Official Thread of the Knights of Edisto

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The Knights of Edisto are a noble order dedicated to the memory of the Union and Confederate officers under the age of thirty, especially those who gave their lives in the service of their flag before reaching that age. It is named for Brigadier General Micah Jenkins, known as the "Prince of Edisto". This thread shall be used to relate the lives and deeds of these men, and discuss their skill and valor. It is hoped this serve the edification and entertainment of the users of CivilWarTalk.

The first biography discussed here will fittingly be that of Micah Jenkins.
Micah_Jenkins.jpg

Jenkins was born on 1 December 1835 on Edisto Island in South Carolina. He excelled in military arts from the beginnng seemingly, graduating first in his class in 1854 from the South Carolina Military Institute, called "The Citadel".

When the war began, he was quickly elected colonel of the 5th South Carolina Infantry, fighting at First Manassas under David R. Jones. He temporarily commanded Richard H. Anderson's brigade at the battle of Seven Pines, receiving a wound to the knee. He was wounded again in the shoulder and chest at Second Manassas, and was recuperating during the Maryland Campaign.

Jenkins was present at Fredericksburg, but did not take part in the fighting. He took part in the Suffolk Campaign with Longstreet missing Chancellorsville. His brigade was kept at Richmond, and they did not go north to fight at Gettysburg. Longstreet's corps was then sent to Georgia, and Jenkins fought at Chickamauga. John Bell Hood, Jenkins' division commander, was promoted to corps command after this battle, sparking a bitter feud with Evander Law over who would receive the division. Longstreet preferred Jenkins, and he had seniority, so Jenkins briefly commanded it. Law protested; he had commanded the division when Hood was wounded at Gettysburg and Chickamauga. The matter was resolved when Charles W. Field, senior to both Jenkins and Law, was given the command.

Jenkins was sick at the time of the Battle of the Wildnerness, but arrived at the battle in an ambulance ready to lead his troops into battle. He knew very well the great importance of the attack, and summoned his close friend Colonel Ashbury Coward of the 5th South Carolina. "Old man," he said, "we are in for it today. We are to break the enemy's line where the Brock Road cuts across the pike. The point," he indicated the direction with an extended arm, "lies just over there, I think." Smiling, he continued, "Your regiment is the battalion of direction. Tell your men that South Carolina is looking for every man to do his duty to her this day." Porter Alexander rode by to find a good position for the artillery. Alexander shook Jenkins' hand and poked a little fun at his friend's style of address. "Old man, I hope you will win that next grade this morning." "Well," answered Jenkins, turning to his men, "we are going to fight for old South Carolina today, aren't we boys?" The men gave a shout in reply.

The column was ready to move, and Jenkins was in high spirits. "Sorrel, it was splendid," he said, throwing an arm around the man's shoulder, "We shall smash them now." As Longstreet and Jenkins, riding close at hand, came near Mahone's troops, the men opened fire. Jenkins' troops had received new uniforms of a very dark, almost black, gray, leading their compatriots to think Yankees were approaching. Jenkins was struck in the skull and fell, while Longstreet received a near fatal wound to the neck. The bullet that hit Jenkins had passed through his temple, entering his brain. He babbled incoherently for a few moments, cheering and urging his men to drive the enemy into the river. He soon was too weak to talk, and Coward arrived to see his friend laying delirious on a litter. Kneeling by his side, he said, "Jenkins...Mike, do you know me?" he whispered to no answer. Jenkins' hand convulsed, then his whole body spasmed and stopped. Coward stood in shock as Jenkins' body was raised into the ambulance.

Jenkins' son, Micah Jenkins Jr., later served as Captain of Troop K of the "Rough Riders" in the Spanish-American War.

