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5th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry, C.S.A.

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  • John Owens McCants (1831 - 1908)
    Records indicate that 2 different men named “John McCants” served in the CSAThe First John McCants [ John Thomas McCants ]  SC 3rd Infantry Regiment State Troops, Company A, listed as “J. T. McCants” ...

Please click the photo for a detailed explanation of the historical context. If anyone has any other pictures of the SC 5th Reg Cav that are less instigating/offensive please submit them (along with citation) for use. We cannot change our history but we can certainly learn from it.

5th Cavalry Regiment was organized in January, 1863, by consolidating the 14th and 17th Battalions South Carolina Cavalry. For a time it served in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, then in March, 1864, moved to Virginia with 1,200 effectives. Assigned to Butler's Brigade, the regiment fought in The Wilderness Campaign, the battles about Cold Harbor, and south of the James River. Later it was active in the campaign of the Carolinas and attached to Logan's Brigade. The 5th Cavalry surrendered with the Army of Tennessee. Its commanding officers were Colonels Zimmerman Davis, John Donovant, and Samuel W. Ferguson; Lieutenant Colonels J.C. Edwards and Robert J. Jeffords; and Major Joseph H. Morgan. Available records show that some 1,750 men served in the 5th SC Cavalry and its predecessors during the period 1861-1865. Of this total, 165 (9.4%) died in service, 125 (7.1%) were wounded, 258 (14.7%) were lost through discharge, desertion, capture, resignation or retirement, and 135 (7.7%) transferred to other units. The average age at enlistment was 26.8 years.

Wilderness OTHER NAME: Combas at Parker's Store, Craig's Meeting House, Todd's Tavern, Brock Road, The Furnaces CAMPAIGN: Grant's Overland Campaign DATE(S): May-June 1864 PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant [US] Major General Robert Lee [CS] FORCES ENGAGED: 162920 total (US 101895; CS 61025;) ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 28800 total (US 18000; CS 10800;) DESCRIPTION: The opening battle of Grant's sustained offensive against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, known as the Overland Campaign, was fought at the Wilderness, May 5-7. On the morning of May 5, 1864, the Union V Corps attacked Ewell's Corps on the Orange Turnpike, while A.P. Hill's corps during the afternoon encountered Getty's Division (VI Corps) and Hancock's II Corps on the Plank Road. Fighting was fierce but inconclusive as both sides attempted to maneuver in the dense woods. Darkness halted the fighting, and both sides rushed forward reinforcements. At dawn on May 6, Hancock attacked along the Plank Road, driving Hill's Corps back in confusion. Longstreet's Corps arrived in time to prevent the collapse of the Confederate right flank. At noon, a devastating Confederate flank attack in Hamilton's Thicket sputtered out when Lt. Gen. James Longstreet was wounded by his own men. The IX Corps (Burnside) moved against the Confederate center, but was repulsed. Union generals James S. Wadsworth and Alexander Hays were killed. Confederate generals John M. Jones, Micah Jenkins, and Leroy A. Stafford were killed. The battle was a tactical draw. Grant, however, did not retreat as had the other Union generals before him. On May 7, the Federals advanced by the left flank toward the crossroads of Spotsylvania Courthouse. RESULTS: Indecisive CWSAC REFERENCE #: VA046

Cold Harbor OTHER NAME: Second Cold Harbor CAMPAIGN: Grant's Overland Campaign DATE(S): May-June 1864 PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant [US] Major General Robert Lee [CS] FORCES ENGAGED: 170000 total (US 108000; CS 62000;) ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 18000 total (US 13000; CS 5000;) DESCRIPTION: On May 31, Sheridan's cavalry seized the vital crossroads of Old Cold Harbor. Early on June 1, relying heavily on their new repeating carbines and shallow entrenchments, Sheridan's troopers threw back an attack by Confederate infantry. Confederate reinforcements arrived from Richmond and from the Totopotomoy Creek lines. Late on June 1, the Union VI and XVIII Corps reached Cold Harbor and assaulted the Confederate works with some success. By June 2, both armies were on the field, forming on a seven-mile front that extended from Bethesda Church to the Chickahominy River. At dawn June 3, the II and XVIII Corps, followed later by the IX Corps, assaulted along the Bethesda Church-Cold Harbor line and were slaughtered at all points. Grant commented in his memoirs that this was the only attack he wished he had never ordered. The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to James River. On June 14, the II Corps was ferried across the river at Wilcox's Landing by transports. On June 15, the rest of the army began crossing on a 2,200-foot long pontoon bridge at Weyanoke. Abandoning the well-defended approaches to Richmond, Grant sought to shift his army quickly south of the river to threaten Petersburg. RESULTS: Confederate Victory CWSAC REFERENCE #: VA062

All Known Battles Fought: Grimball's Landing (30 JUL 1861) The Wilderness VA (5 - 6 MAY 1864) Spotsylvania Court House VA (8 - 21 MAY 1864) North Anna VA (23 - 26 MAY 1864) Haw's Shop (28 MAY 1864) Cold Harbor VA (1 - 3 JUN 1864) Petersburg Siege VA (JUN 1864 - APR 1865) Vaughan Road (1 OCT 1864) Burgess' Mill (27 OCT 1864) Carolinas Campaign SC (FEB - APR 1865)

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