Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. Having been born in Columbia, South Carolina, he greeted the dissolution of the Union with great pleasure. A man of keen intellect, with various intellectual tastes, he attended South Carolina College, became an authority on astronomy, studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar. For 2 decades, interrupted only by duty in the Mexican War, he was extensively involved in state and regional politics. A member of the state secession convention, he jubilantly voted to leave the Union in December 1860. The convention authorized a 6 month regiment, giving the command to him, with the rank of Colonel. After he and his volunteers participated in the bombardment of Fort Sumter, in April 1861, they moved north to Virginia, where they spent the spring months drilling and picketing. When their term expired, many in the regiment returned to their homes, missing the First Bull Run Campaign. With the newly formed 1st South Carolina, he was ordered to the Suffolk, Virginia, area in autumn 1861. On December 14 he received his commission making him a Brigadier General. He also received command of a brigade of 3 South Carolina regiments. His old regiment and another one joined the brigade in spring 1862, and he led this unit in the rest of the battles of that year. It should be noted the men in his brigade were men of privileged backgrounds, including doctors, and lawyers. In the Seven Days' Campaign his South Carolinians suffered more casualties than any other brigade in Major General Ambrose P. Hill's Light Division. Assigned a reserve role at Cedar Mountain, on August 9, the brigade fought tenaciously 3 weeks later at Second Bull Run. During this searing battle, he walked along the brigade's line, fearlessly exposing himself and encouraging his men. His conduct moved Hill to say that "he is the man for me." He became one of only 2 brigadiers, (Dorsey Pender was the other), who had free access to Hill. At Antietam on September 17 he was slightly wounded by the Federal volley that killed Brigadier General Lawrence O. Branch. Three months later, at Fredericksburg, his brigade held a reserve position behind a dangerous gap in the Confederate lines on the right. When the Federals stormed into the hole on December 13, 1862, he hurriedly rallied his unprepared command. Riding toward the front, the brave South Carolinian fell from a rifle ball that entered his side and passed through his spine. He lingered in agony for 2 days before dying. His loss weighed especially heavy on his commander, Major General Hill. "A more chivalrous gentleman and gallant soldier never adorned the service which he so loved," Hill stated. According to the December 17, 1862, issue of the Richmond Daily Dispatch, his remains received a hero's welcome in the Confederate capital.
Bio by: Ugaalltheway