Sept. 30, 1863, Daniel Boyd is still home recovering from his wounds received at Gettysburg. He has missed the big Battle of Chickamauga in North Georgia and Eastern Tennessee. It is on this day, however; that one of the few letters in the collection addressed to Daniel is written from the battlefield by his friend John Calvin Alewine, brother of his friend James H. Alewine.
During this battle one of the most beloved officers in Daniel’s 7th South Carolina, Lt. Col. Elbert Bland was killed while leading the 7th. Bland had taken command after Col. D. Wyatt Aiken was reassigned to command the Confederate works around Macon, Georgia due to his compromised health from near fatal wounds received at Sharpsburg. Aiken, despite being shot through the lungs with grapeshot while charging a cannon had returned to his command for the Gettysburg campaign. The rigors of field command proved too harsh for the brave Aiken now and Confederate high command transferred him to a rear echelon job.
Bland — often described as gallant — was more than equal to the task and would likely have become famous and attained higher command had he survived the battle. His loss was grieved by his men and Bland’s daughter would later be selected to unveil one of the monuments on the battlefield.
In this letter Calvin Alewine would speak of the battles and the role of his unit, the 19th South Carolina, and their friends from Abbeville County.
The Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for History 2012.
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