Kershaw's Brigade

Kershaw's Brigade
By Mac Wyckoff and James B. Clary

While it is difficult to compare the quality of various units, it is certain that this brigade was among the elite brigades of Lee's army.

Ed Bearss, the world's leading authority on the Civil War, noted that "few if any units in the Army of Northern Virginia were more capable or terrible in battle as Kershaw's Brigade." Not only did the soldiers of the brigade establish a first-rate combat record, but the history of the units that compose the brigade is the longest of the war.

Several companies were formed as early as the first week of January 1861, four months before Fort Sumter. The brigade existed until General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to General William T. Sherman at the Bennett House on April 26th, 1865, over two weeks after Appomattox.

The brigade originally consisted of four South Carolina regiments, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th, plus the 11th North Carolina, 8th Louisiana, 30th Virginia Cavalry, Kemper's Virginia Battery and the 1st Company of the Richmond Howitzers. They were commanded by Brigadier General Milledge Like Bonham.

Joseph Brevard Kershaw

Kershaw's Brigade

Kershaw's Brigade at Chancellorsville

Books on Kershaw's Brigade

The Regiments of Kershaw's Brigade:

2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

3rd South Carolina Infantry Battalion

7th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

8th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

20th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

E-mail: Mac Wyckoff at: or James Clary at: