Confederate Soldiers who did not Fight with their own Command

Tom Elmore

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#1
On rare occasion, a soldier might find himself with another unit, through no fault of his own. One example would be a returning convalescent who attached himself to another command until he could locate his own regiment. Because a county in any given state may have raised two or more companies that were widely distributed within the army, a soldier could seek them out and know that he would be welcomed and accepted by former acquaintances from his own community, and perhaps even kinfolk, who happened to be part of another corps.

Such appears to be the case with Private John Carlton of Company D, 6th North Carolina, who was a resident of Burke County. On July 1, for some reason he fought (and died) with Company B (“Burke Rifles”) of the 11th North Carolina. We do know Carlton was trying to get back to his own regiment, but never made it. A modern reference naturally lists him among the men of his own regiment, part of Col. Isaac E. Avery’s brigade, which fought against the Eleventh Corps on July 1 north of the town. No one would have reason to suspect that he actually laid down his life while fighting the Iron Brigade of the First Corps west of town, with Brig. Gen. James J. Pettigrew’s brigade. (George Phifer Erwin Papers, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, cited in My Dearest Friend, The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick, ed. by Mike and Carolyn Lawing, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000, p. 145; John W. Busey and Travis W. Busey, Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg)

Another example prior to the battle is that of Charles A. Conn, Company G, 45th Georgia, from Baldwin County, who found his company on June 30, about six or seven miles from Gettysburg. But before rejoining his company, he caught up with Hood’s division, and spent a comfortable night with Company F, 9th Georgia – the “Baldwin County Volunteers.” (July 8 letter of Charles A. Conn)

A different but equally uncommon scenario involves a relative in one unit making an extended visit to a relative serving in another unit. Private Alfred Lewis Scott served with Company G, 9th Alabama, although he was occasionally detailed to the Florida brigade as a staff officer. His brother, James McClure “Jim” Scott, Jr., was a 3rd Sergeant in the 10th Virginia Cavalry. Jim was reportedly wounded in the neck on the Emmitsburg road on July 3 (it would have to be in the afternoon) while with the 9th Alabama. A third brother, John Zachary Holladay Scott, a member of the 5th Virginia Cavalry, also found himself away from his command, and became part of a group sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee to scout the army’s right wing on the morning of July 2; he appears to have witnessed (from a safe distance) the encounter involving Wilcox’s Alabama brigade in Pitzer’s Woods later that same morning. In any case, John met Jim the following morning, July 3, while making his way back to the 5th Virginia Cavalry, which was on the far left flank of the army. (Memoir of Service in the Confederate Army, by Alfred Lewis Scott, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond; Confederate Veteran, vol. 7 (1899), p. 492; 10th Virginia Cavalry, by Robert J. Driver, Jr., The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1992)

It seems the 9th Alabama also received a separate additional reinforcement, “off the books.” David C. Crow, evidently a civilian resident of Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama, claimed he took part in the battle of Gettysburg while visiting with the 9th Alabama. On July 27, 1863, he enlisted in the 4th Alabama Cavalry. It turns out Company D of the 9th Alabama was from Lauderdale County, and led by Captain James Madison Crow, which suggests David was a relative. (1907 Confederate Veteran Census; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/54770648/david-c_-crow)
 

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DaveBrt

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Mar 6, 2010
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Charlotte, NC
#2
On rare occasion, a soldier might find himself with another unit, through no fault of his own. One example would be a returning convalescent who attached himself to another command until he could locate his own regiment. Because a county in any given state may have raised two or more companies that were widely distributed within the army, a soldier could seek them out and know that he would be welcomed and accepted by former acquaintances from his own community, and perhaps even kinfolk, who happened to be part of another corps.

Such appears to be the case with Private John Carlton of Company D, 6th North Carolina, who was a resident of Burke County. On July 1, for some reason he fought (and died) with Company B (“Burke Rifles”) of the 11th North Carolina. We do know Carlton was trying to get back to his own regiment, but never made it. A modern reference naturally lists him among the men of his own regiment, part of Col. Isaac E. Avery’s brigade, which fought against the Eleventh Corps on July 1 north of the town. No one would have reason to suspect that he actually laid down his life while fighting the Iron Brigade of the First Corps west of town, with Brig. Gen. James J. Pettigrew’s brigade. (George Phifer Erwin Papers, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, cited in My Dearest Friend, The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick, ed. by Mike and Carolyn Lawing, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000, p. 145; John W. Busey and Travis W. Busey, Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg)

