There were no Confederate Medals of Honor issued during the War Between the States despite the countless number of heroic deeds committed by numerous Confederate Soldiers. On August 23, 1862, William Porcher Miles of SC, a member of the Confederate Congress, intro- duced a bill authorizing medals for courage and good conduct on the field of battle. On October 10, 1862, the Confederate Congress passed the act authorizing medals and badges of distinction for courage and good conduct on the field of battle. It was passed into law later that same day when President Jefferson Davis signed the act. Due to the war, no medals were issued. There was, however, a Confederate Roll of Honor which recognized a small portion of these Confeder- ate Soldiers and their deeds.
The highest award presented by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is the Confederate Medal of Honor. John Amasa May, (of Aiken, South Carolina) past Commander-in-Chief of the SCV 1964-1966, made the resolution to re-establish the medal. The SCV approved the resolution and the Confederate Medal Of Honor was re-established on August 16, 1968 in Nashville at their annual convention. However, the first one was not awarded until 1977. John Amasa May had died in 1976 so did not see the first medal issued.
The award is given to the individual who distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action against the enemy of the Confederate States of America. The deed or deeds must have been of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of service is considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
Fifteen such medals have been issued to South Carolina Confederates or Confederates while serving in the State of South Carolina. The first six men received the first design Confed- erate Medal Of Honor (above), designed in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. The other nine men received the new Medal Of Honor design.
Lieutenant Richard Rowland Kirkland, of Company G, 2nd SC Infantry became known as the Angel of Marye’s Heights after the Battle of Fredericksburg. Lieutenant Kirkland Sergeant at that time) risked his life to carry water to the wounded Union and Confederate Soldiers on the Battlefield of Fredericksburg for over an hour. He was promoted to Lieu- tenant by the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in which he also fought. He was killed in action at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, on Septem- ber 20, 1863, at the age of twenty. He was born in August of 1843 and is buried in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, SC. In 1964, a monument to him was erected on the battlefield where he had risked his life.
“Tell Pa I died right, I died at my post.”
The 16th SC Regiment Camp 36 of Greenville sponsored Lieutenant Kirkland for the Medal of Honor. The medal was presented to Governor James Edwards by State Commander John A. Morrow and the Commander of the 16th Regiment Camp, John S. Taylor, Jr. The pre- sentation took place at the governor’s mansion on August 17, 1977. The medal was to be permanently displayed at the governor’s mansion but it was later removed to the SC State Capitol and put on display under a large painting unveiled in 1984 of Lieutenant Kirkland giving water to the wounded soldiers.
PRESENTATION of the CONFEDERATE MEDAL of HONOR to RICHARD KIRKLAND
Presented to Mrs. H. J. Haglier of Camden, South Carolina for the heroism of her ancestor Lieutenant RICHARD KIRKLAND presentation at the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion, Columbia, South Carolina, August 17, 1977.
(Left to right) Mrs. H. J. Haglier, descendant of Richard Kirkland, SC Governor James B. Edwards – receiving the Kirkland Medal of Honor on behalf of the State of South Carolina, John A. Morrow – Commander SC Division SCV, John S. Taylor, Jr. – Commander 16th SC Regiment SCV.
Lieutenant William Alexander McQueen, February 3, 1839 – April 9,
1865, was a member of Garden’s Battery of Light Artillery, Confederate States of America (also called Palmetto Light Artillery). Lieutenant McQueen served for all four years of the war and saw action at Sharpsburg and the Crater at Petersburg, where he personally fired mortar rounds into the advancing northern troops to halt the advance. Lieutenant McQueen also showed his bravery on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, where he and his crew were in the forefront of Pickett’s Charge with only one field Howitzer. With twenty Union cannons firing at the crew, they stood their ground. Four of McQueen’s men and six horses were killed with Lieutenant McQueen being severally wounded in the head.
On October 7, 1864, Lieutenant McQueen was again severely wounded by a minieball on Darbytown Road outside of Richmond, Virginia. He was sent home to Sumter to recover. On April 9, 1865, with 2500 Union troops headed toward Sumter, 154 old men and boys took up position at Dingle’s Mill with Lieutenant McQueen commanding an artillery piece. Against the overwhelming number of enemy forces, Lieutenant McQueen once again stood firm, this time protecting his home town. Lieutenant McQueen was killed at his gun when a Union artillery round struck him in his shoulder. He is buried in the Sumter City Cemetery, Sumter, SC.
“Killed at his gun, in defense of his hometown.”
Division Commander Robert L. Brown nominated and General P. G. T. Beauregard Camp 1458 sponsored the Medal of Honor for Lieutenant McQueen. The presentation ceremony was held November 17, 1991 at the Sumter County Museum in Sumter, where the Medal is on permanent display in the War Room honoring Sumter’s military. The ceremony was covered by the Sumter Item Newspaper and TV Channel 15 News of Florence.
Lieutenant General Wade Hampton, III, born in Charleston on March 28, 1818 and died in Columbia on April 11, 1902. Twenty thousand mourn- ers followed his casket to Trinity Episcopal Churchyard where he is buried.
“God bless all my people black and white.”
General Hampton offered to enlist as a private, however, Governor Pickens of South Carolina secured him a Colonel’s commission. Colonel Hampton organized the “Hampton’s Legion” with his own money. Hampton paid for six Blakely Cannons and 400 Enfield Rifles for his legion.
