5th South Carolina Infantry Regiment

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Charge on the works.jpg

Illustration depicting the fighting at the Brock Road in the Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, where Col. Asbury Coward grabbed the colors of the 5th South Carolina and led them in a charge over the works. From Battles & Leaders, based on a period sketch by Alfred R. Waud.


Mainly recruited from Upstate South Carolina, the 5th South Carolina Infantry Regiment was organized and mustered into state service in April 1861. Citadel graduate and commander of the Jasper Light Infantry, Micah Jenkins, was appointed colonel. The regiment was then sent from Columbia to Charleston and stationed at Sullivan's Island during those first couple months, until transported to Virginia in June 1861.

Just before their departure, the Fifth was mustered into Confederate service at Orangeburg, SC, on June 4, 1861, for 12 months' service. This was the organization of the regiment at the time:


Col. Micah Jenkins

Lt. Col. George Washington Hamilton Legg

Maj. William T. Thomson


Company A — Johnson Rifles, Union District, Capt. John Wesley Goss

Company B — Kings Mountain Guards, York District, Capt. Andrew Jackson

Company C — Lawson's Fork Volunteers, Spartanburg District, Capt. Rial B. Seay

Company D — Tyger River Volunteers, Union District, Capt. John Robert Russell Giles

Company E — Pea Ridge Volunteers, Union District, Capt. W. J. Thomas Glenn

Company F — Morgan Light Infantry, Spartanburg District, Capt. Alfred Harrison Foster

Company G — Pacolet Guards, Spartanburg District, Capt. Jacob Quickle Carpenter

Company H — Catawba Light Infantry, York District, Capt. William J. Bowen

Company I — Jasper Light Infantry, York District, Capt. Cato Ashe Seabrook

Company K — Spartan Rifles, Spartanburg District, Capt. Joseph Walker


Not long after their arrival in Virginia, the Fifth saw its first action in the battle of First Manassas/Bull Run, July 21, 1861. They were not engaged on the main field of battle, however, but in a separate action to the east at McLean's Ford.

Part of Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones' brigade, the 5th South Carolina and the 17th and 18th Mississippi were sent across McLean's Ford at noon on July 21 in order to silence an eight-gun Federal battery. The battery was positioned on a hill just across the ford and was supported by four New York regiments. In the advance up the slope, the two Mississippi regiments halted and began to withdraw, leaving Jenkins and his Carolinians unsupported. Despite that, Jenkins managed to drive back the artillerymen and their infantry supports, holding his position for forty-five minutes. He then sent three messages back to Jones requesting for further orders but, according to his report, received no reply and, being outnumbered and unsupported, eventually decided to withdraw, albeit unwillingly. Jones, however, states that he sent Jenkins three orders to withdraw, the 5th South Carolina eventually retiring "well formed and in good order from the field."

The Fifth suffered 3 killed and 23 wounded. They had fought well for their first battle. As Gen. Jones later wrote in his official report, "Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry displayed by Colonel Jenkins and his regiment of South Carolinians."

Placed in a division under Maj. Gen. James Longstreet that fall, Lonstreet's aide, Maj. Thomas J. Goree, wrote in a letter home that the general thought Jenkins was "the best colonel in the army." Goree also added that the 5th South Carolina was "one of the finest, if not the finest, regiments in the army."

In a review of Longstreet's division at Centreville, Va., November 28, Gen. Beauregard presented each regiment with a new, silk Confederate Battle Flag. Upon receiving his, Jenkins gave a short speech:

"As Colonel of the 5th S.C. Regiment, I accept this as our battle-flag. Our native soil [in South Carolina] is now oppressed with the footsteps of the fell invader; his beacon fires are lighted upon our headlands. To us a battle flag can only be one under which we must conquer or die. As such, I accept this."
(The Yorkville Enquirer, Dec. 12, 1861)

The First Battle Flags.jpg

The First Battle Flags by Don Troiani, depicting the flag presentation at Centreville.

