Gettysburg and the Cardwell Family

Gettysburg and the Cardwell Family


Reuben and James Cardwell at Gettysburg

  • Battle of Gettysburg

Reuben and James Cardwell, both sons of Thomas Cardwell and Mary Long of Marshall County, Alabama, enlisted as Privates in Company D of the 48th Alabama Infantry, CSA on 07 Apr 1862 in Warrenton, Marshall County, AL. James Cardwell was KIA during the Battle of Gettysburg on 02 Jul 1862. Reuben was WIA by a rifle ball through the right thigh. He was captured by Federal forces on 05 Jul 1863 and was moved to DeCamp Hospital, Davids Island, New York. He appears absent from his unit's roster after the battle and it appears that it was not known that he was captured. He was paroled from DeCamp Hospital, but a date was not included in the service records.

James Cardwell was born in about 1834 in Alabama and died at the Battle of Gettysburg on 02 Jul 1863. Reuben Cardwell was born about 1840 in Marshall County, Alabama. There are no additional records (census, tax lists, etc.) concerning Reuben and he may have died from this wounds. It appears that he never returned from the war and probably died as a result of his wound.

Unit History of the 48th Alabama Infantry, CSA

Enlisted for three years at Auburn, Alabama, on 22 May 1862, with 1097 men recruited from Blount, Calhoun, Colbert, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, and Marshall counties. A few weeks later it reached Virginia and was attached to Brig. Gen'l William B. Taliaferro's Brigade, Maj. Gen'l. Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson's Division, with the 47th Alabama, and three Virginia regiments. The 48th Alabama's first combat was at Cedar Run (9 August 1862) where they suffered severe loss (73 casualties); at the 2nd Battle of Manassas, it again suffered severely (50 casualties).

The regiment was part of the investing force at Harper's Ferry, and it was hurt badly at Sharpsburg (42 casualties). During the winter, the 48th was placed in the Alabama Brigade of Brig. Gen'l Evander McIver Law (with the 4th, 15th, 44th, and 47th Alabama Regiments), Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps. The regiment was under fire at Fredericksburg, and it fought with only slight losses at Suffolk.

The 48th Alabama Regiment moved into Pennsylvania and was "fearfully punished" in the assaults on Gettysburg (they reported more than 25% casulaties of the 374 engaged). (NOTE: James Cardwell was KIA on 02 Jul 1863 and Reuben Cardwell was WIA and captured at Gettysburg ~ Rand Cardwell) Ten weeks later, as a part of Longstreet's Corps, the regiment was engaged at Chicamauga (20 September). It was engaged at Lookout Valley and at Knoxville; and it passed the winter in East Tennessee. Rejoining the main Army of Northern Virginia at The Wilderness (5-6 May 1864), the 48th performed ably but lost heavily (11 killed, 30 wounded, 8 missing). From that time to the end, at Hanover Junction, the 2nd Battle of Cold Harbor,Bermuda Hundred, Petersburg, Fussell's Mill, Fort Harrison, Darbytown Road, Williamsburg Road, and Farmville, the 48th was almost constantly on active duty. During the last half of 1864, they lost 9 killed, and 24 wounded. The48th Alabama surrendered 136 officers and men at Appomattox Court House, having lost over 150 in battle, 165 in service, and 125 who were discharged or transferred.

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