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Lieut William P. Callahan

Photo added by Ron Goode

Lieut William P. Callahan

William P. Callahan enlisted in Co. B, 25th Reg. Tenn Vol, CSA as a private July 20, 1861 in Livingston, Overton, Co. Tennessee. He was promoted to 2nd Lt. Co. B, 25th Reg. Tenn Infantry on May 10. 1862 during the re-organization. On September 6, 1862, he was again promoted to the rank of 1st Lt, and transferred within the regiment to Co. I.

During the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia September 19th-20th, 1863 1st Lt. Callahan was wounded and sent by the surgeon to the hospital in Atlanta. He returned to his regiment and company in January 1864. On June 17, 1864, he was captured in the Battle of Petersburg, in Virginia.

Lt. William Callahan was taken to the Union prison at Ft. Delaware, where on August 20th, 1864, he became one of the 600 prisoners transferred from the prison at Ft. Delaware and sent to Morris Island to become a human shield from artillery bombardments during the Union's siege of Charleston, South Carolina. The ordeal of these 600 men was chronicled in a 1905 book, by J. Ogden Murray, entitled "The Immortal 600." Their suffering and near starvation, while exposed to disease, the elements, and artillery fire by both the Union and Confederates was well documented. Although the men were offered the opportunity to take the "Oath" to the Union and be released, ALL but 17 of these men determined to continue to support the cause of the South no matter the circumstances or cost. The last of these men were not released from prison until July, 1865 almost three months after the Civil War ended.

William succumbed quickly due to meager spoiled rations, bad water, and unsanitary living conditions provided prisoners. Admitted to the Post Hospital on Morris Island for chronic diarrhea September 22, 1864, his death was reported on September 27, 1864. A letter originating from the U.S. Provost Marshall's Office, Department of the South records the following: "He was buried at Morris Island, and a head board with his name was place on the head of the grave."

This Civil War site no longer contains any known graves. Sea erosion and hurricanes have taken its toll on the island and historic grounds.

William was probably born in Tennessee; his father Samuel and mother Eleanor are recorded as living in Overton County TN on the Federal Census records of 1840 & his mother and siblings on the 1850 Census. He is listed as living in Putnam County, TN with his mother and siblings on the 1860 Federal Census.

1st Lt. William P. Callahan was a true Southern Hero, who never dishonored the cause he served.

~ Bio by Ron Goode


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  • Created by: Ron Goode
  • Added: 23 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 92438384
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut William P. Callahan (1831–27 Sep 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 92438384, citing Morris Island Confederate Cemetery (Defunct), Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Ron Goode (contributor 47476624) .