Poor Bill Taylor

A few days ago I offered a few speculative words about the names of deserters that litter the letters of Captain John Christopher Winsmith of the 5th South Carolina Infantry.  One of the recurring names in the letters is that of Bill Taylor.  He lived in the Spartanburg area and so it seems reasonable to…

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John C. Winsmith Names Names

One of the things that I find particularly interesting about Winsmith’s letters home is the attention he gives to reporting on the conduct and overall well being of his men.  This is not surprising given his rank of captain and command of a unit raised in and around Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Winsmith clearly assumed responsibility…

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John Christopher Winsmith Rejects Secession and Embraces the Republican Party

John Christopher Winsmith was what historian Jason Phillips refers to as a “diehard rebel.” Throughout the war, Winsmith never wavered in his enthusiasm for the cause.  He believed that it was incumbent on everyone in the Confederacy to make the necessary sacrifices in the army and on the home front.  In letters that routinely characterized…

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