Edwin A. Osborne, Confederate Colonel, Minister and Humanitarian
 
From: bernhard1848@gmail.com
 
Colonel Edwin A. Osborne distinguished himself in the Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops, serving with George Burgwyn Anderson and Bryan Grimes.  Colonel Osborne epitomized the patriotism, high character, chivalry, and humanitarianism of Southern leaders, in civilian life and war.
 
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
www.ncwbts150.com
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
 
Edwin Augustus Osborne: Confederate Colonel, Minister and Humanitarian
 
Born in a Moulton, Alabama log house on 6 May 1837, he was one of eleven children of Ephraim Brevard and Nancy Smith Osborne and named for his paternal uncle Edwin, and for General John Augustus Young.  Osborne’s great-grandfather Alexander was born in New Jersey but moved to Salisbury, North Carolina about 1754 and later in Iredell County.
 
Edwin’s grandfather Adlai was one of the first trustees of the University of North Carolina, his father was a physician who fought with General Andrew Jackson – one of the few to escape from Indian massacre at Fort Mims and with Jackson at New Orleans.
 
Edwin returned to North Carolina to live with his widowed Aunt Peggy on her Mecklenburg County plantation, and she arranged for his schooling at the Statesville Military Academy in 1859.  After enlisting for Confederate service with the northern Iredell County “Hunting Creek Guard” in June 1861, he was elected captain of Company H, Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops and fought at Yorktown, Williamsburg and Seven Pines, where he was wounded in 1862.  Here, while his company was unsupported and facing certain destruction form enemy fire, he ordered a charge which drove the enemy and captured six pieces of artillery.
 
He saw further action at South Mountain and Sharpsburg, where he was wounded again, then to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania and the Wilderness which left him injured again, and with Lee at Appomattox. During his time in action he was promoted to major, lieutenant-colonel, and eventually colonel, leaving his regiment only to recover from the frequent wounds.
 
Returning home suffering from fever and nothing but his horse and missing two fingers on one hand, he joined his wife and mother in law at the latter’s home in Statesville.
 
Edwin taught school in Statesville and later in Charlotte, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar.  Appointed Clerk of Superior Court in 1867 and re-elected twice, he held the position for ten years.  He joined his wife’s Protestant Episcopal church in 1874 and soon decided to enter the ministry, being ordained deacon on 3 June 1877 and named rector of Calvary Church in Fletcher.
 
In 1884 he was appointed to St. Mark’s and St. Paul’s missions in Mecklenburg County where under his leadership both received new church buildings.  He also added a black congregation, St. Michael’s and All Angels, in Charlotte.  In addition, his concern for orphans led to the opening of Thompson Orphanage and Training Institution on 10 May 1887.
 
When war broke out with Spain in 1898, Osborne resigned from the orphanage to serve a Chaplain of the Second Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers and remained on active duty for the duration of the war.
 
Osborne was “Noted for his gentle spirit, chivalry, bravery, and idealism.  Very much affected by his [War] experiences, he wrote poetry in a diary he had kept during the war.  Years later he reflected that one year, on the first day of July, he had noticed a feeling of sadness coming over him, then remembered that it was the anniversary of Gettysburg.  For a time Osborne was the chaplain of  the Mecklenburg Camp of Confederate Veterans.
 
Edwin Augustus Osborne died at age eighty-nine after a period of declining health, and was buried in Charlotte’s Elmwood Cemetery.”
 
(Source: Biography of Edwin Augustus Osborne, Dorothy H. Osborne, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William S. Powell, editor, UNC Press, 1987, pp. 401-402)