20th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry

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Brief History

The 20th Infantry Regiment, South Carolina Infantry was organized at Orangeburg, South Carolina, during the winter of 1861-1862. It was also called Keritt's Regiment and the "Pound Cake Regiment" because up to about 1863 it had not been engaged in any difficult service. Many of the men were recuirted in Sumter, Orangeburg, and Calhoun counties. In the spring of 1864 it moved to Virginia and was assigned to General Kershaw's, Kennedy's, and Conner's Brigade. On April 9, 1865 the 20th Regiment was consolidated with the 2nd Infantry Regiment and parts of the1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th Battalions of Blanchard's South Carolina Reserves to form the (new) 2nd Regiment.  The 2nd Infantry Regiment surrendered on April 26, 1865 with the Army of Tennessee near Greensboro, North Carolina.[1][2]

Companies in this Regiment with the 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.

Original organization:

  • A Company, Sumter: Captain Stephen M. Boykin
  • B Company, Lexington: Captain Jas. M. Jones
  • C Company, Lexington: Captain G. Leaphart
  • D Company, Anderson: Captain J.A. Cowan
  • E Company, Orangeburg: Captain P.A. McMichael
  • F Company, Orangeburg: Captain R.V. Danelly
  • G Company, Newberry: Captain J.M. Kinard
  • H Company, Lexington: Captain E. Kinsler
  • I Company, Lexington: Captain W.D.M. Harkins
  • K Company, Pickens: Captain J.M. Partlow

This regiment was reorganized on 29 April 1862:

  • A Company, Anderson and Pickens: Captain Jno. M. Partlow; Captain C.H.A. Woodin; Captain Jno. Lee
  • B Company, Orangeburg: Captain P.A. McMichael
  • C Company, Lexington (Dutch Forak area): Captain G. Leaphart; Captain G.T. Haltiwanger (also known as the Evans Guards[2])
  • D Company, Orangeburg (North and Neeses near Bull Swamp area): Captain R.V. Donnelly (also known as the Bull Swamp Guards[2])
  • E Company, Laurens: Captain N.A. Cowan.  Men also from Abbeville District (County)[2]
  • F Company, Newberry: Captain John M. Kinard; Captain William M. Kinard. A few men also from Laurens District (County). (Also known as the Kinard Phalanx[2]
  • G Company, Sumter: Captain S.M. Boykin; Captain A. Mosely; Captain A.L. Herriot. (Also known as the Spring Hill Volunteers[2])
  • H Company, Orangeburg and Lexington: Captain Edward Kinsler; Captain S.M. Roof
  • I Company, Marlboro: Captain A.D. Sparks
  • I Company, Orangeburg and Lexington: Captain Elbert Gunter. (Also known as the Edisto Guards[2])
  • K Company, Lexington: Captain W.D.M. Harman. (Also known as the Lesington Volunteer Rifle Company and the Lexington Riflemen[2])
  • L Company, Marlboro: Captain A.D. Sparks; Captain C.P. Bolton. Men also from Lexington and Marion Districts[2] (Counties). (Also known as the Ripley Rangers)
  • M Company (also known as the Emmett Guards, Captain Keitt's Company Mounted Riflemen, and the Mounted Riflemen) - Newberry, Richland, Anderson and Marlboro Districts (Counties). Attached: Keitt's Cavalry, Keitt's Mounted Riflemen [3].
  • N Company (possibly called the Peterkin Rangers), some of its men from Marlboro District (County)[2]
  • O Company ( also known as Venning's Company)[2]

Information on the Companies, their nicknames, counties of origin and officers taken from the [[20th South Carolina Volunteers|20th SC Volunteer Infantry]] website[3] and Seigler's book.[2].

Other Sources

  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System can be searched by soldier's name or by regiment; includes regimental rosters and additional history of the regiment. This site uses Joseph H. Crute's book, Units of the Confederate States Army, as their main source for the regiment history. Family History Library book 973 M2crua, FHL Collection, WorldCat.
  • Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina. Microfilm publication M267. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Services, 1958. These records have been indexed and digitized and are available at 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). (Accessed December 2010)
  • Carr, Benjamin B. History of Co. E, 20th N.C. Regiment, 1861-'65 : Confederate Greys. Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1990. FHL 6082578 (1 fiche).
  • Dickert, D. Augustus. History of Kershaw's Brigade : With Complete Roll of Companies, Biographical Sketches, Incidents, Anecdotes, etc.  (Dayton, Ohio : Morningside Bookshop, 1976), 583 pages. Rosters for the 20th South Carolina Volunteer Regimental companies are found on pages 576-583. Digital copies at Google Books and Internet Archives. Book found at FHL 975.7 M2d 1976 and Other Libraries.
  • Hewett, Janet B., ed. Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Pub. Co., c1994-2001. FHL book 973 M29u ser. 1 supp. pt. 2 v. 64 and 65. Lists officers, companies, some nicknames for the companies and dates involving the company and places where they were stationed. Locate this book at other libraries.This book lists 15 Companies, A-O plus a named company, "Company Artillery".  Dates of service were from December 1861 to June 1864. It also lists some of the nicknames and former company names.
  • Seigler, Robert S. South Carolina's Military Organizations During the War Between the States. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, c2008. FHL book 975.7 M2sr v. 2. This book has an overview about the creation of the military units for service during the Civil War. There are four volumes which are divided into areas of the State. There is information about the different military units including dates of organization and service, company officers, battle engagements, company names and places of origin, and a few pictures. This book is also available through other libraries.


  1. National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (accessed 4 January 2011).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Robert S. Seigler. South Carolina's Military Organizations During the War Between the States. (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, c2008.), v. 2, p 255-266.FHL book 975.7 M2sr v. 2. The book goes into greater detail about the companies and the different military units they served in. Also the book may give more information about the different units this Battalion served with
  3. 3.0 3.1 20th South Carolina Volunteers, (accessed 13 Apr 2011).