1st Regiment South Carolina Rifles

(Orr's Rifles)

Descendants Association

Participants in the Breakthrough Battle at Petersburg on April 2, 1865

Fought on the present day grounds of Pamplin Historical Park


Soldier's Notes


Terrell Milton Alexander served in Company A, Orr's Rifles and was discharged in January 1863. His brother, Henson Alexander, also served in Company A of Orr's Rifles and was killed at Petersburg.

2nd Lieutenant William Alexander Barron served with Company A, 1st South Carolina Rifles. He enlisted as a Private on July 20, 1861, Camp Pickens, SC for 3 years or the war. He was stationed at Sullivan's Island when he was promoted to 3rd Sergeant by February 1862 and then was wounded at the Battle of Second Manassas. He was stationed near Fredericksburg, Virginia during November-December of 1862 and was at Camp Gregg, Virginia during January-April 1863. Promoted to Brevet 2nd Lieutenant on May 20, 1863 and 2nd Lieutenant on August 28, 1863. He was on the list of the Army of Northern Virginia which General Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Neill McInnis enlisted as a private in Company H, 1st South Carolina (Orr's) Rifles on March 30, 1862 in Marion County, South Carolina. He was wounded in Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862; captured in Petersburg on April 5, 1865; sent to Hart Island, New York; and was released on June 16, 1865.

Private Samuel G. Herndon, of Oconee/Pickens, served in Company A. He lost his left arm at Gaines' Mill and lived for 13 years after the war. Samuel is the father of Edmund Herndon, one of the first members of the Bar in South Carolina.

Private Newton Davis Brown enlisted in the Confederate Army on 20 July 1861. He served as a private in Company D under Captain F. E. Harrison and was wounded at Manassas Junction on 29 August 1862. Private Brown was sent home until February of 1863, after which he returned to his unit at Richmond in June of 1863. On 26 June 1863, he was admitted to the general hospital at Howard's Grove (for 1 day) to treat his right shoulder wound. He returned to duty the following day. Evidently, the scar was deep, and his children could stick a finger in the hole. In July of 1863, he fought at Gettysburg and on 14 July 1863 fought at a skirmish at Falling Water, Maryland where he was taken prisoner. After being a POW, he was sent to Baltimore and paroled on 16 August 1863, but was not exchanged. He was then sent to Point Lookout, Maryland. After some period, he was sent north to Elmira, NY, received there by 18 August 1864. He spent over a year as a POW. His name was listed on the hospital rolls (from barracks 3). He was finally exchanged on 2 March 1865, being sent to the James River.

Private Foster Perry Brown (Newton's brother) also served as a private in Company D. He enlisted 31 December 1861 at Sullivan's Island. He was wounded at Chancellorsville on 2 May 1862, survived the wound, but died on 9 April 1864 of typhoid fever at Gordonsville, Virginia.

Private Vandiver Vaughn, Company D, was married to Harriet Ann Brown, the sister of Newton and Foster Brown. He died during the war.

Private George Swafford Bell and his brother Private James Andrew Bell, enlisted in Company A at Camp Pickens, Sandy Springs, South Carolina on July 20th, 1861. He was 22 yrs old and James was 19 yrs old at the time. George was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville,Virginia on May 3rd, 1863, and lost his left thumb. He was wounded again on September 30th, 1864 in the left wrist and was retired to the Invalid Corps on February 15th, 1865. His brother, James Andrew Bell, suffered a gunshot wound in Virginia in June 1862 and wounded again in Virginia on September 30th 1864, with a Minnie ball wound to the left hip. He was captured at Hatchers Run, Virginia on March 27th, 1865, signed an oath of allegiance and was released from Point Lookout Military Prison in Maryland on June 23rd, 1865. They had a third brother, Private John Henry Bell, who enlisted about a year after the first two brothers on March 18th, 1862, at Pickens Court House, South Carolina at the age of 19 years. He was captured at Spotsyvania,Virginia on May 12th, 1864. John signed an oath of allegiance and was released at Fort Delaware Military Prison, Delaware, Pea Patch Island, on June 10th, 1865.

John White Thomson joined the Abbeville company at Sandy Springs, South Carolina on July 20, 1861 and Orr’s Regiment of Rifles, Company G, thereafter. He was wounded at Gaines’ Mill, rejoined his regiment after convalescence and was captured at Falling Waters August 14, 1863. Corporal Thomson was held for twelve months at Point Lookout, then transferred to Elmira Prison, New York and held until the end of the war.

According to family lore, Private Newton Davis Brown, Company D, was wounded at 2nd Manasas, captured at Falling Waters, Maryland and sent to the Federal prison camp at Elmira, New York.

Private Robert Manley, Company F, served from June 20, 1861 until he was released from Point Lookout, Maryland on June 23, 1865.

William Franklin Cox, age 25, joined Company K as a private under Captain George Cox on July 20, 1861. His Lieutenant was B. Sloan. Private Cox was based at Camp Pitkins and received pay from Captain Thomas B. Lee. He died July 16, 1862 of a gunshot to the abdomen at Chimborazo Hospital #4, his wound probably received in one of the Seven Days battles.

Private John William Bruce, Company L, died of fever in 1863 (age 39 years) at Saunders Factory and is buried in the Lynchburg City Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Private George (Gottlieb) served in Company B and lost a leg during the Seven Days Battles. He was mistaken for a mercenary due to his German accent while being treated at a Yankee hospital. He returned to South Carolina and later relocated to Athens, Georgia where he operated a tobacco store and made cigars. He was also the doorkeeper of the Georgia House of Representatives. He is buried in the Oconee Hills Cemetery in Athens.

Private Charles W. Mason, Company F, mustered at the ripe old age of nineteen by Lt. Sloan in South Carolina's Orr's Rifles on July 20th, 1861 at Camp Pickens, South Carolina. He survived throughout, surrendering at Appomattox in 1865. He was wounded at the First Battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia and fought in many battles during the war.

1st Lieutenant Nimrod Sullivan, Comapny C, was captured at The Battle of Falling Waters and was imprisoned at Johnson's Island for the remainder of the war. His picture and story is in the book "Faces of the Confederacy" by Rod Coddington.

Sgt. Jessie L. Fant, Company L, was enrolled and joined for duty at Camp Pickens, Sandy Springs, Anderson District, South Carolina, July 20, 1861, in Captain John M. Moore's Company, Orr's Regiment, 1st South Carolina Rifles. He participated in the battle of Fredericksbug in 1862. He was promoted to Corporal on June 23, 1863. On October 1, 1864, he was promoted to Sergeant. A certificate by Lieutenant J.K. Williams, commanding Co. L at a camp near Petersburg, Virginia, described Sgt. Fant as a mechanic by profession, 5'10" tall, blue eyes, black hair, and fair complexion. He was paid off near Petersburg in February, 1865, as though to be allowed to return home. But along with the cards of his compiled service record is the following information on an individual captured in the vicinity of Petersburg, April 2, 1865, apparently giving the name of J.L. Fancett. If this is Jesse Fant is an uncertainty, but in any case this particular person was received at City Point, Virginia as a POW and sent to imprisonment at Hart's Island, New York harbor. The date of Fancett's release was carried as June 5, 1865 in a General Order Nol 109 of June 6, 1865. (SC Microfilm Roll 137). Jesse L.Fant is buried at Anderson, South Carolina.


Return To Orr's Rifles Home Page


Copyright 2009-2016. PetersburgBreakthrough.Org. Updated 08 March 2016