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Thread: South Carolina Zouave Volunteers (Hampton's Legion Company H)

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    South Carolina Zouave Volunteers (Hampton's Legion Company H)

    On October 22nd, 1861, the Daily Southern Guardian announced “the flag designed to be present by the ladies of Columbia to Captain McCord’s Zouave Volunteers will be on exhibition at J.J. Browne’s store, next to the Exchange Bank, for a few days.” A week later the presentation was made, on which occasion the company, escorted by the Chicora Rifles and the College Cadets, formed in front of the piazza of the Congaree House, where President Longstreet, of the South Carolina College, committed the flag to the care of color bearer William G. Gardner. Although this flag has not survived, a contemporary description indicates that it was made from blue silk. A white silk palmetto and crescent, embroidered by “the Nuns of Columbia,” decorated the obverse side, while the reverse featured a tiger’s head, painted by “Monseiur Dovilliers, of Columbia.” The pattern for the latter may have been taken from a woodcut used in both Charleston Zouave Cadet and South Carolina Zouave Volunteer Company orders published in Charleston and Columbia newspapers in 1861. This flag did not survive the war.



    The South Carolina Zouave Volunteers formed in 1861 at Columbia, South Carolina. They had intended to move immediately to join the Infantry Battalion of Hampton's Legion but at the time of the companies formation there was a measles outbreak in Columbia and they were detained. After they were released from the temporary quarantine they were move to the Coastline between Charleston and Savannah by order of the Governor.

    In July of 1862 the company finally joined the Legion in Virginia and was designated as Company H of the Infantry Battalion. In May of 1864 it was decided to mount the Infantry Battalion of the legion and a detachment, under Lieutenant Welch, was sent to Columbia to secure horses. They surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia on April 10th, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

    On of the Officers 2nd Lt. Stephen Elliott Welch: He was born on January 12th, 1843 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was educated in Charleston, South Carolina. Before the outbreak of the war he was involved in the mercantile buisness as a Clerk. With the secession of South Carolina he and his brother (William Hawkins Welch) enlisted in the Charleston Zouave Cadets, and he was appointed as 2nd Sergeant of the Company in January of 1861. On August 7th, 1861 he enlisted in the South Carolina Zouave Volunteers in Columbia, South Carolina and was appointed as the company's 1st Sergeant. At the Battle of 2nd Manassas in August of 1862 he was wounded in the leg but not severly and continued onto the Battle of Sharpsburg in September where he was wounded again this time by a shell fragement. From September to December 1st, 1862 he was at home recuperating, but returned to his company in time for the engagement at Fredericksburg. He was later promoted to Junior 2nd Lieutenant, and from January of 1864 until the wars end he was in charge of the Company. For a brief time he served as Acting Adjutant of the Legion, but returned to his company after that service was completed. With the Wars
    end he returned to Charleston and operated a wholesale fruit and produce buisness.

    Before the change as the South Carolina Zouave Volunteers:
    On the 20th, December, 1860, but a few hours after the passage of the ordinance of Secession by South Carolina, there appeared on the streets of Charleston a company of youthful soldiers, but few of whom were more than mere lads in Zouave, yet whose military drill and movements won commendations from all who witnessed them. That company, the "Charleston Zouave Cadets," had then made their first parade, and had on the occasion, in view of the impending conflict, offered their services to the governor of the State at his headquarters on Meeting Street. The company had been formed early in that year for military and social purposes, with a moral tone to its discipline, establishing an armory, with gymnasium and reading room, for the benefit of its members.

    On the 1st day of January 1861, the company was called on to make good its offer to the State, orders being received by its members to assemble at their armory in the Queen Street area. Meeting at 12 o'clock noon, that day. As that hour sounded from St. Michael's the rat-tat-tat of the drum called the men, who had been busying themselves packing their knapsacks, to fall in. After the forming of the company and the calling of the roll Lieut. Chichester, who was in command in the absence of the Captain P.F. Stevens, explained the call, that they had been summoned for duty on Morris Island, and that he hoped that the men would do their duty faithfully, and, if need be, bravely.

    The command "Forward" was given, and the company took up the march for Southern Wharf, where they formed, on reaching it, the German Riflemen, Capt. Jacob Small, marching, en route for the same destination. Both commands boarded the Steamer "Gen. Clinch" amidst the cheers of the people on the wharf; the vessel being soon on the way, steaming across the harbor.

    Reaching Cumming's Point, Morris Island, the two commands were marched, through a steady rain, two miles along the beach to their destination, where they found the Citadel Cadets, under command of Capt. P.F.Stevens; these were, in the midst of the rain and mud , digging dirt and building a battery with Ma;. Clement H. Stevens, afterwards the protector of the main battery, directing the work.

