Charles Gladney Chesnut, the youngest of twelve children of David and Jane Gaston Gladney Chesnut, was born in the bounds of Lebonan in the Fairfield District of South Carolina on August 8th 1829. His parents were both descendants of early patriot families in the area. Young Charles was named for his maternal uncle, Charles Strong Gladney; who died a year before his birth.
In 1832, Charles' family emigrated west to the area around Rocky Plains in Newton County, Georgia. His father had obtained the land through the Georgia Cherokee Land Lottery. Here Charles was brought up and educated within the Hopewell Presbyterian congregation.
Like his ancestors before him, young Charles served gallantly in the military. He enlisted as a Private in Co. B, 53rd Georgia Infantry on November 1st 1861. On May 1st 1862, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and later promoted to Captain on the 27th of October 1862. The 53rd was ordered to Virginia and placed in Army of Northern Virginia; where they participated in various conflicts from Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor, moved with Early to the Shenandoah Valley.
On October 19, 1864 the Confederates, under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early, surprised the Federal army at Cedar Creek and routed the 8th and 19th Corps, implementing a masterfully conceived and brilliantly executed tactical plan. Sheridan arrived from Winchester, rallied his troops, and in the afternoon, launched a crushing counterattack that succeeded in recovering the battlefield and in wresting control of the Shenandoah Valley from the Confederates. During the Battle of Cedar Creek; which was a crucial Union victory that nearly annihilated Early's Confederate army... Capt. Charles Chesnut was killed in action during this courageous battle.
Capt. Charles Gladney Chesnut is buried in Stonewall Confederate Cemetery; a subsection of Mount Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia. Dedicated in 1866, it is the final resting place for over 2,500 Confederate soldiers who died in the local area, including casualties from the Battles of Winchester, Cool Spring, Cedar Creek, and Kernstown.
William Rosborough Chesnut
Sarah Chesnut Wilson
Jannett Gladney Chesnut Wylie
Martha Elizabeth Chesnut Thompson
Letitia Strong Chesnut Thompson
Margaret Chesnut Thompson
Richard Gladney Chesnut
David Alexander Chesnut
Jane Malinda Chesnut Elliott