23rd SC Infantry

Living Historians Of The American Civil War
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:21 pm 
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I thought you all might like to read this. It has many vivid images in it and describes things that took place in Darlington and Florence. You can read Hoole's letter that he wrote from Kansas on the Battalion web page. He was also a 'bushwhacker' who took part in the raids on Liberty, KS in 1857.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL AXALLA JOHN HOOLE
From Records

Axalla John Hoole was of English descent. His grandfather Joseph Hoole having emigrated from York England about the close of the Revolutionary War and settled in Georgetown SC Jas C Hoole the father of AJ Hoole was a soldier in the War of 1812. He removed to Darlington District and married Elizabeth Stanley by whom he had five children the third being the subject of this sketch. He was born near Darlington Court House October 12th 1822. His father died when he was quite small but his mother was a woman of great energy and gave him the advantages of as good education as could be obtained at St John's Academy Darlington.

The Darlington Riflemen had been in existence as a company for many years composed of men from Swift Creek neighborhood. Mr, G.T. Goodson tells me that my father Wiley Goodson, the Blackmans, Bryants, Lunns, and Adams with my grandfathers Hoole and Brunson were members of this company in their young days but I cannot tell when my father was made captain. I find in an old Tactics the names of J.J. Huggins and MA Huggins 1845 on the fly leaf. A.J. Hoole first lieutenant Darlington Rifles. Mr. Goodson says he joined the company as soon as he was old enough to muster possibly 1849 or I850 and my father was captain then . He was an enthusiastic advocate of State's rights and during the excitement attending the admission of Kansas as a State he went there to oppose the Abolutionists. He married Elizabeth Brunson March 1856 and left that same day for Kansas. Taking an active part in Kansas politics he was elected probate judge of Douglas County by the pro slavery party under the regime of Governor Walker.

Returning to Darlington December 1857 he was re elected captain of the Darlington Riflemen At a meeting on the Academy Green April 1861 he called for volunteers and every man in the company except one volunteered. They went to Charleston April 15th 1861 and after remaining a short time returned to Florence where they were mustered in as Company A Eighth South Carolina Volunteers Confederate Service. The most vivid picture in memory's gallery of my father was photographed on my mind that day as he stood on the platform of the receding train waving his sword the people cheering and some one caught up his baby boy waving him in the air. They left Florence for Virginia June 2nd 1861 under the leadership of Colonel Cash. At the expiration of the period of enlistment one year, the regiment was reorganized and Captain Hoole was elected lieutenant colonel in which capacity he served until he was killed at the battle of Chickamauga September 20th 1863. He was in every battle from first Manassas except one. My father's letters were stolen. The thief imagined it a trunk of valuables and destroyed them after he discovered his mistake.

The few we have were written during the summer of 1863 from Spottsylvania County Va then Colonel Henegan was acting as brigadier general and Lieutenant Colonel Hoole had entire charge of the regiment. The last two were written from Dalton Ga. The first was telling us how hard it was to pass Florence and not come home and that he did not blame the boys who ran away. Then how much he and Martin Brearly enjoyed some fried fish and corn bread given them by Mrs. Davis at St Stephens. The last was written September 18th. He still speaks of being hungry and mentions some biscuits with much soda and no salt that Josh had gotten cooked and regrets the absence of Joe his negro boy left in Virginia.

He also tells of a big spring which he says Billy James tells me is on Wilson Green's place. When I told Mr Goodson of this it reminded him of a big wash pot at that spring and that one of the runaway boys had brought an old ham from home. The ham was cooked in the pot and they picked peas from a field near by and filled the pot. He says they never tasted anything better than those salty peas. His death occurred two days later in the bloody battle of Chickamauga September 20th 1863. In Captain Dickert's history of Kershaw's Brigade he says The Eighth Regiment met an irreparable loss in the death of Lieutenant Colonel Hoole. No officer in the brigade had a more soldierly bearing higher attainments and knightly qualities than Colonel Hoole and not only the regiment but the whole brigade felt his loss. He was one of those officers whose fine appearance caused men to stop and look at him twice before passing, by his Daughter With quotations from Captain Dickert's History of Kershaw's Brigade.

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Bruce Blackmon


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:31 pm 
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Bruce....thank you for posting what is an amazing account of such a fine southern gentleman and Officer...I will bring my letter to the election this weekend so you and others can see Hoole's penmanship and content in person...I had this letter for over 20 yrs before I realized who its author was...

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"He who feels no pride in his ancestors is unworthy to be remembered by his descendants"

"the fact remains, they have to be on every train, I only have to be on one" Jessie James, Clay Co, Missouri 1869


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:17 am 
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It adds an element of family history to me. My ggg was a War of 1812 Vet who was an NCO in the Darlington Guards in the pre-WBTS years. The Blackmans, Goodsons & Bryants that she mentions here are all relatives. These were all large very families.

It is also interesting that according to this that the Swift Creek community was hiding Confederate deserters, something we don't talk about much.

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Bruce Blackmon


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