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W.C. White

W.C. White

Confederate (CSV)

Major

William Capers White

(1821 - 1862)

Home State: South Carolina

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 7th South Carolina Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

An overseer before the War, he was a militia Major on coastal defense by 1861. He was commissioned Captain of Company L, 7th South Carolina Infantry by June 1861, and was elected Major of the Regiment at the re-organization on 14 May 1862.

On the Campaign

Briefly in command after Colonel Aiken was wounded, he was killed in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September. A Captain of his regiment described that day:

As we moved through the open ground towards the enemy's lines, under terrible fire of shell and shrapnel, a bomb burst just above the Major's head, knocking him down, and bruising his face very severely against the ground. I noticed him as he rose from the ground, and wiping the blood and dust from his face, pressed forward again. Soon after we engaged the infantry of the enemy in a skirt of woods, and driving them thence, charged them through the field beyond, until they fled behind their batteries for protection. Upon a ridge, immediately in front of a battery of four howitzers, and upon the left of which the enemy had placed a second battery, the regiment, which had become detached from the brigade, halted, and opened fire upon the supports of the battery in our front. Instantly, both batteries were turned against us, and a heavy fire of grape and canister poured into our ranks.

The right wing had halted. White and I, seeing we were in point blank range of the batteries, had pressed the left wing forward under the hill, the colors continuing to advance. Just here, Major White passed down the line from the right (the acting Lieutenant Colonel), and said to me "We can take that battery - forward!" We both passed through the ranks and moved side by side, with the colors, to the front, and had almost reached the battery, (the guns of which were already abandoned) when the Major was struck in the cheek by a rife ball, fired by one of the infantry to the rear of the battery. Still he pressed forward, until within twenty yards of the battery, when just at this moment the guns, re-manned, opened upon us, and swept the Major, falling at first discharge, being struck about the ear with grape shot. I paused a moment beside him, but seeing that he was already quite dead, I moved back to the woods where the rest of the Brigade was formed, while the enemy moved up and occupied that portion of the field where the Major's body lay.

The rest of the War

His body was passed back through the lines and was initially buried by his men in the Sharpsburg Cemetery. He may have later been reinterred elsewhere.

More on the Web

Command detail from Dickert1, with service data from Mac Wyckoff on OSU's (old) eHistory site. The quote above from his obituary in the Charleston Mercury of 3 December 1862, transcribed on his Findagrave memorial by Chris Yoder, source also of his picture, from a photograph of unknown provenance.

Birth

11/17/1821; Georgetown, SC

Death

09/17/1862 Sharpsburg, MD

Notes

1   Dickert, D. Augustus, History of Kershaw's Brigade, Newberry (SC): Elbert H. Aull Company, 1899, pg. 112  [AotW citation 1203]