Emmitsburg Man Travels Far to Support the Southern Cause
By John A. Miller
Recently, I have been researching the
Confederate soldiers who are from Northern Frederick County.
It has been the hardest task that I have done to date. These men
enlisted through out the South Land while a good portion of them
served in many of the Maryland units.
Charleston, South Carolina
I recently had the chance to travel to
Charleston, South Carolina to follow in the same footsteps as
Emmitsburg resident Charles A. Donnelly. I also followed the unit
he enlisted with through North Carolina after Donnelly transferred
Who was Charles Donnelly? Charles Donnelly was
a resident from
and was 13 years old during the 1850 Census.
His father Charles Sr., was a native from Ireland and was a school
teacher in the area. By 1860, Charles A. Donnelly
was listed on the Census, as living in
Before the first shots of the Civil
War at Charleston, South Carolina, several South Carolina
recruiting officers made their way through the South recruiting
manpower for the upcoming war in South Carolina. Recruiting men
from different states was not uncommon practice during the Civil
In December of 1860, South
Carolina had sent a recruiting officer to Baltimore, and
recruited, according to the Confederate Military History by
Bradley T. Johnson, more than 500 Maryland men. These men would
become part of Lucas' Battalion of South Carolina and Rhett's
First South Carolina Artillery. The men who enlisted would witness
the bombardment of Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor in April
Charles A. Donnelly enlisted into the
Confederate Army at the age of 24 on April 6, 1861, in Lucas'
Battalion of Infantry at Castle Pinckney, which is located in the
Charleston Harbor of South Carolina. Lucas' Battalion of South
Carolina was made up with approximately 90 men from Maryland who
enlisted in Company B at James Island, South Carolina in April.
On June 6th, 1861, Lucas' Battalion was designated as Infantry
and mustered into service at Fort Pickens located on James Island.
In July, Lucas' Battalion was converted from Infantry to Heavy
Artillery with two companies that would garrison a few of the
forts surrounding the Charleston Harbor.
How often did the artillery units stationed in the
garrisons/forts around Charleston rotate? Using Fort Sumter as an
example Mr. Hatcher the Park Historian at Fort Sumter helped me
shed some light on the subject.
"From April 1861 to August 1863, the headquarters of the
1st SC Artillery Regiment and Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, & G
were stationed at the fort. The remaining companies were
stationed at various installations around the harbor. With the
first major bombardment of the fort by the US Army and Navy
beginning in August 1863 its role as an artillery installation
was almost destroyed. As a result, six companies were
transferred to various forts and/or batteries in the area and
the HQ moved to Charleston. A quick review of our fort records
indicates from September 1863 until its evacuation in February
1865, one artillery company would serve as part of the
garrison, with infantry providing the bulk of the troops.
This same review indicated that the artillery company would
spend about one month at Fort Sumter before being replaced by
another. After the Confederate evacuation of Morris Island in
September 1863, Fort Sumter was the primary target of federal
artillery. With the exception of the Confederate installations
on Sullivan's Island (Fort Moultrie, Fort Beauregard, and
others) the remaining harbor defenses received only limited
attention from the Union guns. Therefore, I would assume the
commands at those installations did not rotate as often."
In June of 1862 three artillery units were attached to Lucas'
Battalion. Gist Guard Artillery, Mathew's Artillery and Melcher's
Battery. Company C, which many Marylanders later transferred to
was organized on November 15, 1862. It also comprised of Child's
Light Artillery, Winder's Light Artillery and Lee's Battery. Two
additional companies were assigned to Lucas' Battalion with the
designation of Companies D and E.
Looking toward James Island and Morris
Island from Fort Sumter
They served primarily on the islands of James and Morris that
surrounded Charleston, SC. Garrison duties would have required the
build up of earthworks, drilling by the manual of Infantry and
also drilling by the manual of Artillery. The average schedule for
Lucas' troops might have been something along the lines of
Infantry drill in the morning, Artillery drill in the afternoon,
finishing up in the evening with more Infantry drills.
The uniforms issued to Lucas' Battalion most likely would have
been the Charleston Depot Jacket. The jacket was very similar to
the Richmond Depot with a few minor differences. One being the
sleeves and belt loops. Another feature is the fact that the
jacket had a five button front instead of the 9 button front that
the Richmond Depots had. The material was English wool kersey and
the lining was made from cotton osnaburg. On the other hand Lucas'
Battalion may have been issued items as Captain George L. Buist's
Company of the 2nd South Carolina that remained in Charleston,
they were first issued a gray woolen frock coat, trousers of the
same material, and blue kepis. They were later issued gray cotton
coats and trousers with gray cloth hats. They were also issued
very dark brown coats with blue trousers furnished by the
government, and gray felt kepis. Another issue was a gray round
jacket. The shoes, when they could get them, were heavy English
brogans, very hard on their feet, but durable.
The 1st regimental flag is unknown, it may have been the 1st
National Flag or Stars and Bars as we know call it or a South
Carolina variation flag. It wasn't until April 20, 1863, when
Lucas' Battalion was issued the Charleston variation of the Battle
Flag that was used in the Army of Northern Virginia. According to
Department regulations, Lucas' Battle Flag would not have had
their Battalion name or battle honors written on it. Lucas' Battle
flag was measured 48 inches squared and was completely made of
wool bunting and hand stitched in sections. The stars were made
from cotton. It would be attached to the pole by a red sleeve.