To apply for membership in the knights, contact either myself or @lelliott19. A 'dubbing' will be held, and membership shall be conferred upon that user.
My family and I have been visiting Edisto Island for probably 75 years now. It used to be practically empty, but now has gotten pretty touristy. However, in the interior of the island it is still pretty scarcely populated, and the remains of several plantations still exist on the island. The history museum is very interesting and has some info on the Jenkins family -- it's also got one of the only original slave cabins in the US. I'm not sure if the cabin came from Edisto or not.

After the Rebs abandoned Edisto Island early in the war, its only inhabitants for a couple years were the effectively freed slaves. Many of these slaves were conscripted by Federal forces into the 33rd, 34th, and 35th USCT troops.

I've not been able to definitively connect all the dots yet, but I am pretty sure that a former slave, Anthony Jenkins, from one of the Jenkins' plantations on Edisto was conscripted into the 34th USCT and fought against Micah Jenkins' brother John Jenkins at the battle of Honey Hill. Slave, become freed slave when all whites abandoned Edisto, become conscripted Yankee soldier, to finally fighting against his former master and surviving the war. Seems to me there's a whole story there!

This famous photo of a former slave wearing what appears to be a Federal frock coat was taken on Edisto Island -- you might recognize it from the cover of Jeffrey Hummel's book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men.
maxresdefault.jpg
 

OldReliable1862

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While I certainly enjoyed writing the bio of Jenkins here and have plans to upload others, I encourage all members of the Knights to upload bios of boy officers and generals.

By the way, how did those tags get there? It isn't a problem, I'm just wondering if I'm going senile already, because I don't remember adding them.
 

luinrina

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While I certainly enjoyed writing the bio of Jenkins here and have plans to upload others, I encourage all members of the Knights to upload bios of boy officers and generals.
I'm working on one for John McConihe (and his brothers) and will probably post tonight (if the TV show doesn't distract me too much :laugh:).
 
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lelliott19

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I've not been able to definitively connect all the dots yet, but I am pretty sure that a former slave, Anthony Jenkins, from one of the Jenkins' plantations on Edisto was conscripted into the 34th USCT and fought against Micah Jenkins' brother John Jenkins at the battle of Honey Hill. Slave, become freed slave when all whites abandoned Edisto, become conscripted Yankee soldier, to finally fighting against his former master and surviving the war. Seems to me there's a whole story there!
Oh wow. Interesting information. Thank you so much for posting. When I have time, I will take a look at the records of the Freedmen's Bureau for the Charleston area and see if I can turn up anything related to Edisto Island or Anthony Jenkins.
 
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OldReliable1862

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My family and I have been visiting Edisto Island for probably 75 years now. It used to be practically empty, but now has gotten pretty touristy. However, in the interior of the island it is still pretty scarcely populated, and the remains of several plantations still exist on the island. The history museum is very interesting and has some info on the Jenkins family -- it's also got one of the only original slave cabins in the US. I'm not sure if the cabin came from Edisto or not.

After the Rebs abandoned Edisto Island early in the war, its only inhabitants for a couple years were the effectively freed slaves. Many of these slaves were conscripted by Federal forces into the 33rd, 34th, and 35th USCT troops.

I've not been able to definitively connect all the dots yet, but I am pretty sure that a former slave, Anthony Jenkins, from one of the Jenkins' plantations on Edisto was conscripted into the 34th USCT and fought against Micah Jenkins' brother John Jenkins at the battle of Honey Hill. Slave, become freed slave when all whites abandoned Edisto, become conscripted Yankee soldier, to finally fighting against his former master and surviving the war. Seems to me there's a whole story there!

This famous photo of a former slave wearing what appears to be a Federal frock coat was taken on Edisto Island -- you might recognize it from the cover of Jeffrey Hummel's book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men.
maxresdefault.jpg
I found all this very cool. I didn't know some USCT soldiers were conscripts, I'd usually just assumed they were volunteers. Do you know how self-sufficient the plantations on Edisto were? How frequent were trips to the mainland for supplies or goods?
 

TnFed

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It could be true about conscription . I have read that right near the end and after the war. The sea-islands could be dangerous for any whites
Union or Confederate.
 
