(1843 - 1938)
Home State: South Carolina
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Hampton (SC) Legion
Born in Pennsylvania while his parents were visiting, he was raised and educated in Charleston. Just as he turned 18, by then a clerk in a carpet business, he joined the Charleston Zouave Cadets as Second Sergeant in January 1861 and was with them on Morris Island for the siege of Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861. The Zouaves were disbanded soon afterward and he enlisted as Private, Company H, Hampton Legion Infantry and mustered as First Sergeant on on 7 August 1861. He was wounded in the left leg at Second Manassas on 30 August 1862, but stayed with his Company.
On the Campaign
He was wounded again, by a piece of shell to his scalp, in combet at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was treated at Staunton, VA and in a hospital in Richmond and then furloughed home to recover from his two wounds. He was reduced to Private, but returned to duty on 1 December, was in action at Frederickburg, VA on the 13th, and was commissioned Junior 2nd Lieutenant on 31 December 1862. He was appointed First Lieutenant to date from 17 January 1864 and was in command of the Company as senior officer present. He and the Company were detailed in May as mounted infantry and he was surrendered with his Company at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865, by then acting Adjutant of the Legion.
After the War
In 1867 he established a successful wholesale fruit and produce business in Charleston which he was still operating in 1910. By 1920 he was farming with his son Emmons (1874-1959). He may have been the last surviving Civil War veteran in South Carolina before he died at age 95 in 1938.
References & notes
His service from the Rolls,1 as S. Elliott Welch, and the Card Index.2 Personal details from a sketch in the History 3, family genealogists, and the US Census of 1900 - 1920. His gravesite is on Findagrave.
He married Laura Ann Spear (1843-1914) in April 1871 and they had 4 children; the second probably died soon after birth, and the third and fourth, twins Stephen and Laura, died at about 1 year old in 1887.
John Michael Priest edited a collection of Welch's wartime letters in Stephen Elliott Welch of the Hampton Legion (Burd Street Press, 1994).
More on the Web
01/12/1843; Philadelphia, PA
12/19/1938; Charleston, SC; burial in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC
1 Thomas, John P., and and previous SC Historians of the Confederate Records, Confederate Rolls of South Carolina, Columbia: Historian of Confederate Records, 1898, Roll of Company H, Hampton Legion, South Carolina Vols. [AotW citation 24121]
2 Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Confederate Officers Card Index, Springfield, TN: MOS&B, 2014 [AotW citation 24123]
3 Evans, Clement Anselm, editor, Confederate Military History, 12 Volumes, Atlanta: The Confederate Publishing Company, 1899, Vol. V, pp. 902-903 [AotW citation 24122]