On August 20, 1864, a chosen group of 600 Confederate officers left Fort Delaware as prisoners of war, bound for the Union Army base at Hilton Head, S.C. Their purpose--to be placed in a stockade in front of the Union batteries at the siege of Charleston.
The 600 were landed on Morris Island, at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. Here they remained in an open 1 1/2 acre pen, under the shelling of friendly artillery fire. Three died on the starvation rations issued as a retaliation for the conditions of Union prisoners at Andersonville, Ga. and Salisbury, N.C.
On October 21, after 45 days under fire, the weakened survivors were removed to Fort Pulaski, Ga. Here they were crowded into the cold damp casements of the fort. On November 19 197 of the men were sent back to Hilton Head to relieve the overcrowding. A "retaliation ration" of 10 ounces of moldy cornmeal and soured onion pickles was the only food given for 42 days. Thirteen men died at Fort Pulaski and five at Hilton Head.
The remaining members of the Immortal Six-Hundred were returned to Fort Delaware on March 12, 1865, where an additional twenty-five died. They became famous throughout the South for their adherence to principle, refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance under such adverse circumstances.
To this day there has never been a monument or museum exhibit to tell the story of the Immortal Six-Hundred. The Immortal 600 Memorial Fund was established to see that their story is finally told. Tax-deductible contributions to this fund may be made to:
"Death before dishonor":
The 'Immortal 600' --human shields
130 years before Saddam Hussein
by George W. Contant
"...your officers, now in my hands,
will be placed by me under your fire,
as an act of retaliation."
With that fearful threat in the Summer of 1864 by Federal Major General John G. Foster, Commander of the Department of the South, to Confederate Major General Samuel Jones, Commander of the Department of South Carolina, events were set in motion which would change the face of the "ethics of war" forever. Foster had learned that the Rebels had removed about 600 Yankees from the overcrowded Andersonville Prison, in Georgia, and placed them in the City of Charleston because Andersonville was just too crowded. Foster knew exactly where they were located and had already made arrangements in prevent his daily shelling from hitting their position, but for him this was not enough. After months of hearing about atrocities being carried out in Southern prisons, the North was in no mood to be understanding, and Foster quickly saw the political possibilities of "spinning" the situation in Charleston to the Union's favor in world opinion and to retaliate by having a like number of Confederate prisoners sit "in harm's way".
International military custom clearly stated that the deliberate mistreatment of prisoners was illegal, but surely the world would understand that the Union must retaliate against these Rebel "fiends". Better yet, he thought, perhaps if he placed them in front of his own artillery the Rebels might not fire at them, thereby allowing his gunners to fire on the city unimpeded. The authorities in Washington understood the political "hay" that could be made, and permission to have Confederate officer sent to Foster was not long in coming. Soon, 600 prisoners would arrive from Fort Delaware to be placed in front of Foster’s batteries on tiny Morris Island, in Charleston Harbor, making it impossible for the Confederates to perform counter-battery fire on those guns without possibly killing their own men. Long before Saddam Hussein placed American hostages around his missile and other military sites, the U.S. government would use "human shields" of their own. As "600" historian Mauriel Phillips Joslyn recently put it, "[t]he long history of the chivalric code, and the medieval laws of war governing captives bit the dust in that summer of 1864."
By mid-August, the thousands of Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island, in the Delaware River, were excited to hear rumors that 600 men were to leave for the South, possibly to be exchanged and sent home. On August 20, the rumors were at least partially confirmed as 600 officers were placed on the aging sidewheeler Crescent City, bound for Charleston Harbor. But, unknown to them, they were not going to be exchanged.
The trip was uneventful until just before arriving when the ship ran aground on Cape Romain Shoal, South Carolina. The Rebels, not perceiving that exchange was not in their future, immediately conspired to escape, but before long a Federal gunboat came alongside, putting an end to their plans. For the next several days they languished in the hold of the ship, not knowing what their fate would be. Another escape attempt was made on August 27, but, it, too, was foiled after the only three to escape the ship stumbled into Federal pickets on shore and were returned. They finally reached Charleston on September 1, still unaware of their true fate.
