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The 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment:
Kershaw's Brigade:
Confederate Corner:


By Mac Wyckoff


Robert Maffett, the only son of James and Rebecca (Cannon) Maffett, was
born in the Newberry District about 1836.  His father was a long time member
of the state legislature.  At the out break of the war, he was colonel of
the 39th State Militia.

This militia unit formed two companies of what became the 3rd South
Carolina, with one of them becoming Company C which elected him captain on
April 14, 1861.  He was one of the few to be re-elected captain during the
regimental re-organization on May 13, 1862 despite being sick a lot.  He
spent ten days in a Charlottesville hospital in November of 1861 suffering
from jaundice and was furloughed on April 14, 1862 for 30 days with chronic
diarrhea.  On the election day he checked into a Richmond hospital with
typhoid fever.  

He returned in time for the regiment's first battle at Savage Station
on June 29, 1862 where he was wounded in the arm.  The death of Lieutenant
Colonel Benjamin Garlington in that battle resulted in his promotion to
major.  In October he was appointed judge advocate to handle court martials.  
On Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg on December 13th he was one of the top
seven officers in the regiment who were shot.  It could not have been too
serious as nine days later he was able to travel home on furlough for his
marriage.  On Christmas Day he married Sarah A. Halfacre.
He returned in time for Chancellorsville where he captured on May 3rd by
the 122nd Pennsylvania.  He refused to surrender his sword except to an
officer of his own rank.  Private Henry Nixdorf pointed his rifle at Maffett
and told him, "Are you going to unstrap that sword, or rather take the
consequences of being run through with the bayonet."  The major reluctantly
surrendered the pearl-handed dress sword.  He may escaped in the confusion
of battle in dense woods as there is no record of him being in prison camp
or being paroled.

On May 6th, 1864, upon the death of Colonel James Nance he was promoted to
lieutenant colonel.  He was on the picket line at Halltown, West Virginia
on August 26, 1864.  According to D. Augustus Dickert of the 3rd South
Carolina, inactivity had made their men a little lax.  Seeing this, Federal
cavalry swept in and captured Maffett and about 100 members of the 15th
South Carolina.  This time there was no escape despite a pursuit by the rest
of the brigade. Maffett went to Fort Delaware in the middle of the Delaware
River.  He died there on April 26, 1865, the exact day that the regiment was
surrendered by General Johnston to general William T. Sherman.  He left a
wife and daughter.  He is buried in Finns Point National Cemetery which is
technically in Delaware although it is on the New Jersey side of the river.  

He was eulogized as "loved and admired by the men as few officers of his
station were.  In camp he was the perfect gentleman, kind and indulgent to
his men, and in battle, he was cool, collected and gallant."

Shelby B. Pittman - Webmaster