    Being assigned to one of the houses in the vicinity of the battery as quartered, the men prepared to make themselves as comfortable as the situation would allow; but the two commands were soon ordered to break out to assist the cadets in getting some heavy 24 pounder guns out of the mud; with a pull altogether this was soon accomplished.

    The men once more turned in, but orders were soon received for details of ten men, at intervals of two hours each, for work on the battery during the night. With the combined labor of the three commands the battery was in the course of a few days complete, the guns mounted, and with the Citadel Cadets as gunners, and the other two commands as their support, they were ready for the purpose for which the battery had been built; to prevent the reinforcement of Fort Sumter. It's object was accomplished when, under the name of "Fort Morris," a few days later, it repulsed the "Star of the West" and fired the first shot of the war.

    Guard duty along the beach and at Cumming's Point opposite Fort Sumter, proved rather irksome duty to novices in the art of war, as they were, when every billow seemed a boat, which was the cause of many a midnight alarm, when the commanders called out and stood at the battery in the rain and cold, for several hours, on the lookout for the expected succor for Fort Sumter. Thus the days passed, a whole week without a ray of sunshine. One good thing they had, a plentiful supply for the commissary, in striking contrast to that of later years.

    On the 9th of January, 1861, not long after daybreak the long roll was beaten and brought the various commands hastily to the battery; in the offing a steamship was seen entering the harbor; her errand was suspected, so as soon as near enough, the report of a gun sounded across the water, "Show your colors," was its meaning, for the intruders knowing that the flag was not welcome there, had entered without showing her nationality, but that demand was imperative and was soon followed by another shot, when the Stars and Stripes were soon raised to her masthead, this proved as a red flag to mad bull, for the shots soon began to ricochet in close proximity to her. Fort Moultrie joining in the chorus that greeted the vessel, though her shots falling short of their mark. The intruder wisely concluding that "discretion is the better part of valor," hastily turned and made her way out again without accomplishing the object of her visit Those not specially engaged at the guns of the battery had divided their attention between the "Star of the West", and Fort Sumter, and noticing the opening of several portholes nearest the battery, expected soon to see the shot and shell flying over their heads, if not in close proximity, but the Fort remained, otherwise, a passive spectator of the attack on her flag.

    On the 15th January the company was relieved by the Carolina Light Infantry and returned to the city; several calls being made on the command, while in the city for night-guard duty on a steamer, between Fort Sumter and the bar, to prevent any attempt at reinforcement of the fort during the darkness of night, the steamer remaining out until daybreak.

    On the 26th of February the Zouave Cadets were called upon, as part of the 1st Regiment Rifle, S.C. Militia, to assemble at Military Hall for duty with the regiment. When the regiment had been formed the march was made for Chisolm's Wharf, at the foot of Tredd Street, where it boarded a steamer which soon made its way across the river to James Island; landing at Dill's Bluff the regiment was soon again on the way, its destination being Secessionville. On arriving there the different companies were assigned, one each to various houses in the village. As this place the only breaks in the monotony were the drills, company and regimental, and the guard mounting(?) and guard duty. It was then a matter of wonderment to the men of the various commands why a whole regiment, consisting of eight or more companies had been placed at such an out of the way place safe from all harm, as Secessionville was at that time considered to be; the future told another tale and gave a sad sequel to that peaceful picture. On the 5th of March the Steamer "Excel " carried the regiment to Sullivan's Island. The Zouave Cadets as guards for some stores that could not be carried on that trip, were left behind for the time being. On the 8th a large flatboat, or properly a piledriver,(the State and later the Confederacy had no choice in its vessels of war or transportation and consequently had to make use of anything in that line at hand) came up and carried the company and the stores over to the regiment, then quartered in the different houses at Moltrieville, with the regiment headquarters at the Moultrie House, a large hotel. There the regular routine of drill and guard duty was resumed within a few days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, when the regiment was ordered to the Myrtles, at the other end of the Island where they were encamped in tents. The object of this move being to prevent a landing of troops from the enemy's vessels there for the purpose of flanking the battery lower down. During the nights of the 12th and 13th, April, while the bombardment was going on, the men of the different troops were ordered to sleep "on arms," that is fully dressed, with belt with filled cartridge box, buckled around the waist and the gun at hand; but they had their pains only for the trouble, as no movement was made, all outside remaining silent spectators of the scenes taking place in the harbor.

