Charles Miller Shelley

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Charles Miller Shelley was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, December 28, 1833. He was taken by his parents in 1836 to Talladega, Alabama, where he grew up to follow his father's profession of architect and builder. A lieutenant of the Talladega Artillery in 1861, he spent six weeks at Fort Morgan; and upon the reorganization of his company into infantry, as a part of the 5th Alabama, he was elected captain. He was present in Virginia during the campaign of First Manassas. In January 1862 he recruited the 30th Alabama and was commissioned its colonel. He fought in Bragg's Kentucky invasion, at Port Gibson, and at Vicksburg, where he was captured. Upon his exchange he joined the Army of Tennessee with his command and took part in every battle from Chattanooga to the final surrender at Greensboro. He was appointed brigadier general from September 17, 1864. In the famous assault on the Federal works at Franklin, Shelley's brigade lost 432 killed and wounded out of 1100 present for duty. Shelley himself escaped unhurt, although his horse was killed under him and his uniform was pierced by bullets. After spending a year in Louisiana post bellum, General Shelley returned to Alabama, and in 1874 was elected sheriff of Dallas County. Thereafter he served four consecutive terms in Congress as a Democrat, two of which were contested by his opponents. He then became fourth auditor of the Treasury by appointment of President Cleveland. The last years of his life were spent in promoting the industrial interests of Birmingham, Alabama, where he died on January 20, 1907. He is buried in Talladega.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.

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