More Bivingsville/Glendale Civil War Patriots
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

  

After the Civil war which began in Fort Sumter, S. C. on April 12, 1861, following a call for volunteers, it appears that the little mill village of Bivingsville (Glendale) S. C. sent its share of men for the cause. Raging until April 9, 1865, it has been estimated that more than 600,000 lives were lost in action on the battlefield and disease among the troops. While this writer has records of only a few of the local patriots, I am recording their service as a memorial to their sacrifices.

With suspicion being rumored in the Bivingsville community questioning the loyalty of the two Yankees in their midst, namely Dexter E. Converse and his brother in-law Albert H. Twitchell from the state of New York, they volunteered for service in the Confederate Army. Both were shareholders in the mill. Mr. Converse was Manager/Superintendent and Mr. Twitchell was Bookkeeper/Treasurer at that time. Both joined as privates in Co. C. 13th Regiment. According to the Converse Family History, since the mill was manufacturing goods for the Army, wooden shoes and cloth, Mr. Converse was detailed by the Army to return to Bivingsville to “superintend the mill”. The name had been changed to The D.E. Converse Co. and Dexter Converse was voted President in 1868. (See Presidents for more information.)

 

According to the Dexter Converse family history, Albert H. Twitchell was detailed to the Quartermaster’s Department in Co. D. 13th Regiment, the Maxcy Gregg Brigade, A. P. Hill Division. Records which I have seen indicate that the first S.C. Infantry of Volunteers under the command of Maxcy Gregg, left for Virginia August 15, 1861. When arriving in Richmond, the volunteers who had first signed for 6 or 12 month military duty, almost without exception, reenlisted for the duration of the war. This Regiment reorganized again in 1862 and fought in the second battle of Manassas (August 1862) under the Command of Col. C. E. Edwards. Reportedly, the flag of this Regiment is displayed in the State House at this date. Mr. Twitchell served four years before returning to Bivingsville and the mill where he was voted President following the death of Mr. Converse. (See Presidents for more information.)

Writer’s comments; In that these men were in the 13th Regiment, I did research on the 13th Regiment of which I found the following history. According to the records* which I found, at the request of Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern States, Oliver Evans Edwards who had fought in the 1st battle of Manassas, Va., in July of 1861, returned to his home in Spartanburg, S. C. and with the help of others, organized five companies of soldiers in Spartanburg which were listed as Companies B. C. E. F. and I.

Going to the camp of instruction and training in Lightwood Knot Springs located about 5 miles from Columbia in August 1861, the various companies of the state were organized into regiments. Here, the 13th Regiment of S. C. Volunteers was formed with the Col. Oliver E. Edwards, Lt. Col. P.I. Calhoun and Maj. T. Stobo Farrow being elected as its field officers. After about 3 months training, the Regiment was ordered to the southern coast of S.C.

Following its tour on the southern coast where it fought in the battle at the bombardment of Hilton Head by the Federal Fleet, (Nov.7, 1861) the Regiment was sent to Green Pond, S.C. where the 12th, 13th and 14th Regiments were formed into a Brigade under the command of Brig. General Maxcy Gregg, remaining on the coast until it was ordered to Virginia in April of 1862. ( Maxcy is also spelled Maxey in some reports)

Arriving in Virginia, Gen. Maxcy Gregg’s Brigade became a part of A.P. Hill Division eventually becoming a part of Stonewall Jackson’s Corp. Following the wounding and death of Colonel O.E. Edwards, another Spartan, Benjamin T. Brockman, was promoted to Colonel and took leadership of the Brigade. Col, Brockman died of wounds on May 12, 1864. After Brockman’s death for the first time since formation, the 13th Regiment was led by someone outside of Spartanburg County. Captain Isaac F. Hunt of Newberry was made Commander and Promoted to Colonel. The 13th Regiment remained a part of the Army of Northern Virginia until the end of the war having fought in 21 major battles including the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.

Ref;* The USGENWEB ARCHIVES PENSON PROJECT; Policy requires this notation; “These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit nor for commercial presentation by any other organization”

My Crocker Relatives in the War

William W. Crocker Sr., this writer’s great grandfather who lived on Broadway Street in Bivingsville S.C. at the time of the war had two sons to volunteer for service in the S. C. Confederate Army of Volunteers, Anthony Crocker, his 23 year old son and William W. Crocker Jr., his eighteen year old son. Both joined the Confederate Infantry as privates in Captain A.K. Smith's Co, 18th Regiment in 1861. 

William W. Crocker Jr. died from medical problems while in the Laurel Hill Methodist Church  (In Virginia) of which had been converted into a hospital for the confederate soldiers. The following Memoriam of which I have a copy, appeared in the Carolina Spartan September 4, 1862.