Micah Jenkins 1.jpg

Later rising to a brigadier general, this is a photo of Jenkins when colonel of the 5th South Carolina. Born on Edisto Island, SC, Dec. 1, 1835, Jenkins graduated from the the Citadel (the South Carolina Military Academy) in 1854 — first in his class. He then went on to co-found the Kings Mountain Military Academy (a prep school for the Citadel) in Yorkville, SC, with his close friend and fellow Citadel graduate, Asbury Coward, only a year later. In fall of 1859, Jenkins raised the Jasper Light Infantry from Yorkville, later organized as Co. I of the 5th South Carolina and Co. G of his second regiment, the Palmetto Sharpshooters. Though a strict drill master, Jenkins was generally well liked by the men under his command. With his experience and their trust, they formed a superb unit. (Photo from Library of Congress)
 

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Upon the expiration of its one-year term of service, the regiment was then reorganized in April 1862 from reenlistees and new recruits. Five companies were detached from the Fifth to form part of Micah Jenkins' newly organized regiment, the Palmetto Sharpshooters, which also consisted of companies from the 4th and 9th South Carolina infantry regiments (the former consolidated into a battalion and the later disbanded).

The five companies detached from the 5th South Carolina were: the Johnson Rifles, Spartan Rifles, Jasper Light Infantry, Morgan Light Infantry, and Pacolet Guards.

In turn, five new companies were then added to the regiment, several of which consisted of a mix of reenlistees from the 5th, 6th, and 9th South Carolina infantry regiments. After reelection of officers, its organization was as follows:


Col. John R. R. Giles

Lt. Col. Andrew Jackson

Maj. William M. Foster


Company A — Lancaster Greys, Lancaster District, Capt. John D. Wylie, formerly Co. A of the 9th SC Inf. Reg.

Company B — Catawba Light Infantry, York District, Capt. Thomas C. Beckham

Company C — Limestone Southern Rights Guards; Union, Spartanburg, and Chester Districts; Capt. Thomas H. Dunn

Company D — Tyger River Volunteers, Union District, Capt. James T. Douglass

Company E — Turkey Creek Grays, York and Chester Districts, Capt. Samuel B. Meacham

Company F — Kings Mountain Guards, York District, Capt. Jonathan Fitchett

Company G — York District, Capt. Thomas P. Whiteside

Company H — Pea Ridge Volunteers, Union District, Capt. James B. Steedman

Company I — Spartanburg and Union Districts, Capt. William D. Camp

Company K — Lawson's Fork Volunteers, Spartanburg District, Capt. Rial B. Seay


John R. R. Giles 1.jpg

Col. John R. R. Giles. From Union District, SC, Giles entered service on April 13, 1861, as first lieutenant in the Tyger River Volunteers — later being promoted captain. Elected colonel after the reoganization, Giles led the regiment until he was killed in the battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862.
(Photo from Time-Life's Voices of the Civil War: The Peninsula Campaign, p. 133)
 

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As part of Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's (later Jenkins') brigade of South Carolina regiments, the 5th South Carolina went on to fight in the following battles and campaigns:

Siege of Yorktown, April - May 1862

Williamsburg, May 5, 1862 — Six companies from the Fifth were positioned in Fort Magruder alongside the Palmetto Sharpshooters, while four companies were positioned in Redoubt No. 7. The 5th South Carolina lost 2 killed and 19 wounded in the battle.

Seven Pines/Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862 — While Jenkins fought independently with several regiments under his command, the 5th South Carolina initially fought on another part of the field, driving back several Federal lines. Holding their position in a captured redoubt for some time, Jenkins later called for their assistance. After joining up with his men, the Fifth then helped repulse a Federal advance down the Williamsburg Road. Col. John R. R. Giles was shot through the heart and killed in one of their charges that day, and Maj. William M. Foster was wounded. The Fifth suffered heavy losses, although their exact casualty figures were not reported. Co. E, the color company, lost 38 men killed or wounded, every commissioned officer, and three out of four color bearers.

Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862 — Running into two Union regiments withdrawing from the battlefield, the Palmetto Sharpshooters and 5th South Carolina got into a duel with the 16th Michigan and 83rd Pennsylvania. Trading volleys at close range, many fell on either side before Jenkins ordered a charge, which broke the Federal regiments. The Fifth lost 21 killed and 60 wounded, including Lt. Col. Andrew Jackson, who was shot through both thighs and through the arm, having it amputated. The regiment's flag was struck in three places, the color bearer shot through the head, and four of the color guard killed or wounded.

Glendale/Frayer's Farm, June 30, 1862 — Jenkins, commanding Anderson's brigade, made a bloody charge on Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (Cooper's Battery). Initially capturing the guns and driving away the infantry supports, the fighting then raged back and forth, with attacks and counterattacks. By the end of the day, the artillery pieces were left in Confederate hands, but at a heavy cost. Capt. John D. Wylie acting commander, the Fifth suffered 11 killed and 70 wounded out of only 175 men carried into action. Out of the fifty men in Co. H, only four emerged from the battle without wounds or bullet holes through their clothing. Thirty bullets or other projectiles had passed through the colors. Jenkins reported that the brigade lost 569 killed and wounded out of 1,095 engaged, or 52% — a higher loss than any other brigade in the battle.
(For more info, see thread Micah Jenkins at the Battle of Glendale)

Jenkins promoted to brigadier general, July 22, 1862.

Second Manassas/Bull Run, Aug. 30, 1862 — Engaged in the fighting at Chinn Ridge on the final day of the battle, during Longstreet's assault on Pope's flank. Losses were 2 killed and 37 wounded.

South Mountain, Sept. 14, 1862 — Lightly engaged at Turner's Gap. Only six men were wounded in the Fifth.

Antietam/Sharpsburg, Sept. 17, 1862 — Jenkins' Brigade (under Col. Joe Walker after Jenkins' wounding at Second Manassas) fought just outside the town of Sharpsburg during the afternoon phase of the battle. Putting up a good defense, they first repulsed a Federal brigade to their front, then wheeled to their right, firing into the flank of another brigade. Casualties in the Fifth were 6 killed, 27 wounded. Every field officer having been killed or wounded in the previous battles, Capt. Thomas C. Beckham was acting commander of the regiment at Antietam.
 
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The 5th South Carolina's officer corps was left in poor shape after the battles of 1862, Col. Giles having been killed at Seven Pines and Lt. Col. Jackson resigning after his wounds at Gaines' Mill. There were even thoughts of disbanding the regiment. That fall, Jenkins offered the command to his good friend, Asbury Coward, who had previously served on the staff of Gen. D. R. Jones. Coward accepted the offer and was approved by the War Department.

When he arrived in November to take command of the regiment, he found it with only 260 men, lacking any field officers, adjutant or chaplain. Coward instantly got to work whipping the regiment into shape, establishing a night school in tactics for its officers and improving skirmish drill by the bugle call.

Capt. John D. Wylie was promoted to major, then lieutenant colonel shortly thereafter. Capt. Thomas C. Beckham took his place as major.
John N. Craig was named chaplain and Dr. Joseph H. Foster regimental surgeon.

Pvt. Frank M. Mixson of Co. E, 1st South Carolina Infantry (Hagood's), part of the same brigade, wrote:

"It was here that Col. Coward took command of the Fifth South Carolina. I recollect how game he looked. He had the regiment formed for dress parade. He was dressed in a brand new suit, polished high top boots, shining spurs and bright sword. He did not weigh over one hundred and twenty pounds, but he looked game. He had the orders read appointing him colonel, and then he told the men that he was now their colonel and would be respected as such; he would not tell them to go only as he led them. When he got through his talk the Fifth knew they had a colonel, and after events proved it, for from then on the Fifth was one of the best regiments in our brigade."
(Reminiscences of a Private, p. 36)

