22nd Infantry

Private John H. Powell

Company G (the “Caswell Rifles”), 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops (12th Regiment N.C. Volunteers)

Sergeant James Carl Powell

Company G (the “Caswell Rifles”), 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops (12th Regiment N.C. Volunteers)

The Powell brothers of Caswell County John H. and James C. (below) served in Company G (the “Caswell Rifles”), 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops. John (born April 2, 1842) enlisted at Raleigh on July 12, 1861. No muster rolls for Company G survive from the period September 1861-June 1864, and the next record of John is his admission to the Confederate hospital at Danville, Virginia, in June 1862. He died there of “typhoid pneumonia” (typhoid fever complicated with pneumonia) June 19 or 21. On September 13, 1862, his father filed a claim for back pay which was settled on September 4, 1864, for $62.33.

James followed his brother into service on August 5, 1861. He too was hospitalized at Danville in June 1862, suffering from “intermittent fever,” but recovered and returned to duty on June 25. James was hospitalized at Richmond with a hand wound on September 28, 1862. The place and date of his injury were not recorded, but the 22nd North Carolina had recently been engaged at the Battles of Sharpsburg (September 17) and Shepherdstown, [West] Virginia (September 20), suffering much heavier casualties in the latter engagement. James received a thirty-day furlough on October 7 and was reported as second sergeant of Company G in December 1862. James was reported present for duty in muster rolls from June-October 1864, and was hospitalized again, for unspecified reasons, in October 1864. His names appears on a clothing receipt roll for December 15, 1864, and there are no further military records of him until his capture at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia, April 2, 1865, where he was one 103 members of the 22nd North Carolina taken prisoner. James was incarcerated at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor, until he was released after taking the Oath of Allegiance, June 18, 1865.

Sometime between their enlistment and the summer of 1862 the Powell brothers visited the noted Richmond photography firm, Charles R. Rees and Company, to have their images made. (Rees scratched his name into the emulsion on the photograph of James, visible beneath his left arm.) Both Powells are depicted in versions of the uniform coat specified in the North Carolina 1861 uniform regulations. James’s coat is a strictly-regulation six-button gray sack coat with black epaulets; John’s garment might more aptly be described as a blouse or overshirt.

John H and James C. Powell (November 19, 1836-March 31, 1908) are buried near one another at the Powell Family Cemetery, Casville, Caswell County.

Images: Sixth-plate ambrotypes in the possession of Brad Bush, descendant of James C. Powell.

Source Note:
Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 7:57, 63; Mast, “North Carolina Casualties”; Mast, State Troops and Volunteers, 1:172, 187; service record files of John H. and James C. Powell, 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=66451035&ref=acom