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R.S. Dunlap

R.S. Dunlap

Confederate (CSV)


Richard Simpson Dunlap

(1830 - 1879)

Home State: South Carolina

Education: Erskine College (1855); Jefferson Medical College

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 3rd South Carolina Infantry Battalion

Before Sharpsburg

He lived in Choctaw County, MS from about the ages of 10 to 15, but otherwise was raised and lived in Laurens County, SC. He graduated in 1855 from Erskine College, then attended Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (but may not have graduated). He enlisted as a Private in Company B, 3rd South Carolina Infantry Battalion on 5 December 1861 in Columbia, SC at age 31. He was Corporal by February 1862, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 28 April at the reorganization, and First Lieutenant 20 May.

On the Campaign

He was acting battalion Quartermaster in Maryland. On the night of 14-15 September Colonel Benjamin "Grimes" Davis' federal cavalry troopers had broken out of Harpers Ferry and, enroute Hagerstown, attacked a portion of Longstreet's supply train of some 500 wagons, then heading for Shepherdstown, VA. Among these were 14 of Drayton's Brigade. Hearing noise ahead of the train, Lieutenant Dunlap rode out to see what it was.

... the first salutation I had was a pistol ball whizzing by my head. I immediately turned and left, with the Yankees in close pursuit. I reached the wagons and ordered the teamsters to unhitch and fly, but it was too late, as the Yankees were around us. It was here that [Ordnance Sergeant] Andrew Davis was taken. I only escaped by the fleetness of my little black [horse].
His brother James H. Dunlap, First Lieutenant, Company F, 14th South Carolina Infantry was killed in action at Boteler's Ford just a few days later, on 20 September.

The rest of the War

He passed the examination to be Assistant Surgeon, CSA, on 2 April 1863 and was commissioned as such on 11 June 1863. He was transferred to the 8th South Carolina Infantry, and assigned to a hospital in Bristol, TN on 8 July 1864. He rejoined the 3rd Battalion, date not given, and was paroled at Greensboro, NC as Assistant Surgeon, 3rd South Carolina Infantry Regiment on 2 May 1865.

After the War

He practiced medicine and farmed in Laurens County, and died fairly young, of pneumonia, at age 48.

References & notes

Basic information and the quote above from Davis1. His picture from a photograph courtesy R. Thornwell Dunlap, Greenwood, SC, published by Davis. His gravesite, along with a fine bio sketch, is on Findagrave.

More on the Web

For more on the cavalry breakout from Harpers Ferry, see a post at behind AotW which also links to an excellent series from Don Caughey at Crossed Sabres.


05/20/1830; Laurens District, SC


02/28/1879; Clinton, SC; burial in Dunlap family cemetery, Clinton, SC


1   Davis, Sam B., A History of the 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Battalion (James Battalion): 1861-1865 , Wilmington (NC): Broadfoot Publishing Company, 2009, pp. 107, 372-373  [AotW citation 16071]