South Carolina in the Civil War

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Guide to South Carolina in the Civil War ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, USA, April 1861

Introduction[edit | edit source]

On 20 December 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. The first shots were fired 9 January 1861 by Citadel cadets on a merchant ship taking supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.The April 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumtercaused the official start of the Civil War. [1]

South Carolina provided many troops for the Confederacy. As the war progressed, many ex-slaves joined the Union troops. South Carolina lost 12,922 men in the war which was 23% of its white male population of fighting age, the highest percentage of any state.[1]

South Carolina Military Units[edit | edit source]

Most units were numbered, however, many were named. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and other units.

The information in the lists of South Carolina Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. That web site also can be searched by the name of a soldier.

South Carolina Units by Number or by Name

Confed. Units

South Carolina Units by Type of Unit
Confed. Units

South Carolina Union Units by Number

Union Units

Confederate Flag Flying Over Fort Sumter After the April 1861 Battle

Battles in South Carolina[edit | edit source]

The following list is from and Civil War Battle Summaries by State

- Battle summary, Confederate victory
- National Park
- EyeWitness to, The First Shot of the Civil War
-Doubleday, Abner. Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie, in 1860-'61. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876). Internet Archive.
  • June 16, 1862 Secessionville, also known as the battle of Ft. Lamar or James Island (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
- Battle summary, Union victory
  • April 7, 1863 Charleston Harbor, also known as the battle of Fort Sumter (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
- National Park
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
  • July 16, 1863 Grimball's Landing, also known as the battle of Secessionville or James Island (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Inconclusive victory
  • July 18-September 7, 1863 Fort Wagner, also known as the battle of Morris Island (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
  • Aug 17-Aug 23, 1863? Fort Sumter, also known as the battle of Charleston Harbor or Morris Island (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Inconclusive victory
- National Park
  • September 7-8, 1863 Charleston Harbor, also known as the battle of Battery Gregg or Fort Wagner or Morris Island (Charleston County)
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
- Battle summary, Confederate victory
  • February 3, 1865 Rivers' Bridge, also known as the battle of Owens' Crossroads (Bamberg County)
- Battle summary, Union victory

The South Carolina Civil War Map of Battles [2] has a map showing where the battles occurred and a list of the battles with links to more information about each battle.

Sources and Resources[edit | edit source]

Confederate[edit | edit source]

Service Records[edit | edit source]
  • An index to service records is available for Confederate soldiers (Family History Library films 881967-882001).
  • A published roster of Confederate soldiers is in Alexander S. Salley, Jr., South Carolina Troops in Confederate Service, Three Volumes (Columbia, South Carolina: R.L. Bryan Co., 1913-30; Family History Library book 975.7 M28s; film 982339 Volumes 1-3).
Pension Records[edit | edit source]

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has the compiled service and pension records of Confederate soldiers, musters and payrolls of confederate units, and the 1907 to 1957 records of the Confederate Home. In addition, the Archives has posted an online index to Records of Confederate Veterans 1909-1973 which includes Confederate Pensions 1919-1938. This index is linked to online document images for some of the files.

Helsley, Alexia Jones. South Carolina's African American Confederate Pensioners, 1923-1925. [Columbia, South Carolins]: Alexia J. Helsley, 1998. FHL 975.7 M2he

Confederate Prisoners of War[edit | edit source]

Union[edit | edit source]

There were only a small number Union regiments raised from the state of South Carolina. All were part OF the United States Colored Troops.

Service Records[edit | edit source]

The Compiled Service Records ($) ( of volunteer Union soldiers organized for service with the United States Colored Troops are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. Access to the service records is also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms. The compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, place of birth, and date of death. For more information see Union Service Records.

Pension Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War Pension Index Cards - An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.

1890 Census Veterans Schedules[edit | edit source]

The 1890 Census Veterans Schedules, the "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123) are available online for the state of South Carolina. The schedules list Union veterans and their widows living in South Carolina in 1890. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.

Contraband Camps[edit | edit source]

The web site Last Road to Freedom has information on America's Civil War contraband camps.

There were no known camps in South Carolina, the following plantations were occupied by the Union army: Cole-Gall or Bass Plantation, Grove Plantation, Flag Plantation, Hazel Head Plantation, Dr. E. Furnman's Plantation, Red Bank Plantation, Bushy Park Plantation, Manington Plantation, Melgrove Plantation, Pine Grove Plantation, Midway Plantation, Moss Grove Plantation, Parnassus Plantation, Dan Hall Plantation, Dock Horn Plantation, James Furguson Plantation, Dr. J.R. Motte's Plantation, North Mulberry Plantation, Thomas Fritzer Plantation, Bluff's Planatation, Strawberry Plantation, Rice Hope Plantation, Comingtee Plantation, Buck Hall Plantation, Washington Plantation, and Pauley Plantation. and others in Beaufort and on Hilton Head Island, Otter Island, and Fort Seward

Southern Claims Commission[edit | edit source]

If a Union sympathizer in South Carolina claimed a loss during the Civil War due to Union military confiscation, he could apply to the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement. Only a few applied per county, but their neighbors were called as witnesses and asked dozens of questions. Hundreds of the residents in a county may be mentioned in answers to Commission questions, and their wartime activities described. To learn how to find records mentioning these neighbors in South Carolina counties during the Civil War see the Southern Claims Commission.

