What happened to Private William H. Golden in Civil War? Son of John Richard “Dickey” Golden and Martha Hughes

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Flag - South Carolina William H. Golden was born about 1846 in Pickens, South Carolina.

Other than his birth, the only thing we know about him is that he joined or was drafted into the 1st Regiment, Rifles (infantry), of South Carolina in 1864. This unit was assigned to Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (see unit history below). William is not referenced in any Golden family histories as having married or having children. Nor is he listed among any casualties in military records. His military record consists of a single entry that he entered service.

ParentsJohn Richard “Dickey” Golden (1815–1887, my 3rd great-uncle) and Martha Hughes (1820–1880) , all born, raised and passed in Pickens, South Carolina.

GrandparentsNathaniel Greene “Green” Golden Sr (1783–aft 1822) and Rachel Isabella Morgan (1786–1850).

Married: None known.

Children: None known.

William H. Golden

Private William H. Golden

Company C, 1st Regiment, South Carolina Rifles (Orr’s), CSA

SOLDIER’S RANK IN: Private // OUT: Private


>>> Other than William H. Golden enlisting there is nothing known about his military service. Nothing. There are several William Golden’s that lived in this area of South Carolina after the war but known are linked as belonging to this Golden family.


The following are battles that William H. Golden may have fought in. These are battles that Company C, 1st Regiment, Rifles, South Carolina engaged.

  • Spotsylvania Court House VA (8 – 21 MAY 1864)
  • North Anna VA (23 – 26 MAY 1864)
  • Cold Harbor VA (1 – 3 JUN 1864)
  • Petersburg Siege VA (JUN 1864 – APR 1865)
  • First Squirrel Level Road VA (30 SEP 1864)
  • Jones Farm VA (30 SEP 1864)
  • First Pegram’s Farm VA (1 OCT 1864)
  • Five Forks VA (1 APR 1865)
  • Appomattox Court House VA (9 APR 1865)


William H. Golden joined  Company C, 1st Regiment in early 1864 when he turned 18. Company “C” came almost exclusively from families in the Pickens and Oconee area. It was nicknamed “Pickens Boys”.

1st Regiment Rifles, known as Orr’s Rifles, was organized at Sandy Springs, South Carolina, in July, 1861. Its members were recruited in the counties of Abbeville, Pickens, Anderson, and Marion. The unit was first stationed on Sullivan’s Island and called by the other troops “The Pound Cake Regiment” because of its light duty.

Then in April, 1862, it moved to Virginia with 1,000 men. Assigned to General Gregg’s and McGowan’s Brigade, it fought with the army from the Seven Days’ Battles to Cold Harbor. Later the regiment endured the hardships of the Petersburg trenches and the Appomattox operations. Of the 537 engaged at Gaines’ Mill, fifty-nine percent were killed, wounded or missing. The unit reported 116 casualties at Second Manassas and 170 at Fredericksburg, then lost forty-nine percent of the 233 at Chancellorsville and three percent of the 366 at Gettysburg. There were 12 killed and 81 wounded at The Wilderness, 15 killed, 36 wounded, and 44 missing at Spotsylvania, 3 killed and 34 wounded at Deep Bottom, and 9 killed and 37 wounded at Poplar Springs Church.

It surrendered 9 officers and 148 men. The field officers were Colonels Daniel A. Ledbetter, James W. Livingston, J. Foster Marshall, George M. Miller, James L. Orr, and James M. Perrin; Lieutenant Colonels William M. Hadden, F.E. Harrison, Joseph J. Norton, and James T. Robertson; and Majors John B. Moore and Leonard Rogers.

You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com

BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.