For a time the ship lay anchored under the guns of Battery Gregg, in the direct line of Confederate fire, while a rude stockade was built on Morris Island. Even though he knew it was impossible for the Confederates to move their Yankee prisoners --Sherman was wreaking havoc farther south and blocked any routes in that direction-- Foster continued his war of words with his Confederate counterpart, threatening to place his prisoners on the island, if the northerners were not immediately removed from the city. For Foster, things were working very well, except his continual barrage of the city was failing to cause its capitulation.
The "600" --now actually about 560, as 40 or so desperately ill men had been sent to Federal hospitals-- were landed on Morris Island on September 7. Now things went awry for Foster as the Confederates were not cowed by this and continued to fire on the island. For 45 days, the Rebel officers endured the shelling. A total of 18 shells exploded over the stockade and duds actually landed inside, but miraculously no one was killed. Finally, the Confederates were able to move their Federal prisoners to Columbia, South Carolina, but Foster held the "600" for another two weeks and increased the intensity of the shelling. Soon, Washington began to realize that stubborn Charleston would not surrender. Since Sherman was getting closer every day, Foster was ordered to cease firing and wait. But, even with this, the "600’s" ordeal would continue.
With the prisoners now a burden, Foster tried to get Washington to exchange them, but his idea was rejected. Instead, they were sent to Fort Pulaski, Georgia, and subjected to extremely poor living conditions and the bone-chilling Winter of 1865 --one of the coldest in memory. It wasn't until March that they were shipped to City Point, Virginia, ostensibly for exchange. For most of them, it did not come. They were held on board, often seeing their friends from Fort Delaware passing by on their way to being exchanged, but another problem had arisen which prevented them from be released. According to Joslyn, the "600" --now down to 290-- were in such poor physical condition as be an embarrassment to the Government which had been so loud in decrying the conditions of Andersonville. So, they were packed off back to Fort Delaware to be "fattened up" before release.
The remnant was not released until July of 1865. As the years after the war wore on, the survivors began calling themselves "The Immortal 600", a phrase probably coined by "600" survivor John Ogden Murray, who wrote about his experiences in The Immortal Six Hundred. They became heroes throughout the South for their courage and for refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance before the War was over. Instead, as Joslyn put it, they chose death before dishonor.
Hardwick Mounted Rifles Roster indicates highest rank attained
Alphabetical list of the men who served with Hardwick Mounted Rifles.
Akins, Elijah GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Alexander, T.F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles 2nd Lt.
Anderson, C.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Anderson, D.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Arnold, W.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Bandy, Allen GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Banks, Amos GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Banks, C.F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Banks, S.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Cpl.
Barnard, F.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Sgt.
Barnes, G.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Bashlor, C.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Bashlor, W.D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Beasley, Isaiah GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B 1st Lt.
Bell, W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Bennett, W.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Bird, Andrew GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Blitch, H.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Blitch, W.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Blitch, W.S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Blount, E.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Sgt.
Bragg, Bedford GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Bragg, E.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Bragg, H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Brown, A.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Brown, Henry GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Brown, J.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Brown, James B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Sgt.
Brown, John R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Brown, M.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Brown, Nathan GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Sgt.
Brown, W.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Buck, J.W.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Burnsed, H.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Burnsed, Nebzr GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Butler, B.S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Butler, Berrien GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Butler, J.I.(J.J.) GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A,B
Butler, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Butler, W.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Cason, James A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Clanton, D.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Clark, George W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Cpl.
Clark, James GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Clark, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Clifton, George GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Cobb, Brittain GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B 3rd Lt.
Collins, Berry GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Cone, A.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Cowart, David GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Cox, F.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Cox, L.F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Crosby, T.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Crosby, W.F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Daniels, A.R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Daniels, Augustus GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Davis, J.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Davis, T.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Cpl
Davis, W.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Deal, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Demere, M.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Demere, R.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A 3rd Lt
Denmark, Malachi GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Downs, Emmett GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Dugger, J.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Dugger, R.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Dukes, Edward GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Durrance, James H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Edwards, W.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Elarbee, E.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles 2nd Lt
Elarbee, Nathaniel GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Elliott, R.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Elliott, Ralph GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
English, James GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Ferguson, J.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A 1st Sgt.
