COURTENAY FAMILY LOSSES
IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES

Grandsons of Edward Courtenay, sons of Charleston ... they made the last sacrifice.



Col. Charles Courtenay Tew, Second Regiment, North Carolina State troops

Col. Charles Courtenay Tew fought in the Army of Northern Virginia, in the battles from Richmond to Sharpsburg in 1861-62. He was always the intelligent officer, prompt, thorough, and devoted to duty. He laid down his life on that desperate field of Antietam while temporarily commanding Gen. Anderson's Brigade.

A photograph of Charles Courtenay Tew is featured on page 111 of "ANTIETAM" of the Time-Life "Voices of the Civil War Series", 1996, ISBN 0-7835-4704-8. The caption states: "Only minutes after he replaced the wounded General Anderson as brigade commander, Colonel Charles C. Tew of the 2d North Carolina was cut down by enemy fire."


The following article is reprinted from THE CONFEDERATE VETERAN, Vol. 10, Pub. NASHVILLE, TN, pp. 79-80, Feb. 1902. This article is now in the public domain, as it was published in the United States more than 75 years ago.


FAMILY LOSSES IN THE WAR

At every board a vacant chair
fills with quick tears some tender eye,
And at out maddest sports appear
Those will-loved forms that will not die.

We lift the glass, our hand is stayed-
We jest, a spectre rises up-
And weeping, though no word is said,
We kiss and pass the silent cup.
-J. Dickson Brown, M.D., C. S. A.

In Pharaoh's reign the edict went forth that in each home the first born should die; but exemptions were make by mark on the lintel of the door! In our Southland in 1861-65 there were no exemptions, death invaded every home.

In the Courtenay family of Charleston, S.C., not only did each of the three branches of the family meet such loss but in two of the three families only sons perished.

On a family memorial in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., is a bronze panel with these pathetic inscriptions:

TO THE MEMORY OF
ALEXANDER BLACK COURTENAY,
BORN 4TH OF MARCH, 1833; SETTLED IN KANSAS, 1856,
VOLUNTEERED IN THE CIVIL WAR,
LOST HIS LIFE IN BATTLE AT SPRINGFIELD, MO.,
10TH AUGUST, 1861, AND WAS BURIED ON THAT FIELD.

AND OF

EDWARD COURTENAY BULLOCK,
BORN 7TH DEC., 1822, GRADUATED AT HARVARD
COLLEGE, 1842, SETTLED IN EUFAULA, ALA., 1843,
ADMITTED TO THE BAR, 1845, SERVED IN THE
CIVIL WAR AS COLONEL OF THE 18TH REGT., ALA. INFTY.,
DIED 24TH DEC. OF DISEASE CONTRACTED IN
CAMP, AND BURIED AT EUFAULA CHRISTMAS DAY, 1861,
CALLED TO MANY HIGH STATIONS, EQUAL TO ALL.
TO PERPETUATE HIS MEMORY THE STATE OF ALA.,
BY ACT OF HER LEGISLATURE IN 1866
GAVE HIS NAME TO ONE OF HER COUNTIES.

AND OF
CHARLES COURTENAY TEW,
BORN 17TH OF OCTOBER, 1827; GRADUATED WITH FIRST HONORS
AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA MILITARY ACADEMY, 1846.
PROFESSOR IN HIS ALMA MATER ELEVEN YEARS;
FOUNDED, IN 1858. THE HILLSBORO, N. C., MILITARY ACADEMY,
SERVED IN THE CIVIL WAR AS COLONEL OF THE
SECOND REGIMENT, NORTH CAROLINA STATE TROOPS: LOST HIS LIFE
AT SHARPSBURG, 17TH OF SEPTEMBER 1862, WHILE COMMANDING
ANDERSON'S BRIGADE, AND WAS BURIED ON THAT FIELD.

GRANDSONS OF EDWARD COURTENAY, NATIVES OF
CHARLESTON, THEY MADE THE LAST SACRIFICE.THEY
DIED FOR THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY.

ERECTED 1891.


