Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 3rd South Carolina Battalion Impression

The 3rd Battalion of South Carolina Infantry was mustered into service at Camp Hampton, near Columbia during the winter of 1861-1862. Comany G was added in February of 1862, completing the battalion. For several months they were stationed at Adams Run, 35 miles south of Charleston. The men saw very limited service on Edisto Island, and by June 14, 1862, the 3rd South Carolina Battalion was ordered to James Island just outside of Charleston.

In July of 1862, the 3rd South Carolina Battalion was ordered to Richmond, Virginia, where it became part of General Thomas Drayton’s Brigade. In late August, during the Battle of Second Manassas, General Drayton’s Brigade was ordered to attack, holding the right of the Confederate Army. However, it became detached from the right of Longstreet's Wing and was too late to assist in the battle, therefore, only seeing limited action.

During the Maryland Campaign, Drayton’s Brigade was at South Mountain during the battle at Fox’s Gap. Drayton, not following his orders again, launched his attack. The end result was more than 70 percent wounded, captured and even killed within a twenty to thirty minute period. At Antietam, Drayton’s Brigade was too low on man power to be effective, and by November 15th, Drayton’s Brigade was disbanded sending those units to other brigades. The 3rd South Carolina Battalion was ordered to Kershaw’s Brigade. They participated in many of the major battles with the Army of Northern Virginia including the Battle of Gettysburg. They transferred with Longstreet to the Army of Tennessee and fought at Chickamauga as well as Knoxville.

The 3rd South Carolina Battalion then transferred back to the Army of Northern Virginia for the 1864 Spring Campaigns and by September they transferred to General Early’s Army of the Valley. By 1865, the 3rd South Carolina Battalion had participated in the Carolina Campaign and was forced to consolidate with the 3rd and 8th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiments, finally surrendering at the Bennett Place in North Carolina.

The 3rd South Carolina Battalion Impression, Maryland Campaign of 1862

This photograph shows what a soldier from the 3rd South Carolina Battalion may have looked like during the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Researching the impression it was determined that since many of the soldiers were stationed near Charleston, South Carolina, they were well equipped with items that managed to slip through the blockade on the South. Such equipment may have consisted of English accoutrements, weapons and other well needed items.

The uniform pictured here shows a Charleston Depot kepi, a well tailored frock coat, and Richmond Depot trousers. He also wears his a cotton shirt and drawers and braces to hold up his trousers. This soldier wears a coverlet which is a civilian style blanket, English belt, cap box, English cartridge box and a well worn Confederate haversack. His gun is a British Enfield Rifle complete with a bayonet, scabbard and frog.

For references, please consider reading the following books relating to South Carolina uniforms:
Uniforms of the Civil War – Robin Smith and Ron Field
Tramp Brigade Uniform Standards - Web Site

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