US Civil War 1861-1865
The Citadel Corps of Cadets fought as a unit during the Civil War, earning nine battle streamers. They are:
Star of the West, January 9, 1861
Wapoo Cut, November 1861
James Island, June 1862
Charleston and Vicinity, July to October 1863
James Island June 1864
Tulifinny, December 1864
James Island, December 1864 to February 1865
Williamston, May 1 1865
Confederate States Army
No other college, academy, or educational institution spent more time in combat or fought in more Civil War battles than The Citadel's Corps of Cadets. Cadets fired the first shots of the Civil War on January 9, 1861 and the last shots east of the Mississippi River during the Battle of Williamston on May 1, 1865. The last shots of the Civil War were fired during the Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas on May 13, 1865.
The Citadel campus was captured by Gen William T. Sherman's Army and served as their headquarters in South Carolina and the southeast. The Arsenal Academy in Columbia, SC, The Citadel's preparatory school, was burned by Sherman's Army on February 18, 1865 never to be reopened again. The only building left standing on The Arsenal campus, the Officer's Quarters, built in 1855, became the Governor's Mansion of the State of South Carolina. It is the only Arsenal Academy building remaining today and it has been the home of every Governor since 1868 including five Citadel graduates.
Citadel Cadets served with honor, courage, and distinction. Twelve cadets died of wounds and the "hardship of the service." Eleven Cadet Rangers were wounded and four died in combat. The last cadet killed in action was Cadet William McKenzie Parker, Jr., class of 1868. The 16 year old cadet veteran of the Battle of Tulifinny and Williamston was killed on May 9, 1865. He was on his way home after the Corps was furloughed on May 9 with some other cadets when they encountered a detachment of Stoneman's Raiders. These were the same union soldiers they engaged at Williamston just days earlier with the Corps of Cadets on May 1, 1865. Cadet Parker ordered the federal soldiers to surrender and when they tried to escape he pulled the trigger on his rifle. It misfired and an opposing federal soldier shot and killed him on the spot.
Graduates of The Citadel also served with honor and distinction. Of the 240 alumni that graduated from The Citadel between 1846 and 1864, 224 were alive when the Civil War began. Of the living graduates 209 served in combat. The fifteen graduates that did not serve in the Civil War were Ministers (5), Civilian Physicians (2), Civilian Engineers (2), three living in California, one Civilian Railway Official, one graduate studying in Germany, and one serving as a Civil Engineer in the far west territories of Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California. Forty-nine died from combat wounds and several more were wounded in action. Many served as prisoners of war (POW). Most alumni served in the Confederate States Army with a few serving in the Confederate Navy, Marine Corps, and other government agencies. Citadel men served in all officer grades from Second Lieutenant to Major General.
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