In the effort to hold Kansas (next to Missouri) for admission as a Southern State in the Union an appeal was sent throughout the South for settlers. Among those who went from South Carolina was Alex B. Courtenay. Just arrived at man's estate, a contractor an builder, he, with a number of others, went to make their homes in that distant territory in 1856. A strikingly handsome young man, over six feet in height, and a physical athlete. He settled in Atchison, and was doing well, when the war begun in the spring of 1861. Upon the first call to arms he volunteered, and was in the first great battle in Missouri at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, on August 10, 1861. In the victorious Confederate charge under Col. Weightman against Gen. Lyons's Federal forces, near the spot where both Weightman and Lyons were killed, Sergeant Courtenay was instantly killed. He was a man of magnanimous disposition, brave and generous, and had a host of friends in his new home to mourn his untimely end, and a large circle of relatives and friends regretting his death in his native State. As is known, the Confederate dead have since been removed from Wilson's Creek to the cemetery at Springfield where last August an imposing monument was erected in honor of the "unreturning brave." Sergeant Courtenay was the only South Carolinian killed in that battle, and his family had prepared a year ago a memorial in South Carolina gray granite and shipped to this Confederate cemetery. It weighs over one thousand pounds, and is erected on a concrete foundation, and bears this laconic epitaph:

FORTUNA NON MUTAT GENUS.
IN MEMORY OF
ALEX B. COURTENAY,
BORN
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA,
4TH OF MARCH 1833.
A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER,
KILLED 10TH OF AUGUST, 1861,
AT WILSON'S CREEK.
HIS REMAINS REINTERRED HERE,
HIS GRAVE UNKNOWN.
1900.




Col. Edward Courtenay Bullock, Eighteenth Alabama Infantry


COL. ED COURTENAY BULLOCK was the only son of William Bowen Bullock, merchant of Charleston, and Eliza Greer, daughter of Edward Courtenay, Esq., of that city. He was born on December 7, 1822; entered the freshman class at Harvard College in 1838, and was graduated in 1842, with honors. He returned to his native city in July of that year, and in September accepted a position in Maj. Goldsboro's Military Institute in Alabama. While teaching he read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1845, and entered at once on a successful and lucrative practice. In September, 1845, he married Miss Mary Julia Snipes of Barbour County. He was an ardent admirer of J. C. Calhoun's State rights' theory of government, and founded a journal in Eufaula, the Spirit of the South, which was for years a high political authority in Alabama, and largely influenced the action of that State in 1861. By a unanimous vote he was elected Senator for Barbour Co. in 1854, having no opposition, an unsolicited honor, conferred by the people of the county. He served with increased reputation and popularity until 1861.

Gov. Moore, in December, 1860, sent him as a special commissioner to the State of Florida to urge the prompt action of that State in the cause of the South. Gov. Moore next appointed him Chairman of the committee of citizens to meet and welcome the President-elect Davis as he entered the State on his way to Montgomery to take the oath of office. On Saturday, February 16, he met the President at West Point, Ga., and discharged most eloquently and impressively this most distinguished duty. The day after he resigned his seat in the Senate he enrolled as a private "for the war" in the Eufaula Rifles under Capt Alpheus Baker, and paraded in the ranks, in the military escort, at the inauguration of the President on February 18, 1861. The Eufaula Rifles was assigned to the First Regiment Alabama Infantry, Col H. D. Clayton, commanding, and was at once ordered to Pensacola to report to Gen. Bragg.

On the 12th of March, 1861, Gov. Moore appointed Private Bullock Inspector General on the staff of Gen. Jerry Clements, with the rank of colonel. In May Gen. Bragg appointed him judge advocate general of the army at Pensacola. In the summer he was asked to accept a circuit judgeship, but declined, saying: "I am enlisted for the war, unless sooner relieved by that long furlough which awaits us all." His commission as Colonel of the Eighteenth Alabama Infantry, unsolicited and unknown to him, was received from the Secretary of War at Richmond, Va., dated September 4, 1861. He took command a few days after, and was ordered to report to Gen. A. S. Johnston in Kentucky. The regiment had reached Huntsville when its destination was changed to Mobile. While in camp he was prostrated with a serious attack of typhoid fever, which developed into pneumonia. For better professional attention he was carefully removed to Montgomery, Ala., and received in the home of his friend, Dr. W. O. Baldwin, a noted physician of that city, where he died on December 23, 1861. It should be recorded that Col. Bullock was physically a frail man, and entirely unfitted for the camp and march of a soldier's life. He was buried in the Episcopal cemetery in Eufaula on Christmas day. On a marble column this epitaph is inscribed:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
EDWARD COURTENAY BULLOCK,
BORN IN CHARLESTON, S. C., DECEMBER 7, 1822,
MADE HIS HOME IN EUFAULA, ALA., 1843,
ADMITTED TO THE BAR IN 1845,
CALLED TO MANY HIGH STATIONS, AND EQUAL TO ALL,
AN ARDENT BELIEVER IN THE POLITICAL OPINIONS OF CALHOUN,
HE ELOQUENTLY ADVOCATED THEM IN LIFE,
AND WHEN WAR ENSUED DEFENDED THEM
AS COLONEL OF THE EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT, ALABAMA INFANTRY,
AND DIED IN THE CONFEDERATE SERVICE DECEMBER 23, 1861.
TO PERPETUATE HIS MEMORY THE STATE OF ALABAMA,
BY ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN 1866,
GAVE HIS NAME TO ONE OF THE COUNTIES OF THE STATE.
"HONESTA QUAM SPLENDIDA."

