South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg

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South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg

by Derek Smith 

July 1, 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee advanced across the Pennsylvania countryside toward the small town of Gettysburg—less than 90 miles from Washington, D.C.—on a collision course with the Union Army of the Potomac. In Lee’s ranks were 5,000 South Carolina troops destined to play critical roles in the three days of fighting ahead. From generals to privates, the Palmetto State soldiers were hurled into the Civil War’s most famous battle—hundreds were killed, wounded or later suffered as prisoners of war.

The life-and-death stories of these South Carolinians are here woven together here with official wartime reports, previously unpublished letters, newspaper accounts, diaries and the author’s personal observations from walking the battlefield.