Floyd, B.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Fulton, E.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Sgt.
Fulton, W.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Futch, James J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Gibson, Owen GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Glisson, Aley GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Glisson, James GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Glisson, Joseph GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Goodson, J.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Goodwin, Lyde GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Grant, Robert GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Capt.
Gray, O.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Grice, N.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Griner, J.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Grooms, W.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Groover, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Habersham, R.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Hagans, James E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Harn, W.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Harper, Wyatt GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Cpl.
Harrison, John W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Harrison, Thomas GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Hart, M.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
****Harvey, G.R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
****Harvey, Richard GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B 2nd Lt
****Harvey, Zara GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Harville, S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Haymans, Stanton GA Hardwick Mtd.Rif. Co.B 1st Sgt.
Hinely, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Hinely, N. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Hines, J.P. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Capt.
Hines, Thomas A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Hobbs, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Hodges, T.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Huger, L.P. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Hunter, J.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Isler, A.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Sgt.
Jaudon, J.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Johnson, C.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Johnson, L.D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Jones, R.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Kennedy, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Cpl.
Kicklighter, Andrew GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Kicklighter, James GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Knight, Joseph GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Knight, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Kollock, W.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lake, E.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lane, J.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lanier, C.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lanier, J.L. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lanier, James F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Latimer, J.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Cpl.
Latimer, M.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lee, A.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lee, Allen GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lee, D.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lee, J.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Lee, L.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Leger, S.S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lester, Camulus GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lester, Heyward GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lewis, J.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lightsey, Isaac GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Lowther, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Martin, J.M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Maxwell, J.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
McAllister, J.L. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Capt.
McDowell, J.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Sgt.
Middleton, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Mikell, Mathew GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Miller, W.D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Mitchell, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Monroe, James M. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Monroe, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Moore, J.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Morgan, F.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Cpl.
Nessmith, Noah GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Nessmith, Samuel GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Nessmith, Sovereign GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Neufville, F.L. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Nevils, Thomas GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Newmans, D.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
O'Bryan, R.S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Orlendorff, J.K. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Patrick, Jesse GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Patrick, Mathew GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Pease, N.D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Phillips, Wiley GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Phillips, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Proctor, D.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Proctor, D.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Cpl.
Proctor, J.A. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Proctor, J.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Proctor, Seaborn GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Quarterman, L.S. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A 1st Lt.
Richardson, H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Rimes, J.P. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Rustin, B.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Sanderlin, John GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Sellars, Edward GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shearouse, John R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Shearouse, N.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shearouse, R.O. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuman, Elijah GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuman, G.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Shuman, M.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuman, R.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Shuman, R.R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuman, W.T. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuman, Warren GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Shuptrine, D.C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Sgt.
Sikes, Mitchell GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Sims, B.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Cpl.
Sims, Elbert C. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Smith, E.F. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Smith, Joshua GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Smith, W.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Starr, C.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Sgt.
Strickland, David GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Strickland, Elijah GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Strickland, J.D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Strickland, W.H. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Sutton, E.B. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Thompson, Peter J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Vanbrackle, Henry D. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Vanbrackle, I.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A Sgt.
Waller, A.R. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Sgt.
Waller, Richard GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Warnell, J.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Warnock, J.K. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B Cpl.
Waters, B.J. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Waters, William GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Webb, W.E. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.B
Weed, E.G. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Wells, T.W. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Williams, J.T. GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles
Willis, Benjamin GA Hardwick Mtd.Rifles Co.A
Men of the 7th who were among those known as:
"The Immortal 600"
Chew, William H., 2nd Lt., Co. A.
DeLoach, William H., 1st Lt., Co. B.
Fort, Gordan K., 2nd Lt., Co. G.
Harrison, Harris K., Capt., Co. E.
****Harvey, Richard, 2nd Lt., Co. H.
Kopkins, Francis W., Capt., Co. G.
Miller, Robert L., Capt., Co. G.
