By Mac Wyckoff
Chesley Herbert "a true friend of the colored race" was murdered by a black man black man in Newberry, South Carolina after surviving three years of combat in the Civil War. The murder of the prominent white man created a major incident in Newberry. Chesley, the son of Isaac and Frances Herbert, was born on June 10, 1832 in the Newberry District. He prepared for college at Cokesbury Conference Scholl and graduated from South Carolina College in 1855 and the following January married Elizabeth S. Goggans. In 1860 he was the magistrate of Newberry. Herbert enlisted as a lieutenant in Company C, 3rd South Carolina on the day after Fort Sumter surrendered. He was promoted to captain on July 1, 1862 as result of the loss of the previous captain that day in the Battle of Malvern Hill. A year later he received a flesh wound in the left knee during the second day of fighting at Gettysburg. The Yankees captured him, but somehow he escaped or was recaptured. After a brief stay in a Richmond hospital, Herbert was furloughed for sixty days. The records do not indicate when he returned, but he was present on New Year's Day of 1864. On May 6, 1864, he was again severely wounded in the left knee at The Wilderness. This time he had a longer hospital stay before being furloughed for sixty days on America's Independence Day. The injury disabled him for life and he was finally discharged on February 24, 1865. On March 8, 1866, a black man stole his horse. Herbert apparently jumped on another horse and chased the thief for some distance. After catching him, they started back. While stopping to rest and share some bread, the robber picked up a heavy stick and hit Herbert on the head. Crippled by his Civil War injuries, Herbert was unable to effectively fight back. The man then drew Herbert's pistol and shot him in the head. His body was buried in the New Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery in Newberry. The black man was captured, recaptured after escaping from jail, tried and hanged.
Catawba Wateree Genealogical Society
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