Asbury Coward 1.jpg

Photo of Asbury Coward (probably prewar). The son of a rice planter, Coward was born Sept. 19, 1835, on Quenby Plantation, outside Charleston. He graduated from the Citadel alongside Micah Jenkins in 1854, and a year later they both founded the Kings Mountain Military Academy. In June 1861, Coward volunteered to serve as an aide-de-camp on the staff of Gen. D. R. Jones — shortly thereafter commissioned assistant adjutant-general with the rank of captain, then promoted to major in July 1862. Commissioned colonel of the 5th South Carolina that fall, he led it throughout the remainder of the war until the surrender at Appomattox. Coward then returned to his family in Yorkville, having married Eliza Corbett Blum in 1856, they having many children. In 1890, Coward was appointed superintendent of the Citadel, serving in that position until 1908. He died April 28, 1925, and is buried in York, SC. (Photo from Find A Grave)
 

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Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862 — Situated on Marye's Heights during the battle and under artillery fire, but not engaged. That night, the Fifth was sent to relieve some of the troops behind the stone wall at the base of the hill. On Dec. 15, two companies from the regiment were ordered into the town on a scouting mission, learning that Burnside's army had departed. They were the first armed Confederate troops to reenter Fredericksburg after the battle.

Siege of Suffolk, April - May 1863

Jenkins' Brigade was stationed in the vicinity of Richmond and Petersburg, Va., during the Gettysburg Campaign. They rejoined Longstreet's Corps upon their return (placed in Hood's Division) and accompanied their transfer West in September 1863 to reinforce the Army of Tennessee.

Chattanooga Campaign, Sept. 21 - Nov. 5, 1864 — Jenkins' Brigade arrived too late to take part in the battle of Chickamauga, but they were heavily engaged in the night battle of Wauhatchie at Chattanooga on Oct. 29. Jenkins wrote to his wife that, in this battle, "Colonel Coward distinguished himself as did his regiment particularly."

The Fifth suffered more losses than any regiment in the battle, with 9 killed, 85 wounded, and 8 missing out of 218 men engaged. Lt. J. D. McConnell of Co. E later said that "This was the hardest fight in which the Fifth was ever in." In a letter home, Capt. J. B. Lyle, commanding Co. C, noted, "I am almost without a company — lost exactly two thirds of all I carried into [the] fight. Lt. [William T.] Norris and I intend to lay aside our swords and take [up] muskets for the present."

A newspaper correspondent with the brigade wrote the following:

"One of the most affecting incidents of the battle occurred in the Regiment of Col. Coward—Private James W. Smith, of Yorkville, belonging to Company B, while rising to discharge his gun, was shot in the breast. He fell forward, but rolling over, his eye caught that of his Colonel, who was standing near. Extending his hand, the poor fellow murmered, 'Colonel, I am killed, but I have tried to do my duty, and when you write to my poor mother, tell her that I died like a man.' A moment more, still grasping the hand of his commander, and he had breathed his last.

"I could not omit to add that during the action Col. Coward had his clothing shot through five times, one of the balls stopping on the hammer of his pistol."
(The Yorkville Enquirer, Nov. 18, 1863)

Knoxville Campaign, Nov. - Dec. 1863 — Jenkins' Brigade saw little action, but still a harsh campaign for Longstreet's Corps.

Dandridge, Jan. 17, 1864 — Small battle in Jefferson County, Tenn.

Overland Campaign, May - June, 1864 — In April, Longstreet's men returned to Virginia from East Tennessee, rejoining Lee's army.

The Wilderness, May 6, 1864 — Longstreet's Corps arrived on the field during the second day of fighting, just in time to stem the tide of a major Federal advance. In an unfortunate friendly fire accident, however, Longstreet and Jenkins were wounded, the latter mortally. Col. Coward rushed over and knelt beside his friend, who was unresponsive. Despite being dazed, the situation called for him to leave Jenkins' side and return to the regiment.