The "7th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry" more commonly referred to as the "7th Georgia Cavalry" was formed at Savannah, Georgia by the consolidation of the 24th Battalion, Georgia Cavalry, four companies of the 21st Battalion, Georgia Cavalry and the two companies of the Hardwick Mounted Rifles on Feb. 13, 1864.
The "Hardwick Mounted Rifles" was formed in April of 1862 by Capt. Joseph L. McAllister in Bryan County, Georgia at Fort McAllister near his rice plantation, Strathy Hall.
The unit was named after the ghost town, "Hardwick", located between McAllister's plantation and Fort McAllister. A former governor had planned to move the Georgia capital from Savannah to this new settlement on the banks of the Ogeechee River. The name, "Hardwick" came from an English friend of his, the Earl of Hardwicke. The project failed and Savannah remained the capital.
The assignment and main objective of the Hardwick Mounted Rifles was to defend against Union invasion along the Georgia coast and protect the towns and homes of these Southeast Georgia coastal counties.
Their first significant encounter was with a landing party of Union soldiers at Kilkenny. There a local citizen, and quite an entrepreneur, who had quite a large "still". This was not a liquor still but one that extracted salt from ocean water. Salt at that time was in great demand and had a value around one dollar per pound. Regardless of why the Union chose this landing site, the newly organized men from Georgia defeated them.
The most outstanding encounter was that of the Union's seventh Naval Attack on Fort McAllister on March 3, 1863. This was the most concentrated attempt the Union made using multiple Ironclads and three mortar boats. The battle raged for over seven hours with firing in both directions. Before the gun ships had moved into place, several men of the Hardwick Mounted Rifles crossed the Ogeechee and made their way through the marsh to within gun range of the ironclads. When the first Union sailor emerged, they opened fire, wounding him.
The mortar boats shelled the Battery all night on the 3rd with no damage. Only two men were injured during the entire attack and they had only minor injuries.
On the 4th, the Union boats left, convinced that a successful naval attack was not possible against "Fort McAllister" .
The efforts of the Fort McAllister Garrison and the Hardwick Mounted Rifles resulted in a victory for the Confederacy and much respect earned for both the Garrison and the Hardwick Mounted Rifles.
The early flag of the Hardwick Mounted Rifles was a Confederate Battle Flag without inscription. After the defense of Ft. McAllister against the Union ironcalds, Gen. Beauregard issued a special order for the unit to use the First National with the inscription "Fort McAllister" on it.
Hardwick Mounted Rifles, Company A and Company B
These companies were created from men transferred from Capt. McAllister's company, Hardwick Mounted Rifles, which was divided about Sept. 1863 by order of General Beauregard.
The Hardwick Mounted Rifles had grown in size since it was organized to where the 2 companies were necessary.
Assignments of the 7th Ga Cav
The 7th was ordered to Virginia where it was assigned to The Army of Northern Virginia. It was re-assigned in late November 1864 to the Department of Richmond. It was soon returned to the Army of Northern Virginia and served there until the end of the war. The specific higher command assignments of the 7th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry are listed below.
Young's Brigade, Hampton's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Young's Brigade, Butler's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Young's Brigade, Hampton's (Old) Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Gary's Brigade, Cavalry, Department of Richmond
Gary's Brigade, Fitzhugh Lee's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia's Order of Battle had the 7th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry scheduled at the Battle of Spottsylvania but it seems the 7th did not enter battle until June 11, 1864 at Trevillian Station. Col. William P. White the senior officer of the 7th did not lead the regiment to the front. He became the victim of an assassin's bullet. Col. White was succeeded in command by Lt. Col. Joseph L. McAllister. The 7th at this time, now at its peak with 842 men, was serving under Maj. Gnl. Wade Hampton.
Also in Hampton's Division were three other Georgia Calvary units, all veteran units; Cobb's Legion, Phillip's Legion and the 20th Battalion, Georgia Cavalry for a total force of slightly less than 5000.
