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E.S. McCarthy

E.S. McCarthy

Confederate (CSV)


Edward Stephens McCarthy


(1836 - 1864)

Home State: Virginia

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Richmond Howitzers, 1st Company

Before Sharpsburg

In 1860 he was a 23 year old clerk living with his parents and siblings in Richmond, VA. He mustered as a Private in the First Company, Richmond Howitzers Light Artillery on 21 April 1861. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 10 May and promoted to First Lieutenant on 17 November 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded the battery at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was still in command of the battery at Gettysburg, PA, where he was wounded on 3 July 1863. He was promoted to Captain on 21 April 1864 but

About six o'clock [on 4 June 1864] there fell the saddest loss, to the battery, that it had yet been called to bear. Captain McCarthy stood up at the work [at Cold Harbor, VA] to watch what was going on in front. One moment I saw him standing there; - the next instant, I heard a sharp crash, the familiar sound of a bullet striking, and McCarthy was lying flat on his back and motionless. We jumped to his side! Nothing to be done! A long bullet from a "globe sight" rifle had struck him, two inches over his right eye, and crashed straight through his brain. He lay without motion two or three minutes, then his chest rose, and fell, gently, once or twice, and he was still, in death.

References & notes

His role at Sharpsburg from Carman,1 who has him as a Captain. Service and other details from Wallace.2 The quote above from Rev. William Meade Dame in From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania Campaign (1920); Dame was a Private in the battery. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a portrait now at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.


02/21/1836; Richmond, VA


06/04/1864; Cold Harbor, VA; burial in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, VA


1   Carman, Ezra Ayers, and Dr. Thomas G. Clemens, editor, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, 3 volumes, El Dorado Hills (CA): Savas Beatie, 2010-17, Vol. 2, Appendix 1, pg. 544  [AotW citation 19025]

2   Wallace, Lee A., The Richmond Howitzers, Lynchburg (Va): H.E. Howard, Inc., 1993  [AotW citation 29564]