Q&A on the News

Q: A South Carolina congressman stated that no South Carolinian fought under the flag that was removed from their state grounds. He said that flag was the flag of Northern Virginia, and therefore is Northern Virginia’s heritage alone. How true is his statement?

—Richard Beck, Marietta

A: There were several South Carolina units in the Army of North Virginia throughout the Civil War.

At the battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), for example, Brig. Gen. Joseph Kershaw’s brigade in the First Army Corps included the Second, Third, Seventh, Eighth and 15th South Carolina Infantry, and the Third South Carolina Battalion, Brian S. Wills, the director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State, told Q&A on the News in an email.

Other units from the state in the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg included the Palmetto Light Artillery and Brooks Artillery, in the First Army Corps; the First South Carolina Rifles and the first, 12th, 13th and 14th South Carolina Infantry, and the Pee Dee Artillery under Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill.

Cavalry and artillery units also served under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s command.

“Everybody here fought in the same army under the battle flags that represented that army, as well as any other standards of their own,” Wills wrote. “There is no Northern Virginia-only aspect to this.”

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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