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Captain Charles Frederick Linrhicum

Captain Charles Frederick Linrhicum 

Capt. Charles Frederick Linrhicum was born December 17, 1838, in Urbana District, Frederick County, Md., just south of Mason and Dixon's line, his parents being John Hamilton Smith and Julia Ann (Garrott) Linthicum. The name is of Welsh origin, the first spelling of it showing the double The name in'America, however, is traced back into the twilight of colonial times.

His early education was had in the public schools of his State, in which he afterwards taught. In 1860 he was ordained a minister and sent by his bishop to Loudoun County, Va., and, coming of a stanch
Southern family, was ripe for service at the first call to duty in his adopted State.

Gen. Eppa Hunton in a recent letter tells how he first had his attention drawn to this young man. whom he found the ranks of his regiment. the “Bloody Eighth" (the Eighth Virginia). The incident occurred as they were about to make an important charge, when he asked permission of him to pray with ‘his company. The prayer so impressed his officer that he lost no time in procuring 'for him a commission as chaplain of the regiment. He was ever afterwards known as the “fighting chaplain,” for whenever and wherever fighting was going on he was found with his knapsack and musket m the front ranks.

In 1862 he yielded to the appeals of his gallant officer. Gen. Hunton, who had temporarily taken the place of Gen. Pickett, the latter ‘having been severely wounded at Gaines’s Mill, to become his adjutant general. He was persuaded that in this capacity he could render more efficient service to the cause which he had so much at heart. while he also was modest enough to believe that his contemplated successor, Chaplain Ware could do greater good in that calling. These were the reasons he gave for relinquishing his duties as chaplain and becoming a staff officer. He continued to the last. however. to feel that the ministry was his special calling, to which be frequently makes mention in his diary and to which calling he intended to return when the strife was ended.

As adjutant general he served on the staff of Col. C. S. Peyton and on that of Gen. Richard B. Garnett. He was with the latter at Gettysburg. where he and his entire staff fell except Linthicum. and he only escaped after losing two horses and receiving a slight wound in the head. On the fall of Gen. Garnett Gen. Hunton became permanent brigade commander, from which date that close confidence and bosom companionship which should exist between a general and his adjutant bound their hearts together.

Capt. Linthicum is described as a man of wonderful endurance. of superb judgment, cool headed, and a fearless fighter. He fell at Second Cold Harbor June 3, 1864, while bearing a message, which he had insisted no one else but himself should take, from Gen. Hunton to the general commanding on their right. He is buried in Hollywood, at Richmond. An extended sketch of his life can be found in the “Confederate Military History,” Vol. III. page 579. edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans; also in the “Portrait and Biographical Record of the Sixth Congressional District of Maryland." page 601. (Chapman Publishing Company, of New York.)

A brother, John Warren Linthicum, survives, who fought throughout the war with Gen. John S. Mosby. His father was for a time a prisoner of state and confined in the old capitol at Washington by order of Secretary Seward. Capt. Linthicum’s nephew, bearing his full name. who is also a Marylander, but removed to Nashville in 1892, prides himself in the possession of his uncle’s diary covering the period from May, 1863 to March, 1864. It contains many rare and valuable reminiscences.

S. A. Cunningham, Confederate Veterans, Volume 8 (Nashville, 1900), 132-133.


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