    During the bombardment, orders had been issued for the same reason, that the men remain in camp during the day, but roll-calls made at intervals, showed many absentees; curiosity to see what was going on at the batteries overcoming all fear of extra duty, the fact, for that and the next few days after the bombardment, curiosity was the overpowering characteristic of the men of the regiment, curios to see the effect of shot and shell, this cost many of them some midnight watches on lonely posts.

    On the l9th, April, the regiment was relieved by Col. Jenkins' regiment, and returned to the city, leaving the company behind again with stores till the next day when the "Pieris", the Island boat of that time, brought both the company and the stores over to the city. As the steamer was leaving the wharf at the Island, with the company aboard. A small boat was seen to leave the wharf at the same time, in which sat a Confederate officer in full uniform with a red military cap, a somewhat small and wiry figure, but with a military bearing about him that would betray high rank; knowing ones to others told that the officer there was none less than the commanding General Beauregard, upon the company giving him "three cheers and a tiger," General Beauregard returned the compliment by rising in the boat and saluted by touching his cap.

    During its stay in the city, until called on later again, the company made use of the interval by stated drills on the Citadel Square, where its evolutions, that of the skirmish drill with bayonet exercise, of the French Zouaves, proved quite an attraction to the public and was not missed by many.

    On the 12th, September, our stay in the city was brought to a close by orders to take charge of some Federal prisoners that had been captured at Manassas and were to arrive by railroad from Virginia, the regiment being ordered out also to escort the company with the prisoners to their destination. After waiting at the depot all night for the train to arrive it marched there early next morning and the company prepared to receive its unwilling guests. Forming a hollow square as enclosure for the prisoners, with the regiment divided in from and rear, the company carrying loaded guns.

    At the first sight of the prisoners one hundred and fifty in number, a feeling of fear overcame many of the men for a while, for many of those given in their charge were of the New York (fire) Zouaves, made up largely of New York City's rough element, who were to be managed by fifty "boys," almost in comparison. But this soon passed away, and every thing being satisfactorily arranged, the line of march was taken up for Charleston jail, where the prisoners were placed, with the company on duty as guard, where they remained till September 20th, when they were taken over to Castle Pinckney and quartered in the casements of the same. The officers occupying several rooms in the quarters; at the stated house, the prisoners were allowed the freedom of the inner parade. the officers, among whom were Gen. Stone, Col. Corcoran and some other well known ones whose names cannot be recalled, being granted the liberty of the same from sunrise to sunset. The prisoners in general, proved more tractable than was expected under the circumstances and gave no trouble, though the members of the company were ordered to strict vigilance and were never allowed outside their quarters without their sidearms. The treatment of those whom the fortunes of war had placed in the hands of their opponents, was strict but not severe and the same was appreciated by them, many of them assuring their guards that if ever the conditions were reversed they would not forget the fact; the prisoners received regular soldiers rations, the same as their custodians got, and had no cause, outside of their want of liberty, to complain, nor did they.

    During the later part of October orders were received to remove the prisoners to the city, to be sent on to Virginia for exchange. When the role was called before boarding the steamer at the wharf of the castle it was noticed that one of them had failed to answer to his name when called. Search was immediately made throughout the castle and over the island on which it was located, but he was nowhere to be found. As the missing man had been apparently sick and weak, and had been therefore allowed to make certain visits outside the castle alone while others were accompanied by guards, it was supposed that he had met with an accident and had been drowned, and thought of ever seeing anything of him again was given up. About a week later, some of the soldiers on Sullivan's Island arrested a suspicious character there, who on investigation proved to be the missing prisoner, he said that he had feigned sickness and that his frequent visits were to plan and arrange for his escape, which he managed by taking a gun cover, (a light wooden frame used to cover the guns in peace time), with two boards from another for paddles, he had hid himself during the embarkation and after nightfall entrusted himself on his frail craft to the water, hoping that the current of the outgoing tide would carry him outside to the blockading fleet, instead of that it had landed him on Sullivan's Island, with above result.

    The company, having reached the city with the prisoners, who were again taken to the jail with their appointed guard that were to take them on to their destination. Should arrive for them-a Sergeant and squad of the company were left in charge of them until then and the company returned to the Castle to act as garrison for the same. Alterations having been made at the fort for the accommodation of the prisoners these were now to be redone and everything restored for its original purpose, guards mounted etc. Capt. Charles A. Leanlan, of the engineers, was ordered to direct the work, and the Emerald Light-Infantry, another company of the regiment, was sent over to assist in the same; after considerable trouble and hard work the object was accomplished and the Castle was in a condition to take part in any demonstration in the harbor. The Emeralds were then removed and the Zouave Cadets entered on their duties as garrison with Capt.C.E. Chichester in command of the post.

