Brothers in the 12th Alabama Infantry, CSA

Brothers in the 12th Alabama Infantry, CSA - Stories


William M. and Wade H. Cardwell and the Civil War

  • Civil War

Two sons of Nathaniel Cardwell and Elizabeth LNU served in Company D of the 12th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA. One died during that conflict and another other survived the experience.

William McKenzie Cardwell was born 30 Nov 1833 in Pike County, Alabama. He was the son of Nathaniel Cardwell and Elizabeth LNU. He married Mary LNU in about 1855. They produced three known children; John Thomas Cardwell (1856-1927), Richard B. Cardwell (1857-1942) and William H. Cardwell (1859-?). William enlisted as a Private in Company D of the 12th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA on 12 Aug 1861. He was hospitalized on 21 Dec 1861 at Moore Hospital in Danville, VA while suffering from pneumonia. He recovered from the illiness and rejoined his unit. William was KIA during the Batlle of Sevens Pines, near Richmond, VA on 31 May 1862. His wife, Mary, applied for assistance from the CSA being his widow.

Wade Hampton Cardwell was born 06 Oct 1840 in Pike County, Alabama. He was the son of Nathaniel Cardwell and Elizabeth LNU. Wade married Frances M. Duck in about 1868. They produced six known children; Edmund R. Cardwell (1869-1930), Robert J. Cardwell (1870-?), Nathaniel T. Cardwell (1873-1958), Lettie Lee Cardwell (1883-?), James L. Cardwell (1884-1939) and Daniel A. Cardwell (1887-1946). Wade and his brother, William M., both enlisted as Privates in Company D of the 12th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA on 12 Aug 1861 in Victoria, Coffee County, Alabama. William was KIA at the Battle of Seven Pines near Richmond, VA on 31 May 1862 However, Wade survived the conflict and returned home to southern Alabama. He eventually settled in Escambia County, Florida where many of his descendants are still found today. While serving the CSA Army, Wade was hospitalized on 01 Jul 1863 in the Alabama Hospital in Richmond, VA. He served out his enlist "for the war" and was part of the Confederate Army that was surrendered to General Grant in 1865.

History of the 12th Alabama Infantry, CSA

The 12th Alabama Regiment was organized at Richmond in July 1861, with members from Montgomery and Mobile, and Coffee, Coosa, De Kalb, Jackson, Macon, Morgan, and Pike counties. It was at once moved to the "Potomac front" and first brigaded under General Richard Ewell of Virginia, who was soon after succeeded by General Robert Rodes, of Tuscaloosa. The regiment was near Manassas during the fall and winter, and it moved to Yorktown in the spring, 1862. It was under fire there and suffered lightly at Williamsburg. At Seven Pines, the regiment was in the advance that opened the battle, and it stormed the redoubt held by General Silas Casey's division, carrying three lines of works by successive charges, and losing 70 killed and 141 wounded. (Note: William McKenzie Cardwell was KIA at the Battle of Seven Pines - Rand Cardwell) It participated to some extent in the other battles before Richmond (1862), and mustered 120 men for duty after the battle of Malvern Hill. Still under Rodes, and in General Daniel H. Hill's Division, and brigaded with the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 26th Alabama regiments, the 12th was in the advance into Maryland (fall, 1862). It bore a conspicuous part at Boonsboro, and also at Sharpsburg (Antietam), losing in these battles 27 killed, 69 wounded, and 33 missing. Retiring into Virginia with the army, the regiment wintered (1862-1863) on the Rappahannock. It was under fire but not actively engaged at Fredericksburg; but it was in the resistless column of Rodes at Chancellorsville (spring, 1863), where Col. Edward O'Neal led the brigade, and where the 12th charged 3 lines of breastworks and was badly mutilated. It skirmished at Brandy Station, and again led the way over the Potomac. At Gettysburg, it was on the extreme left and pressed the enemy in confusion through the town, then supported General George Pickett's assault, and afterwards covered the rear. After the army retired into Virginia, the 12th was engaged in several skirmishes -- at Warrenton Springs, Turkey Run, etc. The winter (1864) was passed near Orange Court House, and the regiment, Gen. Cullen Battle now commanding the brigade, was hotly engaged at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania, and in the continuous skirmishing of Grant's advance movement to Cold Harbor. The 12th then again marched into Maryland when General Jubal Early threatened Washington. It participated at Winchester with very severe loss, and in the further operations of the corps in the Valley. On its return to Petersburg, it took part (now in General John Gordon's corps) in the struggles around that city, and surrendered at Appomattox in April, 1865. Of the original 1196, about 50 surrendered at Appomattox. And of the 321 recruits received, about 70 were there. Nearly 250 men died of wounds from battle; about 200 died of disease; and 202 were discharged. The battle-flag of the regiment was taken to Mobile after the war and is probably still there.