26th Infantry

Private Daniel Sneed Liles

Company K (the “Pee Dee Wild Cats”), 26th Regiment N.C. Troops

Daniel Sneed Liles (born September 2, 1839) farmed with his parents in the Wadesboro District of Anson County. On July 1, 1861, he enlisted in a local company known as the “Pee Dee Wild Cats,” subsequently Company K, 26th Regiment N.C. Troops.

Several of Liles’s letters to his mother survive. On September 29, 1861, he wrote her from the camp of the 26 North Carolina on Bogue Banks, Carteret County:

“We drill hear twice a day once the morning at 8 oclock to 10 oclock and 3 in the evening until 5 and in the evening we out on dress parade which continues until about seven in the evening. We do not drill on Sunday though we go out every Sunday on the inspection of arms with our napesacks cartridge boxes and other equipage. Our regiment has a very good preacher Baptist minister named [Robert] Marsh who is very able preacher. We have preaching on sundays and prayer meeting of nights when the weather will admit of it. . . . “

Liles was severely wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, but returned to duty by the end of 1863. On January 7, 1864, he wrote his mother from the winter encampment of the 26th North Carolina, near Orange Court House, Virginia:

“We are faring only tolerable much better than we have been here yet only a quarter of a pound of corn a day and less than a pound of beef a day . . . we draw sugar and coffee and rice and lard. The soldiers has stold every thing the people had pretty ni. Our boys has got a good many geese. The sutlers had to leave orange C[ourt] H[ouse] the soldiers charged them at Christmas and took thousands of dol[lars] worth. I would like to have been at the guilding.”

The 26th North Carolina was extensively engaged in the Overland Campaign and Siege of Petersburg from May-September 1864 and Liles’s letters relate that he participated in many if not all the battles.

However, he wrote home on October 8 that “my health is not good,” and between that date and October 31 he was sent home on sick furlough. Liles journeyed by train from Petersburg, and made it as far as Florence, South Carolina, (about sixty-five miles from his home). He was hospitalized at the 2nd South Carolina Hospital at Florence, and from there wrote home, probably in early November:

“Very sick. I started home an I am here a furlough for 60 days I cannot get any further. . . . I am very sick bad off if you want to see me come as quick as possible if you do not you will never get to see me. I am afraid . . Bring some medicine with you it is a deep cold and pain my lungs are very much affected by come as soon as you get this.”

Liles died on November 11, probably of pneumonia and apparently before his mother could join him. A letter of December 22, 1864, from a medical officer at the hospital to Mrs. Liles relates that:

“He was very quiet and composed during all his sickness and spoke more of the sufferings he had undergone from exposure and sickness than of any anxiety or trouble of mind. He was quite rational to the last and died without a struggle as one going to sleep. “

Liles is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Florence, South Carolina.

Image: Copy print in author’s possession.

Source Note:
1860 U. S. Census, Wadesboro District, Anson County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 144, dwelling 1113, family 1078, Vernon Liles household; Randal Garrison, ed., “Daniel Liles Letters,” Company Front (May 1994), 8-17; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 7:589, 596; service record files of Daniel S. Liles, 26th 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&GSln=LI&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=43&GScntry=4&GSsr=921&GRid=63163266&