South Carolina contributed two brigades of infantry, two regiments of cavalry and several artillery batteries to the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. Their veterans related accounts of heroism and fear, triumph and loss for the remainder of their lives. These are their stories.
Gleaned from diaries, letters and newspaper articles written immediately after the great battle and throughout the balance of the lives of its veterans, these stories place the reader in the boots of the men who lived the experience. Included with the firsthand accounts are maps of the fields fought for by these sons of the Palmetto State and photographs of a number of the soldiers involved.
Along with battle histories and the individual exploits of the brigades led by General Joseph Kershaw, General Wade Hampton and Colonel Abner Perrin are accounts of the artillery batteries from South Carolina and the improvised cavalry command assembled from scattered companies by Colonel John Logan Black, who had been left behind due to wounds from an earlier battle. Black was determined to rejoin the army as soon as he was able and caught up with General Robert E. Lee with two companies and other miscellaneous cavalrymen who had been separated from their regiments. His improvised command participated in all three days of the battle before rejoining Hampton’s Brigade .
Also covered are the annual reunions where the old soldiers gathered to camp once again on the fields of Gettysburg. The veterans recount many tales of reconnecting with old comrades, memories of those who never made it home, and their reconciliation with former enemies. Every strata of the soldier experience at Gettysburg is represented from the highest general to the lowliest private. Every life is a story and provides a piece toward completing the puzzle of the human experience at Gettysburg.
Advance Reviews and Praise
Virginia often steals the public’s attention at Gettysburg, but J. Keith Jones’ research on the actions of all of the South Carolina units at that three-day battle brings that state to the forefront of battle accounts. This book fills in gaps for South Carolina descendants and history readers with letters, diaries and newspaper accounts. Get this book. You need it!
Clint Johnson – Author of numerous Civil War books including “A Vast and Fiendish Plot: The Confederate Attack on New York City”
J. Keith Jones has assembled a comprehensive collection of first-person accounts, allowing these diverse South Carolinians to speak for themselves about what they did, thought, saw, and felt during the most iconic battle of the American Civil War. Their voices provide a rich and complex narrative of the individual soldier’s experience during those grueling July days in 1863. This volume belongs on the shelf of every student of South Carolina’s role in the war.
Michael C. Hardy – 2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year
With Echoes from Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images, author J. Keith Jones has compiled capsule histories of South Carolina’s contributions to the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as collecting the accounts of those veterans that fought there. Amply illustrated with images of the participants and with Phillip Laino’s excellent maps, Echoes from Gettysburg is a must-have for the bookshelf of anyone interested in the words of the veterans who fought at Gettysburg themselves.
Eric J. Wittenberg – Award winning Civil War historian