    The men soon accustomed themselves to their new duties at the guns and in garrison, daily drills at the heavy guns were the routine, but the regular rounds of guard duty on the parapet and at the Sally-port and wharf tended to keep the men familiar with their original arm of service, the rifle, thus time passed quietly and serenely.

    Among the distinguished visitors to the post, for inspection, were Gen. R. E. Lee, on assuming command of the department, and Gen. R.L. Ripley, when the latter succeeded the former on his appointment to Virginia. At the inspection by Gen. Ripley the men were sufficiently advanced in their handling of the guns to show some firing at targets placed at a distance in the harbor, with hot shot. Gen. Ripley complimenting the officers and men for their skill at the guns.

    Hampton's Legion: A legion historically consisted of a single integrated command, with individual components including infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The concept of a multiple-branch unit was never a practical application for Civil War armies and, early in the war, the individual elements were assigned to other organizations.

    Organized by Wade Hampton in early 1861, Hampton's Legion initially boasted a large number of South Carolina's leading citizens, including future generals J. Johnston Pettigrew, Stephen Dill Lee, Martin W. Gary, and Matthew C. Butler. Originally, the Legion comprised six companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and one of light artillery. The infantry fought in the First Battle of Manassas, where Colonel Hampton suffered the first of several wounds during the war. In November 1861, the artillery was outfitted with four Blakely Rifles, imported from England and slipped through the Union blockade into Savannah, Georgia. By the end of the year, each element of the Legion had been expanded with new companies to bolster the effective combat strength.

    With the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia in mid-1862, Hampton's Legion was broken up and reassigned. The cavalry battalion was consolidated with the 4th South Carolina Cavalry Battalion and two independent companies on August 22, 1862, and became the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry under Colonel Butler. It remained directly under General Hampton's control and served in his brigade and then division for the rest of the war. The artillery was converted to horse artillery and renamed Hart's Battery, after its commander, Capt. James F. Hart. Lt. Colonel Gary's infantry element, retaining the designation Hampton's Legion, was initially brigaded with Georgia troops in Stonewall Jackson's command, but was transferred in June to John Bell Hood's "Texas Brigade." The Legion served in General Longstreet's Corps through mid-1863 before being transferred with that Corps to the Army of Tennessee in September. On March 11, 1864, the infantry was mounted and assigned to General Gary's Cavalry Brigade and served in the Department of Richmond until January, 1865 when it was transferred to the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

    The various elements of the Legion fought in most of the major Eastern operations of 1862, including the Peninsula, Northern Virginia, and Maryland campaigns, suffering substantial losses. The Legion helped to dislodge the Yankees at the battle of Chinn Ridge, and the Second Battle of Bull Run, and to inflict a horrific number of casualties on the 5th New York Regiment. Battered at Antietam, the much depleted Legion infantry was sent to the rear and performed garrison duty for months while refitting and recruiting. It did not participate actively in the early part of the Gettysburg Campaign (unlike the cavalry and artillery elements, which played a major role in several battles during the campaign). It fought a minor rear-guard action at Boonsboro, Maryland, during the army's retreat from Gettysburg. It returned to action in the fall of 1863 in Longstreet's Corps during the Battle of Chickamauga and the subsequent Chattanooga campaign. The Legion infantry later returned to Virginia and in March 1864, it was converted to mounted infantry and assigned to Gary's Cavalry Brigade in the Department of Richmond. They served in that department, until January 1865 when the brigade was reassigned to Fitzhugh Lee's Cavalry Division.[1] It harassed Federal supply depots throughout northern Virginia, and fought in several actions during the lengthy Siege of Petersburg.

    What was left of the Hampton Legion infantry surrendered with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in early April 1865. The South Carolina cavalry regiment and the horse artillery (by then renamed as Halsey's Battery after Hart's wounding) participated in the Carolinas Campaign with General Hampton and surrendered at Bennett Place in North Carolina along with the rest of General Joseph E. Johnston's forces on April 26.

    Hampton's Legion

    Company A - Washington Light Infantry Volunteers (Charleston District)

    Company B - Watson Guards (Edgefield District)

    Company C - Manning Guards (Clarendon District)

    Company D - Gist Rifles (Anderson District)

    Company E - Bozeman Guards (Greenville District)

    Company F - Davis Guards (Anderson & Greenville Districts)

    Company G - Claremont Rifles (Sumter District) Joined the legion after First Manassas.

