William Pinkney Shingler

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William Pinkney Shingler was born on November 11,1827, in the Orangeburg District of South Carolina, the son of Colonel James and Eleanor (Bradwell) Shingler. His father was a wealthy plantation owner in St. James Parish. Shingler became a rice planter and large slave-owner in Christ Church Parish. He also worked as the teller of a Charleston bank and as a broker in that city. Active in the militia, by 1860 he was a lieutenant colonel of the 17th Militia, a Charleston unit. Shingler was elected to represent Christ Church Parish at the 1860 South Carolina Secession Convention, where he signed the ordinance of secession.

Shingler's first war service, around Charleston, was as an aide to Colonel Clement H. Stevens. He saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run as a member of Brigadier General Barnard Bee's staff. After that battle Shingler returned to South Carolina and helped raise a combined infantry-cavalry unit, the "Holcombe Legion." On November 21,1861, Shingler was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the legion. The legion served in the Department of Charleston in 1861 and 1862. In March, 1862, Shingler led the legion in a skirmish with Union troops on Edisto Island near Charleston. In the summer of 1862 the legion was transferred to Richmond, Virginia, and split up; the infantry component was attached to Brigadier General Nathan G. Evans' brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the cavalry component remained at Richmond and became part of that city's garrison. Shingler took charge of the legion cavalry and on October 8, 1862, he was commissioned colonel. Charged with drunkenness while on duty, Shingler was relieved from his command in April, 1863, to face a court-martial. However, he continued in command through 1864, so evidently the charges were never pursued. On March 18, 1864, the legion cavalry was combined with five detached cavalry companies to form the 7th South Carolina Cavalry, of which Shingler was given command. He led the 7th in several skirmishes and the Battle of Drewry's Bluff during the Petersburg campaign of 1864- "Slated for promotion to brigadier general," Shingler resigned his Confederate commission on May 30,1864, after a running dispute with President Davis. He then returned to South Carolina, where Governor Andrew McGrath placed him in command of South Carolina state militia.

After the war ended Shingler, "a man of character, intelligence and integrity," was elected to the state senate, where he served two years. Reconstruction Governor James Orr praised him for his "intelligence and conservatism." He also was appointed to various political posts. Shingler died on September 14, 1869, and is buried in Venning Cemetery near Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Shingler is called a general by CV and SHSP. The title must refer either to a militia rank or to the fact that he was slated for promotion. Shingler never commanded more than a regiment in the Confederate army, and he signed his pardon application as colonel CSA.

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Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.