Rutledge's Company, South Carolina Cavalry Militia (Charleston Light Dragoons)

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Brief History

South Carolina 4th Cavalry Regiment Company K or  The Charleston Light Dragoons

The story of the Charleston Light Dragoons is interwoven with the social and military history of South Carolina from early colonial days. It is to be regretted that public data in regard to its organization and personnel have been lost in the lapse of time, and that records of its own, old muster-rolls and similar archives, were necessarily abandoned, from lack of means of transportation, after its surrender with Johnston's army in North Carolina in April, 1865, at the end of the War between the States. it is clear that the corps existed at least as early as 1733, being called then with British loyalty the "Charleston Horse-Guards," a title changed, doubtless in deference to Republican sentiment, at the Revolution, into "Charleston Light Dragoons [1]."


"Units of the Confederate States Army" by Joseph H. Crute, Jr. contains no history for this unit[2].


Counties of Origin

Men often enlisted in  a company recruited in the counties where they lived though not always. After many battles, companies might be combined because so many men were killed or wounded.  However if you are unsure which company your ancestor  was in, try the company recruited in his county first.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database lists 80 men on its roster for this unit. Roster.

Other Sources

  • Beginning United States Civil War Research gives steps for finding information about a Civil War soldier. It covers the major records that should be used. Additional records are described in ‘South Carolina in the Civil War’ and ‘United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865’ (see below).
  • National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, is searchable by soldier's name and state. It contains basic facts about soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, a list of regiments, descriptions of significant battles, sources of the information, and suggestions for where to find additional information.
  • South Carolina in the Civil War describes many Confederate and Union sources, specifically for South Carolina, and how to find them.. These include compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
  • United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865 describes and explains United States and Confederate States records, rather than state records, and how to find them. These include veterans’ censuses, compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
  • Footnote.com (A subscription website, but is available for use at the Family History Library and some Family History Centers). It has digital Civil War soldier service records and brief regiment histories (located at the bottom of some of the muster rolls).
  • Emerson, W. Eric, Sons of Privilege,The Charleston Light Dragoons in the Civil War, (University of South Carolina Press; 1St Edition edition; October 31, 2005).    This book can be purchased through Amazon.com, (accessed 8 Apr 2011).   Also available through worldcat.org, (accessed 8 Apr 2011).

References

  1. The Charleston Light Dragoons, (accessed 8 Apr 2011).
  2. National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (accessed 4 January 2011).