After its arrival at Richmond, the 7th Georgia Cavalry joined the pursuit of General Phil Sheridan through the Shenandoah Valley. On the 11th of June, 1864 they were located between Trevillian Station and Louisa Court House. The 7th was not experienced in something as massive as the Battle of Trevillian Station, their first major encounter. The terrain in this area of Louisa County was very rough with very dense stands of timber and undergrowth, making it very difficult to maneuver. This was one of the bloodiest encounters of the war with tremendous losses on both sides totaling about 1600. Many of the 7th were killed the first day including Colonel Joseph McAllister being struck with 4 bullets in the chest and Capt. Whiteford D. Russell who was mortally wounded. The losses were not without reward. Union General Sheridan who had a starting force of about 8000, was pushed back, preventing him from joining Gnl. Hunter in his raid against Lynchburg, Va.
As dawn broke, the sound of gunfire roused the sleepy men of the 7th Georgia Cavalry. Hastily breaking camp, the men of the 7th Georgia stood to horse awaiting orders. About 6:00, the Georgians received orders to dismount and picket their horses near Trevillian Station, leaving a small guard with the animals.
One member of the regiment reported,"We were then marched to the scene of action, and I do truthfully say that I have never seen men go into a fight more willingly and more calmly than the 7th Georgia Cavalry." He continued, "A smile lit up the countenance of every man from the right to the extreme left of the line." Committed to the fight, the 7th Georgia led Wright's counterattack, blunting the Federal advance.
A member of the 7th Georgia noted, "We drove them back in every charge, notwithstanding the advantageous ground which they were occupying. Their ranks were broken, and they fled precipitously. Soon, however, the rally was sounded, and having received large reinforcements, they charged us, numbering us nearly ten to our one. We contested every inch of ground with them, and even held them in check for a time." "For four hours we fought alone, against fearful odds," claimed a proud Georgian, "and I regret to state what the 7th suffered in killed, wounded and prisoners. You may judge how desperately we fought by our thin and decimated ranks. We carried six hundred men into the fight and brought out three hundred only."
Lt. Col. Waring, commander of the Jeff Davis Legion, dismounted a "good many men to support General Butler." As Waring's command and the Georgians of the 20th Battalion of Georgia Cavalry pitched into the fray, so too did most of the men of the 7th Georgia Cavalry and Cobb's Legion. The additional men made an immediate impact; Hampton later noted that "these two brigades pushed the enemy steadily back, and I hoped to effect a junction with Lee's division at Clayton's Store in a short time."
The commander of the 7th Georgia, Lt. Col. Joseph McAllister, was a 43 year-old lawyer who had attended Amherst College. Although he had little military training, McAllister had natural ability to command men. His grandfather, Col. Richard McAllister, commanded a regiment of Pennsylvania infantry in George Washington's Continental Army. Joseph McAllister was a wealthy and well-respected rice planter. He was "an upright, useful citizen, charitable to the poor and kind to all, a sagacious and dashing soldier, and a true patriot." Trevillian Station was his first time leading troops in combat.
McAllister led the final counterattack of the Georgians along the Fredericksburg Road. Pitching into the fray, "shot and shell, canister and grape, mingled with the booming of artillery, made war's grand chorus jeeringly sublime. But on, through the missiles of death, he bore himself as though he courted death in defense of his country's liberties." McAllister was completely surrounded by Yankee troopers. He cried out to his men, "Strike for God and our native land!"
A Yankee bullet struck him. Despite the pain, he emptied his revolver at the attacking Northerners, who demanded his surrender. The defiant McAllister threw the empty pistol at his attackers. He was then killed, four Yankee bullets in his chest.
McAllister's boots and hat were taken and his stars and the buttons on his coat were cut from his uniform. Fortunately, his sword and spurs were recovered and returned to his family in Georgia.
Maj. Edward C. "Ned" Anderson, McAllister's second in command, was wounded in the hip while leading a charge and was captured. Anderson hid his pocket watch and feigned that he could not walk as a result of the wounded hip. Later that day, he escaped and made his way back to the regiment the next day.
Three company commanders of the 7th Georgia were lost early on June 11: Capts. John P. Hines, A. R. Millar, and William D. Russell were killed. Capt. Frank W. Hopkins, commander of Co. G, was captured. Hopkins spent ten months at Fort Delaware and then joined the "Immortal 600", a group of Confederate officers placed on a list for retaliation. These men were exposed to the fire of Confederate guns at Charleston, South Carolina. Hopkins survived his stint on the torture ships and eventually was freed from prison at Fort Pulaski at the end of the war.