Each company would have also been issued a company guidon. The
garnet and black colors of the guidon are measured 26 inches by 38
inches. Only the Artillery and Cavalry were issued guidons. A
white cotton letter on the garnet color would have been the
company letter, while garnet colored letters were sewn onto the
black, that was abbreviation of the battalion.
In the early part of 1862, Lucas' Battalion was stationed near
Cole's Island. Lucas' Battalion of Regulars guarded the entrance
of the river since the Confederate high command felt that Cole's
Island was the key to Charleston. During the middle part of May,
all the guns were removed from both islands to Fort Pemberton,
higher up the Stono River. Fort Pemberton consisted of 16 guns and
was made of earthen mounds to form earthworks.
In January, 1863, at John's Island, an ambush on Legare's point
occurred. Two companies of Lucas' Battalion and some other troops
on James Island captured the U.S.S. Isaac P. Smith commanded by
Capt. F. S. Conover and a crew of 11 officers and 105 men. An iron
vessel screw steamer of 453 tons, and carried eight 8-inch navy
guns, or sixty-four pounder and a 7-inch thirty-pounder Parrott
gun. The affair was completely successful. One shot did major
damage as the steam drum was torn and had to surrender. After the
affair a crew was put on board and the vessel towed up the river
From March to April of
1863, Charles Donnelly was noted on the muster roll as absent and
held in confinement in Charleston jail. Once he was out of jail,
he served from May through August as the Company Clerk.
By April of 1864, many of the Maryland soldiers serving in
South Carolina were transferred to the Maryland Line serving the
rest of their enlistments in Virginia. The history of Lucas' South
Carolina Battalion doesn't stop there.
In June of 1864 without the help from the Maryland men Lucas'
Battalion prepared for battle as the 54th Massachusetts Infantry
advanced up James Island. According to the Regimental History of
the 54th Massachusetts, the lay out of the island was wide open
with a few spots of rising sand mounds. As the 54th advanced
inland, it was noted that Fort Pemberton and Batteries Pringle and
Tynes were on the Stono River to their left and from there Fort
Lamar and Secessionville were mutually supporting with detached
fieldworks for artillery and infantry regiments filled in the
gaps. Skirmishing broke out and the 54th was ordered to halt and
lie down on the ground and fire their muskets. Wheather Lucas' men
managed to get into the action is not known at this time.
On June 30th, Lucas' Battalion held inspection of their
garrison at Fort Pemberton. 24 men from Captain Richardson's
Company B were formed. The following items were described.
Discipline, clothing, accouterments and instruction were all
marked good. Small Arms was noted as mixed that consisted of 1842
muskets and flintlocks that were converted over to percussion.
Guard house, quarters and hospital were in good shape and well
arranged. The Battery consisted of two 32 pounder rifled and
banded seacoast guns that were positioned at the right and left of
the garrison. Two Naval Smoothbore guns were also inspected and
reported in good shape along with all the carriages.
By the late winter of 1865, as General Sherman approached South
Carolina, many Charleston defenders abandoned Charleston and
joined with General Johnston who was trying to stop Sherman's
advance during the Carolina Campaign. Lucas' Battalion picked up
their muskets and took to its new assignments as Infantry. They
participated in the Battle of Averasboro, North Carolina in March
of 1865. They fought there under Colonel Rhett's Brigade in
General Taliaforro's Division, part of General Hardee's Corps.
After the battle at Averasboro, they fought at Bentonville, North
Carolina. From there they would march toward Durham Station and
surrendered at Greensboro in April of 1865.
Marylander's who served with
Albert (Baltimore County)
Joseph Brady (Baltimore)
W. J. Cook:
3905 Listed on Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates
Thomas Crate (Fort Washington, P.G. County)
Gratis (Baltimore County)
Hunter: 4797 Listed on Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederate
Henderson Kellbaugh (Baltimore)
Kelley (Baltimore County)
Timothy J. McCarthy
David McChue (Baltimore)
Charles W. McKee (Baltimore)
Moffitt (Cecil County)
Henry Owings (Baltimore)
Richardson (St. Mary's County)
Michael Henry Sheeon - Michael Sheeon
actually went by his middle name, Henry and he was from Ireland.
He and his mother came to the United States in 1845 when he was
3 years old. We assume they came as part of the wave of Irish
due to the potato famine. My grandmother and she said that Henry
and his mother settled in Washington DC where he attended a
Catholic school. At the start of the Civil War, he traveled to
Charleston SC to join the Confederacy. After the war, he was a
scout in the Western Territories eventually settling in Texas.
They settled in South Carolina and after the war was, Henry
moved to Llano, Texas. In 1867, he married Susan Leverett and
they had 8 children, including my great-grandfather, John Wesley
Sheeon. Henry died in Llano in 1925.
Skelton: 5983 Listed on Point Lookout Prison Camp for
James Wallis (Baltimore)
John F. Warnick (Baltimore)
Master George Westfall (Baltimore)
Wills (Baltimore County)
Frank A. Worth (Baltimore)
Major John A. Worth (Baltimore)