Pvt Samuel L Johnston

21 February 2021

Here’s Private Samuel Lee Johnston who enlisted a month after his 17th birthday as a Private in Company E – the Indian Land Tigers – 17th South Carolina Infantry in November 1861. Johnston’s is one of the few happy-ending stories I’ve seen recently: he survived the fight at Turner’s Gap on 14 September 1862 and the rest of the war without apparent injury, and went home in April 1865 after the surrender at Appomattox Court House.

He lived to be 75 and had at least 9 children with two wives.

His photograph is a garage sale find shared on his Findagrave memorial by user Lanie in 2014.

Private Henry Jonathan Coleman, Jr was one of at least 8 Coleman brothers in Company B of the 17th South Carolina Infantry during the war. Four of them did not survive it.

Henry was wounded at Turner’s Gap on South Mountain in September 1862 but did survive the war, and he married Harriet Elizabeth Porter in 1866. They had 6 children. Their undated photographs here were shared by Angela Christine Saunders, online in the Family Search database.

Military execution

19 February 2021

At the end of his life Henry Jerome, known as Pete, was “a man of mature years, short in stature, and of quiet demeanor.”

He was born and raised in Connecticut, but married a South Carolina woman, had three children with her, and lived in South Carolina before the war. He enlisted as a Private in Company A of the 17th South Carolina Infantry in November 1861 and was wounded at 2nd Manassas in August 1862. He was in action at Turner’s Gap on South Mountain, MD on 14 September, but was listed as a deserter on the 18th.

In December 1863 he returned to his Company from his second time being absent without leave and he was executed for desertion in May 1864. The clipping [pdf] above is from the Edgeville Advertiser of 11 May 1864, online from the Library of Congress.

At the end of his after-action Report, above, Captain W.T. Poague listed the wounds the men of his battery suffered at Sharpsburg in September 1862. “I cannot avoid entertaining a feeling of pride in having the command of such men,” wrote Captain Pogue.

Last on the list is the man pictured here, Private William Henry Effinger, whose injury is described in the title of this post.

This handwritten original of Poague’s report and accompanying casualty list are from Confederate States Army Casualty Lists and Narrative Reports in Record Group 19, National Archives, online from fold3. Effinger and the other men listed have pages on AotW.

Private Effinger’s 1857 picture is an etching after a photograph in the Dickinson College Archives.

The last man on Colonel Edwards‘ casualty list for the 13th South Carolina Infantry (above) is not-yet 19 year old Private Jeremiah Wynn Morgan. He survived wounds at Sharpsburg and Gettysburg to go home, get married, and have 7 children, but he died young at age 34 in 1874.

The only man in the regiment killed outright at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 was Private William B Quinn of Company I, a 38 year old farmer from Spartanburg.

This list is among Confederate States Army Casualty Lists and Narrative Reports in Record Group 19, National Archives, online from fold3. Each of the men on it have a page on AotW.

My current priority is to dig deeper to find soldiers killed on the Maryland Campaign of 1862 that I have missed in previous research.

At the moment I’m using Confederate States Army Casualty Lists and Narrative Reports (RG 109, NARA), in particular a list of the casualties in the 23rd South Carolina Infantry at Manasssas, South Mountain, and Sharpsburg in August and September 1862. A portion above. It may have been written by Captain S.A. Durham of Company H, who led the regiment early in the Campaign, (or his Adjutant) to accompany his after-action Reports of 16 October 1862.

I’m just getting started but I am already sorry to find young Private Newell N Hargrove on it. He was just 17 when he was killed at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

Bolivar Height Oct 3rd, 1862

17 February 2021

Lieutenant William Frances Smith of Company D, First Delaware infantry wrote home to his mother after Antietam. The letter, seen above, was recently sold by Museum Quality Americana and brought to my attention by John Banks. William Smith also kept a diary during the war, below, and that sold at auction in January 2020.

Pvt Basil M Stedman

15 February 2021

Private Basil Manly Stedman of the 48th North Carolina Infantry was mortally wounded and captured at Sharpsburg in September, and died in a Frederick, MD hospital on 19 October 1862. This announcement is from the Fayetteville Semi-Weekly Observer of 29 December 1862, online from newspapers.com.

All three sons in this family died in the War. His third brother, David, died at Bentonville, NC in April 1865.

Captain James Archbald led his Company, “I” of the 132nd Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at the Sunken Road – later called “Bloody Lane” at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Two days later he wrote a friend about it …

.. we were ordered forward to the crest of a hill [overlooking the sunken road] where we found the 108th New York; we walked over them, for they were lying down, with but few exceptions, firing from that position. Here we fought for four and a half hours, until we had fired 60 rounds and some of the cartridges of the dead and wounded.

Our bayonets were fixed for a charge upon the rifle-pits of the rebels and the corn-field occupied by them. Just at this point the Irish Brigade came to our relief and we were ordered to the rear …

His obituary is from the Scranton Tribune of 6 October 1910. His wartime picture, below, is from Hitchcock’s War from the Inside : the Story of the 132nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry … 1862-1863 (1904). Thanks to EJ Murphy for the pointer to Archbald via Twitter.

Joseph P Johnson

20 January 2021

This is First Sergeant Joseph P “Little Joe” Johnson of Company C, 15th Massachuysetts Infantry, possibly in his pre-war militia uniform. He was mortally wounded at Antietam on 17 September 1862 and died in a Washington, DC hospital on 4 October. His photograph is from Susan Harnwell on her superb 15th Massachusetts Infantry website.