The memorial stated; Mr. William W. Crocker, aged nineteen, departed from this life near the city of Richmond on the 1st day of August 1862. The deceased was a member of Captain A.K. Smith’s Company, South Carolina Volunteers and while in health, discharged fully the duties of a soldier with zeal, fidelity and religious care. “He lived like a Christian and died satisfied that he would enjoy that which is prepared for the people of God”. He was buried at Laurel Hill Church Yard, six miles east of Richmond. His health had not been very good since he had the yellow jaundice on the coast, (Hilton Head) though he was not down, he was able for duty most of the time but he was not as sound as he was before.

He came to us while we were out on the big battlefield and stayed with us until we left Laurel Hill. He was taken down several days before we left and always continued a strict member of the Church, attending preaching and prayers, regularly. In the death of this young soldier, his parents sustained a heavy and afflictive bereavement. Around their fireside spreads a gloom, deep as midnight darkness though illuminated by hope that their son is translated to a bright and happier world. Sincere in his friendships, ardent in feelings and kind in disposition, he was loved and esteemed by his co-patriots. To his sorrowing parents, brothers, sisters and friends, we would say; “Be of good cheer, your loss is his eternal gain as he died clad in the armor of the Christian and his Christ.”

Writer’s comments; the forgoing memorial of William W. Crocker and the following obituary of Anthony Crocker, both of which I have copies, were taken from the local newspaper at the time of their death and preserved by their family. William was buried in an unmarked grave in the grave yard located at the side of the church. Both were survived by; their parents, William W. Crocker Sr. and Nancy Crocker; three sisters, Angeline who married Robert Tuck, Mollie Elizabeth who married Joe Brown, the Local postmaster and Susan who never got married; one brother, Albert W. who married Liza Frances Morris, this writers grandparents.

The obituary of Anthony Crocker stated;

Anthony Crocker volunteered his services to the Co. B, 18th Regiment of S.C. Volunteers under Captain A.K. Smith in December 1861 and entered Camp at Coosawhatchie, Beaufort Dist. S.C.(Coosawhatchie was listed as capital of Beaufort County) While on the coast he was ever ready for duty of every kind; no hardships or dangers formed a pretext for not giving a prompt obedience to every order. In Virginia during the longest marches, he withstood the travels, trials and fatigue incidents.

From his Captain he drew this compliment, “see Anthony Crocker, the smallest man in the Company bearing a like load, he complains not, for he had resolution” This remark was made to those who complained of exhaustion. On the 27th (of May) Anthony’s Brigade was put in front and after pursuing the enemy about ten miles they made a stand. Then General Gregg made a charge and drove in their pickets and commenced the battle at Coal Harbor.

The 18th Regiment was under fire from 2 o’clock until night. There Anthony proved himself a soldier, while the enemy was nearly all around them, he stood firm and said that he was determined to stay as long as any man, though bullets flew thick. Being severely wounded, his arm was amputated at the shoulder joint without avail. In his last illness he said that he was not afraid to die. Death, the last enemy, he met with calmness and fortitude. He died at Warrenton, Va. and in the grave yard,(Confederate Veterans) there was decently buried by his friends. Of him a later writer said; “he was a brave soldier and gave his life for the liberty of his country. His name should be honored for he was worthy of the name of his Grandfather who fought for his liberty”. 


Writer’s comments: Anthony had been named after his Grandfather Anthony Crocker who had bravely fought in the Revolutionary War. According to his obituary, and the history of Cold Harbor, it appears that Anthony Crocker died from wounds received in the second battle at Cold Harbor (1864) and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery.

 

**The second battle of Cold Harbor took place May 31 to June 12, 1864 with the most significant battle taking place on June 3rd and was remembered as American history’s bloodiest and most lopsided battles. The Union army consisted of 108,000 men while the Confederate Army consisted of 59,000 men. Over the 13 days almost 11,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded with some 3,400 confederate soldiers being killed or wounded. Ulysses S. Grant was the Union soldiers Commander and Robert E. Lee was the Confederate soldiers Commander.

 

At 4:30 AM on June 3rd the three Union corps began to advance while massive fire from the Confederate line quickly caused heavy casualties with the survivors being pinned down. Later in the morning the two armies fought in hand to hand battle. At 7AM Grant advised Meade to exploit any successful part of the assault. Meade ordered his three corps commanders to assault at once but all having had had enough, refused to advance. By 12:30 Grant conceded that his army was done . Estimated losses in battle that morning was 3 to 7,000 Union soldiers, no more than 1,500 Confederates. After the battle Grant wrote in his memoirs, “have always regretted that last assault at Cold Harbor; no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained”. Union forces launched no more attacks on the Confederate defense at Cold Harbor.

Ref;** Battle of Cold Harbor and pictures courtesy of Wikipedia. Other Civil War soldiers of whom I have records are also shown on this website; See William A. Harper and Commodore R. Lindsey.

 Researched, compiled and written by Clarence E. Crocker, December 2011


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