Col. John Bratton of the 6th SC then assumed command of the brigade. In a charge on a line of earthworks along the Brock Road, only the 1st and 5th SC managed to break through momentarily — largely due to the actions of Col. Coward, who grabbed the colors of the Fifth, rallied the men and led them forward over the works, the logs of which catching on fire. Unsupported, they then held their position for about thirty minutes until driven out by counterattacks. The Fifth lost 111 men out of 213 carried into action, including Coward, who took a shot through the left arm. It was not serious, though due to the danger of infection, he spent several weeks recuperating at home in Yorkville before returning to the regiment.

21538v.jpg

Alfred R. Waud's original sketch, the basis for the illustration in the OP. (From LoC)

Spotsylvania C.H., May 8 - 21, 1864 — Repulsed repeated assaults on the Laurel Hill/Spindle Farm area of the battlefield. Also moved in support of the Mule Shoe salient during the battle on May 12, though not directly engaged.

North Anna - Cold Harbor, May 23 - June 12 — Not heavily engaged besides skirmishing.

Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, June 15, 1864 - April 2, 1865

In the trenches outside Petersburg, until moved across the James River to the Richmond front on July 29.

Second Deep Bottom/Fussell's Mill, Aug. 16, 1864 — The 5th SC and 2nd SC Rifles were sent to help close a gap in the lines around Richmond, following a Federal breakthrough. Making a charge, the Fifth lost 7 killed and 20 wounded, successfully driving the Union troops out of the gap and recovering the lost ground.

Fort Harrison, Sept. 30, 1864 — Bratton's Brigade took part in a frontal assault to try and take back the captured Fort Harrison, but the attack was repulsed with heavy losses. The Fifth's weren't reported, but Gen. Bratton reported a loss of 377 out of 1,294 engaged in his brigade.

Darbytown and New Market Roads, Oct. 7, 1864 — A counteroffensive on the far Federal right flank outside Richmond. Field's Division drove off two brigades of cavalry, but the Federal flank was refused and the Confederates were unable to break their heavily fortified line. Col. Coward's brother, James, was mortally wounded in the assault. Again, the regiment's casualties weren't reported, but the brigade lost 190 men.

Darbytown Road, Oct. 13, 1864 — Field's Division holds off an uncoordinated Federal advance with few losses.

Williamsburg Road, Oct. 27, 1864 — Repulse of another Federal attack on the far Confederate left. Capt. Joseph Banks Lyle of the 5th South Carolina single-handedly captured a large group of Union troops who were pinned down in a depression in front of the Confederate line. The story, as told by Gen. Bratton, can be read Here.

Petersburg evacuated, April 2-3, 1865

Cumberland Church/Farmville, April 7, 1865 — Rearguard action in the retreat to Appomattox.

Surrender at Appomattox C.H. — Gen. Lee officially surrendered on April 9. The men of Longstreet's Corps were the last to stack their arms in the formal surrender ceremony three days later.

Bratton's Brigade was the largest Confederate brigade at Appomattox, the Palmetto Sharpshooters the largest regiment. The 5th South Carolina numbered 19 officers and 263 men — more than some brigades in the army.

When it was their turn to stack arms, a battle flag was also placed to the stack; however, Col. Coward wrote that the Fifth's actual battle flag was cut up and distributed among the men, surrendering an extra instead.

As fate would have it, among the Federal regiments present were the 16th Michigan and 83rd Pennsylvania — that with which the Palmetto Sharpshooters and 5th South Carolina had faced off against at Gaines' Mill. Upon hearing who was who, the Yanks were kind enough to rush over, shake hands with the Rebs and share their rations with them.
(See thread Two Regiments Meet Again at Appomattox)

Even after the surrender, Bratton's Brigade embarked on their journey home as a unit. It wasn't til they got within a few miles of Salisbury, NC, that the men were advised to split off into groups. Before Col. Coward left his boys, he "reminded them of Lee's words [after the surrender]: to go to the homes they must protect and rebuild . . . and I bade them goodbye. When they raised a feeble cheer as I rode off, I found myself choking and unable to speak."
 