Adam J. Iler, a 25 year-old second sergeant of the 7th Georgia, was captured that morning. A farmer from rural Georgia, Iler joined the McAllister's company, the Hardwick Mounted Rifles, a local militia unit that became Company H of the 7th Georgia. Iler, who served for two years in the post-War Georgia legislature, fell into the hands of Torbert's troopers during the fighting on the Fredericksburg Road. Iler's war ended that day. He spent the duration as a prisoner of war in the infamous Northern prisoner of war camp at Elmira, New York.
Swooping down on largely defenseless wagons and horses, the 5th Michigan bagged several hundred prisoners, 1,500 horses, a stand of colors, 6 caissons, 40 ambulances, and 50 army wagons. Many Confederates broke their arms upon surrendering, rather than give them up. Others dropped their weapons until they realized that the 5th Michigan was unsupported. They then picked up their arms again and fired into the rear of the Wolverines.
The commotion in the rear alerted Butler. He sent some of his South Carolinians back toward the station to see what was going on in his rear. Their presence, combined with the 7th Georgia Cavalry dispatched by Hampton earlier to protect the wagon trains, bought valuable minutes. The 20th Georgia Cavalry of Wright's command was also sent back to stem the tide.
In addition to the dead and wounded at Trevillian Station, about 180 men were captured and after a brief stay at Point Lookout Prison were transferred to Elmira Prison, N.Y. where most remained until the end of the war or died from the very harsh conditions.
Many of the 7th Georgia Cavalry were wounded and carried to Exchange Hotel (Gordonsville, Va. Receiving Hospital), now a museum.
Some survived and many did not.
In the month of June 1864 over 6000 wounded were brought to Gordonsville Receiving Hospital.
Encounters of the 7th Ga Cav
The 7th Georgia Cavalry was involved in a number of various type engagements during its history. These are listed below, each followed by a number which indicates a location on the map just below the list.
Operation against Sheridan's Trevillian Raid, Va. (19)
Engagement, Trevillian Station, Central R.R., Va. (19)
Action, Newark (Mallory's Cross Roads), Va. (20)
Siege Operations against Petersburg and Richmond, Va.(21)
Engagement, Sappony Church (Stony Creek), Va. (22)
Engagement, Ream's Station, Va. (23)
Battle, Weldon R.R., Globe Tavern (Yellow House) and Black's Station (Six Mile House), Va. (24)
Battle, Ream's Station, Va. (23)
Battle, Popular Springs Church (25),
Peeble's Farm (26),
Pegram's Farm (27), and
Laurel Hill (29), Va.
Engagement, Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, Va.
Operations against Warren's Expedition to Hicksford, Va. (31)
Action, Namozine Church, Va. (32)
Skirmishes near Amelia Court House, Va. (33)
Skirmish, Tabernacle Church (Beaver Pond Creek), Va. (34)
Engagement, Amelia Springs, Va. (35)
Action, High Bridge, Va. (36)
Engagement, Farmville, Va. (37)
Engagement, Appomattox Station, Va. (38)
Engagement, Clover Hill, Appomattox Court House, Va. (39)
Surrender, Appomattox Court House, Va. (39)
Gary's Brigade was reinforced by the 7th Georgia Cavalry for the second battle of Deep Bottom, August 16, 1864 after which they fought at Reams Station and the Weldon Railroad. Later, the 7th Ga. Cav. was officially transferred to Gary's Brigade. Also in Gary's Brigade were the 7th SC, Hampton's Legion and the 24th VA.
One of the many problems encountered by the 7th was that of maintaining healthy mounts. There was hardly a day that passed where the 7th did not encounter the enemy. With the cavalry being able to respond quickly, General Lee called upon them for reinforcement any time there was a threat anywhere along the Richmond line of defense. By December, most of the horses were dead or rendered useless from hard work and starvation.
