Empire State Confederate
 
From: bernhard1848@att.net
 
Serving with Orangeburg’s Edisto Rifles, 25th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers of General Johnson Hagood’s Brigade was one Ira T. Shoemaker. Captured in the fall of Fort Fisher in January 1865, he was imprisoned at Elmira, New York.
 
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
www.cfhi.net  
 

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Empire State Confederate:
 
“Our picket line one day while the brigade was on the Darbytown lines was attacked and driven in by the Yankees. The pickets in front of the Twenty-fifth Regiment were commanded by a lieutenant. General Hagood had a new detail made at once, with Sergeant Ira T. Shoemaker of the Edisto Rifles in command, who promptly drove the Yankees back, reestablished the line and held it till next morning when regularly relieved.
 
Sergeant Shoemaker was a New Yorker, from Herkimer county. He came down South several years before the war and was teaching in Orangeburg when the State seceded, and did not hesitate as to what he should do, but promptly aligned himself with those who fought under the Starry Cross, and unswervingly held on to the bitter end.
 
Like Jim Bludsoe: “He seen his duty a dead sure thing, And went for it thar and then.”
 
He fulfilled the requirements of a model Confederate soldier. After the close of the war he represented Orangeburg County in the legislature several years before his death.
 
Sergeant Shoemaker’s home was in Elmira, where the prison was located, before he came South, and his parents and other members of his family were living there when he was a prisoner. They endeavored in every way to induce him to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, but this he positively refused to do, preferring to stand true to his convictions and “live and die in Dixie.”
 
(Sketch of the War Record of the Edisto Rifles, 1861-1865, William V. Izlar, The State Company, 1914, Pages 103, 109)