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Bibliography

South Carolina's Military Organizations During the War Between the States: The Upstate by Robert S. Seigler (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008)

South Carolina Volunteers in the Civil War: 5th South Carolina Volunteers (Jenkins') by Ron Field (Lower Swell, Gloucestershire, UK: Design Folio, 1997).

The South Carolinians: Colonel Asbury Coward's Memoirs edited by Natalie Jenkins Bond and Osmun Latrobe Coward (New York: Vantage Press, 1968).

The South Carolina Regimental-Roster Set: A History of the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers by Rosalind Todd Tedards (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 2013).

The Struck Eagle: A Biography of Brigadier General Micah Jenkins, and a History of the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers and the Palmetto Sharpshooters by James J. Baldwin III (Shippensburg, PA: Burd Street Press, 1996).

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Civil War Manuscript Collection of Captain Harvey Alexander Wallace edited by Stephen Skelton (Westminister, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2004).
 
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37292v-jpg.jpg

Photo of Captain Joseph A. Walker, Co. K "Spartan Rifles" of the 5th South Carolina Infantry. Born May 18, 1835, in Spartanburg County, SC, Walker was elected captain of the Spartan Rifles in 1861. When the Palmetto Sharpshooters were organized in April 1862, he was then elected lieutenant colonel of that regiment. And after Micah Jenkins was promoted to brigadier general in July 1862, Walker then rose to colonel of the Palmetto S.S. and commanded it until the surrender at Appomattox, though he was on leave at the time. (Photo from LoC)

0ec6b387f1a815a46f12a7f3f5d3f4b6-death-jpg.jpg

Lt. John Warren White of the "Spartan Rifles," Co. K of the 5th South Carolina and later Co. K of the Palmetto Sharpshooters. Discharged June 11, 1862 for wounds at Seven Pines. Reenlisted in the same company Sept. 20, 1863. Died of wounds at Petersburg, Sept. 30, 1864. (Pinterest)

56913v-jpg.jpg

Patrick L. Henry, Co. K "Spartan Rifles." Private in the 5th South Carolina and later a sergeant in the Palmetto Sharpshooters. Taken in Richmond, Va., by E.J. Rees & Co. (LoC)
 

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Robert M. Wilson.jpg

Pvt. Robert M. Wilson, Co. G (Whiteside's), 5th SC. He mustered into service on May 13, 1862, after the reorganization of the regiment. Was absent on sick leave on several occasions, but otherwise served throughout the war, last listed as present in February 1865 before records end. (From LoC)
 

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Williamsburg Road, Oct. 27, 1864 — Repulse of another Federal attack on the far Confederate left. Capt. Joseph Banks Lyle of the 5th South Carolina single-handedly captured a large group of Union troops who were pinned down in a depression in front of the Confederate line. The story, as told by Gen. Bratton, can be read Here.
Joseph Banks Lyle.jpg

Here's a postwar photo of Capt. Joseph Banks Lyle. From his Find A Grave page, which includes some more info on him.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/20418498/joseph-banks-lyle
 
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Bratton's Brigade was the largest Confederate brigade at Appomattox, the Palmetto Sharpshooters the largest regiment. The 5th South Carolina numbered 19 officers and 263 men — more than some brigades in the army.
Also of note, looking at the figures, the other regiments at the surrender numbered:
1st SC Volunteers (Hagood's Regiment): 21 off., 201 men
2nd SC Rifles: 22 off, 276 men
6th SC Regiment: 30 off, 328 men
Palmetto Sharpshooters: 29 off, 356 men
Adding that and the 19 off, 263 men of 5th SC Regiment, the total strength of the brigade would be 121 officers, 1424 men, for a grand total of 1545. Wow, that is probably larger than some of the divisions.

Edit: note to self, make a thread detailing the confederate unit strengths at Appomattox.
 

