previous next

Remarkable record of the Haskells of South Carolina.

T. C. De Leon, in ‘town Topics,’ November, 1907.)

The South Carolinians were notable during all the war, in the field, the council and in society. Tall Jim Fraser and classic Sam Shannon divided the vote feminine for ‘the handsomest man in the army,’ and cultured Frank Parker, adjutant-general to that unfortunate commander, Braxton Bragg, was no bad second. At dances and theatricals, as in the red sport of war, all three were in the front rank. All have passed across the border, the first two years ago, and Shannon wasting intellect and elegance in a new home in the far West. Parker settled in Mobile, married Miss Troost, of the old Battle family, and has grown children. One year ago all representative classes of his adopted city followed the bier of this true old cavalier.

It was Barnard E. Bee who christened Stonewall on Manassas field, just before his brave spirit went upward ‘in the arms of the white-winged angels of glory.’ And Wade Hampton, wounded at Bull Run, and again severely on the retreat from Gettysburg, he was the same high-natured patriot in war and peace. One battle sadly proved the mettle of that race. Both of the general's boys were in his legion. Wade, his first-born, and handsome, sunny-hearted Preston, his very Benjamin. The latter rushed recklessly into the hottest of the charge, far in advance of the line. The father called to Wade: ‘Bring the boy back!’ The elder brother spurred to the front, saw the other reel in the saddle and caught him as he fell, mortally wounded. At the moment a bullet tore through his shoulder and the father rode up to find one son dead and his bleeding brother supporting him.

The general took the body tenderly in his arms, kissed the white face, and handed it to Tom Taylor.

“Care for Wade's wound,” he called. ‘Forward, men!’ All through that long and bitter day the soldier fought with lead [152] whirring by his ears and lead in his heart. It was not until the doubtful fight was ended that he knew that the other son still lived. Brutus of old was no more true than Hampton.

The women of the Prestons, the Chestnuts, and many another Carolina family proved the truth of good old blood. One gentle old Carolina lady, calm and tender of heart, was as heroic as Hampton. A veritable ‘mother in Israel,’ she was as Roman as he. What one in Judea or the seven-hilled city sent seven spears to victory for Joshua or David—for Scipio or Caesar? Yet this Christian mother of the South hear the thunder of hostile guns without one tremor, nursed her children, torn by their shells, without repining, but with perfect trust in the hand of the One Dispenser.

Mrs. Charles Thompson Haskell (Sophia Langdon Cheves, daughter of Colonel Langdon Cheves) had seven sons in the army around Richmond when I met her at Mrs. Stanard's, in one of the several visits she made to tend their wounds. All of them had been privates in the army before the firing on Sumter. She was ever quiet, but genial, hiding what suspense and anguish held her, making, unknowingly, great history for her State and for all time.

The eldest son was Langdon Cheves Haskell, who served on the staff of General Maxey Gregg, later on the staff of General A. P. Hill, and surrendered at Appomattox as captain on the staff of ‘Fighting DickAnderson, of his own State. He married Miss Ella Wardlaw, of Abbeville, dying in 1886, and leaving three sons and one daughter, all adults.

Charles Thompson Haskell was the second son, a captain in the First Carolina Regulars, and was killed on Morris Island when Gilmore landed to attack Charleston in July, 1863. He, happily, left no widow.

The next was William Thompson Haskell. He was captain of Company H, First South Carolina volunteers, and died at the charge of that corps at Gettysburg while commanding under A. P. Hill.

Alexander Cheves Haskell lived through the day of Appomattox. He was colonel of the Seventh South Carolina Cavalry, [153] of ruddy record, and still lives at Columbia. His first marriage was one of the most touching romances of the war. Miss Rebecca Singleton was a dainty and lovely, but high spirited, daughter of that famed old name. In the still hopeful June of 1861 Mrs. Singleton and her daughter were at the hospital at Charlottesville, crowded so that Mrs. Chestnut (as her diary tells) took the young girl for her room-mate. She was the free chronicler of records. Miss Singleton and Captain Haskell were engaged, and he wrote urgently for her consent to marry him at once. All was so uncertain in war, and he wished to have all his own while he lived. He got leave, came up to the hospital, and the wedding took place amid bright anticipations and showers of April tears. There was no single vacant space in the house. So Mrs. Chestnut gave up her room to the bridal pair. Duty called; the groom hurried back to it the day after the wedding. That day one year later the husband was a widower, with only the news from his far-away baby girl to solace the solitude of his tent. After the war Colonel Haskell married Miss Alice Alexander, sister of General E. P. Alexander. She died after becoming the mother of ten children, six of whom are daughters.

A very marked favorite in society and a gallant officer was John Cleves Haskell, lieutenant-colonel of light artillery when he surrendered with Lee. He married Miss Stella Hampton, who died two decades ago, leaving one daughter and three sons, all now grown up.

About seven years ago Colonel Haskell married Miss Lucy Hampton, daughter of Colonel Frank Hampton, who was killed at Brandy Station. They now live in Columbia.

Very much alive is the sixth brother, Joseph Cleves Haskell, now a resident of busy Atlanta and popular in his new home. When he gave up his sword at Appomattox he was captain and adjutant-general of the First Artillery Corps, on the staff of General E. P. Alexander. He married Miss Mary Elizabeth Cheves and the pair have a grown famly of three sons and a daughter.

Last in this remarkable family roster comes Lewis Wardlaw Haskell. He was but a youth when paroled with the remnant [154] of the Army of Northern Virginia, having already served one year as lieutenant of reserves on the South Carolina coast. This he gave up to go to the front and serve as a private soldier and later as a courier to Colonel John C. Haskell.

Such were the exceptional sextet of brothers, whose noble mother sent them to the field and hid her parting tears. The good old blood of the noted strains that course through the veins of all her name made them stalwart, loyal and leal, and ready when duty called. They had but one sister, her mother's namesake. She is now Mrs. Langdon Cheves, of Charlotte.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November, 1907 AD (1)
1886 AD (1)
July, 1863 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
April (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: