Unit Affiliation: (Hagood), Hoke, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia
Title: Charlestonians In War: The Charleston Battalion
Author: W. Chris Phelps
SOPO’s Take: A concise but readable account of the Charleston Battalion, a unit which was later consolidated with a three company sharpshooter battalion to form the 27th South Carolina. The latter unit is covered in the book, but not in the same level of detail as earlier. The book is at its best in a social study of the company makeup and in the descriptions of the Charleston Battalion’s fights at Secessionville in 1862 and the Second Assault on Fort Wagner in August 1863. These guys were the antagonists in the movie Glory. The Petersburg section is somewhat disappointing, covering only four or five pages and making some mistakes as to when the Battle of Fort Harrison and the Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads occurred. There is a nice roster of the battalion before the consolidation into the 27th South Carolina.
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:
“In Charlestonians in War: The Charleston Battalion, Chris Phelps has crafted an excellent study of this noteworthy Confederate military organization. Making extensive use of primary sources, he has deftly balanced operational details with social background and created a unit history that would be of interest to scholars and general readers.”
—W. Eric Emerson executive director, South Carolina Historical Society
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Charleston, as the site where the Ordinance of Secession was signed, faced the full wrath of Union forces. In response, the Charleston Battalion, comprised of volunteers from all strata of local society, formed a loyal, effective fighting unit. They served with distinction in several campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina and defended their hometown against Union invaders.
Local author W. Chris Phelps explores the formation and the many campaigns of this diverse group of Charleston citizens led by Peter Charles Gaillard. The battalion distinguished itself by defeating overwhelming Union assaults against Charleston at Secessionville in 1862 and Battery Wagner in 1863 and later performed gallantly in the defense of Petersburg in 1864 and Wilmington in 1865.
Through Charlestonians in War, these brave men finally receive their due. W. Chris Phelps describes the origins of the battalion and focuses on its capable commander, Peter Charles Gaillard, who later became mayor. In-depth studies of the battalion’s various battles, at home and away, are also included. This book features a foreword by Charleston’s mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 304 pp., maps, illustrations
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