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The 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment:
Kershaw's Brigade:
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WILLIAM DRAYTON RUTHERFORD

By Mac Wyckoff

                         
"He was gifted with a rare intelligence, and possessed an affectionate
nature, with a deep sympathy for his fellow men."  So wrote D. Augustus
Dickert of Colonel William Rutherford.
	
William Rutherford the son of Dr. Thomas M. and Laura (Adams) Rutherford,
was born on September 21, 1837 in the Newberry District of South Carolina.
His father was the son of a Revolutionary War officer and his mother a
descendant of the famous Adams family of Massachusetts.   He was educated in
the best schools in Greenville and Newberry.  At the age of 16, he entered
the South Carolina Military Academy.  He started near the bottom of his
large freshman class due to interest in outdoor sports and reading, but he
began apply himself and quickly rose to near the top of the class.  He found
military discipline too restrictive so transferred after his first year to
South Carolina College.  Possessing a rebellious nature, he eventually
dropped out.  He soon regretted this decision and passed the bar exam.  The
Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court predicted a brilliant
legal career for young Rutherford.  He went to Germany to complete his
education.  The threat of war brought him back to his native state.
Standing 5-10 in height, he was described as not having "an ounce of spare
flesh, all bone and muscle, and was the physical embodiment of manly beauty.
	
He enlisted on April 14, 1861 as the adjutant of the 3rd South Carolina.
In March of 1862, he married Sallie H. Fair.  At the regimental
re-organization on May 13, 1862 he was elected major. He was promoted to
lieutenant colonel after the death of Benjamin Garlington at Savage Station
on June 29, 1862.  He was captured on South Mountain during the Maryland
Campaign and paroled the following month/  At Fredericksburg he was among
the top seven officers in the regiment who were all shot on Marye's Heights.
He returned from furlough two months later.  Following the death of James
Nance at The Wilderness on May 6, 1864, he was promoted to colonel.  In
September of 1864, General James Connor recommended him for promotion to
brigadier.  
 
On October 13, 1864, just north of Strasburg at a place called Hupp's
Hill, Kershaw's Brigade advanced to support an artillery battery.
Rutherford went foreword to examine the ground in hope of finding a way to
turn the Yankee left flank.  A bullet struck and mortally wounded him.
Rutherford died the next day.  He is buried in the Rosemont Cemetery in
Newberry.   
  



Shelby Pittman

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Webmaster and Editor
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