About James Shoolbred Drayton
James Drayton and his brother Thomas left Charleston, South Carolina and moved to Texas by 1860. When news of secession reached Texas, Thomas wrote his brother John in Charleston explaining that he and James were expecting to join up and fight for the cause, though he hoped to get in another harvest before joining the army.
He went on to write,
"You say that you are expected to be under orders to march in a week. Well, it's what we all expect to do. I don't know at what time I may be called on to do my part in the struggle for our liberties. If you go, go with a bold heart and do what you can. Fight like the devil and if you are to be shot, let it be in front and not in the back. It's no disgrace to die on the battlefield and if it so pleases God that you are to be in the number of those whose blood is to be asked for their country, you shed it in a Glorious Cause, but kill every Devil of a Yankee you can. If things get to the worst in Carolina I will leave the property here in safe hands and come on myself. I would prefer to die on her soil and in her cause than any other. We may never meet in this world again, but if it's God's will, I trust we will meet in better."
Both Thomas and James eventually joined the Confederate Army. Thomas enlisted in Terry's Mounted Company, a Texas cavalry unit that served as a home guard. James returned to South Carolina in order to fight with Company B of the 3rd Artillery Battalion, known as the Palmetto Battalion.