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Confederate (CSV)


James Armstrong, Jr.

(1842 - 1930)

Home State: South Carolina

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st South Carolina Infantry (Provisional Army)

Before Sharpsburg

Son of Irish immigrants, he was born in Philadelphia but raised largely in Charleston. He spent some years in Ireland with family after his mother's death in 1851. In December 1860, by then a clerk for his father, a commission merchant in Charleston, he enlisted with the Meagher Guard (later called the Emerald Light Infantry, after namesake Thomas F. Meagher recruited Union troops in New York), part of the First Rifles in State service. He rose to First Sergeant but the Company did not enroll for Confederate service, so on 25 June 1861 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the Irish Volunteers for the War, who became Company K of the First South Carolina Infantry at its organization in Charleston. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 23 January 1862.

On the Campaign

He was slightly wounded in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was wounded again, at Fredericksburg in December 1862, at Gettysburg in July 1863, and Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. He was promoted to Captain on 2 November 1864 and was hit for the fifth time at Sunderland Station, VA in April l865, his right leg "shattered." He spent 11 months in Washington, DC hospitals before going home.

After the War

He was Harbormaster at Charleston, SC for almost 60 years and was appointed Colonel on Governor Wade Hampton's staff in 1877. His leg reportedly didn't heal until 1870 and gave him constant trouble; it was finally amputated in March 1920.

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records, online from fold3. His wounds and other details from a bio sketch in the History 1 and a memorial in the Confederate Veteran.2 His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Mary Sullivan (1849-1878) in 1877 and they had a daughter Susie (1878-1881).

More on the Web

See much more about the Meagher Guard and Armstrong in an excellent article [pdf] by Bill Bynum in Company Front (Issue 1, 2011), the journal of The Society for the Preservation of the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops.


08/20/1842; Philadelphia, PA


08/15/1930; Charleston, SC; burial in Saint Lawrence Cemetery, Charleston, SC


1   Evans, Clement Anselm, editor, Confederate Military History, 12 Volumes, Atlanta: The Confederate Publishing Company, 1899, Vol. 5, pp. 433-4  [AotW citation 26267]

2   United Confederate Veterans, and United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans, Confederate Veteran Magazine (1893-1932), 1893-01-00, Vol. 38 (1930), pp. 415-6  [AotW citation 26268]