site logo
C.W. Motes

C.W. Motes

Confederate (CSV)


Columbus Washington Motes

(1837 - 1919)

Home State: Georgia

Command Billet: Battery Officer

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Troup (GA) Artillery

Before Sharpsburg

A 24 year old photographer in Athens, GA, he enlisted there on 24 April 1861 and mustered on 8 May in Savannah as a Sergeant in Captain Stanley's Company (Troup Artillery) of the 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteers. His Company was separated from the regiment and designated an independent artillery battery about December 1861. He was elected First Lieutenant on 29 April 1862 during the Army reorganization.

On the Campaign

He commanded a section of two rifled guns in action on Maryland Heights near Harpers Ferry on 14 September and again on 17 September near the Dunker Church at Sharpsburg, where he was wounded twice, in the left hip and right shoulder, and where his horse was killed. His Captain called him "the most recklessly brave man I ever knew" and later remembered

[H]e came to me, his arm dangling by his side, and covered with blood and said: “Captain Carlton, what do you think? The yankees have shot me!” I ordered him to the rear, but he returned to his post, and in a few moments I heard: “Captain Carlton, the yankees have shot me again!” This time he was badly wounded in the hip, and was borne to the rear on a caisson.

The rest of the War

He was in a hospital in Richmond, VA by 28 September, furloughed home on 3 October, and returned to duty about 1 December 1862. He was with his battery to at least the end of 1864 and was paroled at Selma, AL on 26 June 1865.

After the War

He returned to Athens, GA and his photography business until moving to Atlanta in 1871 or 72, where he became prominent in his field. He was briefly back in Athens 1901-1905, then returned to Atlanta, where he'd finally retired by 1910. He died there at age 81 in 1919.

References & notes

A collection of his photographs, and photographs of him, are in the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center [finding aid].

More on the Web

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3, with his role on Maryland Heights and the "recklessly brave" quote from Rosebrock.2 The longer quote above from a piece in the Atlanta Constitution of 11 May 1890, transcribed online by photographic historian E. Lee Eltzroth on her blog Hunting & Gathering. Personal details from family genealogists, Ms Eltzroth, and the US Census of 1880-1910. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture is from an ambrotype in the Atlanta Historical Society collection, as reproduced in the Atanta Historical Journal, Summer 1981 (Vol. XXV, No. 2).

He married Eliza Bryan (1840-before 1861) and they had a daughter Lula Etta Motes (1857-1932). He married again, Emily F "Emma" White (1844-1897) in June 1866, and they had 2 more daughters.


04/15/1837; Perry County, AL


04/08/1919; Atlanta, GA; burial in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA


1   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 30420]

2   Rosebrock, James A., Artillery of Antietam: the Union and Confederate Batteries at the Battle of Antietam, Sharpburg: The Press of the Antietam Institute, 2023, pp. 240, 245  [AotW citation 30421]