(1831 - 1866)
Home State: Indiana
Command Billet: Company Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
He enlisted in the 11th Indiana Infantry (3 months) on 19 April 1861, and was Sergeant at his discharge on 30 June 1861. He was appointed Captain in the 11th United States Infantry to date from 14 May 61.
On the Campaign
He commanded Company A, 11th US Infantry on the Maryland Campaign. He was honored by brevet to Major for "gallant and meritorious service" at Antietam.
The rest of the War
He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the new 28th US Colored Infantry on 1 May 1864, and was appointed Colonel 27 August. He mustered out of the Volunteer service on 8 November 1865. He received additional brevets, to Lieutenant Colonel for Chancellorsville, VA (3 May 63), Colonel, for action at the Petersburg, VA mine (Crater, 30 Jul 64), and Brigadier General, Volunteers, for "distinguished service in the assault on Cemetery Hill, VA" (30 Jul 64).
After the War
He remained in the Regular Army, and transferred to the 20th US Infantry on 21 September 1866. He died of cholera just over a month later, just 35 years old.
I think all who served near Captain Charles S. Russell, will agree with me that he was an exceptionably able commander of troops in action. I never knew him, in the many times his capacity was put to the test, to fail in the soldierly qualities which made him so distinguished. In every action of the regiment from Gaines' Mill to Gettysburg, he was the acting field officer, and always made his presence felt. He was appointed, at the request of Governor Morton of Indiana, colonel of the 8th U. S. Colored Troops, and in the Campaign of 1864, commanded a brigade in the 9th and 25th Corps. His brigade was selected to accompany General Sheridan's Army to Texas. The death of Captain, Brevet Colonel, Russell at Cincinnati, Ohio, in November, 1866, removed from the Army one of its most distinguished officers of his grade. He was of tried courage, and admitted capability for high command.
References & notes
Military service dates from Heitman1. His gravesite is on Findagrave. He's buried in an unmarked grave in his family's plot. His photograph (in Colonel's uniform) from the MOLLUS Collection2. The quote above from Capt. John Henry Patterson (later BGen USA, MofH) in his piece on The Eleventh Regiment of Infantry in Rodebough's Historical Sketches of Staff and Line (1896).
03/15/1831; Boston, MA
11/02/1866; Cincinnati, OH; burial in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH
1 Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 852 [AotW citation 14894]
2 US Army, Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)-Massachusetts Photograph Collection, Published 2009, <https://arena.usahec.org/web/arena>, Source page: Vol. 69, pg. L3412 [AotW citation 14895]