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Confederate (CSV)


Robert Stark Means

(1833 - 1874)

Home State: South Carolina

Education: The Citadel

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 17th South Carolina Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He was a cadet at the Citadel Military Academy in Charleston in 1851. In July 1861, by then a medical doctor, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company C, 6th South Carolina Infantry. He transferred as Adjutant to the 17th South Carolina Infantry as that unit was organizing about 1 December 1861. He was elected Major, probably at the reorganization in March 1862.

On the Campaign

He was seriously wounded by gunshot to the thigh at Turner's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September 1862. Colonel McMaster later reported:

After we began the retreat, we were so unfortunate as to lose our gallant lieutenant-colonel (R. S. Means), who was shot through the thigh. I detailed four men to bear him off, but he magnanimously refused to allow them to make the effort, as the enemy was in a short distance of him and still advancing ...
Means was captured on the battlefield by Captain Cyrus L. Conner of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves.

The rest of the War

He was treated at a field hospital, admitted to a US Army hospital in Frederick, MD on 21 September 1862, then transferred "to Mr. Hanson's (?) by order of Provost Marshal", date not given. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel to date from about 1 September 1862, but did not rejoin his regiment in the field; he was transferred to the Invalid Corps in 1864. He was later commandant of the prison camp at Florence, SC and commanded the post at Columbia, SC by January 1865.

After the War

He died relatively young at age 40 in Blacksburg, VA - his wife's hometown.

References & notes

His time at the Citadel from the Official Register for 1851. His service from his Compiled Service Records via the Historical Data Systems database and Evans.1 His capture detail from Uzal W. Ent's The Pennsylvania Reserves in the Civil War: A Comprehensive History (2010). Wound and hospital information from the Patient List.2 Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

Son of former SC Governor (1850-52) and Colonel of the 17th regiment John Hugh Means (1812-1862). He married Virginia Ann Emily Preston (1834-1898) in 1856 and they had 7 children, 5 of whom died as infants or young children. The survivors were Robert Preston Means (1857-1917) and John Hugh Means (1863-1936).


12/10/1833; Columbia, SC


06/20/1874; Blacksburg, VA; burial in Preston Cemetery at Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg, VA


1   Evans, Clement Anselm, editor, Confederate Military History, 12 Volumes, Atlanta: The Confederate Publishing Company, 1899, Vol. V, pg. 360  [AotW citation 21499]

2   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #280  [AotW citation 21498]