In December 1864, Colonel E.C. Anderson, Jr. split the unit. The mounted part continued the fighting in Virginia and Col. Anderson left for Georgia with about 200 men to get fresh mounts.
When arriving in Georgia, they fought dismounted, defending Savannah against Union General Sherman's siege. When Savannah was evacuated, the dismounted men of the 7th, supporting General Young's command, were part of a defense line established about half way between Savannah and Charleston.
Most of these men were in NC when General Lee surrendered.
There were 39 enlisted men of the 7th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry who surrendered with General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox. Others who had been separated from the unit and still nearby surrendered very soon thereafter. A few others were detailed with the wagon train and surrendered later.
The 7th Georgia Cavalry was the last unit to leave the burning ruins of Richmond.
600 Suffer North's POW Cruelty
Date: January 19, 2004
"Six Hundred suffer North's POW cruelty
By Peter Bridges
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Civil War took the lives of 600,000 American soldiers from North and South. Many died not on the battlefield, but later, from wounds, disease — and imprisonment.
The horrors of Civil War prison camps were forgotten as veterans died but then were dramatized by MacKinlay Kantor's 1955 novel "Andersonville," which described the largest and worst Confederate prison camp, in southern Georgia.
There have been far greater horrors than Andersonville. Anne Applebaum estimates in her recent book, "Gulag: A History," that 28 million people were sent to Soviet labor camps, where as many as half died. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum tells us that up to 6 million Jews, two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, were killed by Adolf Hitler. However, if cruel mistreatment of prisoners never occurred on such a huge scale in the American Civil War, it still occurred.
During the 14 months that the Andersonville camp existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined there; 13,000 of them died from disease and starvation. Andersonville's commander, Capt. Henry Wirz, was the only Confederate officer executed as a war criminal at war's end; his trial was dramatized by a 1959 Broadway play and a 1970 PBS film. In large part because of this publicity, Andersonville has been made a National Historic Site, a memorial to all Americans held as prisoners of war throughout our history.
The North had terrible prison camps, too. Few know of Camp Douglas, on the South Side of Chicago, where 26,000 Confederates were held as prisoners. There, soldiers starved to death when rations were withheld; in the near-arctic winter of 1864, many froze to death. The largest mass grave in the Western Hemisphere, at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago, holds the remains of 6,000 men who died at Douglas.
One group of 600 Confederate officers who were held prisoner — and deliberately mistreated by Union commanders — later gained fame in the South, especially after publication in 1905 of "The Immortal Six Hundred" by one of their number, John Ogden Murray. Most of them survived, despite cruel treatment that lasted many months.
In postwar decades, a number of them played important roles in a reunited America as editors, teachers, merchants, bankers and officials. Six served in the U.S. Congress; one, Charles Frederick Crisp, was speaker of the House of Representatives from 1891 to 1895, and his son also became a member of the House.
The ordeal of the Six Hundred began in the summer of 1864. That June, Sam Jones, the Confederate general in command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, wrote his Union opposite number, Maj. Gen. John G. Foster, that five Union brigadier generals and 45 other officers were being held prisoner in Charleston. Jones wrote that they were in a part of the city occupied by noncombatants but that it was only proper "that I should inform you that it is part of the city which has been for many months exposed day and night to the fire of your guns."
Foster replied that Charleston, containing military depots, arsenals and shipyards, was a legitimate target. Because Jones was placing Union officers in harm's way, Foster would do the same with an equal number of Confederate officers. Top officials in Washington agreed with Foster. Thus, 50 Confederate officer prisoners were sent down to South Carolina.
Soon Foster heard that not 50, but 600 Union officers had been sent to Charleston, to keep them from being freed by Gen. William T. Sherman on his march into Georgia. Foster immediately requested that 600 Confederate officer prisoners be sent to him. The Six Hundred were sent in August 1864.
Mauriel Joslyn reported in her 1992 Biographical Roster of the Six Hundred that their average age was 25; most were junior officers, but there were 30 majors and colonels. A quarter of them had been farmers before the war; just 17 were listed as "planters." Some were professional men. Three dozen had been born in the North or abroad; almost a third were from Virginia.
