This is the outside of a 30 October 1863 application submitted by Lieutenant George H Kearse, then commanding Company G of the 17th South Carolina Infantry, concerning Private Jones Frank Jones of his Company. Jones had been wounded by a buckshot through his left hand at Turner’s Gap on South Mountain on 14 September 1862, 14 months before.

It was the second or third such application for discharge made on his behalf.

Regimental commander Colonel Fitz William McMaster passed it along with the following illuminating note:


Hd Qr 17th Reg S.C.
Nov 2nd 1863

Approved and respectfully forwarded –

I made two applications for the discharge of Private Jones last Spring but failed to procure it.

His hand was badly mutilated at Boonsboro Sep 14th 1862 and he has since been an inconvenience to the Regiment. I know him to be a good & faithful soldier anxious to serve his country and hope he will not be compelled to ___ [?] out a miserable existence in camp unable even to attend to his own personal comforts, much less to benefit the service.

F.W. McMaster
Col 17th Reg S.C.

Private Jones was discharged 3 days later.

The inside of the application is shown below. It’s from Jones’ Compiled Service Record at the National Archives.

The capacity of the [US Army Hospital Steamer] ‘Connecticut’ was four hundred patients. She made altogether forty-seven trips and conveyed eighteen thousand nine hundred and nineteen (18,919) patients.

One of those patients was Private George Perry Williams of the 17th South Carolina Infantry. He’d been captured at Petersburg in March 1865 and was a prisoner at Point Lookout, MD. Although probably not previously wounded, in late July he had “partial paralysis of left side of body,” and was sent to a hospital in Washington, DC aboard the Connecticut. He was finally released in August 1865.

George had a tough early life, too. In October 1843, when he was 5, his father Rev. Martin Jones Williams (b. 1806) was murdered – poisoned by arsenic. His mother Sarah Kearse Williams (1807-1865) was tried for the crime but not convicted, for lack of evidence to prove it was her. She later had children with at least 2 men but did not remarry. She was from a wealthy and influential family but by 1850, when George was 12, she’d lost her land and the slaves her father had left her in 1838.

The quote above is from the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (1870), online from the US National Library of Medicine. The picture of the US Army Hospital Steamer Connecticut is from Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War (Vol. 7, 1911), online from the Hathi Trust. Georges’s postwar photo below is from Charles L.D. Carlson, SCV Camp 842.

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Another soldier of the 17th South Carolina got a trip on a USA Hospital Steamer, in May 1865.

Private Nicholas Welsh of Company I was wounded at Turner’s Gap and at the very end of the war at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865, after which he was sent to a hospital in Washington, DC on the State of Maine, seen below. That photograph is from the collection [pdf] of the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

These are Thomas Marion Carroll and 3 of his 11 or 12 children: his youngest, Martha Julia/Jane Carroll (1899-1985), Henderson M. Carroll (1893-1963), and Addie Priscilla Carroll (later Harrison, 1888-1966).

Addie had 7 children of her own, one of whom must have written ‘Mama” on this photograph, which was shared to the Family Search database by a descendant.

Thomas was 17 years old when he enlisted as a Private in Company F of the 17th South Carolina Infantry in November 1861. He was at Turner’s Gap on South Mountain and at Sharpsburg in September 1862 and fought with his regiment until captured at Petersburg, VA in March 1865. He was afterward a farmer in Rutherford County, NC for about 40 years.

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.