photograph is in the Alabama Archives.

This scrap of paper documents the issue of artillery ammunition on 15 September 1862 by Captain Edwin Taliaferro, Ordnance Officer on Major General Lafayette McLaws’ staff, to 2nd Lieutenant George J Newton of the Troup (GA) Artillery, also a subject of the previous post. Newton and his battery were among McLaws’ Division Artillery on the Maryland Campaign.


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This was obviously hastily written – both men were certainly very busy that day. It took me a minute to decipher that scrawl enough to tell what type of rounds they were: I think it reads “128 Rounds Parrot Ammunition.” The Troup artillery was equipped with 2 smooth-bore guns and 2 10-pounder Parrot rifles on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.

I found this document among Lieutenant Newton’s Consolidated Service Records (CSR) in the National Archives; my copy online via fold3.

By way of evidence that the handwriting above is Captain Taliaferro’s, here’s a requisition of his dated 18 September, the day after the great and terrible fight at Sharpsburg, requesting Parrott shell and 3-inch rifle shell rounds “immediately needed for the supply of this command (McLaws’ Division) as none remain on hand.” Desperate times.


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This paper is from Taliaferro’s CSR jacket, as are hundreds of similar documents and correspondence concerning issue of and accounting for ordnance stores during his service as an ordnance officer from 1862 into 1865.

A 25 year old professional photographer from Athens, GA, Columbus Washington Motes was First Lieutenant and commanded a section – two rifled guns – of the Troup (Georgia) Artillery on the Maryland Campaign of 1862. On 14 September he helped muscle his guns to the crest of Elk Ridge then down the ridge to Maryland Heights overlooking Harpers Ferry, where they contributed to the bombardment of the Federal positions in and around the town. The garrison surrendered the next day.

He fought his guns again near the Dunker Church at Sharpsburg on the 17th. He was seriously wounded there, at first refusing to leave the field. As his Captain Henry H. Carlton later remembered it:

[H]e came to me, his arm dangling by his side, and covered with blood and said: “Captain Carlton, what do you think? The yankees have shot me!” I ordered him to the rear, but he returned to his post, and in a few moments I heard: “Captain Carlton, the yankees have shot me again!” This time he was badly wounded in the hip, and was borne to the rear on a caisson.

He had recovered and returned to duty by the end of the year, and on 3 January 1863 the other three officers of the battery, Captain Carlton and Lieutenants Jennings and Newton constituted a Board of Survey and Appointment “to assess the value of a horse belonging to Lt Motes which was killed in action @Sharpsburg Md Sept. 17th, 1862.”

The findings of the Board (they filled in “Two Hundred” as the amount, which is hard to read) as approved by brigade commander Wofford:


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He did collect the $200 for his horse, late in 1863, by which time good horses were worth as much as 10 times that amount. I do not know what he paid for a replacement.

Lieutenant Motes was probably carrying this image of his sweetheart in Maryland, as he apparently did through the war:

She’s Emily F “Emma” White, also of Athens. Motes was briefly married before the war and had a daughter born in 1857, but his wife died by 1861. He married Emma shortly after the war, in 1866, and they spent most of the rest of their lives making photographs in Atlanta.


Notes

Thanks to Jim Rosebrock for the pointer to Lieutenant Motes in his excellent book Artillery of Antietam (2023), published by the Antietam Institute, which got me started on the Lieutenant.

The Carlton quote above is from the Atlanta Constitution of 11 May 1890, when Carlton was US Congressman from Georgia.

The findings of the Board of officers is from Motes’ Compiled Service Record jacket at the National Archives; I found it online from fold3.

The ambrotypes of Columbus and Emma, above, are from the Atlanta Historical Society’s Journal of Summer, 1981. The text accompanying them on pages 42 and 43 reads:

C.W. Motes (1837-1919) and Emma White Motes (c.1830- c.1890)

” . . . a small red morocco case, containing a Collodion portrait ofthe girl he left behind him, was valued by him above gold and precious stones.” Written in 1855 to describe a soldier of the Crimea and the photograph he carried with him, this quotation could as easily have been ascribed to soldiers of the American Civil War and the photographs of loved ones that they carried. Columbus W. Motes of Athens, Georgia, a first lieutenant, then captain [sic], with the Troup County Artillery, carried a small ninth-plate ambrotype with him throughout the war. “Presented by Miss Emma White, 1861,” the photograph carries with it the almost traditional tale of having halted bullets intended for its bearer. Miss White’s ambrotype survived the war in excellent condition and was brought to Atlanta one decade later by the captain and Emma, who were married in 1866.