Other Source Material[edit | edit source]

  • Index to South Carolina Soldiers from the Internet site, The War for Southern Independence in South Carolina. Eastern Digital Resouces. This is an alphabetical list of known soldiers. Accessed 11/27/2010
  • South Carolina in the Civil War Homepage, Internet site by Mac Wyckoff, accessed 11/29/2010. Lists links to South Carolina Military units, battles, a few names of soldiers and books about the Civil War.
  • Confederate Veterans Present at a 1922 Reunion at Walhalla, South Carolina, Internet site, accessed 11/30/2010
  • Shock Troops of the Confederacy-The Sharpshooter Battalions of the Army of Northern Virginia. by Fred L. Ray. CFS Press Internet site, accessed 11/30/2010. This site lists the table of contents for this book and has a picture gallery of men who were sharpshooters.
  • "South Carolina Infantry Regiments", Internet site, accessed 11/30/2010. This has some information about some of the units and some links to other sites (note: some of the links are no longer valid).
  • Southern Messenger, Internet site, accessed 12/03/2010. This site contains an ancestor memorial where people can post names of those involved in the war. It also has links to other information about the Civil War, pictures and even a 'Project Wave' project where people will display flags in honor of an ancestor.
  • Confederate American Pride, Internet site, accessed 12/03/2010. This site has photos and biographies of Confederate leaders, articles about the Civil War, links and other information.
  • The War of the Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of The Unioin and Conferate Armies" eHistory Internet site, accessed 12/15/2010. Can search by keyword or phrase; find maps, images and other information.
  • War Between the States in South Carolina. Traci Parsons-Holder. Internet site, accessed 12/30/2010. This internet site lists links to histories, soldiers biorgraphies, and other reference material about the Civil War in South Carolina. (Note: not all links are current.)
  • Confederate Army Units formed in South Carolina during the War for Southern Independence, Internet site by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 36 Greenville, S.C., accessed 11/27/2010.
  • Capers, Ellison. Confederate Military History. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899). Google
  • Cauthen, Charles Edward. South Carolina Goes to War, 1860-1865 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1950). Locate Book at WorldCat.
  • Crute, Joseph H. Jr. Units of the Confederate States Army. Midlothian, Virginia : Derwent Books, c1987. Family History Library book 973 M2crua, FHL Collection, WorldCat.
  • Evans, Clement Anselm. Confederate Military History; A Library of Confederate States History (Wilmington, North Carolina : Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1987-1988, c1987-1988), v.5 South Carolina , pages 425-931. A library of Confederate states history, in seventeen volumes, written by distinguished men of the South, and edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia. Volume 5 at FHL 975 M2e 1987 v. 5.
  • Estes, Claud. List of Field Officers, Regiments and Battalions in the Confederate States Army 1861-1865. Macon: The J. W. Burke Company, 1913. Google Books and at the Family History Library FHL Collection book 973 M2Lo, FHL Collection, fiche 6082198 (3 fiche)
  • Flynn, Jean Martin. The Militia in Antebellum South Carolina Society (Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Co., c1991), 200 pages. Book at FHL 975.7 M2f and [
  • Francis Trevelyan Miller, editor-in-chief; Robert S. Lanier, managing editor. The photographic History of the Civil War in 10 Volumes (New York;The Review of Reviews Co., 1911) Thousands of scenes photographed 1861-65, with text by many special authorities. v. 1. The opening battles, v. 2. Two years of grim war, v. 3. The decisive battles, v. 4. The cavalry, v. 5. Forts and artillery, v. 6. The navies, v. 7. Prisons and hospitals, v. 8. Soldier life, secret service, v. 9. Poetry and eloquence of Blue and Gray, v. 10. Armies and leaders. Digital copies at Internet Archives[1]
  • Kirkland, Randolph Withers.Broken Fortunes : South Carolina Soldiers, Sailors and Citzens Who Died in the Service of Their Country and State in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865 (Charleston, South Carolina: South Carolina Historical Society, c1995), 413 pages. Names are in alphabetical order. Book at FHL 975.7 M2k
  • Kirkland, Randolph W. Dark hours: South Carolina Soldiers, Sailors and Citizens Who Were Held in Federal Prisons During the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865 (Charleston, South Carolina: South Carolina Historical Society, c2002), 538 pages. Contains list of 11,238 South Carolinians held in captivity as a result of their service to the Confederacy. Drawing on more than 200 sources, Mr. Kirkland's list includes the individuals' names, ranks, units, where and when they were captured, where they were held, when they were moved, their final dispositions, and sources to assist researchers. Book found at FHL 975.7 M2kr and Other Libraries.
  • Kirkland, Randolph W. Steadfast to the last: South Carolina soldiers and citizens paroled with the army of Northern Virginia and the army of Tennessee at Appomattox C. H. VA and Greensboro, NC April 9th and 25th, 1865, (Columbia, South Carolina: SCMAR, c2008), 212 pages. Contains list of 9,008 South Carolinians paroled at Appomattox and Greensboro, drawing on two principal sources. includes the individuals' names, ranks and positions, units, and where and when they were paroled. Book at FHL 975.7 M2krw and Other Libraries
  • McCaslin, Richard B.  A Photographic History of South Carolina in the Civil War ( Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, c1994) Locate at
  • McCawley,Patrick.Guide to Civil War Records: A Guide to the Records in the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (Columbia, South Carolina: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, c1994), 81 pages. Book at FHL 975.771/C1 J5m and Other Libaries
  • O'Donnell-Rosales, John. Hispanic Confederates. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006. Google Books , FHL Collection, FHL book 973 M2oh, and 2006 edition FHL Collection.
  • Rigdon, John C. South Carolina regimental histories of the American Civil War : & index to South Carolina Civil War soldiers. Clearwater, South Carolina: Eastern Digital Resources, 2006. FHL CD-ROM no. 4269 FHL Collection.
  • Rivers, William J.. Rivers' account of the raising of troops in South Carolina for state and Confederate service, 1861-1865. Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, c1990. FHL Collection, FHL fiche 6082599 (1 fiche).
  • Rivers, William J. Roll of the Dead, South Carolina troops, Confederate States Service.[Columbia, South Carolina]: Public Programs Division, S.C. Dept. of Archives and History, c1995. This book lists many who died while in Confederate service. It is an alphabetical name listing with District, age, rank, company, reigment, date and cause of death. Book found at 975.7 M2rd, FHL Collection and Other Libraries.
  • Rodenbough, Theophilus F. and William L. Haskin, editors. The Army of the United States. New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1896.  Google Books.  Also available at the Internet site, US Army Center of Military History, accessed 12/08/2010. 
  • Salley, A. S.South Carolina troops in Confederate service". Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1990. Google Books- Volume I, Google Books Volume IIFHL Collection, fiche 6082600 (21 fiche).
  • Seigler, Robert S.A Guide to Confederate Monuments in South Carolina : Passing the Silent Cup (Columbia, S. C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, ©1997) A county-by-county listing of "all Confederate monuments that appear on courthouse lawns and town squares, in cemeteries, in churchyards, and in public parks throughout South Carolina; memorials erected by churches to honor members of the congregation who served or died in the war; grave markers of all Confederate generals buried in South Carolina; markers commemorating the women of the state; and numerous smaller markers. Locate book a WorldCat
  • Stone, DeWitt Boyd. Wandering to Glory: Confederate Veterans Remember Evans' Brigade(Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, c2002), 331 pages. Includes index and names of related military leaders; no rosters. Book found at FHL 975.7 M2sd and Other Libraries.
  • The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies by  published under the direction of the Secretary of War. Washington, District of Columbia: Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1901. Google Books and at the Family History Library, FHL Collection, book 973 M29u, series 1-4; 120 films beginning with 845306 Item 3. An index is found in The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies : general index and additions and corrections by Fred C. Ainsworth and Joseph W. Kirkley (Washington [District of Columbia]: U.S. G.P.O.),FHL Collection, FHL book 973 M29u index and film 430054.