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View attachment 312871
Here's a postwar photo of Capt. Joseph Banks Lyle. From his Find A Grave page, which includes some more info on him.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/20418498/joseph-banks-lyle
He has been my Avatar since I joined CWT. He was an amazing Man & Officer - a true inspiration to his Men.
I never knew he had been wounded 9 times with balls,shell and sabre, once having his skull broken ! That is 3 wounds more than Joshua Chamberlain !
He was Captain of Co C, Limestone Southern Rights Guards. His CO was Col.Asbury Coward, Brattons Brigade, Fields Division, 1st Corps.
 

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Also of note, looking at the figures, the other regiments at the surrender numbered:
1st SC Volunteers (Hagood's Regiment): 21 off., 201 men
2nd SC Rifles: 22 off, 276 men
6th SC Regiment: 30 off, 328 men
Palmetto Sharpshooters: 29 off, 356 men
Adding that and the 19 off, 263 men of 5th SC Regiment, the total strength of the brigade would be 121 officers, 1424 men, for a grand total of 1545. Wow, that is probably larger than some of the divisions. IIRC, it was the largest in the division ever since it rejoined Longstreet's Corps in Sept. 1863.

Edit: note to self, make a thread detailing the confederate unit strengths at Appomattox.
Yeah, I think Bratton's Brigade was so large because, for one, they had not seen much action in 1863 and suffered few losses through 1864-65 in comparison to some other brigades. IIRC, it was the largest in the division, and possibly the corps, ever since it rejoined Longstreet's Corps in Sept. 1863.

Interestingly, the Palmetto Sharpshooters consisted almost entirely of volunteers, with very few conscripts. The brigade also had a reputation for being well drilled and disciplined. So, due to those reasons, it might've also had fewer desertions in comparison to other units.
 
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James Allen Dodd 1.jpg

Here's a photo of James Allen Dodd of the Lawson's Fork Volunteers, Co. C and later K after the reorganization. He enlisted as a private on April 13, 1861 and served until the surrender at Appomattox, promoted up to sergeant.

From Military Images Magazine vol. 11, no. 6 (May-June, 1990)

His Find A Grave page: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/50930940/james-allen-dodd
 

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19128098_126481517949-jpg.jpg

George Washington Bonner (left) and his brother Benjamin Franklin Bonner, both in the Pacolet Guards, Co. G of the 5th SC and later Co. M of the Palmetto Sharpshooters.

Description on George's Find A Grave page, attributed to the Spartanburg Herald, Aug. 17, 1910:

BONNER, GEO. WASHINGTON – Born Feb. 22, 1839, in Spartanburg county. Enlisted April, 1861, Co. [G], 5th S.C. Reg. Reorganized as Palmetto Sharpshooters, Capt. J.Q. CARPENTER. Was sergeant at close of war. Wounded first battle of Bull Run and siege of Petersburg, Va. Teacher, farmer and merchant. "Our company went out in 5th S.C., but at re-organization near Richmond, joined Palmetto Sharpshooters, MICAH JENKINS was our colonel. I served the four years of war in Virginia, except one trip to Chattanooga and east Tennessee in winter of 1863. Was in the most of the battles in Virginia during war."​

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19128098

They both appear to be wearing cadet gray Richmond Depot jackets in the photo, which would indicate that it was likely taken later in the war, 1863-65.
 

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Not long after their arrival in Virginia, the Fifth saw its first action in the battle of First Manassas/Bull Run, July 21, 1861. They were not engaged on the main field of battle, however, but in a separate action to the east at McLean's Ford.

Part of Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones' brigade, the 5th South Carolina and the 17th and 18th Mississippi were sent across McLean's Ford at noon on July 21 in order to silence an eight-gun Federal battery. The battery was positioned on a hill just across the ford and was supported by four New York regiments. In the advance up the slope, the two Mississippi regiments halted and began to withdraw, leaving Jenkins and his Carolinians unsupported. Despite that, Jenkins managed to drive back the artillerymen and their infantry supports, holding his position for forty-five minutes. He then sent three messages back to Jones requesting for further orders but, according to his report, received no reply and, being outnumbered and unsupported, eventually decided to withdraw, albeit unwillingly. Jones, however, states that he sent Jenkins three orders to withdraw, the 5th South Carolina eventually retiring "well formed and in good order from the field."

