Today in Darlington County History – September 19

September 18-20, 1863 – The Battle of Chickamauga, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the first major battle of the war that was fought in Georgia.

Darlingtonian – William Elias James participated in this battle as a member of Company F, 8th Regiment South Carolina Infantry, C.S.A.

william-e-james
William Elias James

OVERVIEW:8th Infantry Regiment was organized at Marion, South Carolina, during the spring of 1861. Many of the men were from Darlington and Marion counties. The unit moved to Florence, then during the end of May was ordered to Virginia. It fought at First Manassas under General Bonham before being assigned to General Kershaw’s, Kennedy’s, and Conner’s Brigade. The 8th was engaged in many conflicts from the Seven Days’ Battles to Gettysburg, moved to Georgia with Longstreet, and was active at Chickamauga and Knoxville. Returning to Virginia, it participated in the battles at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, then saw action in the Shenandoah Valley with Early. Later it was involved in the North Carolina Campaign. The regiment reported 5 killed and 23 wounded at First Manassas and in April, 1862, totaled 276 men. It lost 7 killed, 36 wounded, and 9 missing at Malvern Hill, 6 killed and 28 wounded out of 126 at Maryland Heights, 1 killed, 17 wounded, and 4 missing of the 71 at Sharpsburg, and 2 killed and 29 wounded at Fredericksburg. Of the 300 engaged at Gettysburg, thirty-three percent were disabled. On March 23, 1865, there were only 52 present for duty. The unit surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. Its commanders were Colonels Ellerbee B.C. Cash and John W. Henagan, Lieutenant Colonels Axalla J. Hoole and Eli T. Stackhouse, and Majors Thomas E. Lucas and D.M. McLeod.

 

1676 – Jamestown is burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: British forces win a tactically expensive victory over the Continental Army in the First Battle of Saratoga.

1778 – The Continental Congress passes the first United States federal budget.

1796 – George Washington’s Farewell Address is printed across America as an open letter to the public.

1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Iuka: Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeat a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863 – American Civil War: The first day of the Battle of Chickamauga, in northwestern Georgia, the bloodiest two-day battle of the conflict, and the only significant Confederate victory in the war’s Western Theater.

1864 – American Civil War: Third Battle of Winchester: Union troops under General Philip Sheridan defeat a Confederate force commanded by General Jubal Early. With over 50,000 troops engaged it was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley and was not only militarily decisive in that region of Virginia but also played a role in securing Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1864.

1881 – U.S. President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. Vice President Chester A. Arthur becomes President upon Garfield’s death.

1939 – World War II: The Battle of Kępa Oksywska concludes, with Polish losses reaching roughly 14% of all the forces engaged.

1957 – First American underground nuclear bomb test (part of Operation Plumbbob).

1981 – Simon & Garfunkel reunite for a free concert in New York’s Central Park.

1995 – The Washington Post and The New York Times publish the Unabomber’s manifesto.

2010 – The leaking oil well in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is sealed.

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