The following editorial written at his death, expressed the public opinion of Alabama at that period:

"Just as we go to press the telegraph brings us the mournful intelligence that Col. E. C. Bullock of the Eighteenth Alabama Infantry, is dead! The dispatch, although we had been led to anticipate it, has covered our community with gloom. Here where he had lived almost from boyhood, where all knew him and loved him, every heart saddens, every man feels that he has lost a friend. His death is a personal bereavement to every member of the community. The thought that he who had for so long a time been cherished as a friend; whose bright face and genial companionship had been the charm of our society; whose noble soul and brilliant intellect had won for him the confidence and admiration of all who knew him; that he, the gallant, generous, gifted Bullock, is forever gone from our midst, hangs like a pall upon every heart, and covers with sadness every face in Eufaula. Words of eulogy seem like mockery in their vain attempt to express our loss. Never did any man have a stronger hold upon the affection and confidence of a community than Col. Bullock had upon ours. His great heart that knew no semblance of guile or selfishness, that counted no cost in the service of either friend or country, had inspired all who came in contact with him, with a degree of friendship that is rarely seen beyond the family relation, while his exalted genius that sparkled like a diamond, that won for him the admiration of all who ever knew him; and yet, noble, unselfish, brilliant as he was, he is gone forever gone!

"Edward Courtenay Bullock was a native of Charleston, S. C. In earlier life he came a stranger to Barbour County. His strongly marked qualities soon attracted to him a host of friends in his new home, and he had lived here only a few years before he was assigned a position of prominence in the county. Almost from the day of his admission to the bar he took first rank as a lawyer, and rapidly came into a large and lucrative practice. At the time of his death he was regarded one of the most eminent members of the bar in East Alabama. But a short time before his death, while a private in the army at Pensacola, he was tendered the judgeship of this circuit, but preferring the post of danger, he declined the honor, which, unsolicited, had been pressed upon him.

"For years he has been the editor of the Eufaula Spirit of the South, and had given to the editorial columns of that paper a reputation for ability and lofty devotion to the rights of his section unsurpassed by any sheet in the South.

"Four years ago, without an intimation that he desired it, the people of this county elected him without opposition to the State Senate. Though young and inexperienced as a legislator, he was placed at the head of the most important committee in the Senate, and in that capacity, probably contributed more to the legislation of that body than any other member of it. His unselfish devotion to the public interests, his thorough acquaintance with the laws of the State, his clear perception of the wants of the country, his unclouded judgement and his ability as a debater, commanded for him the unquestionable confidence of that body, while his genial nature and affable manners secured for him the cordial esteem of all who were associated with him.

"While yet a member of the Senate the present war commenced, and from the halls of the Legislature he went as a private in the Eufaula Rifles to do service as a common soldier at Pensacola. His company was one of the first to tender its service to the country, and he was among the first in preparing for duty. Though a private, his claims did not escape the attention of his commander, Gen. Bragg, and by the appointment of that officer he was assigned the position of judge advocate for the army at that post. How well and how faithful he discharged all his duties as a soldier, all who knew him in that relation will testify. As at home, so in the camp, he was beloved, admired, courted by all who were associated with him. While thus engaged in his duties at Pensacola the War Department at Richmond sent him a commission as colonel of the Eighteenth Alabama Regiment. He knew nothing of the purpose of his government to promote till his commission reached him. He was as modest as he was brave and worthy, and hesitated about accepting the trust, until he was advised to do so by Gen. Bragg, whose military eye discovered in him the elements that fitted him for the command. Thus advised, he hesitated no longer, but at once repaired to Auburn, and there assumed command of his regiment, with orders to report to Gen. A. Sidney Johnston for duty in Kentucky. He had reached Huntsville when the exigencies of the service called him in another direction, and he was ordered to Mobile. Shortly after arriving there, the bombardment commenced at Pensacola, and Gen. Bragg, by telegraph, invited him to act as one of his aids in the engagement. He proceeded at once to the scene of danger, but reached there too late to participate in the fight. While in Pensacola he was seized with typhoid pneumonia, and was carried to Montgomery, where, after lingering for three weeks, he died yesterday morning at six o'clock.