While in Athens, Motes, an artist, had begun the business of photography with a man named White, possibly Emma’s brother or father. The photographs reproduced here may have been taken in Athens. It was the photography business that C.W. Motes continued, probably with Emma’s help, in Atlanta in 1872 in a gallery on Whitehall Street, “a favorite resort with lovers of art.” One Atlanta newspaper account written soon after the Moteses’ arrival posed the question of “the real” versus “the ideal” when advising its readers, “whether comely or homely,” to call on Captain Motes, who could “make a very homely face look passable.”

In the 1880s, Motes was awarded a bronze medal in a New York competition for photographs created through a short-lived photographic process called the “chromatype.” He was also known for his photographic sculpture using people posed in well-known scenes from literature and mythology. In 1895 Motes won additional prizes for his photographs exhibited at the Cotton States and International Exposition. Before his death in 1919, he had become one of the city’s most popular portrait photographers. Doing a brisk business until 1907, the Motes gallery survived fire, changes in the public’s taste, and changes in photographic processes to become one of Atlanta’s most successful photography shops.

This is Private Drake Conklin Knapp shortly after he enlisted in Company H of the 51st New York Infantry in September 1862. At 37, he was slightly older than the average new recruit.

About two weeks later he was wounded at Antietam, probably during the charge of the “two 51sts” (NY and PA) across the lower bridge over Antietam Creek.

This photograph, which was once pinned to the wall in the State Capitol building in Albany, is now online thanks to the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, via the New York Heritage portal.

Elanson Knapp Teed enlisted in September 1861 in the 51st New York Infantry, and probably had this picture taken at that time.

He was wounded at Antietam in 1862 and in the Wilderness in 1864, and was promoted successively from Private to First Sergeant by 1865.

This photograph is courtesy of Bill Watts, who probably found it on ebay and shared it on Teed’s memorial.

Private John S Downing of Company B, 51st New York Infantry was wounded at Antietam on 17 September 1862 – probably in the charge over what became known as Burnside Bridge – and survived the war, a Sergeant when he mustered out in July 1865.

After the war, though, his life took a terrible turn. In December 1878 his wife was found dead in their tenement home in Brooklyn, badly beaten, and he was charged with her murder. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and on 17 January 1879 was sentenced to life in prison. He spent the years 1879 through 1903 in Sing Sing Prison in New York.


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He was finally released on New Year’s Day 1904, by then 72 years old, after a pardon – his sentence commuted by New York’s Governor Benjamin B Odell, Jr.

The Governor noted that

Since Downing was convicted, the maximum penalty for manslaughter, first degree, has been reduced by the Legislature to imprisonment for twenty years, and after a careful consideration of the circumstances connected with his offense it seems just that he should receive some benefit from the change.


Notes

The long article here is from the New York Sun of 22 January 1903, page 10, online from the Library of Congress.

This brief notice of his pardon is from the Highland [VA] Recorder of 8 January 1904.

From page 3 of the New York Herald of 23 September 1862:

I’ll be going through this as I revisit the 51st Regiment of New York Infantry.

Thanks to descendant William B Sheldon for sending along his photograph of Lieutenant Alexander E Sheldon, who commanded Company A of the 4th US Infantry on their foray across the middle bridge over Antietam Creek on 17 September 1862.

Falmouth, Va. Aides de camp to Gen. Joseph Hooker: Capts. William L. Candler, Harry Russell, and Alexander Moore (l to r)

This excellent photograph, taken by Timothy O’Sullivan in April 1863, is in the collection of the Library of Congress.

Captains Candler and Moore, then Lieutenants, were with General Hooker in action at Antietam the previous September.

Russell, late of the 47th New York Infantry (not at Antietam), was appointed Captain and ADC, US Volunteers in October 1862. He resigned shortly after Gettysburg and was again an infantry officer 1864-65.

James J Monaghan was about 25 years old when he was fatally wounded by a gunshot to his head at Antietam on 17 September 1862. His treatment and death are found in the following case study published in the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (1870):

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