During the war General Hampton would be wounded five times. His brother and his youngest son were both killed in the war. Another of his sons was wounded. General Hampton was first wounded in the head at the Battle of First Manas- sas while leading a charge.
At the Battle of Gettysburg, General Hampton received a saber wound to the head on the second day of battle, but this did not stop him. On the third day of battle, (July 3, 1863) Hampton killed three of the enemy with his revolver and another with his sword. Hampton then saw one of his men battling alone and surrounded. Hampton, then by himself, charged to aid his fellow soldier. Hampton knocked one of the enemy from the saddle. Hampton received a second saber wound that fractured his skull but refused to leave the soldier. While continuing to defend the soldier and himself General Hampton killed several of the enemy in personal combat, cleaving one man’s skull to his chin with a single stroke. Hampton had also received a wound to his side.
The Confederate Medal of Honor was awarded to General Wade Hampton’s great-grand- son and great grand daughter, Wade Hampton Oliver and Mary Hampton King. The service was held September 27, 1992 at 3:00 pm at the Confederate Relic Room in Columbia, where it is on display. Real Son Ernest Eugene McAlhaney presented the medal to the family, the family then presented it to the Relic Room.
The Medal of Honor for Lieutenant General Wade Hampton, III, was nominated and sponsored by the General Wade Hampton Camp in Columbia, SC.
Sergeant Adam W. Ballenger, was born January 17, 1844 and died December 18, 1912. He was a member of Company C, 13th SC Infantry. During the Battle of “Deep Bottom Run” fought north of the James River in Virginia on July 28, 1864, Sgt. Ballenger
“single-handedly captured an enemy artillery piece.”
The Medal of Honor service was held at Sgt. Ballenger’s grave site on September 30, 1995 at the Inman Baptist Church in Inman, SC. Over 200 people attended the service. Over one hundred of them were descendants of Sgt. Ballenger. Many of them still live in the Inman area. Others came from Alabama, Kentucky, Oregon and Texas. A grandson, Mr. Baxter Morgan Haynes, was one of the speakers. He gave some reminiscences of Sgt. Ballenger, as Mr. Haynes clearly remembered his grandfather.
Sgt. Ballenger was nominated for the medal in 1991 by the Brigadier General Stand Watie Camp 1303 in Oklahoma City, OK. The Medal of Honor service was sponsored by the Sergeant Adam W. Ballenger Camp in Spartanburg, SC. The Medal is on display at the Spartanburg Regional Museum.
First Lieutenant Raphael Painpare, Beauregard’s Artillery – Louisiana, was killed at the Battle of “Dingle’s Mill,” Sumter, SC on April 9, 1865. Lieutenant Painpare was on leave in the Sumter area recovering from a serious illness, when scouts reported that some 2600 enemy troops were advancing on Sumter. Lieutenant Painpare volunteered to command one of two cannons with a Southern force of 154 defenders of old men, teenage boys and local militia. Some of the locals believed it to be hopeless. Lieutenant Painpare stepped up and told them
“men your home is in Sumter. My home is in Louisiana, and I propose to fight my gun if anyone will help me.”
The battle began with fire on the enemy. One of the two guns was lost early. Lieutenant Painpare and the local defenders fought the enemy to a standstill. After two enemy regiments flanked the defenders, Lieutenant Painpare ordered his men to take cover, as Lieutenant Painpare alone remained at his gun, firing on the enemy. Despite a federal officer’s call to “spare that man, don’t fire at him, for he is too brave to die,” Lieutenant Painpare was mortally wounded by a volley directed at him. He is buried in Sumter, SC.
The Medal of Honor for Lieutenant Painpare was sponsored by the General PGT Beauregard Camp in Sumter, SC. The service was held April 6, 1997 at 3:00 pm at the “Battle of Dingle’s Mill” historical site. Real Son Rembert Kennedy, along with 160 others, were present for the medal service. Lieutenant Painpare’s Medal of Honor is on display at the Sumter Genealogical Research and Historical Center.
Lieutenant Charles H. Jones, was born in Clarendon County, SC in 1833. He died in Sumter in 1895 and is buried in the Sumter City Cemetery. Lieutenant Jones served as a member of Company I, 7th South Carolina Cavalry.
Lieutenant Jones, while leading a small scouting mission around Manning, SC, found himself and his unit cut off by yankee cavalry. While attempting to escape into the Pocotaligo Swamp, one of the young Confederates was thrown by his horse. Lieutenant Jones immediately turned back to defend his young scout. Lieutenant Jones
“single handedly drove the enemy cavalry from the field, and not one of the scouts were captured, wounded or killed!”
Lieutenant Jones stood in the middle of the road, drawing the yankee fire while urging his men on to the safety of the nearby swamp. After his men were safe, Lieutenant Jones made his escape but not before stopping a second time by himself, turning to face the enemy, pistols drawn and challenged the yankees to follow. The yankee cavalry then turned and retreated. The enemy was so enraged that they put a price on Lieutenant Jones’ head. Lieutenant Jones survived the war and became sheriff of Sumter County for several years.
The Medal of Honor service was held on December 4, 1999 at the Manning Archives in Manning, SC. There were approximately thirty people present. The Medal of Honor was presented to Lieutenant Jones’ granddaughter and is on display at the Manning Archives. The Medal of Honor for Lieutenant Jones was sponsored by the General P.G.T. Beauregard Camp of Sumter, SC.
Compiled and Updated by
Dennis E. Todd
Historian, South Carolina Division, SCV