/oclc/23768534 referer=brief_results Other Libraries].

  • United Daughters of the Confederacy. John K. McIver Chapter. Treasured Reminiscences: Including Accounts of the 1st, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 21st Regiments, South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, the 6th South Carolina Calvary Regiment, and the 1st, 15th, and Pee Dee Volunteer Artillery Battalions, Confederate States Army, 1861-1865 (University, Ala. : Confederate Pub. Co., 1982) Book atWorldcat
  • United Daughters of the Confederacy, South Carolina Division. Recollections and Reminiscences, 1861-1865 Through World War I ([S.l.]: United Daughters of the Confederacy, South Carolina Division, c1990-c2002), 12 Volumes. The primary emphasis of vols. 1-7 is the Civil War. Includes indexes. Some volumes include rosters. Vollume 12 includes cemetery readings. Books found at FHL 975.7 M2rr v. 2 and Other Libraries.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)[edit | edit source]

Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1866 - 1956, was the largest veteran’s organization in the country after the Civil War. It was a fraternal organization members were veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutler Service who served in the American Civil War. The group supported voting rights for black veterans, and lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans' pensions. In 1890 the membership was 490,000.

In 1888 there were ------ posts and ------ members in the state of South Carolina

GAR Posts in the State of South Carolina

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War[edit | edit source]

With the death of the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia, "South Carolina in the American Civil War,", accessed 29 December 2010.
  2. South Carolina Civil War Map of Battles (accessed 7 March 2011]