As my first contribution to this site as County Coordinator, I thought I would share a(nother) passion of mine: Civil War history. This post will feature the “Randolph Hornets,” also known as Company M, 22nd North Carolina Infantry, Confederate States Army.
|Taken from Company Service Records
The Company was mustered in 10 March 1862, but they had been training at camp since at least 10 June 1861. Here’s what the Record of Events shows for the time between 10 June and 31 August 1861:
|Taken from Company Service Records
As mentioned in the above muster roll, John Milton Odell was the first elected Captain to the Company. The 28-year-old was Captain from 10 June 1861 to 27 April 1862.
November 1861 to January 1862, he and the Company appear in Evansport, Virginia. In March 1862, he was present at camp near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
On 27 April 1862, John Milton Odell is listed as being “defeated” as Captain causing a vacancy in the position. I’m not sure what that necessarily means, but I know he didn’t die in the War since he lived until 1910. He also doesn’t simply get demoted, as far as I can tell, because he simply disappears from the War records.
Whatever happened to John Milton Odell, his successor as Captain of the Randolph Hornets is listed as his younger brother, Laban Odell.
|Taken from John Milton Odell’s Service Records
Laban Odell was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain upon his brother’s defeat. (Warren B. Kivett was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in Laban’s place.) Laban was Captain from 27 April 1862 until 6 (or 16) March 1863 when he was promoted to Major of entire the 22nd North Carolina Infantry. This was not, however, a good move for Laban. He was killed in action at Chancellorsville on 2 May 1863.
|Taken from Laban Odell’s Service Records
Just as when Laban was promoted to Captain and Warren B. Kivett replaced him as 1st Lieutenant, Warren B. Kivett replaced Laban as Captain when he was promoted to Major. (Not bad for a guy that started out as a Private when he enlisted!) Warren didn’t seem suited for the role of Captain though, or maybe the death of his own former Captain affected him on more than one level, or maybe he just didn’t like it, because on 3 May 1863, he resigned from the post.
The final person to fulfill the role of Captain of the Randolph Hornets, and also the youngest person to hold the position in the Company, was Columbus Franklin Siler. This young man may very well be my favorite of all of the soldiers in this Company.
When Columbus enlisted, he was originally elected Sergeant. On the first muster roll I find for him, though, he’s listed as “absent” from the Company. But, instead of being missing from the War, he is merely missing from “action.” It seems he was sent to Fredericksburg to care for the sick being seen there.
|Taken from Warren B. Kivett’s Service Records
As far as I can tell, Columbus was not experienced in the medical field. He was still a student before the War, and after the War he was a teacher. Still, I find it honorable that he went to fulfill a need.
Columbus shows up absent once again in July 1862. This time, he is the one wounded. He was wounded in June and sent home on furlough as a result. (Columbus has been promoted to 3rd Lieutenant by this time in the War.) By September though, Columbus had failed to return to duty. I almost got mad at him thinking he was deserting the Company, but he shows back up in October without another mention of it. At some point while on furlough, it seems Columbus was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.
Columbus made his way up the ranks quickly. I wonder if he was simply that strong of a leader, or if he was simply the result of good fortune. was promoted 16 April 1863 to 1st Lieutenant. Then, just a few weeks later on 3 May 1863, Columbus was promoted to Captain of the Company when Warren resigned his post.
This quick promotion through the ranks didn’t seem to help Columbus much though. On 7 May 1863, he was sent to Raleigh from Richmond having been shot.
Columbus shows up as a Prisoner of War being paroled at Appomattox on 9 April 1865. I’m not sure what really happened to the Company (or to Columbus) during those two years between his being shot and the end of the War, but until I find out otherwise, I imagine it must have been rather uneventful.
This look at the experiences of this unit will definitely require some further work, but here is at least an overview of the people in the Company with their highest ending rank (within the Company).
- John Milton Odell
- Laban Odell
- Warren B Kivett
- Columbus F Siler
- Lewis F McMasters
- James M Robbins
- Henry C Allred
- John M Lawrence
- James M Pounds
- James E Campbell
- William Coble
- Thomas B Hays
- William Franklin Hays
- William A Pounds
- Henry C Smith
- Stephen W Trogdon
- William P Willey
- M R James
- William C Jones
- James M Routh
- Wesley C Siler
- John T Turner
- 1850 North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
- 1860 North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
- 1870 North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
- 1880 North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
- 1900 North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
- Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina (accessed on Fold3)