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Confederate (CSV)


Ellison Lewis Costin

(1834 - 1910)

Home State: Virginia

Education: USMA, U of Virginia Law, Class of 1859

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: McLaws' Division

Before Sharpsburg

He was a cadet at West Point in 1853-54 and attended the University of Virginia 1856-59, graduating from the law school. He was a lawyer and farmer at Eastville, VA before the War. He was appointed Lieutenant and aide-de-camp to General Richard Griffith on 16 November 1861 and was ADC to General P. J. Semmes in June 1862. He was assigned to General McLaws in August 1862.

On the Campaign

He was on the Maryland Campaign on General McLaws' staff. Of his operations on Maryland Heights and at Crampton's Gap the General reported:

Captain Manning, who had charge of the signal corps, being unable to attend to his duties from a sudden attack of erysipelas in the head, Captain Costin took charge of the party, and it rendered very great service during the three days it was required.
After Sharpsburg, General McLaws noted:
To ... Captain Costin, signal officer ... [and others] I am indebted for their zeal and activity; their gallantry was conspicuous in the performance of their duties.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major and Assistant Inspector General on 20 October 1862. He transferred to General Kershaw's staff in November 1864 and was captured at Sailor's Creek, VA on 6 April 1865.

After the War

He returned to Northampton County, VA and was a farmer, lawyer, bookkeeper, and county treasurer 1886-89. He later lived in Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA.

References & notes

Service from the List 1 and Staff Officers in Gray.2 Personal details from the General Register of the Members of the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity, 1850-1920 (1900). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His name is seen in some genealogies as Ellison Louis Costin.


11/14/1834; Eastville, VA


10/12/1910; Pittsburgh, PA; burial in Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery, Eastville, VA


1   US War Department, List of Staff Officers of the Confederate States Army, 1861-1865, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1891, pg. 37  [AotW citation 21295]

2   Krick, Robert E.L., Staff Officers in Gray; A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003, pp. 103-104  [AotW citation 21296]