    Company H - South Carolina Zouave Volunteers (Orangeburg & Charleston Districts) Largely organized from the state militia company, the Charleston Zouave Cadets. Joined the legion in July 1862.

    September 23, 1862.

    Colonel W. T. WOFFORD,
    Commanding Texas Brigade.

    COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the infantry battalion of the Hampton Legion in the battle of the 17th at Sharpsburg, Md.:

    The battle opened about day-break along the whole line. The legion was placed to the left of the brigade, the Eighteenth Georgia being to its right. We began to advance from under cover of [the West] woods in rear of a church, and engaged the enemy so soon as we emerged from them, the enemy being in line of battle near the edge of the corn-field immediately in our front. We advanced steadily upon them, under a heavy fire, and had not gone far when Herod Wilson, of Company F, the bearer of the colors, was shot down. They were raised by James Esters, of Company E, and he was shot down. They were then taken up by C. P. Poppenheim, of Company A, and he, too, was shot down. Major J. H. Dingle, Jr., then caught them and began to advance with them, exclaiming, "Legion, follow your colors!" The words had an inspiring effect, and the men rallied bravely under their flag, fighting desperately at every step. He bore the colors to the edge of the corn near the [Hagerstown] turnpike road, on our left, and, while bravely upholding them within 50 yards of the enemy and three Federal flags, was shot dead. I immediately raised the colors and again unfurled them amid the enemy's deadly fire, when Marion Walton, of Company B, volunteered to bear them. I resigned them into his hands, and he carried them gallantly and safely through the battle. Soon after the death of Major Dingle, I discovered, about 200 yards distant, a brigade of the enemy in line of battle, covering our entire left flank. I immediately ordered the men to fall back under the crest of the hill. I then rallied them and reformed them, and remained with the brigade the remainder of the day.

    I have to record the death of many of my best officers. The brave, modest, and energetic Major J. H. Dingle, Jr., fell, among the foremost in battle, and died with the colors in his hands; Captain R. W. Tompkins, who was killed near where Major Dingle fell, and was conspicuous in the fight, for his gallantry and efficiency; Lieutenant J. J. Exum was killed near the same place, heroically leading his men; Captain H. J. Smith was mortally wounded, in the same charge, while bravely leading his men (he has since died); Lieutenant W. A. B. Davenport was wounded at the head of his company; Lieutenant W. E. O'Connor, acting adjutant, was wounded in the engagement the evening before. I have but to mention my four remaining officers-Captain T. M. Logan, Lieuts. B. E. Nicholson, J. H. M. James, and J. J. Cleveland-all of them in command of their companies, and bearing themselves with great bravery, having shared the same dangers of their less fortunate comrades. The number of the legion was reduced more than one-half by the numerous details for skirmishers, scouts, cooks, and men barefooted, unfit for duty.

    The following is a list of the casualties. Strength of battalion in action, officers and men, 77.

    I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

    M. W. GARY,
    Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Hampton's Legion

    How to Volunteer?
    - Do not only volunteer in the Company Tool, but also join the steamgroup:

    What are we looking for:
    - Friendly and honest men -
    - No Racial BS at all -
    - Respect other players -
    - Dedicated members will be placed in roles and ranks we need to function as a professional company -
    - NA ? / EU? Don't matter to us we can find times to suit both time zones and can mange our platoons as such -

    Last edited by SouthCarolina; 11-11-2019 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2

    CSA Captain

    Saris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    South East Texas
    Hampton's Legion, honorary Texans in the Texas Brigade! Welcome to the Confederacy!
    Texas Poppin B
    My Youtube:

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Saris View Post
    Hampton's Legion, honorary Texans in the Texas Brigade! Welcome to the Confederacy!
    It is an honor to fight along side you in the near future.
    This--->> Texans at Antietam: 'A Terrible Clash of Arms, September 16-17, 1862' is a great book in which Company H is briefly mentioned in the heavy fighting.

  4. #4
    Hampton Legion
    Wauhatchie (28 - 29 OCT) 1863


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RhettVito View Post
    Hampton Legion
    Wauhatchie (28 - 29 OCT) 1863

    I guess thanks?

  6. #6

    CSA Captain

    Josef Tišer's Avatar
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    Aug 2018
    Welcome to the battlefield!
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Josef Tišer View Post
    Welcome to the battlefield!
    Thank you !

  8. #8

    USA Lieutenant General

    Jordon Brooker's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordon Brooker View Post
    Good luck!
    Thank you

  10. #10

    USA General of the Army

    A. P. Hill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    In Maryland State Near to both Antietam and Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry et al.

    Welcome to the CSA!

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