The Fifth suffered 3 killed and 23 wounded. They had fought well for their first battle. As Gen. Jones later wrote in his official report, "Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry displayed by Colonel Jenkins and his regiment of South Carolinians."
Micah Jenkins' official report on the battle of First Manassas.

Hdqrs. Fifth Reg’t South Carolina Vols.,​
McLean's Ford, July 22, 1861.​
Sir: I beg leave to make the following brief report of the occurrences of yesterday as they relate to my regiment:​
When I had thrown my regiment in the position indicated by your orders, and found that the enemy had discovered our approach, I formed front under the brow of a hill. The enemy opening upon us a heavy fire of grape and shell, I advanced quickly over very difficult ground. While gallantly charging in fine order our friends in the rear poured in upon me heavy fires of musketry, cutting us up sadly. This compelled a halt, which I made upon gaining the brow of the hill upon which the enemy was stationed. Here, under a terrific fire of shell, I reformed and dressed my lines, and reloaded such guns as had been fired. Expecting the reserve to form to the rear to my support, I made every preparation to renew my charge upon the batteries, when I discovered that I was isolated in the presence of the enemy’s guns, cavalry, and three or four regiments of infantry.​
Doubtful whether to advance unsupported against such great odds of position and men, I sent to you three times for orders, and retained my position amid the bursting of shell and threats of attack for three-quarters of an hour. Throwing to the front Captain Seabrook’s company as sharpshooters, and finding a large force threatening to charge, I withdrew them and placed Company A (Captain Goss) and Company B (Captain Jackson) in advance, in a skirt of woods upon my right, with orders to open upon the enemy, which was promptly executed and with effect, the artillerists leaving their guns and the troops retiring to the wood immediately in their rear.​
Not hearing from the brigade, and the enemy being impregnable to a small body like mine, I decided unwillingly to withdraw, and leaving Companies A and B to prevent a sudden attack, retired in order a short-distance, when I threw into position Company C (Captain Seay) and Company H (Captain Bowen), and called in the two Companies A and B, and, forming column, slowly and in order left the ground.​
My observation, limited to a portion of the regiment, at times prevented my noticing all who behaved well. I notice with pleasure, as coming under immediate observation, the coolness and good conduct of Lieut. Col. G. W. H. Legg, in addition to the captains mentioned as performing special orders. I was greatly pleased with the coolness and conduct of others. Captains Giles, Carpenter, and, in fine, all under my observation, obeyed with promptness and kept good order in their ranks. Many lieutenants pleased me by self-possession and coolness, and would no doubt have given signal proof of gallantry and conduct had opportunity offered. My adjutant, Lieut. E. B. Clinton, also greatly pleased me by his conduct. I could notice a general desire to do their duty, and specially marked as encouraging the men were Privates Fernandez and Long, of Captain Glenn’s company. I also hear Private Scaife, of Captain Goss’ company, highly spoken of as aiding his company in its hour of trial.​
I can only refer to the providence of a merciful God our success, as the enemy left the field under so small an attacking force ; to His protection, our safety and comparatively small loss under so heavy a fire.​
The enemy fired seventy-four shots at us, and my killed amounted only to three and my wounded to twenty-three.​
Most respectfully,​
M. JENKINS,​
Colonel.​
General D. B. Jones,​
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade.​
P. S.—I should have stated that Company K, Captain Walker, was deployed on my right flank as skirmishers, and the road being unknown and the thicket dense was separated from the regiment. Some few of its members, having become separated from the company, with Sergeant Blassingame, joined us.​
 
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Co_K_Cooks93

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Sep 2, 2019
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I just found this while trying to research my 4th great uncles who joined up with Co K after they reorganized in 1862. I was wondering where you found all the pictures, I was hoping to find some of them.
 
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