William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Charles G. Rogers Journal, 1865
James S. Schoff Civil War CollectionFinding aid created by
K. K., April 1992
Charles G. Rogers journal
Rogers, Charles Geddings, 1830-1888
Charles Geddings Rogers graduated from West Point in 1854 and served in the cavalry of the Army of the Tennessee during the Civil War. His pocket diary contains entries from February to May 1865, with a brief retrospective of his unit's movements in 1864. It also includes registers of pupils from his post-war teaching days, drafts of poems, and various other personal notes.
The material is in English.
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open to research.
Copyright status is unknown.
Charles G. Rogers Journal, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Rogers, Charles Geddings, 1830-1888
Rank : Lt. Colonel
Regiment : C.S.A. Army of the Tennessee. Wheeler's Cavalry Corps
Service : 1861-1865 May 3
Charles Geddings Rogers, born September 24, 1830, in North Carolina, was admitted to West Point from Virginia and graduated with the class of 1854, which included among its 46 members George Washington Custis Lee, Oliver Otis Howard, and J.E.B. Stuart. Rogers served briefly as Brevet Second Lieutenant of Dragoons, resigning in 1855 to become a professor of mathematics at Giles College in Pulaski, Tennesee. From 1861 through 1865, he served as lieutenant colonel and assistant Inspector General in the cavalry of the Army of the Tennesee, with service in September, 1863, as part of Wheeler's Elite Battalion in Lafayette, Georgia. In his diary he mentions a wife, Mary, whom he married in 1855 and with whom he had children, including a son, Charles C., who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1876 and later became an admiral. Following the war, Rogers taught in Memphis and Nashville; he is not listed in a Nashville city directory for 1879, but is there in 1881 as principal of the Ninth Ward school and later the Main Street school. He died on February 24, 1888, at age 57.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The pocket diary in which Rogers writes has on the flyleaf and in several other places the name Alfred Stout, but the entries begin in Rogers' hand on February 9, 1865, with a retrospective detailing briefly his unit's movements from September, 1864, through Tennesee and Alabama with General Forrest. Engagements noted include the capture of Athens and fighting at Sulphur Branch Trestle, Ala., and at Pulaski, Tenn., where he notes that he was within 400 yards of his family, but could not see them because of the presence of Union troops. Rogers apparently spent most of December and January visiting friends and family, but rejoined his unit in early February just in time to participate in the largely unsuccessful attempt to block Sherman's march through South Carolina. He mentions briefly the defense and evacuation of Fayetteville, skirmishing along the Black River, and the Battle of Bentonville, N.C. Disappointingly, he mentions Lincoln's inauguration and assassination with little more than a straightforward notation; Lee's surrender at Appomattox rouses him slightly more: "sad news indeed, " though he does inveigh briefly and bitterly against the men at home who are too cowardly to join the fight: "so much for the boasted chivalry of the South." By war's end he seems embittered by the fate of "our noble little army" whom he sees as having been "sacrificed on the altar of a ruthless and hopeless cause." His anger is seemingly directed against the C.S.A., and he notes, it seems without irony, on the day of his mustering out, "and now for home, and there forever as a truly loyal citizen of the great U.S." The diary ends shortly thereafter, although the notebook also contains registers of pupils from his post-war teaching days, drafts of poems and various other personal notes.
- Confederate States of America. Army of Tennessee.
- Confederate States of America. Army. Wheeler's Cavalry Corps.
- Bentonville, Battle of, Bentonville, N.C., 1865 .
- Sherman's March through the Carolinas.
- Soldiers--Confederate States of America--Attitudes.
- South Carolina--Description and travel.
Additional Descriptive Data
Confederate States of America. Army of Northern Virginia--Surrender.Bentonville (N.C.), Battle of, 1865.Husband and wife.Pillage--South Carolina--Columbia.Sherman's March through the Carolinas.Slavery.Soldiers--Attitudes.Soldiers--Confederate States of America.South Carolina--Description and travel.