"In accordance with this oft-repeated request, his remains will be brought to this city for interment. Just before leaving home to take command of his regiment he said to us: 'No matter where or how I die, I which that my remains shall rest beneath the soil of Barbour County. Her people have loved me and honored me, and among them I wish my ashes to repose.' His wishes will be carried out, and his grave will be honored by a people whom in life he honored.

"Alabama has lost one of her best men. Even beyond the limits of the State his death will be felt to be a public calamity, but here at his own home, where he was best known, he was most loved, and will be most lamented. Had he lived the highest honors of his country awaited him. Dying, he will be cherished as one of the brightest jewels." (The Spirit of the South, Eufaula, Ala., December 24, 1861.)




Col. Charles Courtenay Tew, Second Regiment, North Carolina State troops


COL. CHARLES COURTENAY TEW was born in Charleston, S. C., October 17, 1827. His father was Henry Shade Tew, a merchant of Charleston, whose family name is on the roll of the South Carolina Society (French Huguenots). The fourteenth signature on that roll was Thomas Tew, October 11, 1737. The first signature is of date September 1, 1837. This indicates that the family is one of the earliest in the State. His mother was Caroline, youngest daughter of Edward Courtenay formerly of Newry, whose family had been resident in Ireland during and since Queen Elizabeth's time, and some of the tombs in St. Patrick's Church, Newry, date back to the early years of the seventeenth century.

In the first assignment of twenty cadets to the South Carolina Military Academy in 1843 we find the name of "C. C. Tew." He graduated in 1846 with the highest honors of his class, and was at once retained as a professor in his alma mater. He continued in this service until 1852, when he spent a year in Europe observing military matters, going from point to point on foot, with his knapsack, soldier fashion. Upon his return he was placed second in command at the academy in Charleston, and in 1857 was made superintendent of the Junior Military Academy in Colorado. His enterprising spirit led him to found a military school of his own, and was encouraged to do so by the authorities of North Carolina at Hillsboro in 1859. In this he was preeminently successful, and in two years his academy had become most favorably known and most influential: In 1861 North Carolina seceded, and the two colonels of regiments first commissioned by Gov. Ellis were Col. D. H. Hill, First Regiment, and Col. C. C. Tew, Second Regiment, North Carolina State troops. Quietly, unostentatiously, as was characteristic of him, he met, with his gallant regiment the issues of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the battles from Richmond to Sharpsburg in 1861-62. He was always the intelligent officer, prompt, thorough, and devoted to duty. He laid down his life on that desperate field of Antietam while temporarily commanding Gen. Anderson's Brigade, and by the changes of positions in the army that day, his body was not recovered to family and friends.

Many conflicting stories were circulated as to his death, one that he was alive and a close prisoner of war at the Torugas. So plausible was this that his aged father proceeded to Washington and obtained permission to visit this prison in search for his distinguished son. Disappointment, of course, ensued, and thus ended the hopes of family and friends in two States. Gen. John B. Gordon's statement is accepted as to his death, which was to the effect that he and Col. Tew were reconnoitering in front of the Confederate lines when the latter was shot and mortally wounded and left for dead. The Confederate forces retiring from that part of the field, it was impossible to recover the body. His place of burial has remained unknown. His personal effects - a sword (presented by the cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy and inscribed with his name, etc.) and watch - have never been heard from. It would be such a comfort to his surviving children if either or both could be restored. In October, 1874, Capt. I. W. Bean, U. S. A. sent the silver cup, which had been taken from his dead body, to his aged father, the letter returning the cup, couched in handsome terms, pays a noble tribute to the Confederate soldiers of that fateful day, and is creditable to the head and heart of that considerate Federal officer.

So it is and O how sad, that two of the three dead of this family lie in unknown graves! As we recall that lofty and heroic past Father Ryan's pathetic and touching poem is at once in mind, from which we quote a few lines:

Forth from its scabbard all in vain
Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
"Tis shrouded now, in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
Defeated, yet without a stain,
Proudly and peacefully.

 

 

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