Another example prior to the battle is that of Charles A. Conn, Company G, 45th Georgia, from Baldwin County, who found his company on June 30, about six or seven miles from Gettysburg. But before rejoining his company, he caught up with Hood’s division, and spent a comfortable night with Company F, 9th Georgia – the “Baldwin County Volunteers.” (July 8 letter of Charles A. Conn)

A different but equally uncommon scenario involves a relative in one unit making an extended visit to a relative serving in another unit. Private Alfred Lewis Scott served with Company G, 9th Alabama, although he was occasionally detailed to the Florida brigade as a staff officer. His brother, James McClure “Jim” Scott, Jr., was a 3rd Sergeant in the 10th Virginia Cavalry. Jim was reportedly wounded in the neck on the Emmitsburg road on July 3 (it would have to be in the afternoon) while with the 9th Alabama. A third brother, John Zachary Holladay Scott, a member of the 5th Virginia Cavalry, also found himself away from his command, and became part of a group sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee to scout the army’s right wing on the morning of July 2; he appears to have witnessed (from a safe distance) the encounter involving Wilcox’s Alabama brigade in Pitzer’s Woods later that same morning. In any case, John met Jim the following morning, July 3, while making his way back to the 5th Virginia Cavalry, which was on the far left flank of the army. (Memoir of Service in the Confederate Army, by Alfred Lewis Scott, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond; Confederate Veteran, vol. 7 (1899), p. 492; 10th Virginia Cavalry, by Robert J. Driver, Jr., The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1992)

It seems the 9th Alabama also received a separate additional reinforcement, “off the books.” David C. Crow, evidently a civilian resident of Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama, claimed he took part in the battle of Gettysburg while visiting with the 9th Alabama. On July 27, 1863, he enlisted in the 4th Alabama Cavalry. It turns out Company D of the 9th Alabama was from Lauderdale County, and led by Captain James Madison Crow, which suggests David was a relative. (1907 Confederate Veteran Census; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/54770648/david-c_-crow)
I have recently been going through the Special Orders ledger books of various Departments and have been surprised at how many exchanges are recorded -- soldier A and soldier B, at no cost to the government, and with the consent of the officers concerned, are authorized to swap units. The SO books I have been reviewing are mostly late war, but I assume this was common once conscription started.
 

CSA Today

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#3
I have recently been going through the Special Orders ledger books of various Departments and have been surprised at how many exchanges are recorded -- soldier A and soldier B, at no cost to the government, and with the consent of the officers concerned, are authorized to swap units. The SO books I have been reviewing are mostly late war, but I assume this was common once conscription started.
In a study of locally raised companies for programs to be given, I found that transfers and even desertions to other units were not that uncommon, there were even transfers to the CS Navy.
 
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#4
William Outlaw served in Company F, 48th Georgia (Wright's Brigade, Anderson's Division, Hill's Corps) and his brother W.G. Outlaw served in the 59th Georgia (Anderson's Brigade, Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps). As Anderson's Brigade arrived on the field on July 2, the brothers sought one another out. After a short reunion, they approached Captain Thomas Kent (Company F, 48th Georgia) and asked if they could fight together in the coming battle. Captain Kent offered Private James Kersey to the 59th Georgia who was accepted and the men joined their new commands.

The Outlaw brothers would both die in Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge and James Kersey was wounded in Rose's Woods and left behind when Lee retreated.

Ryan
 

Cavalry Charger

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#5
William Outlaw served in Company F, 48th Georgia (Wright's Brigade, Anderson's Division, Hill's Corps) and his brother W.G. Outlaw served in the 59th Georgia (Anderson's Brigade, Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps). As Anderson's Brigade arrived on the field on July 2, the brothers sought one another out. After a short reunion, they approached Captain Thomas Kent (Company F, 48th Georgia) and asked if they could fight together in the coming battle. Captain Kent offered Private James Kersey to the 59th Georgia who was accepted and the men joined their new commands.

The Outlaw brothers would both die in Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge and James Kersey was wounded in Rose's Woods and left behind when Lee retreated.

Ryan
Just wondering, if they joined together in the 59th Georgia that would have made them part of Anderson's Brigade and yet it appears they died in Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge. Some of this must get very confusing for folks trying to research individuals.
 
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#6
Just wondering, if they joined together in the 59th Georgia that would have made them part of Anderson's Brigade and yet it appears they died in Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge. Some of this must get very confusing for folks trying to research individuals.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. The Outlaws fought with the 48th Georgia while James Kersey (originally of the 48th) fought with the 59th. Luckily for researchers, W.G. Outlaw fighting with the 48th Georgia is fairly well documented.

Ryan
 



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