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OldReliable1862

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sanders.jpg

John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders was born on 4 April 1840 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was twenty when his state seceded, and was serving as a cadet at the University of Alabama. Sanders was an orderly sergeant in the cadet corps, and his commandant considered the best soldier in the corps. He left school to join the Confederate army, despite his family's wishes he would stay and complete his studies. He helped raise Company C of the 11th Alabama Infantry, and was elected its captain.

The 11th didn't make it to Virginia in time for First Manassas. The 11th was brigaded with other Alabama regiments in Cadmus Wilcox's brigade. Sanders would then fight at the battles of Seven Pines, Gaines Mill, and Frayser's Farm. At Frayser's Farm, Sanders would take a wound to the leg that left him recuperating for a month. When he returned, he was the 11th's ranking officer due to the regiment's casualties. He lead the 11th at Second Manassas, received a promotion to major, and lead the regiment at Antietam, where he was wounded slightly in the face. After Antietam, Sanders became a colonel, when he was only 22.

Sanders fought at Chancellorsville, receiving high praise from General Wilcox. At Gettysburg, Sanders took a severe wound to the knee at the head of his regiment during the attack on Cemetery Ridge. Sanders was out of action for five months, and once again he returned to find a vacant spot he could fill. Wilcox had been promoted to divisional command, and Wilcox was the brigade's senior colonel. Sanders led the brigade during the Mine Run Campaign in late 1863, but Robert E. Lee felt Sanders was too young to be made a brigadier general, and gave it to Abner M. Perrin.

Sanders returned to his regiment and led it until Spotsylvania, when, in the furious, bloody fighting at the Mule Shoe, Perrin was killed. Sanders did well forcing back the Federals, and Lee recommended him for promotion. He performed well at North Anna and Cold Harbor. In the Petersburg Campaign, Sanders led a counterattack that retook the Crater, taking three Federal flags and 700 prisoners.

In the Battle of Globe Tavern during the fighting over the Weldon Railroad, Sanders was leading his brigade on foot. He was shot through his thighs, severing both his femoral arteries. Sanders did nof fall immediately, he was able to order his aide to take him to the rear, and ask to be lain on the ground, where he died of blood loss within minutes. Sanders was 24.

The loss of this brave boy general was mourned by many. He was said to have been born to command, having all the attributes of a good soldier. A Charleston newspaper lamented that none were more beloved and no death more regretted that that of Sanders.

Sanders was initially buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, and while there is a marker there in his honor, the location of his grave is unfortunately lost. There is also a marker for him at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.
 
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OldReliable1862

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This was especially difficult for me to write as an Auburn/Mercer fan (Just kidding, I don't have a problem with 'Bama).
 
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OldReliable1862

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I, OldReliable1862, being an officer in good standing <ahem cough> of the famed and ever valiant Knights of Edisto hereby dub thee, @TomV71, a Knight of Edisto!

Arise, brave knight, and go forth to honor all the "boy generals" and young officers who gave their life for the cause for which they fought: the intelligent and zealous young Brigadier General Micah Jenkins, the gallant Major John Pelham, and the courageous Colonel Isaac Avery, of the CS Army. The valiant Lieut. Willie Grout (the youngest Union officer killed in the Civil War,) the fearless Bvt. Brigadier General Henry Livermore Abbott, and the heroic Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing (honored a century and a half late,) of the US Army. And all the other young men, noted for feats of courage, who committed to the cause in which they believed, gave their lives while so doing. Arise, my brave knight, and go forth!
 

TomV71

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I, OldReliable1862, being an officer in good standing <ahem cough> of the famed and ever valiant Knights of Edisto hereby dub thee, @TomV71, a Knight of Edisto!
Thank you! CWT Corporal and a Knight of Edisto on the same day.:dance:
Blessed be the gallant Pelham and the honorable Jenkins.
 
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