They were sent south from Fort Delaware, an old fortress on a marshy island south of Wilmington, today a Delaware state park. At Fort Delaware, there were, at times, 10,000 Southern prisoners. They got two meals a day. Breakfast was 4 ounces of bread and, usually, 5 ounces of pork; dinner was a small ration of bread and beef and a pint of bean soup. Men who still had money could buy more food from Union sutlers at exorbitant prices. A number of prisoners died from smallpox and chronic diarrhea. Worse was to come.
Many of the Six Hundred went south from Delaware believing they soon would be exchanged; a Union guard had said so. Yet a canny captain from Louisiana, Leon Jastremski, wrote to his brother that he believed they would be placed under what a later generation would call friendly fire, in retaliation for 600 Union officers having been placed inside Charleston. (Jastremski was another of the Six Hundred who enjoyed success after the war, as a prominent Louisiana journalist, mayor of Baton Rouge and American consul general in Peru.)
The Six Hundred were packed for two weeks in the sweltering hold of an old side-wheel steamer during the journey south. At one point, they went 40 hours without a water ration. Finally they were landed on Morris Island, on the south side of the mouth of Charleston harbor. They would be guarded by the black troops of the 54th Massachusetts, which had been on the island since its heroic attack a year earlier on Battery Wagner. As we recall from Edward Zwick's 1989 film "Glory," the 54th's white commander, Col. Robert G. Shaw, had died with many of his men in the assault. Only later was the battery taken by the Union troops.
Now the 54th was commanded by Col. Edward N. Hallowell, who, in contrast to the fallen Shaw, treated his black soldiers badly — and the Southern officers worse. One Virginia captain, George Washington Nelson, recalled later that when Hallowell was dissatisfied with his soldiers, "He would rise at them, knock and beat them over the head with his sabre, or draw his pistol and shoot at them."
For the prisoners, Hallowell instituted strict rules. They were housed in tents in a wooden stockade lined by a parapet for their guards. The area, no more than 11/2 acres, was decreased by a rope strung along the ground inside, 20 feet from the wall, to demarcate the "dead zone." Any prisoner touching or going beyond the rope was to be shot. At night, guards were to fire into any tent where a light showed. Blankets, issued to the prisoners at Fort Delaware, were taken away.
Soon the prisoners were put on what Hallowell called "retaliation rations." Each day they got several wormy army crackers, half a pint of soup, a little rice, sometimes 2 ounces of bacon. At least no friendly fire hit inside the pen, although guards were killed on the parapet.
In late October 1864, after six weeks on Morris Island, the Six Hundred (by then 549 after some deaths and the transfer of others) were moved to Fort Pulaski, another prewar coastal fortress, where they were guarded by a different unit, the 157th New York, which treated them better. However, they were soon put back on retaliation rations, this time amounting to a little bread, 10 ounces of cornmeal and unlimited pickles, supposed to prevent scurvy. Fortunately, they could augment their diet by catching a few rats and cats. Scurvy broke out despite the pickles. Men lost a third or more of their weight. Most kept up their morale. Nelson, later an Episcopal priest, led church services.
Just 17 succumbed to pressures to take the oath of allegiance to the Union. A number, including John Ogden Murray, escaped; all but seven were recaptured. In March 1865, many of the Six Hundred were sent north again — back to Fort Delaware. The next month, the Confederacy collapsed. By summer, all were home and could begin to rebuild their health and their fortunes. As Mauriel Joslyn pointed out, death would have claimed more of them if they had not been captured.
Ninety percent of the Six Hundred had survived their harsh imprisonment; almost a quarter of the field officers in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia died in combat. Those were years of honors and of horrors.
Peter Bridges' most recent book is "Pen of Fire: John Moncure Daniel." He is grateful to retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert H. Scarborough, a relative of Speaker of the House Charles Crisp's, for bringing the story of the Six Hundred to his attention.
©2004 News World Communications, Inc
The Satilla Rangers
The Okefenokee Rifles
The Seaboard Guards
The Ware Guards
Immortal 600 Monument, Camp #2600 Sons of Confederate Veterans Richmond Hill, Georgia
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