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Confederate (CSV)


Charles Christopher Wrenshall

(1835 - 1910)

Home State: North Carolina

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Manly's (NC) Battery

Before Sharpsburg

Trained as a civil engineer, he had been a supervising engineer on a Nevada road project - part of the "Lander Trail" to California - in 1857. Expedition leader F.W. Lander wrote of him:

Mr. C. C. Wrenshall, a young man of great energy and force of character, I can particularly recommend in any movements [further expeditions West] of the kind proposed. He has distinguished himself during his connection with the expedition in various ways, and is fully capable of selecting and purchasing the stock, and of equipping and managing an expedition in all its details while in the field. At least that is my experience of him.
He moved to Lincolnton, NC shortly before the war. He enlisted in Battery A (later Manly's), First North Carolina Light Artillery on 8 May 1861 in Wake County and was appointed 6th Sergeant the same day. He was wounded at Williamsburg, VA on 5 May 1862 and appointed 2nd Lieutenant on 16 July 1862.

On the Campaign

He led a section of the battery in action near Burkittsville and at Crampton's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September. In his Report Captain Manly later wrote:

I am indebted to Lieutenant [C. C.] Wrenshall for the fine management of his section during the entire fight.
He was in wounded in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He resigned his commission on 11 October 1862 citing disability and was commissioned Captain in the CS Nitre and Mining Corps. By January 1863 he was working in the Nitre Bureau at San Antonio, Texas.

After the War

He was in Baltimore, MD in 1866 and by 1871 he was supervising engineer for the Baltimore Bridge Company at Rock Island, IL on the "Government Bridge" project. The railroad bridge over the Ouachita River at Arkadelphia, Arkansas followed in 1873. In 1879 he was living in Davenport, Iowa and supervised bridge construction for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. In 1886 he was superintendent of tracks and bridges for the Northern Pacific Railroad and supervised construction of a branch line from Carlton, Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. The railroad named one of the depot locations [Wrenshall, MN] along this line in his honor. In 1887, by then in St. Paul, MN, he was granted a patent for a railroad water tank design and was superintendent of the Anniston & Cincinnati Railroad in Alabama, until resigning in October 1888. He supervised work on the Gasconade River in Missouri for the US Army Engineers as "US Overseer" in 1902. He was back in Lincolnton, NC by 1906.

References & notes

Service information from Moore,1 North Carolina Troops,2 and the UCV's Roster of Confederate Soldiers in the War Between the States furnished by Lincoln County, North Carolina, 1861-1865 (1905). The quote above from a Lander letter to the US Department of the Interior found in President Buchanan's Report to Congress of 1 May 1860. Details from the town of Wrenshall and the Carlton County (MN) Historical Society, W. Turrentine Jackson's Wagon Roads West (1952), the Rock Island Argus of 8 September 1871 (and other period newspapers), and the Report of the Chief of Engineers U.S. Army (1903). His patent in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office (Vol. 39, 1887). His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Eliza Jane Lanyon (1845-1907) and they had at least 4 children together from 1866-1877.


12/06/1835; Pittsburgh, PA


08/16/1910; Lincolnton, NC; burial in Saint Lukes Episcopal Church Cemetery, Lincolnton, NC


1   Moore, John Wheeler (compiler), and State of North Carolina, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States, 4 volumes, Raleigh: Ashe & Gatling, State Printers and Publishers, 1882, Vol. 1, pg. 344  [AotW citation 21428]

2   Manarin, Louis H., and Weymouth Tyree Jordan, Matthew M Brown, Michael W Coffey, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865 : A Roster, 20 Volumes +, Raleigh: North Carolina State Department of Archives and History, 1966-  [AotW citation 21429]