Sons of Confederate Veterans

   Adam Washington Ballenger Camp #68

 

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COLONEL OLIVER EVANS EDWARDS

Born November 9, 1819 in Spartanburg District, SC

Died June 21, 1863 at Goldsboro, NC

 

O. E. Edwards was born in Spartanburg but his family moved to Cass County, Ga. when young Oliver was about 12 years old.  Some time in the 1840s he returned to his native State, attended school and studied law.  As a lawyer, it is said he was prompt, decisive, indefatigable, and always looking out for is client.

In 1850 he was elected colonel of the 36th Regiment, S.C.M., four years later chosen as the brigadier-general of the 9th Brigade, S.C.M., and served three terms in the state House of Representatives.

Colonel Micah Jenkins had just formed the 5th SC Regiment and was sent to Virginia when Edwards joined him as a volunteer. He was at the Battle of Manassas and then after a few weeks returned to Spartanburg to raise the 13th SC Regiment.  He was elected colonel of the regiment, leading first around Charleston, and then in Virginia.

Edwards’s regiment never faltered under his leadership. Around Charleston, they were stationed at Lightwood Knot Springs and Pocotaligo.  They also saw action at Gaines Mill, Frasyer’s Farm, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Shepherdstown, and Fredericksburg.  At the battle of Second Manassas, Edwards was wounded slightly but recovered.  The regiment then fought at Chancellorsville.

It was at Chancellorsville, on the morning after Jackson’s famous flank mark on Hooker’s right and rear, that General Samuel McGowan’s was taken wounded from he field and Edwards assumed command of the brigade. The enemy had just been driven from the Confederate works and the brigade was holding against a furious charge for their recapture. One soldier recalled Edwards, saying, “He was walking dauntlessly on top of the breastworks a conspicuous mark for the enemy’s bullets, one of which did not long shun the mark.”

After Edwards was wounded on May 3rd he lived until June 21st, cared for by his wife.  In an effort to return him to his home, he grew weaker and was removed from a train at Goldsboro, NC.  He was carried to the home of a friend where he died after a few days.

Colonel O. E. Edwards is interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Spartanburg, SC.

 

submitted by Ron Crawley, Camp #68

 

 

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